Transparency, ethics among reasons listed in application
Tim Rooney isn’t the type of person to toot his own horn when it comes to accomplishments.
That is why it took someone else to do it for him.
On Sept. 15, the Mustang city manager received the Gerald Wilkins Award from the City Management Association of Oklahoma at the annual Oklahoma Municipal League conference.
The award recognized Rooney as the city manager of the year for cities with 15,000 or more.
Assistant City Manager Justin Battles nominated Rooney on behalf of city staff, the council and citizens “who appreciate all that Mr. Rooney does.”
“I was really honored, humbled and touched to receive the Gerald Wilkins Award,” Rooney said. “It’s always nice to be recognized by the other professionals in your career field – your peers – for the work that you do.
“Having worked in municipal government for over 20 years in Oklahoma, I looked up to many of the past recipients of this award and it’s a very odd and overwhelming feeling to now be included in that group.”
Rooney came to Mustang in 2013 during a rocky time for the city financially. His first priority was “shoring up Mustang’s financial ship” after former city manager Mike Rutledge resigned, as reported in the Mustang News at the time. He also strived to improve Mustang city government’s accountability to the community and make sure city officials are good stewards of taxpayer money.
Rooney’s regular city manager reports have done just that by improving communication with residents as well as the city council.
Battles was sure to mention the reports in his nomination application to COMA.
“Tim informs the community by providing a report twice a month discussing city business, actions and additional information… Tim carries sound ethical principles which has won the trust of it’s residents and staff,” Battles wrote.
“Mustang was my second City Manager position after being an assistant city manager for 17 years. I think Mustang has reinforced my individual management style: Empower and support, praise publicly and critique privately,” Rooney said. “Coming to Mustang in so many ways was exactly what I needed professionally and personally. I think what makes Mustang unique is the staff. We have a staff that enjoys public service, works to remove obstacles and is proud of their community.”
Looking back at the last three years, Rooney said the city’s financial state in 2013 was an opportunity.
“I saw a Mustang that had a lot of promise three years ago but not necessarily a strong understanding as to how to get there. The council has made some difficult decisions over the last three years that have put Mustang in a much better position,” Rooney said. “People outside of Mustang are talking about this community in a positive light and I attribute this to some of those difficult decisions made by the Council and a staff that has a passion for public service. They make my job easy and one that I enjoy very much.”