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City council participates in yearly training program

“What gets measured, gets done,” said Bill Tackett with the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group. “What gets measured with feedback, gets improved and what gets measured and rewarded, gets repeated.”
The Mustang City Council approved training from OMAG June 15.
Councilmembers receive training annually. This was the third year for the council to participate.
Tackett presented the training. The program has been around for about four years.
OMAG conducts training for about 500 cities and towns across the state. The organization was created in 1977 by municipals to be their main provider of insurance.
OMAG also created an interlocal agreement three years ago, which the city has. Tackett said it is the most powerful tool cities have.
Much of the training referred to “The Infinite Game,” a book by Simon Sinek. The book covers leaders embracing an infinite mindset to leave their organization better than they found it, according to Sinek’s website.
Councilmen filled out a questionnaire and scored themselves in areas, like crisis response and public image. Typically, public image is scored at a six and is cities’ lowest score.
The members rated themselves nearly at a 10. Councilmen told Tackett their community is unified.
Mayor Brian Grider said city staff are involved in community events. There are about 100 employees.
“There are some communities around us that have not always been seen very positively in the public light — newspaper articles — and we haven’t had those issues,” City Manager Tim Rooney said. “That helps us.”
Municipalities do not do a good job telling their stories, Tackett added.
“We don’t always communicate our message as well as we should,” Rooney said.
Members also rated themselves high regarding crisis management. Rooney said he was most proud of the February winter storms, as there were no water shortages on the city’s side.
Councilmembers also watched a video about coverages the city has.
The council has duties of care, obedience and loyalty, Tackett said.
Care means the councilmen look at the agendas before meetings to be prepared. The duty of obedience means they will follow resolutions and ordinances set by previous councilmembers and amend or change them as they deem necessary.
They will also do what the state and federal government tell them to. Members’ hats of loyalty also belong to the entire Mustang City Council, Tackett said.
He added that politics is defined as who gets what when. The councilmembers decide this by allocating resources, which are time, money and people.
Time is the scarcest resource, Tackett said. Since time is scarce, there should never be administrative items on agendas, he said.
Councilmembers should have policies to set a strategic direction for the community.
“The vision is set by you all,” Tackett said.
To accomplish this, cities should have two missions and a “why” in mind with their written direction.
“We have to do the work that future people will get to pick the fruit of,” Tackett said.
He asked the council what they monitor throughout the city. Members should have a list of items imperative to operations for the future vision of Mustang, he said.
Tackett advised the council to make all decisions based on the “why” Mustang exists.
Mustang exists like all other municipalities — to facilitate commerce and increase public safety. The “why” of Mustang is to create a community that brings quality people to work and raise families.
“That’s what should drive every decision you make,” Tackett said.
The number one reason people come to communities is a job, while the second is schools, he added.
Tackett also reminded members that if they see a senator staring back at them in the mirror, there’s a problem.
“If you think this is a stone to step on on your way up to your higher and more important political career, you’re not going to serve in the same capacity if you think, ‘This is my town. This is my duty,’” he said.
OMAG will send the city an $8,000 check for conducting the training.
In member news, Ward 5 councilman Travis McKenzie was absent.

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