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2013 Texas CPM Conference


Sponsored by
Texas State University’s William P. Hobby Center for Public Service

By: Dr. Howard R. Balanoff, Professor & Director
Texas State University

Nearly 150 Texas CPM alumni, faculty, and students gathered in Round Rock, Texas on Thursday April 12, 2013, to learn, share and network at the Annual Texas Certified Public Manager (CPM) Conference.  The Conference, which was held at the Texas State University Avery Building, included outstanding plenary speakers and breakout sessions on a variety of leadership topics, the William P. Hobby Distinguished Lecture and the business meeting of the Texas Society of Certified Public Managers.

The Hobby Distinguished Lecture is always a highlight of the annual conference.  This year's lecture was no exception, with the 2013 honoree the Honorable F. Scott McCown presentation titled “On the Need for Social Justice in Texas.” Judge McCown’s presentation engaged the audience in an interactive discussion of how the State of Texas raises its budget, spends its money, and why the numbers don’t necessarily provide for an equitable distribution of wealth and services to Texas taxpayers.  A video of the lecture and his PowerPoint presentation are available for viewing.


F. Scott McCown is Executive Director of the Texas Center for Public Policy Priorities.  He retired as a state district judge in 2002 to become director of the center. Called "the voice of the voiceless" and "the conscience" of Texas politics by Texas Monthly, he is responsible for the center's direction and administration. He is also an expert on school finance and child welfare. Before coming to the center, he presided over all of Texas' public school finance cases from 1990-2002 and thousands of child abuse cases. He is a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and an elected member of the American Law Institute and the Philosophical Society of Texas. McCown earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, cum laude, from Texas Christian University in 1976, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence with honors from The University of Texas School of Law in 1979, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and to the Board of Editors of The Texas Law Review. More information about Judge McCown and the Center for Public Policy Priorities can be found at

The opening plenary session of the day featured a presentation on “Public Policy and Administration Issues Related to Afghanistan” by Mr. Charlie Schnabel, former Secretary of the Texas Senate and Chief of Staff for Charley Wilson, US Congressman from Texas. Representative Wilson was instrumental in securing arms for the rebels in Afghanistan during the 1980s which allowed them to defeat the Soviet Union.  His efforts were chronicled in the book and the movie, Charley Wilson’s War.  In his storyteller’s style, Charlie Schnabel gave a true account of the activities of those days, policy implications, insights to the people and culture of the region, as well as his views on current events in Afghanistan and the likely outcome. His bio and presentation can be viewed here.


Just before lunch, Mr. Harvey Kronberg, noted Texas political analyst and editor of the Quorum Report ( informed and entertained attendees with insights to current politics (including the reasons why Lt. Governor Dewhurst failed in his primary run for the US Senate and what may be Governor Rick Perry’s next political aspirations).  As a self-proclaimed "equal opportunity offender of both Democrats and Republicans," Harvey’s observations are always candid and insightful.  His focus this year was on the unprecedented period of “peace and love” which has broken out in the Texas House at this time in contrast to the rancor and partisanship on the national level. As always, Harvey gave us the opportunity to take a humorous look at ourselves, each other and Texas politics. (View the video presentation here)

During the conference, the Texas Society of Certified Public Managers conducted its business meeting and elected a new slate of officers for the 2013/2014 year.  Officers elected are:

·         President – Naomi Hines, Public Works and Engineering Department of the City of Houston, Texas

·         Vice President – Chris McCauley, from Austin, Texas

·         Treasurer – Raul Camarillo, Public Health and Environmental Services, Harris County Local Government, Texas

·         Secretary – Catalina Martinez, Internal Revenue Service, Austin, Texas


In addition to the Texas CPM Society business meeting, the afternoon Conference breakout sessions were informative, engaging and insightful. A listing of the breakout sessions, topics and speakers is provided below.


1. “The Sequestration and its Impact on City and School Finances” (View the video presentation here)

Dustin Traylor, Director, RBC Capital Markets, San Antonio TX  and

Bob Henderson, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets, San Antonio TX


2. “Leadership and Decision Making”

Kellye Cunningham, Assistant to the City Manager, Burleson TX and

William Bell Richland Hills Fire Rescue


3.  “Increasing Local Government Organizational Effectiveness”

Sakura Moten-Dedrick, Director of Finance & Information Technology, City of Kennedale TX  and

Tommy Williams, Police Chief, City of Kennedale TX 

4.  “Applied Research in Criminal and Juvenile Justice: Data-driven Planning and Problem Solving”

The Texas Legislative Budget Board Criminal Justice Data Analysis Team 

Laurie Molina, Senior Analyst -

Jamie Gardner, Analyst -

John Posey, Analyst -

Ed Sinclair, Analyst -

Dr. Mark Stafford, Professor, Criminal Justice, Texas State University,


5.  “Women’s Gender and Social Justice Issues Worldwide”

Debby Tucker, Executive Director National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

Valinda Bolton, Former Member, Texas House of Representatives


6.  “Budgeting with the Interpretive Structural Model (ISM) Using a Paired Comparison Technique to demonstrate how Sizeable Expenditure Proposals can be organized into a Rank Ordered List”  

James Earp, Assistant City Manager of Kyle Texas


7. “America's Roads:  Past, Present, and Future” (View the video presentation here)

Dr. Steve Springer, Graduate Advisor and Associate Professor, Department of Occupational, Workforce and Leadership Studies, Texas State University and

Mr. Jeff Nelson CPM, Academic Mentor, Student Services Division-Athletic Dept.,

The University of Texas at Austin


For additional information about the 2013 Texas CPM Conference and/or the Texas CPM Program, please contact Dr. Howard Balanoff, Professor & Chair of Texas State University’s William P. Hobby Center for Public Service at or 512/245-3453.