Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel will leave behind a city administration that is more efficient, more accountable and more service-oriented for his having been at its helm.
McDaniel announced on Friday that he's taken an assistant city manager position in Dallas. We wish him the best. Because to be sure, that's what he's given us — best practices and solid judgment in tough economic times and a forward-looking vision in helping to shape Tyler's future.
He became city manager in January 2009 (he'd served as assistant city manager since 2004). You'll recall those were dark days, as the economy slid into recession and the new city manager's first task was to rein in spending and prepare for a tight budget year. His cuts were restrained and judicious — just as his budget increases were in subsequent years, when it was time restore some spending and build for the future.
Most Tyler residents don't think much about city government — and that's a true luxury we can only enjoy when it's functioning efficiently. After all, we don't think about the potholes that aren't there.
One of McDaniel's legacies will be the "Lean Six Sigma" program. It's an approach to management that emphasizes efficiency. It's not uncommon in the private sector, where waste means lost profits. But McDaniel has transplanted this entrepreneurial concept into the public sector. The result in Tyler has been that city government is run even more efficiently and effectively. The community has always set a high bar for city government. The Lean Six Sigma effort has help it exceed even those high expectations.
Tyler residents also don't think much about water — they just want to see it when they turn on the tap. But a lot is happening upstream, and McDaniel has worked hard to modernize the city's water services and extend their reach, particularly north along Broadway Avenue and U.S. Highway 69 to Interstate 20.
McDaniel has been involved in other community projects, such as the creation of the Hispanic Business Alliance, Fit City, and creation of the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. If you haven't seen his named emblazoned on those projects, that's really just in keeping with his nature. He's more interested in results than in recognition.
Still, he's received some well deserved honors during his tenure in Tyler; in 2010 he was named as Texas City Management Association's Texas Administrator of the Year.
Again, we wish Mark McDaniel and his family well as they pursue new challenges and opportunities in the distant city of Dallas, a world away from Tyler. But we would also remind him that when the time comes for retirement, we'll keep a light on for him in the "Last Great Place."