By Anthony Scott

Killeen Daily Herald

Killeen officials are joining city representatives from across Texas at the 98th annual Texas Municipal League Conference and Exhibition this week.

Leaders from more than 1,117 member cities are in attendance at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, where they have opportunities to share and learn information about challenges facing their municipalities.

Councilman Juan Rivera, Director of Public Works Jim Butler, Executive Director of Planning Ray Shanaa, City Attorney Kathy Davis, Director of Human Resources Debbie Maynor and Project Engineer Kristina Ramirez are attending the conference.

"It's really a big gathering of the minds, if you will, so that everybody can learn from everybody," Executive Director of Public Information Hilary Shine said. "Big cities, small cities, elected officials, employees: It's a major deal and has been a successful program in which the city has always found a lot of value."

The convention is scheduled to last from Wednesday to Friday, with different experts speaking at a variety of sessions about topics that include: dealing with the media, practicing ethics, an overview of the Texas Public Works Response Team, dynamics of council and board work, capital budgeting, project and contract management, successful negotiations and an update on the Texas Municipal Retirement System.

City representatives can also meet with companies to see what kind of products and new technology they can offer at a vendor convention.

"Everything from concrete to high-tech communications will be there," Shine said. "So it's an opportunity for not just city staff to interact with some of these vendors to find out what kind of new products or exciting things are happening, but also for the city council to see how some of these things work."

The keynote speaker for the event will be John Sileo, president of The Sileo Group, Denver, Colo. He will address identity theft and how cities can protect sensitive information.

Contact Anthony Scott at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.

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