El Campo’s newest city manger has been on the job 100 days as of last Friday.
For City Manager Courtney Sladek, the time has been a learning experience, filled with efforts to improve quality of life for citizens and ensure openness with the public.
“I am proud to say we have accomplished some significant goals,” she said. “Much of our work has focused on laying the foundation to move our city forward in the future.”
Sladek previously served as the city’s finance director, hired in 2007.
Overall, she has almost 20 years experience, working as the budget manager in Friendswood and College Station and as a state budget analyst.
Sladek created the city’s Transparency Portal, literally opening the municipal checkbooks and reporting systems for public inspection, while finance director.
As city manager, Sladek says, she has continued this effort in the construction of the pending budget, through meetings with other governmental organizations in the area.
The goal, she said, is “to emphasize the importance of our collaboration.”
City meetings have already changed under Sladek’s administration with a financial impact statement for every issue and a consent agenda to handle the more routine items quickly.
Core values, she said, is another goal for city staff – simple, but vital to maintain. They include “compassion, enthusiasm, accountability and respect,” she said.
Work from seasonal seal coating to sewer line repairs continue.
Other projects in the works during her first 100 days include the continued Tres Palacios drainage project, utility lines for the new RV resort in northeast El Campo and the efforts to make the rail-supported warehouse project a reality.
And, Sladek said, she “continues(s) to focus on priorities such as promotion of GIS (computerized mapping), residential development incentives and economic development.”
Sladek has a bachelor of science from Texas A&M University and a master of business administration from the University of Texas at Tyler.
She serves on the 2019 Cohort of Emerging Leaders Development Program for ICMA (the International City Manager’s Association), an association for local leaders; serves on the Government Finance Officers Association Treasury and Investment Management Committee; and has worked as a budget reviewer for that organization for the last 17 years among other professional organizations.
Sladek is working with a group to develop new ideas for small cities. “Our focus is on mobility and the city has forged a partnership with Portland, Maine and UrbanLeap to develop solutions to mobility issues that face small cities,” she said.
By October 2020, Sladek will be one of only 95 credentialed city managers in Texas’ 1,200-plus cities as she completes training through the ICMA.
She is also a past president of the El Campo Rotary Club.