News And People

Volume 14, Issue 18 - Friday, May 13, 2016
Texas voters approve $4.5 billion worth of local bond projects
School districts predominate in bond elections; Austin rebukes TNCs 

Photo by Paul Albertella licensed under CC BY 2.0
Texas voters last weekend approved almost 70 bond propositions worth more than $4.5 billion to their local governments. In total, there were 91 bond elections valued at more than $5 billion held May 7. In addition to the various bond packages, municipalities across Texas held city council, mayoral and other elections Saturday. Austin voters backed their city government over transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft and kept in place regulations the city council approved in 2015.

The great majority of the requested bond funding, almost 90 percent, was from school districts. Of the others, all but one of the city bond propositions passed, two port districts saw their voters approve bond funding and the lone community college district to put future funding to the vote was unsuccessful. The port projects total more than $100 million in contracting opportunities, including a $35 million dock expansion.

Strategic Partnerships, Inc., has available for sale its Texas Bond Package, which provides a list of every public entity that held a bond referendum May 7. It includes the dollar amount of each bond proposition, details on the proposed projects and whether they were successful. Additionally, information is provided that outlines bond elections currently being discussed for November of this year and beyond. There are dozens of contracting opportunities detailed in the report.

Among the successful propositions was a North Texas city's plan to build out its community park system with trails, playgrounds, an amphitheater and athletic facilities. A school district on the coast requested voter approval for $70 million to construct a junior high school campus, and another district outside of Houston won approval for $290 million in debt to build, among other facilities, six replacement elementary schools.

Strategic Partnerships salutes Texas' Lone Stars
Gary Thomas, President and Executive Director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Career highlights and education: 
  • President and Executive Director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART): 2001-present;
  • Senior Vice President of Project Management, DART: 1998-2001;
  • Program Manager, DART General Engineering Consultants, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam: 1997-1998;
  • Engineering Manager, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, 1988-1997;
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Texas No. 57249;
  • Bachelor's degree in civil engineering, Texas Tech University;
  • Bachelor's degree in architecture, Texas Tech University;
  • RailVolution, Board President;
  • South West Transit Association;
  • Transportation Research Board, Executive Committee;
  • American Public Transportation Association, Past Chair;
  • Texas Transportation Association; and
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl, Board of Directors.
What I like best about my job is: We have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of North Texans every day. Our work today will influence and impact their transportation choices for years to come.

The best advice I've received for my current job is: Stay focused, be flexible and always remember our customers are the reason we are here.

Advice you would give a new hire in your office: Be open to new ideas. Be ready to work hard. Stay focused on serving our customers and our region. Take a deep breath and hold on. Take advantage of the resources and knowledge available not only internally at DART, but at other places where cool things are happening.

If I ever decided to leave work early, I could probably be found: Spending time with my wife visiting small Texas towns. I might also spend time thinking I should really work on the old car I've been meaning to work on.

People would be surprised to know that: I played the violin through most of my school years and that I was born in Connecticut. But my family moved to Fort Worth when I was very young.

One thing I wish more people knew about my agency: We offer North Texans so many transportation choices and connections to all of the region's major destinations. We brought light rail to Texas. We've been innovative in clean fuels for buses. DART is a pioneer among transit agencies in working with services like Lyft, Uber and ZipCar.

TxDOT to kick off work on $200M S.M. Wright project in Dallas
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) officials recently announced a series of public meetings to inform residents of their plans to begin work this summer on the $200 million S.M. Wright Project. The project is designed to increase safety and the aesthetics along Interstate 45 and US 175 in Dallas.

The first phase of the project will add direct connecting ramps from US 175 to I-45 and eliminate a curve on US 175. The second phase of the project is planned to slow down traffic through South Dallas by transforming S.M. Wright from a high-speed roadway to a six-lane, urban boulevard with landscaping and pedestrian-friendly additions, said a spokesperson for TxDOT. The purpose is to increase the road's safety by forcing cars to travel at a slower speed.
Houston seeking proposals to study downtown rail station
Houston City Council members recently agreed to seek proposals from engineering firms to conduct a feasibility study on the construction of a downtown rail station. The facility would serve passengers of a $12 billion high-speed rail project being proposed by a private company.

A vice president of Texas Central Partners, the private company proposing the high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas, told council members the company expects to break ground in late 2017 or early 2018. Though the rail line would be built with private money, public funding would be needed to build a connection to downtown. The station would serve passengers arriving every 30 minutes if the private company wins approval from federal officials to build the rail line, a company official said. The trains will transport up to 400 riders per trip.

The feasibility study would provide more details on the need for a downtown link. The deadline to submit proposals is May 27.

Laredo names team to assist completion of new master plan
Laredo city officials recently named a team to assist the city in seeking input from residents to complete the Viva Laredo Comprehensive Master Plan. The plan would help city staff members prioritize and guide future development in Laredo.

The draft master plan calls for focusing on projects that allow for a more walkable downtown area, create more affordable housing, reduce taxes and spur economic development, said City Manager Jesus Olivares (pictured). The city last adopted a master plan in 1991.

The Viva Laredo team will have 14 working groups to work on issues such as education, health and communication. The first town hall meeting on the master plan is scheduled for June 14.
Sales tax allocations up for May; comptroller's office distributes $768M to local goverments
The Office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has announced that it will distribute to cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts a total of $767.7 million, which represents the state's local sales tax allocations for May. The amount is an increase of 1.1 percent compared to the same month of the year prior.

As has been the case for more than a year, the sustained drop in oil prices has affected the state's economy negatively. But, Comptroller Glenn Hegar points out that parts of the state with a more diversified industrial profile have helped Texas as a whole withstand the energy decline. "The cities of Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso and Fort Worth saw noticeable increases in sales tax allocations," he said. "Energy-centric cities such as Houston, Odessa and Midland continue to see decreases in sales tax allocations."

Texas cities will receive $505 million, up 1.4 percent from May 2015. The state's transit systems will receive the next highest amount, $172.4 million, which is a 0.6 percent increase from last May. Special purpose taxing districts will receive $46 million and Texas counties $44.4 million. Those figures represent a 4.3 percent increase and a 3.8 percent decrease, respectively, from May last year. View the amounts allocated by city and by county.
Dallas to take feedback through Resilient Cities online survey
The city of Dallas has posted a survey on its website to gather feedback from residents regarding the city's ability to respond to emergency situations.

The survey is the first of a three-stage process that will give city leaders a better idea how to determine priorities in their emergency-response planning. "Building a strong, resilient Dallas is the best thing we can do today to leave our children a better future," said Chief Resilience Officer Theresa O'Donnell.

Dallas was selected in 2014 to join the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) program, which is designed to help cities prepare for and respond to sudden events such as an earthquake or long-term community stresses, such as drought or homelessness.

Longview considering upgrades to downtown and I-20 corridor
Longview City Council members recently approved a contract with a consultant to help design upgrades to the downtown area and the Interstate 20 corridor, two projects identified as priorities in the city's comprehensive plan.

Officials allotted half the cost of the design contract from the city budget, and the Longview Economic Development Corporation will take care of the other half. The contract calls for the creation of an advisory committee of stakeholders, consultants, business owners and residents. Committee members will be asked to develop a market assessment of the area to identify possible projects that could help engender economic development opportunities, said Michael Shirley (pictured), director of development services.

The city's comprehensive plan approved in early 2015 ranks preparing a downtown master plan as the highest priority among 27 projects considered, Shirley said.
Waco planning group backs Dallas-Houston high-speed rail
Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) officials recently joined the Waco City Council in supporting a Dallas-to-Houston high-speed rail project being developed privately by a Dallas-based company. The rail company has pledged to reject public money for its operation.

MPO officials, who coordinate transportation planning for McLennan County, said the high-speed rail line, which will reduce travel time between Dallas and Houston to 90 minutes, would be an economic catalyst and reduce traffic congestion between the state's two largest metropolitan areas.

Plano fire chief asks city to build new firefighting training facility
Plano Fire Chief Sam Greif (pictured) recently asked city council members to build a new training facility at an estimated cost of $22 million to meet the growing training needs of firefighters and rescue personnel.

Training requirements for firefighters have substantially increased as the city has grown in the past 20 years. Firefighters are required to complete live fire training every year using fire towers that simulate actual conditions rather than the outdated method of acquiring structures and burning them, Greif said. The chief proposed including a six-story training tower, a two-story facility for administration and training and a building for technical rescue training.

The fire department used a fire training facility at Collin College in McKinney until it ceased operation in 2014. Since then, fire fighters have used a training facility in Richardson. While the city has $5 million in bonds budgeted to renovate fire stations, Grief asked council members to consider asking voters in May 2017 to approve bonds to pay for the new training facility. If voters approve the bond funding, construction on the new training facility could begin in 2018.
Arlington police officials seeking city funding for body cameras
Arlington police officials recently requested city council members allot $2.9 million in the next city budget to purchase 350 body cameras and video storage equipment for the department.

City officials also would need to set aside $2.2 million each year to pay for the personnel and maintenance needed for the videos produced by the cameras. The city already has conducted a $50,000 pilot program in the police department to test several brands of cameras and equipment.

The neighboring cities of Fort Worth and Dallas have begun programs to purchase body cameras for their police department.

Bonham to seek TWDB loan to upgrade water treatment plant
Bonham City Council members recently authorized city staff to apply for a $4 million loan from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). The funding would go toward upgrades to the city's wastewater treatment plant to ensure compliance with state regulations.

City officials expect the TWDB to approve the 30-year, low-interest loan by September. The loan will permit the city to complete both the design phase and construction at the treatment plant. The improvements are needed to comply with state requirements and meet the city's needs for the next 20 years.
Victoria council may transfer street ownership to UH-Victoria
Victoria city officials recently began developing a contract to give the University of Houston-Victoria a portion of Ben Wilson Street. The move would allow the university to conduct improvement projects that would help unify its campus

The goal is for city council members to approve the new contract by the end of this summer and then seek approval from the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System in August. The university is not allowed to pay for improvements to the street unless it owns the property, said President Vic Morgan.

The plan for improving the street involves constructing medians with trees, adding clock towers and reducing the road to one lane in some parts. That will allow a more contiguous campus, as the college is constructing three new buildings on the east side of the street. Council members in April approved a resolution declaring their intent to transfer ownership to the university.

Conroe approves design contract for fire station, training center
Conroe City Council members recently approved an architectural contract for the final design of a new $5.3 million fire station and $2.1 million training center complex.

The new training center will feature a three-story burn building, six-story training tower, hazardous materials training area, an aircraft fire suppression area and drive track, city officials said.

The city plans to seek bids in a single request that includes both the training center and fire station, which will house 15 firefighters. The goal is to complete the training facility first and then complete the fire station by mid-summer 2017.
DPS Command College graduates third class
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) this week graduated its third class from the DPS Command College. The senior-level leadership training program was founded in 2015. It was "designed to advance the science of law enforcement and support leadership development" within the department.

This week's graduates largely come from within the ranks of the DPS, though one student works with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The intensive course of study covers leadership, ethics, communication and wellness. Students completed more than 600 hours of coursework on subject matter ranging from organizational management to conflict resolution and strategic planning. Command College graduates earned nine college course hours.
Capital Metro to unveil future needs study, host town halls
Capital Metro officials recently announced plans to unveil preliminary findings from a transit study begun in the fall of 2015. The agency announced four public meetings between May 17 and May 19 to ask the public to provide feedback on the study. Connections 2025 covers both short- and long-range recommendations to improve transit service in the Austin area.

A priority in the study is the city's effort to address commuter congestion as the population growth in the area is expected to grow by 20 to 30 percent by 2025. Public transit commuting in Austin is higher, at 4.3 percent, than in Dallas at 4 percent or San Antonio at 3.4 percent, according to the study.

Agency officials will study the data collected on population, ridership and operations and analyze that information to develop recommendations to present this fall.
South Padre Island wins $3.5M grant for park and ride facility
South Padre Island city officials recently won a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to build a new two-story park and ride facility. The new transit facility would provide an improved transfer location for those arriving on the island by bus or private vehicle, Mayor Barry Patel (pictured) said.

The facility will accommodate 125 cars and provide canopies to protect bus passengers and give drivers more protection from harsh elements. The city is not required to provide matching funding for the project and has completed all phases except for construction.
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Greenville council considering revised design for new fire station
Greenville City Council members recently began considering a second revised design for a new fire station. The city's acting fire chief has asked that more room in the engine bay area and more storage space be included, as well as for restrooms to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The new design adds about 1,830 square feet of space and increases the estimated cost of the new fire station from $1 million to $1.4 million, said City Manager Massoud Ebrahim (pictured).

The station will replace Fire Station No.1, which was built more than 60 years ago. Once a final design is approved, city officials will begin seeking bids to build the new facility, Ebrahim said.
Waskom city officials to use grant for new community center project
Waskom city officials plan to use a $350,000 grant to convert a city-owned building into a new community center. The community enhancement grant requires the city to transform an old building in a manner that keeps the building as close to its original form as possible, said City Secretary Tammy Lofton.

City officials plan to ask Meals on Wheels to operate from the new community center and the school district to offer GED classes once it is open. Construction on the 2,000-square-foot community center should begin in late summer and be completed by 2018, Lofton said.
Calendar of Events

SPI, ISNetworld to host Contractor Management Roundtable in Austin
May 20, 2016
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) will partner with ISNetworld to host a Best-in-Class Contractor Management Roundtable Friday, May 20, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Participants will be treated to breakfast at the AT&T Conference Center on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. City, county and state officials will have an opportunity to network while hearing from experts from both the public and private sectors about how to improve contractor management processes and safety. Best practices will be presented, and attendees may earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs). There is no charge for breakfast or parking. Call the SPI Team for more information and to register (512-531-3900). We hope to see you!

AEM's Bi-National Green Energy Forum to take place in San Antonio
June 1-3, 2016
The Mexican Entrepreneur Association (AEM) is hosting its Bi-National Green Energy Forum in San Antonio beginning June 1. The forum's mission is to facilitate the exchange of opportunities and interconnectivity among companies in the United States and Mexico doing business within the energy sector. It will offer participants an opportunity to network with public- and private-sector leaders from both countries. The conference will take place at the Pearl Stable in San Antonio. An agenda is available and registration is open.

AACOG to play host to Aging in Texas Conference in mid-July
July 12-15, 2016
The Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) will host the Aging in Texas Conference (AiTC), an annual gathering of individuals who work within the aging community. Designed for professionals from a range of settings, the AiTC supports professionals in the field of aging with the most current research, training and innovative tools and resources.  With educational programming covering a variety of areas, this conference will be beneficial to everyone involved with caring for the state's senior citizens, from administrators to service providers. It will take place beginning July 12 at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk hotel in San Antonio. A schedule is available and registration is open.

Technology P3s - watch for them! 

By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Public-private partnerships (P3s/PPPs) may soon take a significant turn. Historically, these types of collaborations have involved infrastructure projects. That appears to be changing! In the near future, technology upgrades in public school districts may be the hot new area for P3s. And the new funding is likely to come from private-sector companies, charitable foundations, impact investors, federal grants and crowdsourcing. Public-private partnerships in areas outside of infrastructure will be smaller in size but more abundant.

Educational leaders are quick to explain that their budgets simply can no longer keep up with technology demands in classrooms. Learning is now digital and while some school districts can access funding for "active learning classrooms," digital curriculum, mobile devices, Wi-Fi and fast networks, most can't.

To educators, it is painfully obvious that state allocations, local taxes and federal funding will not be adequate in the foreseeable future for critically needed technology enhancements. And because elected officials at all levels of government are promising "no new taxes and no new fees," educators must find new ways to fund computers, mobile devices, technology training for teachers and digital curriculum.

DIR publishes guidelines for vendor meetings
The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) last week published a new set of guidelines that spell out the rules that govern how its employees should manage meetings with vendors.

The guidelines are important because there had been some confusion at many state agencies after the passage of Senate Bill 20 in the 2015 legislative session. That bill was a result of several contracting controversies in the years before the 84th legislature and led to different - and sometimes erroneous - interpretations of its restrictions at different agencies.

State Chief Information Officer Todd Kimbriel (pictured) said that DIR officials distributed the guidelines to all of the agency information resource managers in an effort to make clear what is allowed and what isn't in terms of state personnel meeting with vendors.

Regents appoint TAMU-Commerce interim leader
Regents for the Texas A&M University System recently selected Ray Keck (pictured) as the interim president of Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMU-Commerce). He will replace Dan Jones, the former president who died in April. Regents also appointed Pablo Arenas as the new president of Texas A&M International University in Laredo to replace Keck.

Keck was a professor, provost and vice president of the Laredo campus prior to becoming its president in 2001. He has a bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. from Princeton University and studied at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and Harvard Divinity School.

Plans call for Keck to begin his new duties in Commerce June 1, and he will continue in that role throughout the upcoming 85th Legislative Session that ends in May 2017, said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System. Regents plan to appoint a search committee to find a new president for the university.

TWDB directors to adopt 2017 State Water Plan
Directors of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will consider adoption of the 2017 State Water Plan next Thursday, May 19.

The Draft State Water Plan, which enumerates the state's water planning through 2070, was approved by the board in March and has been posted on the TWDB's website since then. It was open to public comment until April 25. 
The plan includes 2,400 recommended water management strategy projects that would cost, if all of them were implemented, $62.6 billion.

As well, the TWDB directors will consider financial assistance for water system and wastewater system improvements and hear an update on drought conditions in Texas.

Manor ISD names Royce Avery as superintendent
Trustees for Manor Independent School District recently named Royce Avery (pictured) as the lone finalist for superintendent. He will replace former Superintendent Kevin Brackmeyer once the required waiting period is over in June.

Avery has been an area superintendent for El Paso ISD since 2014 and previously was superintendent at Aransas Pass ISD. He also served five years as the executive director for secondary education and student services for the Fort Worth school district. Avery has worked for the Texas Education Agency and as an adjunct professor at Texas Tech University and Texas Christian University.

He has a bachelor's degree from Rice University, a master's degree from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and an Ed.D. degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

Lemin selected as new city manager in Robinson
Craig Lemin recently won selection as the new city manager for Robinson. He replaces Robert Cervenka, who left the job in February.

Lemin (pictured) retired in January as the city manager in Azle. He previously had served as an assistant city manager and director of administrative services. Lemin also spent six years as the police chief in Azle and as a detective with the Benbrook Police Department.

Fort Stockton council debates funding options to replace water lines
Fort Stockton City Council members recently began considering three options to pay for the replacement of aging water and sewer lines.

The three funding options offered by City Attorney Mark Harral include seeking a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that would require a request for qualifications, applying for funding through the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program and issuing a certificate of obligation based on water rates. He recommended using the third option.

Harral also advised the council to reapply to the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District (MPGCD) in June for a permit, as the city had withdrawn an earlier application.

Beaumont mayor asks Hays to delay retirement
The mayor of Beaumont recently requested City Manager Kyle Hays (pictured) postpone his retirement until May 2017. The delay would permit newly elected city council members to vote on his replacement. Hays notified city council members in late April that he intended to retire in December after serving 14 years as the city manager.

Council members appoint the city manager, as well as the city attorney, city clerk and municipal judges.

Northrop Grumman

Beene chosen to lead Anderson-Shiro district
Scott Beene recently won selection as the lone finalist for superintendent of Anderson-Shiro Consolidated Independent School District (CISD).

Most recently superintendent at Big Sandy ISD, Beene (pictured) has 21 years of public education experience, including stints as a teacher with school districts in Madisonville, LaPoynor and Eustace and as a superintendent for Murchison ISD.

Beene has a bachelor's degree from Sam Houston State University and a master's degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. He completed his certification as a superintendent in 2005.
La Marque council OKs $10 million in upgrades
La Marque City Council members recently agreed to issue $10 million in certificates of obligation to pay for the construction of a new fire station, improvements to the wastewater treatment plant and other infrastructure needs.

Issuing the bonds will not increase property taxes or water rates, said Suzy Kou, the finance director.

Los Fresnos OKs $1.2M water system project
Los Fresnos city officials recently took a step forward on an estimated $1.2 million project to upgrade the city's water and wastewater system. That came in the form of Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approval of the project's environmental review.

The plan calls for resolving problems with lift stations, reducing infiltration and inflow and providing sewer services to the Chula Vista neighborhood, which currently has no current sewer service, City Manager Mark Milum (pictured) said.

Joe Wardell appointed interim superintendent at Westwood school district
Joe Wardell, a retired superintendent from Jacksonville Independent School District, recently won appointment as interim superintendent for Westwood ISD. Wardell (pictured) agreed to a three-month contract to replace the retired superintendent, Ed Lyman.

Trustees have hired a consultant to assist in their search for a new superintendent.

Rapelye named assistant city manager in Brenham
Ryan Rapelye recently won selection as the new assistant city manager for general government in Brenham.

Currently an assistant city manager in Del Rio, Rapelye (pictured) replaces Rex Phelps, who resigned in April to accept a position in Haltom City. He also has worked for the city manager of San Antonio as a special projects manager and in the economic development department of that city.

He has a bachelor's degree from Texas State University and a master's degree from Texas Tech University.

On Our Website 

San Antonio Airport System hires Brian Pratte
The San Antonio Airport System's leaders have named Brian Pratte air service administrator. In that role, Pratte will lead the city department's efforts to attract new domestic and international air service to the San Antonio International Airport.

Pratte previously served as the director of air service and cargo development for the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority in Nevada. He earned a bachelor's degree from Utah Valley University.

Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the following appointments:
  • John Elliott, Austin, Teacher Retirement System of Texas Board of Trustees;
  • Greg Gibson, Schertz, Teacher Retirement System of Texas Board of Trustees;
  • Christopher Moss, Lufkin, Teacher Retirement System of Texas Board of Trustees;
  • Tommy Hansen, Hitchcock, Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority;
  • Armin Mizani, Keller, Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority;
  • Lindsey Shelley, Fort Worth, Midwestern State University Student Regent;
  • Chad Huckaby, Nacogdoches, Stephen F. Austin State University Student Regent;
  • Stephanie Martinez, Laredo, Texas A&M University System Student Regent;
  • Tramauni Brock, Mansfield, Texas Southern University Student Regent;
  • Dylan McFarland, Frisco, Texas State University System Student Regent;
  • Jeremy Stewart, Arlington, Texas Tech University System Student Regent;
  • Monica Mathis, Sherman, Texas Woman's University Student Regent;
  • Joshua Freed, Cypress, University of Houston System Student Regent;
  • Christopher Lee, Houston, University of North Texas System Student Regent;
  • Varun Pokkamthanam Joseph, McKinney, University of Texas System Student Regent;
  • Haley Rader DeLaGarza, Victoria, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Student Representative;
  • Dan Brudnak, Gorman, Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners;
  • Lew Vassberg, Lyford, Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners;
  • Sue Chiang, Sugar Land, Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners.
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Texas Government Insider is a free weekly newsletter detailing important happenings throughout the state and summarizing current political issues relevant to individuals interested in government.   
Publisher: Mary Scott Nabers
Editor: Peter Partheymuller   
TGI is published by Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), a research and consulting firm. Founded in Texas in 1995 by former government executives and public sector experts, SPI has developed a national reputation as the premier marketing partner dedicated to helping companies secure contracts in the $1.5 trillion state and local government marketplace.   
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