Public Safety, Core Services, and Fiscal Excellence
The City of San Marcos delivers quality government services and improve community safety in a fiscally responsible manner with a professional workforce.
Outcome Statement: Collaborate to prioritize and enhance public safety services while building resiliency and trust within our community.
I. Adequately staff public safety departments to address community safety.
- Extended job offers to two Police recruits on September 15, 2023. Four (4) new lateral-entry hires (Police) began the last week of October 2023. Crime Analyst position and two additional Police Service Specialists will be onboarded November 2023. With the additional five Police positions approved on October 1, 2023, we now have 13 vacancies.
- We posted our Lateral Entry application opportunity on October 6, 2023 and plan to administer an entrance exam to both certified and non-certified candidates in January 2024.
- The Police Departments has 21 tentative new hires in the training process, with completion dates between December 2023-August 2024.
II. Complete construction and open Fire Station 6 and Phase I of the Fire Training Facility.
- Continuing work with the General Contractor and Architect to address some outstanding items and to complete the punch list for Fire Station 6.
- Construction on Phase I of the Fire Training Facility is ongoing and we anticipate completion late 2023.
III. Optimize the use of technology to improve community safety.
- Downtown security cameras are now live and offering video feed.
- Purchased an advanced visual analysis software tool that supports complex crime analytics (multiple suspects, locations, networks, etc.)
- Purchased covert and overt pole cameras to help combat violent crimes in specific neighborhoods.
- Purchased real-time intelligence "ecosystem" to extract live video feed and send it to Police, from hotels, convenience stores, registered homes, etc.
- Finalized a contract for implementation of the Compliance Engine service, authorized by City Council as part of the adoption of the 2021 International Fire Code. This software is a force-multiplier for our Fire Prevention Division. It tracks when commercial occupancies need to have their sprinkler systems, alarm systems, and fire extinguishers inspected.
Using Capital Outlay funding we have purchased and received a new fire pump training simulator and placed an order for a flashover training simulator.
Finalized a contract to begin exporting data from our records management and computer aided dispatch systems and will utilize data analytics and artificial intelligence to produce dashboards and performance metric reports for the Fire Department.
IV. Expand programs and partnerships that engage the community and strengthen community trust, including employing strategies for reaching diverse populations.
- The Police Department’s Behavioral Advisory Team received $185,000 in seed money to offset operational costs and to cover some soft costs associated with the creation of a stabilization center.
- Hosted Public Safety Trunk or Treat on October 31 as a community event.
- City Council authorized purchase on November 6 of BolaWraps, a restraint device that can detain combative people without injury or the use of higher levels of force.
- Hosted (and preparing to host another) UniverCity class of 18 participants from March-May 2023 where graduates attended eight classes highlighting city departments.
V. Increase all-hazards and disaster preparedness, response and recovery through coordination and local partnerships and intergovernmental cooperation.
- The Office of Emergency Management continues to finalize the Hazard Mitigation Plan to bring forward for Council consideration.
- As part of September’s National Preparedness month, a public outreach campaign was completed to include communication information, how to build a kit, STEAR sign up, and how to create a plan for individuals and their family. This information was shared with staff and reiterated on social media through communications each week.
- Continuity planning is taking place with local stakeholders to increase future sheltering coordination in our community. Two public information and FEMA Crowd Management Special Event courses will be conducted by NCS4 and is open to staff and public stakeholders throughout the state to learn how to create safe well-organized events for our community.
- Distributed flyers on natural disaster education.
Outcome statement: Ensure operations are funded for the delivery of high-quality customer experiences and community-focused programs and services.
I. Responsibly plan for and deploy resources and staff using best practices, needs assessments, and fiscal modeling.
- Fire Administration continues to work closely with GIS and identify new ways to utilize GIS and data to improve our Fire/EMS responses.
- Downtown cameras are active (9 in total) to assist with the identification of crime victims and suspects.
II. Identify and pursue process improvements and opportunities for increased efficiency, effectiveness, and cost savings.
- Implemented a Smartsheet intake form to allow internal stakeholders a centralized place to manage contracts and provide a dashboard for transparency to end users.
- Assisted CDBG with a new platform to track and manage the Housing Rehab program.
III. Develop a comprehensive community resource guide and assure its availability to citizens.
- Working with Hays County to Implement a guide that will serve as a countywide resource booklet.
- Printing "Who to Call" city staff phone directory to distribute at community Dream Sessions.
Outcome statement: Use strategic financial decision making to meet our community’s existing and future needs.
I. Create a fiscal tool based on the Comprehensive Plan to evaluate fiscal sustainability associated with growth.
- The Comprehensive Plan adoption was postponed by City Council to January 16, 2024. This task will follow adoption.
II. Continue debt management in a financially prudent and strategic manner and take advantage of market conditions when present.
- Debt models were updated and reviewed in September after the FY 2024 budget is approved so that we can formalize our debt plan strategy.
III. Pursue grant funding opportunities for applicable projects, including CIP.
- Public Works staff submitted a SMART (Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation) grant application seeking federal funds for a multimodal transportation application in the amount of $1.7 million.
- Received CAPCOG grant ($25,000) for partial payment for a paint can crusher at the Household Hazardous Waste facility.
- Received Keep Texas Beautiful grant ($10,000) for new waste containers for SMCISD cafeterias and kitchens.
- Received environmental grant ($80,000) to promote clean rivers, pathways, and provide education from City Park to Discovery Center.
- Received Recycling Partnership grant ($115,000) for pilot valet recycle service at apartment complexes.
Outcome statement: Invest in the recruitment and retention of an adequately staffed, skilled, and professional workforce.
I. Complete and begin to implement the compensation plan.
- The Classification and Compensation Study is nearing completion. City Council will be given an update on the study on November 14, and a Compensation Philosophy will be taken for consideration on December 5.
II. Improve our competitiveness as an employer to attract, hire and retain a diverse and highly skilled workforce.
- Communications, in partnership with Human Resources, is implementing a marketing plan to increase our ability to attract talent.
III. Develop employees' skills through education and training.
- In partnership with Texas State University, the City was able to secure two scholarships for our Director of Communications & Intergovernmental Relations and our City Marshal to participate in the Certified Public Manager Program (CPM) beginning fall 2023.
IV. Design strategies for succession planning at various levels of the organization to maintain direction and management.
- The Assistant Directors group is brainstorming an employee academy that is based upon succession planning across all departments within our organization.
Outcome statement: Provide necessary resources to internal service departments to support reliable, consistent, and effective city operations.
I. Establish and employ streamlined policy and governance processes that align support services with customer expectations and mission requirements.
- The Cyber Security Strategic Plan was signed by the City Manager in January 2023.
- Established Payment Card Industry Security Plan.
- Established Health Records Security Plan.
- The Multi-Factor Authentication project is 98% complete for all city user accounts.
- Implemented an Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS).
- Deploying Bitdefender Antivirus software 5% complete for all city managed devices.
- Migration to new Antivirus software is 99% complete for all city managed devices.
II. Ensure efficient and effective performance of core business functions, enterprise services and data management.
Improved data quality and reliability of enterprise spatial data by implementing the first set of attribute rules for stormwater GIS data.
Outcome Statement: Dedicate the financial and staffing resources necessary for capital improvement project planning, construction, operations, and maintenance.
I. Develop and implement the CIP.
- Staff has started meeting with departments to discuss the FY2025 CIP and make a concentrated effort to ensure projects shown in the CIP are warranted. The goal is to submit a CIP that aligns with our financial capabilities. Have prepared proposed criteria for project prioritization.
- Work with city departments to update the city’s development code to require communication conduit installation in new developments to meet the needs of the city and to enhance broadband access.
II. Invest necessary resources, including in the use of technology and equipment, to maintain and extend the life of the City's infrastructure.
- Public Works is implementing a pavement striping inspection and maintenance program.
- Public Works completed a citywide Pavement Condition Index (PCI) assessment of all City maintained streets.
- Public Works has implemented Stormwater infrastructure inspection through use of mobile technology levering GIS for analysis and improved maintenance. 450 linear feet of inspections completed this quarter.
- Public Works has initiated a comprehensive traffic signal inspection and preventive maintenance program to proactively assess and identify issues to avoid emergency repairs and identify needed improvements. 10 inspections completed.