Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 43 in total

What to expect when expecting to be a city manager

We turn away from current events and offer some advice for first time city manager job seekers. From understanding your own comfort level and skill set, to doing your due diligence, to the world of head-hunting, there's something for every up and coming local manager.

Don't buy AirPods at the airport

In this episode, we assess the state of post-Covid sales tax recovery in Texas, talk about proposals to replace property taxes with a valuea added tax, and wrap up with a discussion about designing public spaces to delight.

The sky probably isn't falling, and why a national infrastructure bank isn't helpful

After a brief hiatus, we're back talking about a proposal for a National Infrastructure Bank, and we revisit the recommendations GFOA made to help cities weather the fiscal storm of Covid-19.

Sales Taxes and Covid Vaxxes

We debate the merits of Covid vaccine incentives; the Comptroller releases top-line sales tax numbers for March sales; an update on HB 4072; and some half-baked ideas for improving transportation.

HB 4072 (and all-time great baseball movies)

We talk about HB 4072, a bill being considered in the Texas Legislature that would fundamentally alter the way sales taxes are allocated to local governments. Along the way, we hit on the three-legged-stool of tax policy and all-time great baseball movies.

Dark Stores and Coachless Teams

On this supersized episode, more on the Dark Store appraisal theory, why we don't like property taxes, and is your organizational culture preventing you from hiring the best and brightest (using the University of Texas Athletic program as a proxy).

Fighting the wrong fight on property tax reform

Texas cities have been fighting the state legislature over property tax revenue caps for years, but what if they've just been a symptom of the underlying problem? In this episode, we dig further into the problem with the commercial appraisal mechanisms, how they've shifted the tax burden to residential homeowners, and how the legislative response to that phenomenon continues to make the situation worse.

The one Patrick expects a lot of feedback on

In this grab bag episode: parking violation snitching, poo in the river, endangered affordable housing, Texas' convoluted property tax system, the City of Denton sues Ercot, Walmart/Target, and how to properly bag groceries.

Happy Texas Independence (from masks) Day!

On Tuesday, March 2, Texas Governor Abbott has declared an end to state mask mandates and a near-complete reopening of Texas business. We discuss whether this makes sense at this time, and the impact it might have on local governments.

Back in the saddle

After a brief podcasting break, Patrick and Chad return for a semi-random discussion about whatever was on our mind. Topics include property tax analytics, the upcoming legislative session, lawsuits about the Oxford comma, daily news podcasts, Ted Lasso, and Pokemon cards.

Sales Tax (Post) Gameday - February 2021

After a brief hiatus, we're back with a somewhat meandering sales tax gameday. Join us as we dig into February sales tax allocations across the state of Texas and a whole lot more.

Greg Abbott: City Manager

Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants to take over policing of downtown Austin. We talk about Texas' continuing shift away from limited government/local control and what it means for Texas cities. Plus an extended Christmas discussion, including Hallmark movies, home video, and we revisit Elf on the Shelf.

Czech yourself before you wreck yourself

In a special, barely-related-to-city-government episode, Cody Janicek joins us from Prague to talk Covid, living in Europe as an American, growing up with Chad, and college rivalries.

The "Chad's Mannerisms" episode

Google announces a "No-Meetings Week", and CityLab discusses the downsides of open floor plans.

Sales Tax Gameday - November 2020

Often imitated, never duplicated. It's the one and only Sales Tax Gameday! We dive into the highs and lows of a bounce back month, announce the first ever Sales Tax Gameday winner, can't seem to let go of a random Great British Baking Show reference.

Covid resurgence, broken ice cream, street grids, and murder hornets

In what might be our nerdiest episode yet, we talk about the recent surges of Covid-19 and street grids, a software engineer who hacked McDonald's to find out which ice cream machines are broken, a French protest via murder hornets, and more.

Sales Tax Gameday - October 2020

We recap our TeamZac projections and then dive right in to October 2020's sales tax collections across the state of Texas. Who won? Who lost? Let's find out!

Round Robin - From AirBNB to our national treasure, Mike Leach

We're scattershooting today! AirBNB is piloting a new City Portal; CityLab analyzes whether cities defunded the police in FY21; a San Antonio billionaire wants to pay for weekly Covid tests at local schools; and our national treasure, Mississippi State coach Mike Leach.

Sales Tax Gameday - September 2020

Temperatures drop, and so does sales tax. Patrick and Chad continue the new monthly feature of totally on-the-fly exploratory analysis of city sales tax collections. Come along with us as we dig into September's allocations for the first time to see who's up, who's down, and what can we learn from today's data drop.

The Last Dance

In which Patrick and Chad try to apply leadership lessons from the totally unrelated topic of championship-level basketball to city management based on the ESPN documentary "The Last Dance" and Chad unintentionally interrupts Patrick like 12 times.

Dataviz tips and dad jokes

We'll all be building our adopted budget books and sending them off to GFOA soon, so here's a few quick tips to maximize the impact of your data visualizations.

Sales Tax Gameday - August 2020

It's sales tax day, and since college football is in doubt for 2020, we do our best to provide you with some kind of game day experience. Come along as we look at how cities across the state of Texas performed

Kevin Shepherd on fiscal sustainability, infrastructure gaps, and the future of development

Kevin Shepherd, founder and CEO of Verdunity, joins us to talk about the sustainability gap most cities don't even know they have.

A city used these easy steps to have a productive council meeting and you won't believe what happened next!

OK, so maybe the title is a bit hyperbolic. But everyone's been there: stuck in council chambers, time ticking away, missing your favorite show or maybe even Thursday night football. Meanwhile, nothing productive is happening in your city council meeting. In this episode, Patrick and Chad offer a few tips for fostering productive city council meetings.

What's Proptech, and how has Covid affected sales tax?

In this episode, we talk about Proptech and how the Covid closures have impacted sales tax collections across Texas.

VC and ED

Why can't DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, etc, ever seem to make a profit? Or even play nicely with their restaurant partners and drivers? In this episode, we argue that a big reason is the distortionary effects of venture capital. In exchange for rapid growth, VC has subsidized both the product and some very poor business decisions by removing something all functioning markets need: price signals. Could the same be true for our efforts in economic development? Are we subsidizing quick, short-term growth at the expense of long-term fiscal health? How would we focus our ED efforts if we couldn't provide rebates, grants, or incentives?


It's May 1st, and Texas is officially reopened. Pat and Chad discuss Governor Abbott's order to reopen the state, whether the general public will jump at the chance to get back to normal, and how localities will be impacted by the enforcement mechanisms of Abbott's plan.

Budgeting under the cloud of COVID-19 with Kyle Lester

We chat with Kyle Lester, finance director for the City of Colleyville, Texas, about budgeting in uncertain times. How is the COVID-19 response impacting budget plans? How can finance professionals help keep cities moving forward when so much is unknown? And a detailed discussion of how we would handle managing Leslie Knope, the overzealous deputy director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Pawnee, Indiana.

SCADA-as-a-service, appraisal mishaps, and time travel

We talk about the future of SCADA systems, a very unfortunate error in a Utah appraisal district, and differing movie-time-travel rules.

James Earp on the local response to COVID-19

James Earp, assistant city manager for the city of Kyle, Texas, joins us to talk emergency response, continuity of government, and keeping your staff healthy so they can serve the public in the midst of COVID-19.

2021 TeamZac