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Annual city managers conference underway in Miami, Oklahoma - KOAM TV 7

Annual city managers conference underway in Miami, Oklahoma

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City managers from across the state of Oklahoma have gathered in Miami this week for an annual conference.

Teeing off with fellow city managers is just one of the benefits of attending the City Manager's Association of Oklahoma (CMAO) annual conference according to participant Luke Olson.

"Cities have different problems and you get to know what their problems are because eventually you're probably going to have that same problem down the road," Olson says.

Olson describes a city manager as a CEO for a city and says networking is one of the main reasons around 75 managers from across the state have traveled to Miami.  CMAO's president agrees.  

"That's really one of the biggest advantages in this and it's a good chance to maintain our network," says CMAO President Larry Stevens.

Besides networking, this year's conference will cover employee engagement to sewage and water problems.  But one topic being discussed that was not on the agenda has been the recent Oklahoma tornados.

"It's a topic that everybody is interested in, not only in terms of how you can be better prepared in the future, but how do things get coordinated, exactly how much damage occurred here and there and where are they in their recovery process?" says Stevens.

It's not all work and no play for the city workers.  With about 75 city managers from across the state in town, Miami says they are doing their best to show them what the town is all about.

"If we wow them and leave them a great positive impression, they will take that back they will talk about us, and they'll either come back themselves or encourage other people to come for a visit," says Miami Assistant City Manager Jill Fitzgibbon.

After meals at the historic Coleman Theatre and a morning golfing, the hospitality is something first time visitor Olson says has not gone unnoticed.

Olson says he hopes to leave the conference with some new ideas and new contacts to help him better complete his job in the future.

The conference runs until noon on Thursday.

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