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Learning Across Borders: City of Surprise Hosts Mexico Delegation
Nicole Lance, ACMA Board Member
Deputy City Manager, Government & Community Partnerships, City of Surprise

The ICMA Code of Ethics Tenet Eight guides us as professionals to collaborate and support each other as we work to improve the local government management profession as a whole. In the City of Surprise, we are looking globally in these efforts. In April, we had the privilege of hosting a seven-member delegation from Mexico for two days to talk about local government management, urban planning and development, economic development, and public works management. We were joined by elected and appointed officials from the cities of Culiacán and Navolato, the Development Council for the State of Sinaloa, and ICMA México-Latinoamérica.

Although Culiacán and Navolato are well-established cities, they are preparing for revitalization and expansion and were interested in finding out how a newer city with plenty of room for growth was managing current challenges and planning for the future. During our time together, we discussed everything from personnel management and organizational charts to zoning codes, union politics and long-range planning. The group enjoyed touring our incredible Surprise Stadium, spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers, and we provided an in-depth look at our city with stops in our original town site and in our undeveloped areas. The best result is that while the group came to learn from us, we found that our discussions helped Surprise staff not only examine our own practices but also gain some great ideas from our newfound friends.

As local government management professionals, we are fortunate to have an incredible network of resources not only within our own state of Arizona but throughout our country and other countries as well! The City of Surprise was honored to spend time with our friends from Mexico, and we encourage other cities to explore similar opportunities.
Arizona City/County Management Association
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