The Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers recognized the City of Belton on Friday, June 19, with the 2015 TAMI Award for Best Media Relations in Texas. TAMI Awards, presented annually to select municipalities, are the highest statewide honor a City can achieve for its communication efforts. Contest entries are reviewed and scored by a panel of judges, and city size was not a factor, as Belton was a finalist with Irving and Bryan.
Belton City Manager Sam A. Listi said “This award reflects the unique collaboration of entities involved, and highlights the important role of Belton Public Information Officer Paul Romer working with the media to keep the public informed.”
The winning entry for Belton highlighted the inter-agency response in October 2014 to community concerns about the Ebola virus after it was learned that a local family had traveled on a plane with a Dallas nurse who was later diagnosed with Ebola.
As a precaution the family stayed home for three weeks to ensure that should they begin to show symptoms the virus would be contained, which never occurred. Throughout the event, and afterward, the media respected the family's wish to remain as anonymous as possible.
The entities involved in the overall communication effort included:Bell CountyBell County Public Health DistrictBelton Independent School DistrictBelton Police DepartmentScott & White Memorial Hospital
Bell County Judge Jon Burrows added, “Paul Romer did a commendable job in the overall communication effort. TAMIO’s Best Media Relations Award is a fitting tribute to Romer’s efforts in addressing this potentially volatile incident in a highly professional manner.”