Woodlands area groups and officials vote on incorporation ahead of November 2 vote

Early voting is underway for the incorporation election at The Woodlands, and polling day is November 2. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Advance voting continues until October 29 and Election Day is November 2 for regional elections, including the issue of incorporation on the ballot in The Woodlands. Voters in The Woodlands will have two questions to vote on: whether to incorporate in a Type A common law town with a tax rate of $ 0.2231 per $ 100 of assessment; and whether to transfer the rights, powers, functions and responsibilities of the township to a new city with the power to issue bonds and impose taxes. Both questions must pass to create a new city. The Township of Woodlands is currently a special purpose district.

Since the election was announced in mid-August, community groups and leaders have spoken out on the issue, with some endorsing the move and others criticizing it. Members of the commune’s board of directors also made remarks, although they were unable to support an electoral issue in an official capacity.

On October 26, U.S. Representative Kevin Brady, who resides at The Woodlands, released a statement opposing the incorporation. Brady said in the statement that he introduced the first bill in 1993 to prevent Houston from annexing the community. He listed the concerns in his statement, including costs and bureaucracy.

Here is a look at some regional opinions on the subject.

US Representative Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands

Representative Brady released a statement Oct. 26 outlining his opposition to incorporation. Brady is a resident of The Woodlands.

“Today, as we assess the best form of governance for the future, I am convinced that incorporation does not make sense for The Woodlands. How bigger government, higher costs and double taxation for roads and law enforcement do they make us a community than we already are? … It’s a cruel truth that Washington dollars come with Washington rules. Federal funding often includes rigid mandates that dictate how an incorporated city should look and act. These universal mandates can replace controls, tie the hands of local officials. This is the biggest complaint I hear from city leaders in my congressional district .

For example, right now, suburban communities across America are battling an alarming push by Congress to force incorporated cities to ditch local zoning laws that encourage single-family homes. In this “war on the suburbs,” Washington, DC city planners are demanding dense city life with fewer houses and yards, replacing them with more apartments and multi-family dwellings. To be fair, this may be a solution in large cities facing severe housing shortages and homelessness like San Francisco and New York. But that mandate would be disastrous in The Woodlands where we already offer a thoughtful balance of homes and housing for singles, workers, families and seniors that works wonders for our community. “

Julie Turner, President, Texas Patriots PAC
The Conservative Political Action Committee has approved incorporation.

“To preserve the quality of life in The Woodlands, residents must choose a governance structure that will strengthen and ensure local control – to become an incorporated town with standing to participate in regional planning and take legal action when necessary, rather than continuing as a township. largely governed by outside interests. … The Township of Woodlands is not recognized as eligible for federal funds in many cases. The loss of The Woodlands’ share of these funds to surrounding communities places The Woodlands at a great disadvantage for the large-scale community projects needed.

JJ Hollie, President and CEO, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce
The regional chamber of commerce issued a statement on September 24 opposing the incorporation.

“After hearing from numerous experts, the Montgomery County Commissioners, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and many members of the business community about incorporation, we believe that being incorporated in this regard timing is not a good idea for our business community or residents. Incorporation is a complex issue that requires more education and planning. We believe there is no reason to rush to become a city. An important decision like this cannot be overturned. The timing of incorporation should be entirely up to our business community and our residents to ensure that they fully understand the business plan. transition and impacts.

Dr Shelley Sekula-Gibbs
A member of the Woodlands Township board of directors seeking re-election this year, Sekula-Gibbs approved the incorporation into her candidate message as a private citizen. In a letter dated September 13 to his candidate site, she described some of the reasons.

“The mayor and the city council will not receive a salary. Residents will gain local control of roads, traffic lanes, rights of way, speed limits, parking, land use and planning, noise and fireworks, etc. and begging, establishing stricter drainage standards and enacting a freeze on property taxes for the elderly and people with disabilities. . “

George Café-Club
A group named in honor of The Woodlands founder George Mitchell approved a “no” vote in an Oct. 1 statement.

“As a documented policy, the Club, whose membership consists of 64 members, many of whom have worked with Mr. Mitchell since the very beginning of The Woodlands … does not take a public position on political issues. .. . However, in this unique situation, the vast majority of club members are convinced that there are simply too many unanswered questions at this point to support incorporation now, ”

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