Setting for the November 2015 Woodlands Township races
The Woodlands was originally intended to be a quiet, secure enclave where residents could raise their families in a true “hometown” setting. Two main factors continue to threaten this quality of life that we enjoy, and for which residents’ paid a premium to make their home – namely, commercial development and road expansion. The problems these two factors present are exacerbated by The Hughes Corporation, who now owns The Woodlands Development Company, and Montgomery County. It is therefore imperative that residents elect candidates to the Township board who will stand up for the interests of the residents and be willing to fight the development company and the county.
Over the years, The Woodlands Development Company has changed owners, with each subsequent owner trying to squeeze as much profit out of their new investment as possible by cutting corners on founder George Mitchell’s vision. Examples of this are the clear-cutting practices happening in newer parts of The Woodlands, and the sudden existence of a downtown skyline, when originally no building was meant to be higher than the tree line. This is eroding the character of The Woodlands by degrading the unique aesthetic quality of the community and adding traffic.
Due to not being incorporated as a city, The Woodlands has also been at the mercy of Montgomery County as it concerns our roads and security. While The Woodlands makes up about 20% of the county’s population, we pay at least 34% of the county’s real estate tax revenues. Despite The Woodlands (and the rest of Precinct 3) being the most urbanized portion of the county with the most mobility needs, the county historically has not prioritized our needs over other projects, and has used The Woodlands as a cash cow to redistribute money to fund projects around the rest of the county.
The county also does not have the best interests of The Woodlands residents in mind when it comes to long-range planning for the community. Nowhere is this more evident than in the May 2015 road bond, which included the extension that connected The Woodlands Parkway to the SH 249 toll road. Studies showed that this extension would’ve turned The Woodlands Parkway into a major thoroughfare that cuts our community in two while flooding us with traffic. The Woodlands voters overwhelmingly showed up to defeat that road bond, and therefore, the extension. Despite this, the County Judge and Precinct 2 Commissioner vow to complete the parkway extension by other means. While the parkway extension is not included in the November 2015 road bond, there are various other ways that the project could be completed. (We encourage residents to vote for the November 2015 road bond as it does address dire mobility needs, and makes it less likely that the extension will be included in future bonds.) And the plans extend beyond The Woodlands Parkway; the county also intends to extend Gosling up to Conroe, creating a major north-south thoroughfare through the middle of The Woodlands.
Residents of The Woodlands need a Township board that will advocate for them, and fight in every way possible to protect our community against projects like these. Unfortunately, 4 of the 7 members of the current Township board voted in favor of a resolution supporting the May 2015 bond which included the parkway extension, with chairman Bruce Tough actively campaigning for the passage of the bond. One of the three members of the board who was a vocal opponent of the bond and the parkway extension, John McMullan, is up for reelection. John deserves to be reelected, and sent back to the board along with two new members who also have a proven record of fighting for The Woodlands residents: Laura Fillault and Matthew Burton. All three of these candidates have a strong commitment to our core values of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets, and will be valuable assets on the board in the fight to preserve The Woodlands' beauty, character, and freedom.