Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nelda Blair Statement

Thank you for attending the Town Center Improvement District Public Forum. We were pleased that it answered many residents’ questions, and provided basic information to disseminate in the community.

I will respond to your inquiry, but I first need to address a few statements in the preface of your email. For example, your statement “Since you were appointed, the normal electoral public processes were bypassed.” I would respectfully disagree that appointment is a bypass. Per the creating legislation, the TCID Board is partially elected and partially appointed, to insure that the impact area (as the legislation defines) is represented on the Board. One of the appointments is made by the elected County Commissioners Court to represent all of Precinct #3 (South County), and I was selected for that. Yes, it is an appointment, but it is also a representative capacity.

I do appreciate and understand your interest in the qualifications of an interim governing body, and applaud you for researching those. But, I also urge everyone to look at the broader, more long-term concept of the future of one governing body for The Woodlands, with a Board that will have elections every 2 years. Yes, you should look at the related perspectives and capabilities of each current TCID Board member for the short-term, but none of these Board members is permanent. (My appointed term ends in May 2008, for example.) The true issues at the heart of the November 6 vote are the avoidance of annexation by other cities, the union into one governing body, and the right of the residents to vote on the format of that government in the future.

The legislation provides for a merger into one governmental entity, and Senator Tommy Williams chose TCID as the proper entity. So, the role of the TCID, in conjunction with the 3 Community Associations, is to make as seamless a transition as possible, while preserving the quality of life we have as residents.

Your specific items: 1. Experience which qualifies you to lead the board in governing the villages.
Firstly, my education: A triple specialization in real estate laws gives me an extensive understanding of the law governing communities. I also have a minor degree and graduate training in the financial arena, enabling me to deal with the business side of government. Finally, I also earned a minor degree in “people” (Sociology), which taught me much about human nature, an invaluable resource in this type of endeavor.
Secondly, my business experience: Over my career, I have been the legal representative to numerous homeowner associations, so I am quite knowledgeable about the inner workings, responsibilities, problems that arise and solutions to them. Having represented literally hundreds of clients, including realtors, homeowners, families and businesses, my perspective is quite broad. I have owned and operated a solo law practice business for over 20 years. Additionally, my experience as a trained Mediator always assists me in resolving issues.
Thirdly, my practical experience and long-standing affiliations: In addition to my law practice, I have spent many years associated with dozens of other organizations, in a variety of roles. Having worked with people from all walks of life, with all sorts of objectives, in every field from small rural associations to national government, my practical experiences serve me well. My career has also taken me into the inner workings of government on many levels. I have counseled elected officials and managed campaigns for people I felt would make fine elected leaders, helped author local rules and state legislation and testified before the legislature for various causes, and was even a candidate for office myself over a decade ago. As a result, I have an inherent understanding of the workings of governance on many levels, and have long-standing relationships with elected leadership throughout the State and Nation, both valuable resources for a local leader.
2. What you expect to gain personally from assuming this new role. Please understand that neither I nor TCID sought to assume this new role. As an existing governmental entity, TCID was the logical conduit for the unified governance of The Woodlands. But, if the 3 propositions are voted in on November 6, my personal responsibilities will grow exponentially. As for personal gain, Mr. Scott, I know this may sound trite, but I was raised in Montgomery County, and I love my home. I want to see it grow and prosper and develop in harmony. It is my hope to be an effective contributor to that exciting future.
3. What you expect to give to the community. A sense of unity. Leadership. Knowledge and experience. Encouragement (former cheerleader J).
4. Any issues you believe you should divulge to the public that may impair or help the community to make a sound decision, given the timeframe of your projected tenure in this position.
The timeframe of my particular projected tenure is 6 months. If I am elected to another position on The Woodlands Township Board at that time, I will be subject to another 2 or 3 year term. I think the issues are all out on the table. It is simply a matter of whether to move forward in this time of opportunity, or stay where we are and be subject to annexation by Houston and Conroe all too soon. If the Propositions pass, The Woodlands Township Board will change in composition over the next couple of years, and the residents will be fully in charge of that by election. But, the one thing that will not change is that the residents of The Woodlands will have grabbed their brass ring, and will have ensured their ability to choose for themselves how they are governed.
I have attached a very brief resume’, which gives some biographical information, and a few details of some of my involvements as referenced above. I have also attached an editorial entitled “THE BASICS FROM THE CHAIRMAN: WHAT? WHO? HOW? WHERE?”, which gives a very fundamental outline of election information for residents.

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