Thursday, April 10, 2008

Renata Tyree 2008 Interview Township Director Woodlands Texas

Candidate Written Interview

1. What specifically do you personally expect to get out of being on the Township Board?

I believe that the town of The Woodlands is one of the most beautiful planned communities in Texas. If elected, I expect to work hard to maintain the recreation areas, lifelong learning opportunities, open space and nature balance that this community has successfully built. Now is the time to set into place a plan of action that will guide this community on the right road to maintaining our high standard of living.

2. What are the primary resident values that you will use to prioritize your decision making for the villages?

- Balance: Balance and good judgment in decisions for newer and older villages.
- Transition: Transition and continued development of high quality municipal services (fire stations, police, common property, parks and pathways) need to be weighed
- Controlled Urban Expansion: Growth must be purposeful and without bias. Whether it is commercial growth or new home development, growth must be of sound decision that does not favor special interest groups

3. What are the primary commercial values you will use to prioritize your decision making for the business community?

- Adhere to codes and concerns of the villages.
- Encourage businesses that benefit the area.

4. Do you believe that resident issues or commercial interests are going to be your biggest challenge?

Both present challenges. Residents deserve to have their voice heard and commercial interests must be carefully monitored.

5. What is your position on the future government of The Woodlands? For example, do you support incorporation?

There is now time for this community to make a solid decision on their future. To make a decision now on is premature because the structure is still being formed.

6. What is your view of the relationship between the associations and the Township during and after transition?

The Township Board of Directors needs to be set up as a visionary role to set up blanket codes and regulations and the Associations need to self-monitor those codes and regulations. Both entities need to develop a cohesive working relationship. The Township needs to be able to drive the vision set by George Mitchell and the villages need to be able to implement that vision.

7. What is your vision of maintenance services for the community in the transition and afterwards?

I feel basic services need to be handled at the Township level. Supplementary services should be handled at the village level.

8. What is your vision of the associations’ role in the future of The Woodlands?

A continued effective working relationship with the Township Board of Directors.

9. What changes would you like to see from our fire department over the next two years?

Fire department services need to be expanded to effectively serve this community.

10. What are your ideas and vision for the tax structure for residents and businesses here?

Tax structure will change with the change in governance. The residents of The Woodlands will have to decide what the tax structure should ultimately look like. Whatever that decision is by the residents, the Township should develop the appropriate infrastructure to support that decision.

11. What is your position on the parks, trees and amenities provided throughout The Woodlands? Also please add any relative comments on the development of the Village of Creekside Park?

Controlled urban expansion must be monitored and maintained. Open space can be defined as parks to housing ratio and commercial growth considerations.

12. If you have any additional statements you believe residents or storeowners should hear reflecting your personal commitment to their welfare, please try to enumerate in 50 words or less.

For the past 15 years, I have been involved with corporate management positions that have allowed me to travel to over 150 cities within the United States. I even lived in the beautiful city of Boulder Colorado for six years. In 2005, I choose to move to The Woodlands from Boulder, Colorado because I am committed to the continued development of this community. I continue my involvement with this community by working at the local community college as a program manager for the adult continuing education program, volunteering for programs such as Montgomery Pet Partners (therapy animals organization), American Red Cross, Shepherd Team at my local church and participating as a member of the Montgomery County Association of Business Women, South Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and Woodlands Dog Park Club. If elected, I would initiate a plan of action that has already proven to be so tremendously successful. This plan of action would truly distinguish The Woodlands as an extraordinary place to live for many generations to come.

Candidate verbal interview

1. You appear to have some new ideas for the villages. Would you explain what new responsibilities you see for the village associations?

Helping a business person run the business has been my forte for years. I have advised people on how to use business software to accomplish their business goals. The focus of that effort was in structuring the business to make profit. I have a similar view here. The board should take a visionary role and the villages should follow in the day-to-day role. A village can be our on-the-ground local response provider for the residents of that village. The board can set the structure of operations and be the umbrella for processes. An example was presented in the first set of questions. The umbrella for green space for example, could be the ratio of green space to the number of residents and/or number of businesses. Say a business wants to get started in the village. The village might assess a request from a new business and test it against the green space ratio as prescribed by the code umbrella of the Township board; then the village takes it to the board for approval or rejection. This is only an arbitrary example, but it is intended to show conceptually the relationship between the board and the village associations.

The board would have the primary function to oversee the police and fire services, as well as other services or contracts that apply to the entire community.

2. What method would you support to define the will of the residents in the villages? E.g., such as the tax structure. Are you referring to rates?

I see the normal voting process as the means to get the will of the people. An example was the three proposition ballot. Once the residents set the direction for the community, the board must follow in support. The relationship of the board with the village associations must be cooperative and in concert. Much of the “direction” will come from the village associations, driven by resident concerns or proposals.

I believe in grass root processes. I am, for example, the “un-candidate” {laugh}. I am running my campaign differently. It is an economically feasible , grass root campaign. In fact, I am not even accepting campaign contributions.

3. Is there something that you think someone should ask you and have not? If so, let me ask it.

Well, there is absolutely nothing to be gained financially by being a Director. I’m new and unknown to many people here but I am out talking to many residents. My vision is that if I don’t take care of another village other than my own, I will be there in no time at all. That is, in another 5 years down the road I could easily be in their shoes. So the older areas needing repair need to be repaired. This community has great potential. My experiences in Boulder would help me to bring a proven township business model into our community. My experience with that model would help me contribute to our future. Boulder is a beautiful place and has made some good decisions and some not too good decisions in their beautification and business tactics. They were too stringent on some matters with commercial interests and had some negative consequences as a result. They had some really good results in beautification. I have seen what works and does not work.

4. If we were to ask residents what would be their top two most important issues in the next couple of years, what would you say those would be?

1) The transition – This is very important to residents. We will be setting methodology, strategic direction and establishing processes from now until 2010 and beyond. It is the most delicate time of our community in relationships and process. Establishing relationships is a very tenuous process. I have no bias whatsoever. I come with a clean slate.
2) Public services – Not only is the policing of the community a priority, but the fire department and public services also are all important. We need to maintain these services. The government must make long range plans for them. The first two years of this government will be very important.

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Campaign Email: Send email to Ranata's campaign mailbox

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