Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ted Stanley 2008 Interview for Township Director Woodlands Texas

Candidate Written Interview

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

The only thing I personally expect to get out of service on the Township Board is the gratification of knowing that I helped our community.

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

As I see it, the residents hold the values, which brought them to The Woodlands in the first place. I will not prioritize these values based on my assumptions, but on the needs and desires of the residents. The values that I see are of high interest to residents are: a) quality of life, b) a safe community in which to raise a family, c) reasonable cost (taxes/assessments) for services, d) a reasonably clear vision to the future, and e) make sure their needs and desires are heard and acted upon in a timely manner.

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

While the business community’s needs are somewhat different from the residents’ needs, basically the business community’s values are aligned with those of the residents…the business community wants to be fairly represented, have the opportunity to grow, have a safe environment in which to conduct their business, be shown consideration and given opportunities to work within the community and have their needs and desires heard and acted upon quickly just as anyone would.

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

The word “challenge” might imply there may be some sort of conflict and that we must decide one group’s interest over the other. This is not true. A healthy, growing community needs both residents and commercial interests. The Woodlands has proven that both groups can and must work together to achieve the high standards we desire in our community. The challenges come not from within our own community, but how we relate to areas and groups outside the community. We have also proven that we (The Woodlands) can work with many groups to assure that our residents and commercial interests are served equally and fairly based on the respective needs of each.

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

The residents will decide the future government of The Woodlands. I will be here as a conduit to ensure that the wishes of the majority of the voters are carried out. At this point I neither support nor oppose incorporation as a final governance structure. If and when the time is right for incorporation, I’m sure we (the entire community) will make the correct decision about our future. Incorporation as a choice only came about recently as a means to fend off annexation. With that threat no longer over our heads, we are not forced to make any unnecessary, quick decisions.

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

As they have in the past, I’m sure the Associations and the Township will continue to work together professionally on behalf of our entire community.

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

My goal is that we will not forego any quality in our services. Therefore it is my vision to uphold the high standards to which we have all become accustomed. I expect that through the transition and beyond we will have service standards second to none. The Woodlands has always led the pace and I expect that we will continue to enjoy that position.

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

The Associations are made up of a wonderful volunteer base. The role of the Associations as we know them today will change (as per the transition plan). My vision is that the volunteer base will still be strong and will work very closely with the newly formed Township board. While the major associations (TWA, WCA and WCOA) will change and eventually be eliminated, the village association will remain in tact and continue to offer the grass-roots, “sounding board” role they have always played. As a Township Board member I am committed to upholding the agreements to fund (where appropriate) and support the village associations in their efforts to represent the residents and business in their respective villages.

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

We have one of the finest fire departments in the state and actually around the country. The only changes I would like to see are already on the drawing board; new fire stations relative to growth, expanded firefighters (to help improve the ISO rating), updated equipment (for the firefighters’ safety) and over all community involvement with the department.

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

While taxes are necessary, my motto is: Tax the least. It is important not to over tax. Therefore my vision would be to implement a tax structure that is fair to residents and at the same time allow us to provide the quality of service we have come to know and expect. During this formation process and into the transition process, we committed to lowering assessment collection equal to the increase and imposition of taxes. I will strongly hold to that ideal and maintain a conservative approach to levy or increase taxes. I believe whichever structure gives the best benefit to the residents and businesses will be the one to support. This may sound a bit vague, but at this point there are several options open and we must explore each of them without committing to a single structure until we determine which will suit our needs.

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?

The Woodlands is what it is today because of the parks, pathways, trees, green spaces, reserves, pools, and all other recreational amenities we have here. I do not anticipate any change in philosophy as it relates to providing these benefits to our residents. The Village of Creekside Park is a magnificent addition to our community. I support the development of our newest village and encourage all residents to explore its parks (the awarding-winning Rob Fleming Park) and open space. A visit to this area and to the recently established nature preserve will enlighten any spirit.

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.

I would only add that we have a wonderful community and although we are on the cusp of change, we are headed toward grand times. The Woodlands and the newly formed structure of the Township will open many doors of opportunities for all of us.

I am proud to live here, I am proud of my service to this community in the past and I am looking forward to serving in the capacity of director of The Woodlands Township.

Candidate verbal interview

1.Public Education: Since you graduated from the Association Academy, and considering our new form of government, do you have an opinion on how to go forward in educating the public on how services and processes function in The Woodlands? Include your thoughts on encouraging more voters to turn out at our elections.

I feel that for resident education, people will learn what they want. If not interested, they won’t strive to learn. However, it IS our responsibility to give them a format where they can learn through the conventional methods we have used in the past, such as flyers, The Woodlands Magazine, or the association’s web site. The academy is a great opportunity for residents; I hope to see its return. It was cancelled last year due to the efforts required by all for the November election. It is a viable route to understanding how The Woodlands works. On the voting part of the question, voters will vote when there is interest. Our mission will be to get the information available to them so they know that it is important to vote. Other methods also apply here, such as The Woodlands Magazine.

2.Government: What opportunities do you see for improving the effectiveness of the Township governing processes as it transitions over the next two years?

The consolidation of the boards alone will be an efficiency and effective change. There will be changes in efficiency introduced to the service company staff also due to the consolidation of the various boards.

3.Personal: How do you plan to be effective in this position, given you have a business and responsibilities in the association?

I have always been involved in the community. That has never been a problem in my life nor my household. I have a supportive family, which encourages me to participate. I am flexible enough to participate in community meetings and functions and do my job. I have no problem with this. “It is ingrained in who I am.”

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