Written Candidate Interview
1. What specifically do you personally expect to get out of being on the Township Board?
I have lived in The Woodlands for 29 years and enjoy the Beauty and Amenities of our Hometown. I want to see this new phase of the development get off on the right start. My experience in serving as a director on the WCA Board to provide services for the community in the last five years will be an important asset. I want to maintain and improve the superior security services and the municipal services. I understand the resident needs and have the experience, time, dedication and background to represent those interests to the new board.
2. What are the primary resident values that you will use to prioritize your decision making for the villages?
As always, I consider the interests of all the diverse interests in The Woodlands. With a seven member Township Board it will be very important to consider all villages and all ages. The mature areas and the developing areas have different needs. All areas need security services and all ages deserve a minimum tax rate.
3. What are the primary commercial values you will use to prioritize your decision making for the business community?
About one third of our property tax will be paid by sales tax. We need a vibrant and successful business community. I want to maintain the attractiveness of the community to keep and bring in new business by providing a safe and outstanding place to live and work.
4. Do you believe that resident issues or commercial interests are going to be your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge will be to develop the governmental model desired by the residents in a cost effective manner that is also good for the commercial interests. Communication between the residents and The Township Board during this development will be critical.
5. What is your position on the future government of The Woodlands? For example, do you support incorporation?
I support a program by The Woodlands Township to study and educate all residents on the changes required to evolve from a District to a City. In 2012, hold an election for the educated residents to express their desire in a vote on incorporation in 2014. If approved the board should begin the transition to incorporation in 2014 and phase out the District Board.
6. What is your view of the relationship between the associations and the Township during and after transition?
Communication is most important between the Associations and The Township to implement the transition. As a member of both organizations I will make facilitating communications a priority. A constructive attitude and good communications are needed to get the job done right.
7. What is your vision of maintenance services for the community in the transition and afterwards?
The services must be transitioned in a seamless manner with cost in mind to improve efficiency. The overall objective will be to improve the services provided to the residents and the businesses paying for these services. Duplication and synergies in the service area must be examined to improve the new services as they are transitioned to minimize costs.
8. What is your vision of the associations’ role in the future of The Woodlands?
Continue to provide services and covenant administration through 2010 as outlined in the transition agreement and then phase out and disband.
9. What changes would you like to see from our fire department over the next two years?
As a member of the Woodlands Fire Department board for more than two years, I would continue the future planning to maintain our excellent fire protection and keep up with the community growth needs. Managing the fire resources to earn an ISO 2 rating will reduce the fire insurance costs on our homes.
10. What are your ideas and vision for the tax structure for residents and businesses here?
Sales tax will be whatever the sales by the businesses will support. That is why we need a healthy business development. The property tax should be set at the minimum required by our services. I would support exemptions for
c) Disabled, and
d) Disabled veterans.
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?
My family loves the beauty and amenities of The Woodlands. The natural beauty of The Woodlands with its forest and the parks are important in attracting people to our lovely Township. I support keeping the green beauty of The Woodlands. Creekside is the newest village and it is different in many ways. A location in Harris County is one challenge and the new activities for our families such as the long hiking trail and new pool present other challenges to be considered for the maximum recreational enjoyment by all residents.
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.
My personal commitment to the welfare of the residents and storeowners is:
1. Cost efficient services to minimize property taxes.
2. Continued superior security services and municipal services for our homes.
3. Establishing a government model that meets the goal of self governance of, by and for the residents.
4. Maintaining the community standards by administration of covenants as we continue growing.
Verbal candidate interview
1. Leadership style: what role do you see yourself playing among the township board members currently on the board? Specifically, do you see yourself taking a leadership role on certain topics and what would be your approach?
Current Township directors have a focus on the economic development area. I would take a leadership role in services, especially to achieve cost effective quality services. I would like to take a significant role in budgeting the first property tax rate at the minimum required to provide our services. I do not want to neglect the businesses however. Sales tax will pay for one-third of our property taxes. We need a healthy business environment to attract business to the community, which in turn brings us those sale tax dollars. I believe that The Township should support a "shop The Woodlands" campaign.
2.Time: What time commitment do you personally anticipate in being a director?
Having served at-large on the association for five years and four years on a MUD district, I probably missed no committee meetings, attended about 99% of all WCA association and MUD meetings, and tried to attend every important meeting in the WCA villages as an at-large director. I tried to attend most meetings of Grogan's Mill Village Association, my own village. When the board diminishes in size to seven in 2010, it will be even more important to attend the village meetings. I plan to attend as many as possible to communicate with them.
3.Experience: What differences do you see in being a director on the Township board and being a director on the Association board?
The two are different. The Township is a government agency and the association is not. The association does not collect sales or property taxes but the Township does. Today we have some twenty-eight directors in the associations. In 2010 we will have only seven. Support from the village associations will be critical to determine residents' needs. I have already initiated steps to have a legal review for helping villages change their elections to the second Saturday in May instead of electing officers in February. I was involved in a by-law change for Grogan's Mill. We had to invite all citizens to vote on it and record the changes with the state. There is no rush to do this, because it is not needed until 2010, but it would not hurt to begin now. I have friends throughout The Woodlands who will help provide information about the residents' needs. We will all be glad to remove the alphabet soup of organizations and finally be The Woodlands. I am a current service and fire department director in the association, so I can provide continuity for a seamless transition and balance to the Township 11-member board in 2008 and 2009. The fire department plans must be carried forward, and I also have a plan for enhanced policing of The Woodlands. I have the experience, time, dedication and background to make the transition work well.