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We’ve been thinking about incorporating since Kingwood was annexed by the City of Houston in 1996. Since being a City is better than being a Township, then the sooner we do it the better.
It is broken. Every time something against resident wishes is proposed, we have no say and rely on grassroots efforts to express our will (examples: Woodlands Parkway extension, more dense housing on Eagle Island, Village Center vacancies). Plus we missed out on ARPA funds from the feds - let's not do that again.
While we are not at risk of being annexed now, there’s no guarantee the laws that protect us won’t change in the future. Other cities are motivated to annex us for our tax base. Incorporating into a City PERMANENTLY eliminates annexation risk.
George Mitchel’s vision made us unique but the developer is now a publicly traded corporation Howard Hughes Corporation (NYSE:HHC). It’s time to ensure that we keep our unique hometown feel and incorporate.
We are the number one CITY(per Niche) largely due to the school districts, the work by The Township (parks, park and rides, etc), the businesses (jobs), our location (George Mitchell) and weather (mother nature). Governance has nothing to do with it.
Our Township board has delivered 1st class services, for example The Township controls our Fire Department and our Fire Department is ISO 9000 rated, tops in the nation. The other elements that make us number 1, like our schools, are not part of our Township and wouldn’t be part of our city governance structure.
See separate menu item called Niche # 1 Rating for more detail on the elements that helped us make the grade.
We already fully pay for 90% of our law enforcement officers - including overhead items like pension, vehicle expenses, training and other equipment through a special contract with the county. As a city we'd have direct control over our expenditures and fines would enure to our City coffer instead of being sent to the county.
Our concrete (not asphalt) roads are relatively low maintenance and we have planned for a public works department as part of the projected City costs. Control over our own roads is to our advantage.
Actually, incorporation streamlines our government and brings it all under one umbrella. Initially incorporation will move the government work from Montgomery County (3 commissioners, one Constable, one Justice of the Peace), and Harris County (one commissioner, one Sheriff and one Justice of the peace), along with the Road Utility District, to the Township/City. It also gives us the means to eventually adopt the 11 MUDs and eliminate 55 MUD directors and MUD property taxes altogether. Emphasis added as adoption of MUDs is not on the ballot this Nov 2, but eventually streamlining them under a city water works will be made possible through incorporation.
What you're avoiding by not incorporating is resident control over a streamlined (one-stop) local government. We've been planning for the initial costs of incorporation for years; we're finally ready to self-govern and permanently avoid being a part of the city of Houston or the city of Conroe.
Shenandoah and Oak Ridge North, our incorporated neighbors, have managed to represent its citizens; we can do the same.
Mitchell’s perfect model has been changing ever since the first Village was started. The Woodlands has grown from 17,500 acres to 28,000 acres, we’ve expanded from Montgomery County into Harris County, we went from George Mitchell/Mitchell Energy Ownership to Howard Hughes Corp ownership, we went from Community Association government to The Township, special district form of goverment. Change is natural to adapt to changing circumstances or to take advantage of new conditions or goals.
The Township Board in charge now, the one that called the Incorporation Election, has built a first class fire department. The Township already pays for enhanced law enforcement services over the County standard; spending that money locally on our own Law Enforcement keeps our tax dollars more local and our control more local for even better quality services.
We may already be paying these fees but don’t know since the collector (Howard Hughes Corporation - a private corporation whose shares are publicly traded on NYSE:HCC) won’t share that information. However, we will pay for any new franchise fee charged to the utilities using City easements, but keep in mind, as a city those fees will now go to fund the local government instead of Howard Hughes Corporation.
Shenandoah and Oak Ridge North are both cities and have not caused businesses to leave. Instead they’re thriving. The Woodlands will continue to be a unique place to live, work, play and worship. The new city of the Woodlands will continue to provide incentives to new businesses. Visit the Woodlands is the marketing branch that helps attract visitors helping increase our tax revenues.
(The "turn us into Greenspoint" is a quote from Howard Hughes Corporation ally and fellow developer Daniel Signorelli.)
Please share these facts with anyone that votes. You're welcome to share images to social media or send in an email to all your friends. Thank you for visiting.
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* Electing leaders that work for us and only us
* Making our own decisions on roads and road expansions
* Local decisions on development changes (re-plats)
* Reduction of bureaucracy by eliminating fragmented government
* Single point focus on drainage and flooding
* Don't allow new or re-developed areas to flood neighbors
* Unified police patrols and community policing
* Formal recognition as a city by post office, feds and state
* Economic development tools (RDZs)
* Permanent freedom from annexation regardless of current legislation or contract