2020 Voter Guide
Get to know the candidates running in the general election
COMPILED BY VANESSA HOLT
TheWoodlands Township board of directors, Position 2 Incumbent
Occupation: minister Relevant experience: current member of the township board www.facebook.com/ jasonjnelson2 JASON J. NELSON
Occupation: consultant Relevant experience: TOM CHUMBLEY
Occupation: engineer (mechanical and nuclear) Relevant experience: lived in the Woodlands since 2005 www.lg-engineering.us LOUIS GRANADOS
Occupation: retired chief of police JIMMIE DOTSON
Relevant experience: police chief (Houston ISD), assistant police chief (Houston), partner in law enforcement consultants, corporal in U.S. Marine Corps www.jimmiedotson.com
Grogan’s Mill and Cochran’s Crossing Village boards; master’s in public administration; seeking PhD in leadership studies; internships https://ccvreptom.wixsite.com/ tomatthewoodlands
What do you feel are the most important issues facing The Woodlands Township in 2021 and beyond?
Over the next two years, we must continue to find ways to keep our com- munity strong and safe. It’s imperative that we closely monitor our finances as a township and work creatively so that the township can continue to offer the services our residents expect by the most cost effective means possible, while keeping property taxes down.
Public safety and [COVID-19]. Incorpora- tion. Township operations performance. How we gain a new source of income; we need to replace lost revenue due to reduced development and make [a] wise investment that will bring a [return on investment]. We need a comprehensive plan that also includes dealing with aging of The Woodlands housing.
Budgeting to restore our good finan- cial conditions; water usage/flooding —[working] closely with entities with oversight over groundwater versus surface water, and [municipal utility districts]; increase our reliance on non-property tax sources through business, sales, and room taxes ... but incorporation could impact resources.
The penetration by the [Howard] Hughes Corporation into the business of The Woodlands and the effects that it’s having in the welfare of the residents and the ecosystem.
Do you feel the township should revisit the topic of incorporation; if so, when and how?
We have obtained some important and useful information from the study ... which I have been studying in-depth as a director. Should the township decide to resume this discussion ... we must increase an effort to engage and inform the community of the pros and cons of incorporation since the decision ... belongs solely to the residents.
Absolutely, at some point. I believe it is inevitable that The Woodlands will incorporate, it is just a matter of when. I believe we need to educate the public via town hall discussions; be explicit about the values on both sides; follow the Texas Municipal League handbook on becoming a general law city, and empower our voters to decide.
The Woodlands should review all the avenues to protect The Woodlands from corporate and personal interests. That includes incorporation or whatever gives the board ... more power over the Montgomery County commissioners, the [Howard Hughes Corp.] and other external parties exercising influence over internal affairs.
Only when the residents of The Wood- lands initiate a demand for that action but so far that has not happened, so I join them in saying no for now.
What should The Woodlands prioritize in its budget in the next two years, and how should it fund new needs?
Funding local law enforcement, our first responders, and all other township staff should be a major priority. We must also continue to prioritize the importance of improving and maintaining our beautiful community. This community is a great place to live; it’s also a great place to visit so promoting our community ... is important as well.
We need to reduce spending. How- ever, I am willing to look at multiple opportunities for revenue from solid investments. Prioritize public safety and transportation initiatives, and put on the back burner anything that doesn’t invest in our future. There shouldn’t be new needs unless it represents a great investment revenue stream opportunity.
We should authorize a zero-based budget to finally optimize the resources and evaluate the real need of the property owners.
We need to look at a successful eco- nomic development project that can generate hotel and sales taxes and can make The Woodlands a desirable place to live. Additionally, The township cur- rently has reserves that could be used to avoid property tax increases.
Answers may have been edited for length. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com/vote .
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