The Woodlands Township will hold its annual election May 12. Running in the Position 2 race are Mike Bass and Ted Stanley. The incumbent is Lloyd Matthews, who opted not to seek re-election this year. Each of this year's township board candidates were profiled in the April print edition of Community Impact Newspaper – The Woodlands. Below are additional comments by the Position 2 candidates, Bass and Stanley.
Discuss your community involvement.
Bass: “ After I retired in 2000 as a Senior Partner with Accenture, a large international consulting firm, I began to dedicate more of my time to community activities. For 10 years I served in various roles for the City of Clear Lake Shores: city council member, chairman of its Planning and Zoning Commission and President of its Economic Development Corporation.
“Since moving to The Woodlands, I have served as the Treasurer of the Sterling Ridge Village Association. I was also elected to the Sterling Ridge Residential Design Review Committee (RDRC), and am currently the Kirkpatrick Glen Neighborhood Watch Coordinator. Until recently, I served as one of four appointed resident members to the Design Standards Committee (Covenant Committee).
“ I have also actively worked on several community issues: traffic noise being generated from FM 2978, opposition to The Woodlands fire fighter collective [bargaining] proposition, the opening by The Woodlands Development Company of Ken Lakes Road to FM 2978 and Center Point’s proposed power line in Grogan’s Mill.”
Stanley: “ My wife and I have lived in The Woodlands for 11 ½ years and I’ve been involved in the community as a volunteer for nine of those years. I served on the College Park Village Association board of directors as secretary. I served as director from College Park on The Woodlands Association board of directors for close to six years. I served as president of The Woodlands Recreation Center board of directors. I served on the Governance Steering Committee during our annexation battle; and I currently serve as president of the College Park Village Association. I have have worked with other organizations as a volunteer including my church, Saints Simon and Jude Catholic Church.”
How are you different from your opponent?
Bass said that Stanley is in favor of keeping the township's property tax rate as it currently stands, but that he would work to lower the rate.
“ My view is there's always room to determine if we can't reduce costs and reduce property taxes,” Bass said.
He explained that he would be in favor of lowering the township's current property tax to the affective tax rate established by the county tax assessor.
“ When I served in city government before, that is what we always did, bring the tax rate down to the affective tax rate,” Bass said.
Stanley, referencing Bass' recent resignation from the Development Standards Committee, said he would not resign from a board.
“ When I commit to a project or to a committee or board, I'm not going to resign from that just because I have a 3-to-1 vote against me,” Stanley said. “I'm definitely not a quitter.”
He also said he has “a little bit longer service to the community,” and considers himself “a little bit more open-minded.”
What are some areas you believe the Township could cut or save money?
Bass: “One area that we can cut is I think we need to make the Convention [and Visitors Bureau] self-sustaining based on the hotel tax. Last year the township gave the [CVB] $2.4 million that did not come out of the hotel tax. This year the hotel tax is up, but the township will fund another $800,000.”
Stanley: “I think one of the areas we might look at saving a little money is on some consulting fees, and such things as outside services and contracted services.”
What are some areas you would like to see the Township fund?
Bass: “I think we don't have the same level of law enforcement in Creekside [Park] that we do in the rest of The Woodlands. When I talk to the precinct constables, [they say] if you want to have proactive law enforcement as opposed to reactive, you need to have full time coverage. I think the other area is, I hear a lot from residents who want to see more attention paid to maintaining pocket parks, some of the medians and other citizen amenities.”
Stanley: “I don't think that we need to spend more money, necessarily, but public safety is always at the forefront of dollars [spent]. As the population increases, we need to make sure we are well situated to handle costs increase for law enforcement. As we grow, we'll add more public safety officers.”