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Township Hides Costs of Taxpayer Funds Spent to Promote Incorporation

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Township Hides Costs of Taxpayer Funds Spent to Promote Incorporation

Total Spending: $375 for 5 Posters?

Disturbing ethical questions are mounting about The Woodlands Township Board’s record of spending and lack of transparency during its one-sided campaign in favor of incorporation.

Preserve The Woodlands submitted a public information request for the taxpayer dollars spent by the Township Board on pro-incorporation promotional materials. The Township responded that it has spent a total of $375 on 5 posters. 

The Board also claims Township-produced handouts distributed at their events, including at the community-wide meeting at Marriott on September 23, are effectively “free” because they were produced using Township resources paid for by The Woodlands taxpayers. 

“The Township Board is spending undisclosed taxpayer funds to promote only one side of the issue, with a complete lack of transparency,” said Jason Halstead, local resident, business owner and Preserve The Woodlands Advisory Board Member. “It’s scary that this is happening right before our eyes without any accountability to the taxpayers. If they’re not forthcoming about what they’re spending now, how can we trust them when they say how much they would spend in the future?” 

In addition to the millions spent on outside consultants, the Township has produced one-sided materials promoting incorporation, including magazines and mailers, a website, sponsored ads, posters, 34 videos, a community-wide meeting at the Marriott, and board meetings to explain its shifting budgets. None of these expenses have been disclosed.

Additionally, In response to a request for “the approval process for developing these same Incorporation 101 materials,” the Township explained, “We do not have a record to provide.” 

The Township’s refusal to provide an accurate response to the public information request is consistent with Board directors’ misguided claims that the $21 million they’ve stashed in an Incorporation Reserve Fund cannot be returned to taxpayers and that creating a new police department, a municipal court and absorbing the costs of road maintenance and repairs would not increase the tax burden on residents.