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Houston Chronicle Editorial Board: Vote No on Incorporating The Woodlands

The Houston Chronicle Editorial Board recommends residents vote AGAINST incorporation.

In their October 17 editorial, the board said:

“The current effort feels hasty….The decision isn’t something that should be rushed through in a low-turnout election in a year where distractions, including the pandemic, abound. As one resident told us, ‘We only have one shot at getting this right.’ This just doesn’t seem to be it.

“We recommend Woodlands residents vote against incorporation.”

To read the full editorial, CLICK HERE.

A Message from Commissioner James Noack: Incorporation is Wrong for The Woodlands

Dear Residents,

As the balloting begins on the hastily called incorporation referendum, I wanted to share my final thoughts.

Incorporation is not a grassroots grown initiative. It is, in fact, quite the opposite. It is a directive from the Woodlands Township Board, forced upon us in true Washington D.C. style.

Over the past few months, in controlled settings, and with limited ability for anyone to ask questions, we have been repeatedly told it would be FREE. That’s right, they claim we can become a city and it won’t cost us anything additional in taxes. They say the tax rate will stay flat for five years … scratch that, ten years. The Township Board says taxes won’t go up even though their own model depends upon never-ending increases in the taxable value of our property. They even had to double the rate at which our taxable value increases to make their model work! When it comes to the undeterminable, unforeseen costs of incorporation, one board member even said, “We have five years to figure it out!” Put simply, this should be totally figured out before we make an irrevocable vote, not in the half-decade after.

We live in one of the safest communities in the United States. We have excellent law enforcement services provided by a county sheriff and two county constables. The sheriff and constables are both elected by the people – the very definition of local control. Incorporation will disrupt our law enforcement services, cost more than their model suggests, and risk our safety. This isn’t even up for debate. When the elected sheriff and constable have major concerns and when law enforcement experts say this is a bad idea, I trust them more than I trust the Township Board. And why take this risk in the first place?

Further, why the rush to incorporate now? The Township Board has literally thrown Jell-O at the wall, hoping something – anything – will stick. The Board used every card in their deck of desperation to force incorporation upon us. Initially, the reason was to avoid annexation, then major throughfares, next was flooding, followed by “we need control,” “the county is bad,” “the developer is evil,” and ultimately settling on a federal-funding cash grab. When all that failed to move the needle with the public, they went to the graveyard and dug up the infamous Woodlands Parkway Extension. However, the ace they thought they were playing was actually a deuce. It’s a matter of historical record that I worked to kill the Woodlands Parkway extension, winning praise from Chairman Bunch at the time. Then I worked with the developer to replat the property at the terminus of the parkway and FM 2978, PERMANENTLY sending this project to its grave.

Perhaps the most surprising development through this dash to Election Day was local TEA Party Leadership coming out in favor of incorporation. In short, the leaders of a party built on smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and limited power have come out in favor of growing government, raising taxes, fines and fees, and granting a larger government the expanded power of ordinance-making authority. This is particularly ironic when you consider one of the main goals of incorporation is pursuing federal dollars, with all the expected strings attached.

This would have been unimaginable in 2012, when TEA first stood for “Taxed Enough Already.”

With incorporation, we would pay double for the services we already receive. Instead of fighting for the people and representing the limited-government principles those of us in the party still hold true to, local TEA Party leaders are setting their ideals aside as they fight to put “their people” in charge. Rather than fighting for the people, they are putting personal power over principles.

Still, as the election looms large, those supporting incorporation remain a small few. Consistent with the movement’s ideals, many of the people that I see at TEA Party meetings remain opposed to incorporation and will join the majority voting against it. The spirit behind the TEA Party remains strong, even if its local leadership has gone astray.

The movement to defeat incorporation is a large grassroots effort that has grown to include the majority of residents, small business owners, larger corporations, the Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and many more.

We all joined together to fight incorporation because it is RISKY, RUSHED, and EXPENSIVE.

Early voting runs through October 29, with Election Day on November 2! Please join me in voting AGAINST incorporation!

Open Letter to The Woodlands from Former Montgomery Co. Judge Alan Sadler

Dear Residents and Business Owners: 

There has been much written and discussed regarding the issue of incorporating The Woodlands as a City rather than maintaining our current status as a Township.   

The truth is, I have yet to hear a single, compelling reason why residents and businesses would trade the proven, successful model we have as a Township for something that is much bigger in size, scope, cost and authority. 

Since when has this community wanted bigger government? 

Having been elected six times as your County Judge (1991-2015), I can tell you the incorporation plan and budget created by The Township is unrealistic.  

Make no mistake, incorporation will cost residents and businesses a great deal in higher taxes and fees.  That becomes crystal clear when you consider that as a city, The Woodlands would need to assume ownership and provide costly services such as a municipal court system, animal control, permits and inspections, street and bridge maintenance, and the big one, law enforcement.  

For instance, The Woodlands has expensive concrete streets and bridges that cost substantially more money to maintain.  What the incorporation plan has projected for maintaining them is woefully inadequate. In fact, the budget calls for spending more on landscaping than actual road repair.   

Today, Montgomery County and Harris County provide The Woodlands with the finest, most reliable law enforcement. Contrary to Township claims, creating a police department from scratch cannot be done without substantial tax increases or severe cuts in law enforcement services.  

Why change the very foundations that make our resident-led, limited-government, low-tax system possible? 

And why would we jeopardize our public safety? 

Incorporating as a city would be risky, rushed and expensive. 

Please vote AGAINST bigger government, vote AGAINST tax increases, vote AGAINST incorporation! 


Alan B. Sadler 

Montgomery County Judge, Ret., 1991-2015 

VIDEO: Cathy Brady Speaks Out Against Incorporation

Cathy Brady, 43-year resident of The Woodlands and wife of U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady, warns in a new video that incorporation would forever change The Woodlands, with costs and taxes going up, and urges residents to vote against Propositions A & B.   
“The Woodlands is a place we call home, because it is not a city. It’s where my husband, Kevin Brady, looks forward to coming at the end of his hectic work weeks in Washington, D.C. It’s where we chose to raise our family, a place that has all the conveniences of a city with the feel of a smaller hometown. 
“I urge you to vote against incorporation,” she says. 

To view the video CLICK HERE.

New Video: Former State Rep. Rob Eissler Calls Incorporation Risky and Unnecessary

THE WOODLANDS – Rob Eissler, a former State Representative and 42-year resident of The Woodlands, is speaking out against incorporation.


In a newly released video, Eissler, who spent a decade representing the community at the Texas Capitol and successfully fought to protect The Woodlands from forced annexation, said the push to incorporate is not only unnecessary, but also risky, rushed, and expensive. 

“Some say that incorporating is the only way for The Woodlands to protect itself against annexation. That is 100 percent false,” Eissler says. “The Woodlands can never be annexed without a vote of the residents. Incorporating is not only unnecessary, it is a huge risk to what makes The Woodlands special.” 

In 2017 and again in 2019, Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation that prohibits forced annexation in Texas without voter approval.  

“The Woodlands is not just another city, let’s not make it one,” he says. 

  To view the video CLICK HERE.

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. 

Local Residents and Businesses Rally to Protect The Woodlands from Incorporation

Since announcing its launch on August 16, Preserve The Woodlands PAC has raised $302,000 from concerned residents and businesses who want to preserve our quality of life and challenge the Township Board’s one-sided, taxpayer-funded campaign to promote incorporation. 

The Township Board of Directors committed many times that they would only place incorporation on the ballot during an even-year election to ensure greater voter participation.  Despite this pledge, as well as requests from residents for more time to understand the issue, a majority of the Board voted to place the issue on November’s off-year election ballot, knowing it would limit turn-out and make it more difficult for opposing voices to organize and educate residents about the hazards of incorporation. 

 “The Township underestimated the passion local residents and businesses feel about maintaining our unique governance model, keeping taxes low and containing the size of government,” said Preserve The Woodlands Advisory Board member Joel Noyes. “Our community has really rallied around efforts to defeat incorporation.”

Among the $159,175 in individual contributions to Preserve The Woodlands PAC as of October 1, were:

•           42 individual donations of $250 or less

•           12 individual donations of $500

•           15 individual donations of $1,000

•           25 individual donations of $1,500 or greater

The PAC also reported $142,000 in in-kind contributions from the Howard Hughes Corporation, a vocal opponent of incorporation since the issue was unnecessarily rushed to the ballot.

In keeping with Texas election law, Preserve The Woodlands has filed all appropriate financial disclosures with the Texas Ethics Commission, a contrast to the lack of transparency demonstrated by the Township and its allies. 

Spread the Word: Vote Against Incorporation

Spread the word that you are voting AGAINST Props A & B and that incorporation is Risky, Rushed and Expensive with this Facebook frame! Personalize yours here.

Incorporation Would Put Public Safety At Risk – The Woodlands is not Prepared to Provide Sufficient Law Enforcement Services Under Incorporation

Law enforcement experts agree that The Township does not have a viable operational plan for public safety when it comes to incorporation.

Tim Oettmeier, Former Executive Assistant Chief of Police of the Houston Police Department and Joe Fenninger, Former Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer of the Houston Police Department, have analyzed the Township’s plans in detail, and warn residents that not only are the plans inadequate, the Township’s ongoing attempts to divert attention from serious law enforcement operational issues is shortsighted, deceptive, and a disservice to the community.

“The Township does not have a viable operational plan for public safety. There are simply too many unanswered questions that will adversely affect the new city’s ability to address crime and disorder within The Woodlands. The Woodlands is not prepared to sufficiently and reliably provide law enforcement services necessary to adequately ensure public safety.”

Read more here.

Every Past Township Chair Voting Against Incorporation

All three previous Township Board Chairs, dating back to the board’s creation, are voting AGAINST the Risky, Rushed and Expensive incorporation proposal. 

They know that incorporating as a city would raise taxes, jeopardize public safety and forever change what makes The Woodlands the number one community to live in America.