The Woodlands, August 12 – Andy Dubois, the Manager of Precinct 3 Projects for Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack and was the former editor of the Courier blog, has announced that he is running for the Woodlands Township Board of Directors. Dubois would bring a very interesting “centrist” approach to the Board of Directors.
Dubois, 49, was born in Austin but grew up in San Antonio where he graduated from Churchill High School in 1988. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 1993.
Dubois’ first job after college was for the Brownsville Herald where he worked as a sports reporter, news editor, and sports editor from 1993 to 199.
Dubois remembers well when he moved to The Woodlands, April 7, 1999, the date of his daughter’s first birthday. Dubois began working for the Conroe Courier as a night editor and layout editor and worked there until February, 2000, when he left to go to work for Telxon, a hand-held computer company in The Woodlands. He returned to journalism after ten months as the City Editor for the Courier.
He became the Managing Editor and eventually the Editor of the Courier when Houston Community Newspapers bought the company and named Dubois Executive Editor over 24 newspapers in the area. When Hearst Corporation purchased HCN, Dubois continued to act as an executive editor and also acted as the Editor of The Courier and The Villager.
Dubois left Hearst Corporation in May, 2018, to take a position working for Commissioner Noack.
Position generally against incorporation of The Woodlands
“I’m running because I decided it was time. There are a few things that have inspired me to run for office, one of which is incorporation. If residents don’t think it’s a big issue, they will,” Dubois said.
Dubois explained, “The Texas Legislature has protected The Woodlands from forced annexation. Therefore, we’re protected under the agreement with the City of Houston until 2057. And then would have to vote before Houston could annex us. I don’t think there needs to be a rush. I think it is being rushed. If they’re targeting any time soon for incorporation, I think it is being rushed.”
Dubois noted that he opposes The Township “stockpiling money to become a city. Double-checking the Incorporation Reserve figures in the Preliminary 2020 budget, approximately $15.9 million is expected to be in the Incorporation Reserve at the end of FY 2019, mainly because $10.5 million was transferred to this fund from the Capital Contingency Reserve in 2019. Incorporation planning costs in 2020 of $290,750 will leave an ending balance of around $15.6 million in the Incorporation Reserve at the end of FY 2020, according to the 2020 preliminary budget.”
The candidate also said, “I also don’t believe they’re factoring in all of the costs and the challenges. It’s important to remember that it will be double taxation for the residents of The Woodlands, because they’ll pay both city and County taxes.”
As far as the argument that incorporation is necessary “to gain control of our destiny,” Dubois responded, “We’ve done a pretty good job controlling our destiny already. We flexed our muscle in the 2015 road bond. We can exert political power when we need to and that’s significant. I think we have the ear of our State Representative, our United States representative, our State Senator on the issues which are important for The Woodlands, because we’re a political bloc of reliable voters.”
“I think roads in The Woodlands are well maintained. The county has done a good job maintaining and addressing mobility in The Woodlands, while successfully battling extensions the people don’t want,” Dubois said.
Drainage is a big issue for Dubois
Dubois said, “Drainage is a big issue in the Township election. I want to ensure that the decisions The Woodlands is pushing for don’t have an adverse impact on the residents who have remained dry in every major storm. The truth is that the drainage plan in The Woodlands has protected the majority of homeowners from being flooded. I didn’t like the knee jerk reaction in the form of the proposal to raise a spillover at the Bear Branch Dam, which might then flood Carlton Woods and Alden Bridge.
He explained, “Right now I don’t know that there’s a major issue with subsidence. I’m open minded about it. I want to listen to studies and data and see what they show.”
Taxes and amenities
Dubois has made a centerpiece of his campaign his support for a 20% homestead exemption. “The current Township Board opted not to make progress on that when they could a few months ago. That’s going to push it back another year. The Woodlands homeowners carry a large burden and the Township Board ought to give them a break,” he said.
“The current Township Board opted not to make progress on that when they could a few months ago. That’s going to push it back another year. The Woodlands homeowners carry a large burden and the Township Board ought to give them a break.” – – Woodlands Township Director candidate Andy Dubois.
“Another issue is amenities. The Township gets 55% to 45% in sales tax versus property tax. I want to ensure property taxpayers are getting the parks, pools, and pathways they deserve, and make sure we’re using a fair amount of money on those amenities, because that’s what makes this community so valuable.”
Dubois said he would push for getting some of the unpopular road projects off of the Major Thoroughfare Plan of the Houston-Galveston Area Council.