The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
The Woodlands, December 23 – The Woodlands Township Board has set a special meeting to terminate General Manager Jeff Jones, the next misstep in a series of failures by Township Chairman Gordy Bunch and the pro-incorporation majority of the Board who placed incorporation and consolidation of their political power above all other priorities in operating what had, at one time, been a wonderful governance model for The Woodlands community.
A high level staffer of The Township confirmed that “the situation of the Township has become untenable. High level employees and employees at all levels cannot bear the terrible work environment Jones and Chairman Bunch have created. They took a great government for The Woodlands and completely wrecked in their quest for incorporation, a goal many of the employees didn’t ever support.” The employee requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.
The Board’s special meeting agenda for December 29, 2021, at 6 p.m., reveals all sorts of conflicts arising within the Township as a result of the terrible situation Bunch, Vice Chairman Bruce Rieser, Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, Jason Nelson, and Bob Milner created in putting the Township so strongly in favor of a position which the residents of The Woodlands adamantly oppose. The agenda also reveals an attempt by the Board to handle these critically important issues outside of the earshot of Woodlands residents, a staggering breach of duty to the public.
The December 29 agenda contains the following items for an “executive session” which the Board will conduct secretly from the vigilance of public review:
- “Consultation with Attorney on a matter in which the duty of the attorney to the governmental body under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas clearly conflicts with this chapter regarding: i.) Jeff Jones; President.” This matter suggest that there is some conflict of interest, which had developed between the Township’s in-house attorney and the Township itself, another sign of poor oversight and management by the Township Board of Directors.
- “Conduct an executive session as authorized by Texas Government Code, Section 551.074(a) to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee, or to hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee: Jeff Jones; President.” The later agenda items reveal that the Board will meet in secret to discuss termination of Jones and to hear a complaint against him. This newspaper has confirmed that at least one employee has complained about Jones’ conduct as General Manager, although the source chose not to reveal the nature of that complaint.
- The next agenda item is an open agenda item to approve an agreement with Jones, for which the obvious intent is a separation agreement.
- The final substantive agenda item is an open agenda item to “appoint [an] interim President and General Manager.” Clearly, this agenda item indicates that Bunch and the Board have already determined they will terminate Jones. This item is precipitous and suggests a lack of deliberative thought amongst the members of the Township Board, who are now having to try to stabilize the massive instability they caused.
Since August 13, several Township managers have resigned to flee from the terrible work environment and anti-resident actions of Bunch, the Board, and Jones.
Neither Bunch nor Jones responded to requests for comment.