The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
The Woodlands, August 17 – Preserve The Woodlands PAC (PTW) announced its formation yesterday to launch a campaign against incorporation of The Woodlands community as a city, or self-annexation as many residents describe the process. On Friday, August 13, 2021, the Woodlands Township Board of Directors voted 5 to 2 to place an incorporation referendum on the ballot on November 2, 2021, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the focus of the community on health issues.
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors has spent approximately $2 million on a 5-year propaganda piece consulting report to support the desire of Township Chairman Gordy Bunch to self-annex The Woodlands with substantially higher taxes and an enormous increase in criminal laws and regulations rather than enforcement through neighborhood deed restrictions. The outstanding law enforcement services of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and Precinct 3 Constable’s Office would go away with incorporation which will replace them with a new city Police Department at a substantially higher cost to the community in operating expenses and at least $30 million of bonds for construction of a Police Department Headquarters and Municipal Court Center.
“Incorporation represents a very expensive proposal to address a non-existent problem, and there is no turning back if we get this decision wrong,” said Morgan Bourque, local attorney and Preserve The Woodlands Advisory Board Member. “The Woodlands is already the best place in Texas to live, work, worship, and raise a family, and all that is in jeopardy due to a rushed and unnecessary attempt to permanently incorporate our community.”
It is unclear at this point in time who else serves on the PTW Board.
The basic argument of the PTW campaign from its campaign literature is:
“A rushed decision to incorporate The Woodlands Township as a city would change our community forever.
- “Higher taxes and increased fees
- “Bigger government and more bureaucracy
- “Loss of unique identity and quality of life.”
In the announcement of its formation yesterday, PTW further argued,
“When incorporation was initially floated, it was billed as a way to avoid being annexed, but The Woodlands is now protected by a state law that prohibits forced annexation. Claims that The Woodlands is at risk of being annexed by Houston or Conroe if it doesn’t incorporate as a city are false. The Woodlands cannot be annexed without a vote by the residents.
“Then the community was told becoming a city was the only way to stop The Woodlands Parkway Extension, but at the request of Woodlands residents, county commissioners have removed it from consideration.
“Now, voters are being told that incorporation might allow the community to claim a larger share of federal funds.
“As the reasons to incorporate keep changing, its impacts have remained consistent: higher taxes, increased fees, lower quality of life and bigger government.
“The incorporation model calls for an additional $7 million in annual fees that residents and businesses will be forced to pay. This is on top of county taxes already paid by residents, which would not be eliminated. The model also calls for depleting existing savings and absorbing millions in new debt in order to pay for buildings (such as a $30 million police station), equipment and other services that already are provided under the current form of government.
“Additionally, more government means less personal control over residents’ own lives and future.
“There is no threat or deadline that justifies making this decision in November.”
The incorporation issue for The Woodlands may serve as a harbinger for the end of the “tea party” movement in Montgomery County, if both tea party groups, the Montgomery County Tea Party and the Texas Patriots PAC, take a stance in favor of bigger government and higher taxes, two concepts directly contrary to their defined purpose and to the formation of the “tea party” movement in the United States.