The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
The Woodlands, December 3 – The Woodlands Township is in turmoil with a bunch of executives resigning to find jobs elsewhere. Assistant General Manager John Powers resigned yesterday with his last day at work today. Powers has been a longtime Assistant General Manager and, at one time, was under consideration possibly as the General Manager. He has been with the Township or its predecessors since 1998 and has served as the primary manager of The Woodlands’ parks and hike-and-bike trails.
Sources inside the Township, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, confirmed that Powers opposed incorporation of The Woodlands as a city government and he is uncomfortable that the current Board of Directors, under the leadership of Gordy Bunch, has engaged in unethical practices. Several Township employees have complained to this newspaper about the “toxic environment” which current General Manager Jeff Jones has “created,” according to those employees.
During the November 2 incorporation referendum, in which Woodlands residents rejected the proposal to form a city government by 69% against and only 31% for, Township documents revealed that the current Board and Bunch forced the expenditure of tax dollars to support their pro-incorporation campaign, including hiring a campaign strategy consultant, voter ID efforts, and even design of campaign brochures. The full Board never voted to approve those expenditures which were in the range of $100,000.
Since Friday, August 13, a steady stream of senior executives have left the Township, including longtime attorney Robin Cross, Mary Ann Leck, and HR Director Susan Welbes.
This newspaper has confirmed, as previously reported, that General Manager Jeff Jones has also been sending his resume to potential employers.
Clearly, Woodlands residents have soundly rejected the direction Bunch and his cohorts have taken with the Township for the past six (6) years, including assessing more than $45 million in over-taxation to accumulate a so-called “reserve fund” to help to defray the costs of forming a city government, which voters so clearly don’t want.
Neither Powers nor Jones responded to requests for comments.