Q&A: Learn about candidates for The Woodlands Township Board of Directors, Position 6

Voters will choose between four candidates in the race for The Woodlands Township board of directors, Position 6. Board members serve two-year terms.



Alan Richel


Experience: trade specialist
Top priorities: diversity, transparency, cost effectiveness
936-267-0172
www.alanrichelforthewo.wixsite.com/mysite


Why are you running for The Woodlands Township board of directors?
I am running for the board of directors because I believe that we are at a critical juncture for the community. For too long I’ve seen The Woodlands controlled and run by a small elite who seem more concerned with their political careers and carrying out the will of the developer than ...the interests of the average Woodlander, who is neither wealthy nor connected.


How do you feel your previous experience will help you to serve as a board member?
Both my education and my experience have prepared me for this position. I have a master of business administration in marketing; have served in management in both the public and private sectors; have served several terms on a condominium board of directors; and after 34 years in the federal government, [I] understand budgets, environmental concerns, etc.


What are the greatest challenges the board will face in the next two years?
The greatest concerns will be: an upcoming budget deficit; how to deal with incorporation; flood mitigation; ensuring plentiful, cheap water in the coming years; and keeping taxes low while maintaining high levels of service, especially in light of possibly losing Anadarko.


Do you feel The Woodlands should call for a vote on incorporation in 2020? Why or why not?
I do not. There is no reason to rush towards incorporation. Before, we had to incorporate by 2057 to avoid annexation, but ... it is now my understanding that in order to be annexed we would have to vote. I am concerned that the board ... has acquired property and created a reserve fund that assumed we would incorporate.


Will your current employment or activities present any conflict of interest if you serve on the board, and how would you address this?
I am retired and have no employment or activities that would pose a conflict of interest. I’m not certain that all current board members can honestly make that claim.







Ann K. Snyder


Incumbent

Experience: Two terms on The Woodlands board, director of clinical and field experience at the University of Houston, president and CEO of Interfaith of The Woodlands and Interfaith Community Clinic, head of The Woodlands Methodist School
Top priorities: Safety and law enforcement, to serve and represent The Woodlands community, to maintain and enhance [George] Mitchell’s vision
www.annksnyder.com


Why are you running for The Woodlands Township board of directors?
I seek a third term on the township board to ensure all residents continue to enjoy the lifestyle expected in The Woodlands, and to protect [George] Mitchell’s vision. Thirty-plus years of servant leadership in The Woodlands gives me a unique perspective to be an advocate for all. Board continuity at this juncture of our community is important as the board addresses major challenges. I have and will support lower property taxes while being fiscally responsible.


How do you feel your previous experience will help you to serve as a board member?
My proven township track record, decades serving The Woodlands community, provides a unique perspective as an advocate for all ages, socio-economic groups, ethnicities and faiths. My diverse experience [includes] university educator; Conroe ISD board chair; The Woodlands [chamber of commerce] chair; president of both Interfaith of The Woodlands and Interfaith Community Clinic; simultaneous multiple leadership roles on The Woodlands United Methodist Church Ministry Staff, raising my children and grandchildren here. I hold great love for The Woodlands.


What are the greatest challenges the board will face in the next two years?
Safety and law enforcement [are] our highest priority. [Challenges include] continu[ing] a strong presence of security, while keeping taxes low; incorporation; mobility; infrastructure planning is needed to manage too much traffic; flood mitigation; collaborat[ing] with other governmental entities to protect homes and businesses; cultural arts [and] the Cultural Arts Study [to] enhance this essential part of life for families of The Woodlands; leadership. I will advocate for, protect and improve our hometown during critical upcoming management changes.


Do you feel The Woodlands should call for a vote on incorporation in 2020? Why or why not?
I am a strong believer that the residents of The Woodlands should decide their own future regarding incorporation. So, I am committed to ensuring that all avenues for the future of The Woodlands are thoroughly investigated by the township board. I believe it is the responsibility of the board to educate the community and be transparent with the data. I trust the people to make a decision when all the facts are known.


Will your current employment or activities present any conflict of interest if you serve on the board, and how would you address this?
While no conflicts exist currently, if a conflict of interest does develop, I would abstain from discussion and voting.







Louis Granados


Experience: Manager director, design engineer for General Electric; project manager for Curtiss Wright, Universal Pegasus and others
Top priorities: Return the Woodlands to its original beauty and stop the Howard Hughes Corp. deforestation policies.
936-648-5997
www.lg-engineering.net


Why are you running for The Woodlands Township board of directors?
I am not happy with the destruction of the forest forcing the wildlife farther (or disappearing) and the high volume of traffic on what it used to be a rural area. This is the job, one way or another, of the present board of directors, the [Montgomery County] commissioners and the Howard Hughes Corp.


How do you feel your previous experience will help you to serve as a board member?
I am an engineer and a [project manager] for very large industrial complexes and always took care of the ecosystems, never jeopardized the safety or the quality of the environment for the profit.


What are the greatest challenges the board will face in the next two years?
Deciding to incorporate or not and return the decision-making process to the property owners.


Do you feel The Woodlands should call for a vote on incorporation in 2020? Why or why not?
I think so; we are watching the destruction of the ecosystem and the wildlife here. Commissioners at [Montgomery County] and [Harris County] are working together to bring these two counties together, and The Woodlands is in the middle. Unless we return the power to the property owners (as we had before with the Property Owners Association) we will witness the destruction of this oasis, and we will become just another stop for the high-speed train connecting Houston with Dallas.


Will your current employment or activities present any conflict of interest if you serve on the board, and how would you address this?
No conflict of interest, I don't have any personal interest on becoming a board member but to execute the plan to return The Woodlands to what it was. As Commissioner [Charlie] Riley told me: Progress does not need to be good. Well, to me if [it] is not good, then is not progress; it's regression.







Tom Chumbley


Experience: First Class Cadet, Royal Airforce Air Training Corps; US Army; S.C. Governor's Office; University of Texas; Reliance Leaders.
Top priorities: Leadership (unity of vision and incorporation) 2. Financial, future, and physical security 3. Services, effectiveness
and efficiency.
803-292-9663
www.ccvreptom.wixsite.com/tomatthewoodlands


Why are you running for The Woodlands Township board of directors?
From a young age I was groomed to be a leader of a spiritual flock. At 7 years old I attended business meetings and liked seeing how decisions were made and differences settled on. I just followed what I was drawn to, which led me to study organizations to a level few people know. Better it is to have ineffective leadership than to have effective leaders taking people in the wrong direction. We have both.


How do you feel your previous experience will help you to serve as a board member?
As an organizational scientist, I feel my experiences are unique enough among candidates and current members as to make important contributions at this critical time. Beside the creation of The Woodlands itself, how we handle issues today will mean a huge difference now and "to our posterity". Please visit my website to find out in more detail on all these subjects.


What are the greatest challenges the board will face in the next two years?
The lack of leadership, political weakness, and myopia. We have people on both sides of issues who are unobjective and willing to win whatever the cost. This will not lead to a good place. We need to get a replacement for The Woodlands Township President Don Norrell yesterday and allow that person an opportunity to work under his tutelage before he leaves us in April. This should have begun immediately after his announcement.


Do you feel The Woodlands should call for a vote on incorporation in 2020? Why or why not?
is wouldn’t make sense! First, there are some practical aspects that need to occur. Second, it is much preferable that the public vote overwhelmingly in one direction. For this to happen, we all need to understand why. Third, my ambitious goal is to get the matter settled by 2021 as to which way to go, why, and when. Until 2021, we should absolutely pursue plans to incorporate in case we need to do so.


Will your current employment or activities present any conflict of interest if you serve on the board, and how would you address this?
I have no current and foresee none. If there were an actual conflict, I would be duty-bound to leave one or the other. If there were a perception only, the difference between an actual conflict and perceived conflict should be clarified and independent mechanisms of monitoring and controls put in. If a person can’t clear the perception, it may be better, for the good of the community, to step down from one or the other.




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