Tom Coale

With an assortment of Oak Ridge North infrastructure improvements nearing completion and new ones slated to begin, Place 1 councilman Tom Coale has tapped into his expertise to ensure these types of projects remain a priority in the community for years to come.

"I'm trying to make sure we've got our facilities and roads all in good shape and are updated because they're all of an age, some up to 30 and 40 years old," Coale said. "Also, it will help for some economic growth to take advantage of what everyone calls the 'Exxon effect.'"

Coale dabbles in all facets of City Council policymaking, but he said his expertise lies in infrastructure improvement projects because of his 40-year background in the construction and real estate industries. For about a decade, Coale has been self-employed as a certified public accountant working with clients in the rent construction business. He helps the city prepare for audits and serves on the Economic Development Corporation.

"I have great respect for Tom Coale and his judgment," Oak Ridge North Mayor Jim Kuykendall said. "We've had some big projects—the water system, the sewer system, all of that stuff and when he speaks, everybody listens. To me, as the mayor, it's like having an expert sitting there with you."

Coale's ties to Oak Ridge North date back to 1972 when he moved to a home on Paula Lane, just before construction on George Mitchell's long-term vision for The Woodlands began. Coale said the now-bustling landscape of Oak Ridge North was sparse except for a Food Basket storefront that is now occupied by Hodge's Hometown Grocery and another local hangout in Shenandoah.

In the mid-1980s, Coale tried his hand at public office and served as a councilman in Oak Ridge North for a brief term. Coale stayed active in the community through the South Montgomery County YMCA board and volunteered with his children's sports teams. By 2010, Coale became dissatisfied with the leadership on City Council and decided to run for the Place 1 seat. He was chosen to serve another two-year term in 2012 after an uncontested election.

As he has served in public office, Coale has found a way to balance family life, his job and duties as a councilman while staying true to his hardwired business mindset.

"If [a project is] a good business deal from both sides, I think the city should consider doing it," Coale said. "If it's not, I don't think we should get involved. I also believe in trying to work things out. You can get a majority of people behind it, but if I think it's wrong, I will vote the way I think is [right] no matter how anyone else votes or thinks."

Coale said he hopes to improve the city for as long as he can, but he anticipates he may step down from City Council in five to 10 years and continue his public service efforts elsewhere in the community. Coale said he welcomes new members on the council because it propels the city forward and keeps discussions lively.

"The good thing about Tom that I've always appreciated is that he wants us to stay with that hometown feeling," Kuykendall said. "Our motto, our legacy is that we want to be what a hometown should be, and Tom believes that. Tom's a good man, and I'm thankful to call him my friend."


The Woodlands Township board of directors met June 23. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands to argue for $30M of American Rescue Plan Act funding

The Woodlands officials said the township is seeking $30 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Work on Flintridge Drive will last about a week. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Flintridge Drive work near George Mitchell Nature Preserve to last about a week

Flintridge Drive will be closed during the project between Falconwing Drive and Rush Haven Drive.

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research released its 2021 State of Housing for Harris County and Houston report on June 22. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kinder Institute 2021 State of Housing report highlights rental squeeze for lower, middle-income households

As of 2019, one in every 11 renters in Harris County had an eviction notice posted to their door; one in every 25 renter households were also evicted.

The craft beer industry is growing in the Greater Houston area. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Greater Houston area's craft brewery count grows 344% since 2013

According to NAI Partners, the Greater Houston area has 71 craft breweries.

Road work continued on FM 2978 in June. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Work on FM 2978 advances toward slated 2021 completion

The last phase of the FM 2978 project underway was 77% completed in early June, TxDOT said.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special legislative session will begin July 8. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott announces special legislative session to start July 8

Agenda items will be announced before the session begins, according to a release from the governor's office.

House of Duchess Beauty Supply Store offers a variety of hair and skin products. (Chandler France/Community Impact Newspaper)
House of Duchess Beauty Supply Store now open on FM 1488 in Magnolia

The beaty store offers a variety of hair and skin products.

When built out, the community will include several housing complexes and community centers. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Miracle City, community for the homeless, eyes 5-year build-out

Five acres on Foster Drive have been cleared for Miracle City, a community serving people experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County.

Tomball ISD is in negotiations to purchase the former headquarters of BJ Services, an oilfield service company that filed for bankruptcy in July 2020, on FM 2920, Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross said in an interview June 16. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tomball ISD considering bond referendum, purchase of former BJ Services campus

“The opportunity for Tomball ISD to potentially purchase the former headquarters of BJ Services would be a game-changer for our growing district," Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora said in a June 21 statement.

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion announces 3 new concerts for 2021 season

Tickets for all three shows will go on sale to the public June 25.

(Courtesy PetSuites)
PetSuites facility coming soon to Rayford Road

PetSuites is expected to open in August 2021.