Q&A: Meet Carol Stromatt, Woodlands Township board of directors member since 2017

Carol Stromatt served on The Woodlands Township board of directors for one term beginning in 2017.
Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper
Carol Stromatt served on The Woodlands Township board of directors for one term beginning in 2017. Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper

Carol Stromatt served on The Woodlands Township board of directors for one term beginning in 2017. Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper

Carol Stromatt was elected to The Woodlands Township board of directors in 2017 for a two-year term through the end of 2019. New board members will be sworn in Nov. 20. Before joining the board and during her term she has been an avid volunteer and member of Indian Springs Village Association. Stromatt decided not to run for a second term, and she said she will continue to serve in various capacities as a volunteer with local organizations.

How long have you lived in The Woodlands, and what was your previous employment?

I’ve been in Houston since 1965 [and] moved here [The Woodlands] in ’97. I have lived in Indian Springs for 21 years. One day I looked [at my husband] and said, Let’s go to The Woodlands and find us a home with trees.’ We’ve lived here ever since and loved it. My husband and I had our own company, General Development Corp., that is commercial real estate. We gave up that corporate identity in 2015. We’re both real estate brokers and still do business as GDC Realty.

What are some other ways you have been involved with the community?

I served on Indian Springs Village Association. ... We’ve been very active in the community. I like giving back to the community because every community I’ve ever lived in gave to me. I was awarded the Betty Hardy Volunteer of the Year [award] for the [Montgomery] County Food Bank this year, and I’ve worked for them for many years.

I’m [also] very fond of The Woodlands Children’s Museum. I would love to see them in a new lovely location, which hopefully would tie into our plans. I’ve been on the economic development ad hoc committee, and we’re working to bring a performing arts facility [to The Woodlands], so hopefully at that time or before we could improve the children’s facility.

Do you expect to continue to follow the incorporation issue when you are out of office?

Absolutely. That is critical long-range planning.

[If incorporation is brought to a vote] I plan to vote, but right now I don’t even know how that will go because I don’t have enough information. I know that I want all of us to have enough information to have a good well-founded decision. I feel my decision as a board member is to get the factual information I can get, communicate it to The Woodlands residents who will be voting, and that is their decision. I want to have good information to make a decision, but the decision is [on] each individual voter.

What accomplishments in the past two years you are proud of?

Well, of course, the ad hoc [committee], and we’ve got Texas TreeVentures [outdoor recreation attraction]. I felt really good about the suicide prevention programs, and I thoroughly enjoyed supporting the parks and recreation folks. I felt good about the outcome of our abatement for Alight [Solutions]. Also, we had a Woodlands Pride event for the first time last year, and I was very supportive of that and the one •this year. •What are some issues you hope the board will continue to focus on?

One of my focuses this whole two years has been safety and security. We need a second squad for our firemen, and I believe that we could replace our mounted patrol at the Town Center because they are less effective security officers. They can’t carry a gun, and they can’t arrest anyone. A lot of people were attached to those because they look good, and the kids like to pet [the horses]. The $1.7 million we pay for that service would easily accommodate our second [fire department] squad and also possibly some more security officers. Another thing I’d like to see us change is the terms of our directors, because that would allow us ... to have three-year terms. The first year of a director position is learning. You have to hit the ground running and learn everything you can. Your second year is more productive, so that would give you a couple of years to really be productive. It’s very difficult to be productive in that short period of time.

What economic challenges will The Woodlands face in upcoming years?

I think, keeping and bringing commercial/economic development in our area ... because that keeps jobs in our area, and it keeps residents in our area. Keeping commercial and jobs and residents increases our sales taxes, increase our hotel taxes, and it contributes to the overall health.

I want us to continue to encourage Anadarko/Occidental to make their home base here. We’d love to have them, and it will be a good fit. I want us to continue to encourage really healthy commercial, whether it’s large or small. We have some small businesses here who would like to stay here, and our cost of land is prohibitive in some instances. I think that’s one reason that the abatement is a good tool, but there are other tools we can use.•[We are] doing what we can to create a healthy, sustainable lifestyle and community.

What transportation concerns will The Woodlands face in the future?

I think we need some sort of public transportation, and ... I think that a lot of our residents also feel that way. We’re getting a lot of people moving here from where they can step outside their door and catch a ride. We have a lot of elderly people, and they are dependent on Interfaith, but it would be ... so freeing to them if they could just, even just once a day catch a bus or go buy groceries, go to a doctor’s appointment.

What are your hopes for a new performing arts building in the township in the future?

I was so glad when the Glade Arts [Center] building opened. I’m a closet artist; I have worked for years and displayed at the Conroe art gallery, and I docent there. I have looked at several [arts buildings]—we have as a committee—and I would hope that we would have all sorts of world-renowned artists there, performers as well as a place maybe for local artists and other art, to be displayed, but that is something that is strictly on the drawing board.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.


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