Election Q&A: The Woodlands Township board of directors, Position 4

Incumbent Bruce Rieser and challenger Dan Hannon are seeking Position 4 on The Woodlands Township board of directors. (Community Impact staff)
Incumbent Bruce Rieser and challenger Dan Hannon are seeking Position 4 on The Woodlands Township board of directors. (Community Impact staff)

Incumbent Bruce Rieser and challenger Dan Hannon are seeking Position 4 on The Woodlands Township board of directors. (Community Impact staff)



HOUSTON



The Woodlands Township board of directors, Position 4







* denotes incumbent


Responses have been edited for length and clarity.







Dan Hannon



Occupation: chaplain, Interfaith of The Woodlands


Experience: administration of public institutions and businesses as founding pastor and senior minister to Christ Church United Methodist






What do you feel are the most important issues facing The Woodlands Township in 2021 and beyond?



DH: Critical Issues before The [Woodlands] Township [are]: incorporation decisions—preserve our township; public safety [and] law enforcement—security for our families; [and] controlling budget and taxes.



Do you feel the township should revisit the topic of incorporation? If so, when and how?



DH: If and when a majority of the residents wish to consider incorporation, then a vote may be in order. However, with recent legislation that eliminates the threat of forced annexation, the main rationalization for incorporation is gone. Incorporation and the cost of incorporating with the development of more bureaucratic infrastructures will lead to massive tax burdens [and] squelch corporate and business development, laying a very heavy burden on the individual property owner. Now is not the time to rush.



What should The Woodlands prioritize in its budget in the next two years, and how should it fund new needs?



DH: Priority must be given to public safety and law enforcement as one of the more important aspects of our quality of life. [We must] preserve and enhance our township and reconsidering past incorporation funds that are no longer needed and put them toward new needs.



How do you feel your experience will help you to serve as a board member?



DH: My educational degrees and work experience prepare me well for serving in leadership for a public position as a member of the board of directors. I hold a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in public school administration from the University of Houston. As founding pastor, I led the development of a large Christian ministry with all its correlating business management functions from ground zero to the large congregation it is today.








Bruce Rieser*



Occupation: aviation consultant


Experience: two terms on the board of directors, currently as vice chairman; chairman of Visit The Woodlands, the drainage taskforce and the budget taskforce; CEO of my consulting firm, SKR Consulting






What do you feel are the most important issues facing The Woodlands Township in 2021 and beyond?



BR: The most important non-incorporation issue facing the community is the effective management of water resources. We are facing difficult decisions related to finding a balance between the use of surface water and groundwater to avoid potential ground subsidence; and to identify and fund solutions to control stormwater. The [Woodlands] Township Drainage Task Force has given our residents a platform and a voice to coordinate and influence the myriad organizations tasked with water management.



Do you feel the township should revisit the topic of incorporation? If so, when and how?



BR: We should definitely finish the study and, when the restrictions on indoor meetings are lifted, begin the public dialogue over the reasons for or against the creation of The City of The Woodlands. With the culmination of this work, [we will have] to vote to place the question on the ballot calling for a public referendum. The fact that we haven't completed this work was a major factor in my decision to run for another term.



What should The Woodlands prioritize in its budget in the next two years and how should it fund new needs?



BR: The budget processes within the township are well-established, and they should continue to be followed. The Ttwnship establishes a base budget and projects revenue and costs out an additional four years to ensure that we remain on a sustainable track. It is also clear that we will need to control costs and aggressively pursue sales taxes and hotel taxes to continue keeping our tax rate at or below the effective rate.



How do you feel your experience will help you to serve as a board member?



BR: As a senior director in a multibillion-dollar. multinational corporation, I compiled and managed massive budgets, led hundreds of staff, and constantly authored and revised performance standards. As a small-business owner, I understand the value of a dollar and the need to constantly innovate to survive. Most importantly, I [have] valued my colleagues and actively sought their input. Those experiences prepared me to be a leader, both on the board and in the community.



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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