The Woodlands Township board appointments bring changes to incorporation, development standards committees

On Dec. 2, The Woodlands Township board of directors made appointments to several committees. (Screenshot courtesy The Woodlands Township)
On Dec. 2, The Woodlands Township board of directors made appointments to several committees. (Screenshot courtesy The Woodlands Township)

On Dec. 2, The Woodlands Township board of directors made appointments to several committees. (Screenshot courtesy The Woodlands Township)

Two appointee-governed boards in The Woodlands will have several new members in 2021 following a vote taken by The Woodlands Township board of directors at a Dec. 2 meeting.

Board members voted 6-1 for appointments to the Incorporation Planning Task Force and 4-2 for appointments to the Development Standards Committee.

Under the new appointments, Director Ann Snyder was not reappointed to the incorporation task force; instead, Bob Milner will serve on the task force, as will Chair Gordy Bunch and Vice Chair Bruce Rieser.

The task force helped to guide efforts as the township underwent an incorporation study in 2019 that could have culminated in a vote in 2020 if the coronavirus pandemic had not intervened. Officials have said they resume the work begun with the incorporation study after the effects of the pandemic have subsided.

Snyder cast the lone vote against Milner's appointment.

"I think it's interesting that I've been on the incorporation planning task force since the beginning, and it might be interesting to have someone who has a different viewpoint than others," she said at the meeting.

Snyder elaborated on her experiences in an email Dec. 8.

"I was disappointed that I was not reappointed to again serve on the Incorporation Task Force Committee," she wrote. "I have spent the last five years familiarizing myself with the very complex issues associated with whether or not to incorporate our hometown. I approached this responsibility objectively and asked tough questions about a decision that will fundamentally change the way our township operates, increase our property taxes and the size of our local government."

Board members did not elaborate on the vote at the Dec. 2 meeting. Milner joined the board of directors in 2019. His seat expires in 2021.

Development Standards Committee

Another committee that saw a membership change was the Development Standards Committee, which is an architectural design and review committee in the township to which property owners apply for variances.

The meetings require a significant time commitment, officials said during the Nov. 18 meeting.

"Their meetings go four to six hours at a time, ... and some issues linger for years," Bunch said Nov. 18 while interviewing candidates.

Walt Lisiewski, who has been on the board for seven years and served as Development Standards Committee chair for three years, was not reappointed to the committee.

A total of four candidates applied and came before the board of directors Nov. 18 to state their qualifications.

Directors John Anthony Brown and Ann Snyder voted against the appointments of Mary Funderburg and David C. Smith, each of whom received at least four votes from the board, to the committee.

Lisiewski said in a Dec. 8 email that he hopes to continue serving in volunteer efforts in the community.

"I'm very honored to have served my community over the past nine years on the [Residential Design and Review Committee] and DSC Boards, as a member and chairman on both boards, striving to maintain George Mitchell’s vision for the quality of life we desire in The Woodlands," Lisiewski said. "I’m proud of what the present DSC Board has accomplished in updating the Residential Standards to deal with arising and changing issues. Changes like redevelopment in the older villages and shopping centers, compliance of state laws surrounding short-term rentals, along with helping our commercial retailers deal with the challenges of COVID-19 that have been detrimental to their businesses."

Mary Funderburg, who was reappointed to the Development Standards Committee, has served since May. She said in her Nov. 18 interview that she has a degree as an engineer and is the only woman on the committee.

David C. Smith, a recently retired Sterling Ridge resident who was appointed to the seat previously held by Lisiewski, said in his application that he has relevant experience in engineering, project development, management and procurement. His resume includes experience with Shell—most recently, as offshore enterprise category manager with Shell Global Solutions U.S. Inc.
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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