The meeting is scheduled to begin with a presentation followed by breakout areas for the four different subjects, Township officials said at the Sept. 22 board of directors meeting. The consultants will gather questions from those sessions and return to a general session to provide feedback on the most frequently asked questions for the entire audience. A period of open questions will be held at the end if time permits, officials said.
At the Sept. 22 meeting, officials also said they want to address confusion among residents about the nature of the incorporation election planned Nov. 2.
Director Shelley Sekula-Gibbs said she was concerned some residents might erroneously think incorporation means the township would become part of the city of Houston. The incorporation election asks residents to vote for The Woodlands Township to incorporate into a general law city of The Woodlands. The Woodlands is currently an unincorporated, special-purpose district.
During the village association report portion of the meeting, several village representatives said there was a “mixed” response among residents who were confused by the meaning of an incorporation election.
Monique Sharp, the township’s assistant general manager for finance and administration, also addressed information circulating in the community relating to the incorporation financial model during township meetings on Sept. 16 and 22.
For example, Sharp on Sept. 16 addressed a critique of the incorporation study presented by two retired Houston Police Department officials and commissioned by The Howard Hughes Corp. The critique cited information from the May 2020 incorporation study report when it stated the study underestimated law enforcement costs. Sharp said subsequent information presented publicly by the township showed that the incorporation financial model would provide $56 million for law enforcement in the first four years after incorporation, which is higher than the $51.8 million recommended in the critique.
At the Sept. 22 meeting, she addressed a claim that the township had added $5 million to the cost of incorporation from August to September. She said an approximate $5 million discrepancy between two figures on a line chart presented at those meetings was not related to incorporation, but it was due to capital expenditures being included in a chart presented on Sept. 16 that were not included in a chart on Aug. 13.
“Capital expenditures were left out because it is funded by reserve and it is not an ongoing operational expense,” Sharp explained.