Montgomery County Commissioners Court terminates agreement with The Woodlands Township for law enforcement services in the event of incorporation

The Montgomery County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to terminate three incorporation-related transition agreements with The Woodlands Township during a Nov. 8 regular meeting, including one that would have provided law enforcement services during the transition. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Montgomery County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to terminate three incorporation-related transition agreements with The Woodlands Township during a Nov. 8 regular meeting, including one that would have provided law enforcement services during the transition. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Montgomery County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to terminate three incorporation-related transition agreements with The Woodlands Township during a Nov. 8 regular meeting, including one that would have provided law enforcement services during the transition. (Ally Bolender/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Montgomery County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to terminate three incorporation-related transition agreements with The Woodlands Township during a Nov. 8 regular meeting.

One of the agreements, an interlocal cooperation agreement, stated Montgomery County would continue to provide law enforcement and related services if The Woodlands Township were to incorporate. The agreement would have allowed the township to follow a hybrid model of law enforcement with a blend of county contracts and personnel hired by the city of The Woodlands during a transition into a city if voters were to approve incorporation.

The vote to terminate the agreement comes roughly a week after the incorporation proposition in The Woodlands failed Nov. 2 with nearly 70% of voters opposed.

The Woodlands Township Director Shelley Sekula-Gibbs opposed the termination of the agreement. Sekula-Gibbs addressed the court at the Nov. 8 meeting during public comment. She said the contract stated the agreement would be enforced until Dec. 31, 2024.

"I don't think it's appropriate for this body to violate the terms of that agreement, and I just want to express that publicly," Sekula-Gibbs said during a citizen comment at the Nov. 8 meeting. "The township does support the terms of the agreement as it was signed by Judge Keough and [The Woodlands Township] Chair [Gordy] Bunch, as [the township] does not think it's appropriate to attempt to terminate it."


The court did not address Sekula-Gibbs' comments at the Nov. 8 meeting.

In a follow-up email Nov. 9, Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack stated the termination is in keeping with the will of the voters.

"A record number of voters turned out in an off-cycle election to overwhelmingly repudiate the Township’s hastily-called incorporation referendum, with nearly 7 out of 10 voters rejecting the plan," Noack said. "In the wake of such a decisive result, the agreements were revealed to be both unwanted and unneeded, so—in keeping with the will of the voters—the court unanimously voted to terminate them."

The two additional agreements terminated included a memorandum of understanding and an expiration acknowledgement of an interlocal agreement regarding a property.
By Ally Bolender

Reporter, The Woodlands

Ally joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2021 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Texas State University. Ally covers education, local government, transportation, business, and real estate development in The Woodlands. Prior to CI, Ally served as news content manager of KTSW FM-89.9 in San Marcos, Texas.

By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.


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