The Woodlands Township Board Position 2, candidates Q&A

Mike BassMike Bass*


Occupation: retired business consultant, senior partner with Accenture
Years lived in The Woodlands: 8 years
mkbass1@live.com
www.facebook.com/mike.bass.7106670
713-299-1184



What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing The Woodlands, and how would you address it?


Due to growth in and around The Woodlands, the biggest challenge our community faces is sustaining George Mitchell’s vision and all the reasons people have elected to live and work in The Woodlands. As the developer completes their build out, the township must continue to step up to sustain Mitchell’s vision. The board must commit to sustain all the amenities our residents expected when they moved here, sustain our forests and green space, improve our drainage system, reduce congestion and sustain our outstanding public safety organization.



Are you in favor of incorporation? Why or why not?


An ill thought out rush to incorporate will put our quality of life and property values at risk, along with the potential for much higher taxes. I am not opposed to incorporating if we do so in the right way, for the right reason and at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayers. Before the township can develop any plan for incorporation, we must first seek legislative clarity as to how we can incorporate when the time comes. Today, all we have is the option to call an election. Given our large size and the fact the township already exists and will not go away, creating a new city is more complex than just one election.



What steps should the township board take to alleviate mobility issues in the community?


The township board must do much more than it has in the past. Any solution requires collaboration with the county, neighboring cities and [the Texas Department of Transportation]. The board should be more willing to partner with the county to improve mobility and reduce congestion. To do so will require more funding on our part to help the county implement solutions faster than they can do solely with their own funds. I hope after this election, the newly elected board members will commit to partner with the county to solve our biggest growth issue—reducing congestion.



How would you like to see the township board handle resident concerns involving issues like clear-cutting and future development?


The board must continue to support the covenant committee in their enforcement of our long-standing commercial forestation standards. Due to building size and changes in the floodplain, commercial development requires reasonable tree removal in order to prepare a lot for development, but that must be followed by robust reforestation. The covenant committee must continue to ensure the commercial forest preserves are maintained in the future. For many years, the township has invested $500,000 to $600,000 per year to sustain our forest. This investment must continue.







Brian BonifaceBrian Boniface


Occupation: registered nurse
Years lived in The Woodlands: 11 years
brilaneb@yahoo.com
www.facebook.com/bonifacefortownship
832-671-3002



What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing The Woodlands, and how would you address it?


It’s imperative we begin planning for the future. We know we’d rather be our own city than be annexed, so a responsible first step would be to set aside funds every year to help mitigate the cost of incorporation. Without a proper tax study, we don’t know what that cost will be. It won’t be free, but it won’t be a 70 percent tax increase. It’s perplexing that four of the township board members voted to eliminate a specific fund for incorporation. We need to understand all facets of incorporation, but a simple first step at the very least would be to properly save for our future.



Are you in favor of incorporation? Why or why not?


I am in favor of incorporation, but only when it makes the most sense for our community. We face city-sized issues with limited ability to address those issues. I would very much like to protect all of what drew us here in the first place, preserve our high quality of life and still guide us to our next stages of existence. It is important our future allows the residents of The Woodlands to determine what is best for The Woodlands.



What steps should the township board take to alleviate mobility issues in the community?


As it stands right now, the township has no control over how, when and where roads are developed as it is left up to the county and developers. This is another reason incorporation is necessary: so our residents have the power to solve mobility issues.



How would you like to see the township board handle resident concerns involving issues like clear-cutting and future development?


At this time, the township has no power over clear-cutting and future development due to the way the community is structured, and the township has no authority to act or react to either issue.


*incumbent



MOST RECENT

The 1,535 new cases is the second largest number of new cases to be reported in a single day in the county, behind only the 1,994 cases reported June 22. (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1,535 new cases, six deaths confirmed July 7

See the latest data on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Harris County.

Steve Bezner, senior pastor of Houston Northwest Church on Hwy. 249, is one of four pastors who are urging pastors across the region to work together in seeking unity. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
4 Houston-area pastors take steps urging racial unity across region

"We wanted to unite as many pastors as possible around some basic common denominators that we felt like could make a real impact in our city and move some things forward in the area of racial injustice in our city," said Jason Shepperd, the lead pastor of Church Project in The Woodlands.

The Texas Education Agency released guidelines about on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency issues guidelines for 2020-21 school year

The guidelines address on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions that should be enforced at Texas schools this year.

Grand Oaks Elementary School will open in August and will accommodate 900 students. (Courtesy LAN)
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: Tomball ISD elementary school, agricultural science project center to open in August

Two projects from Tomball ISD's bond referendum in 2017 are slated to wrap up in August with additional facilities complete by summer 2021.

Montgomery County health officials are urging residents to wear face masks and practice social distancing. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County reports slight decrease in active coronavirus cases July 7

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County increased by 104 from 2,550 on July 6 to 2,654 on July 7.

Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center was rated the No. 1 hospital in Houston by the Massachusetts-based Lown Institute. (Ben Thompson/ Community Impact Newspaper)
Memorial Hermann Health System hospitals rank in top 10 in the nation

Six of the top 10 hospitals in the Houston area are part of the Memorial Hermann Health System.

Shows are scheduled every Thursday through July and early August. (Courtesy The Woodlands Township)
Rock the Row announces summer show series

Free concerts are still scheduled at Hughes Landing for Rock the Row.

(Courtesy Blessings Assisted Living Home)
Blessings Assisted Living Home set to open soon

A new senior living facility is taking residents in The Woodlands.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller recently backed a movement calling for the reopening of winery and distillery tasting rooms and brewery and brewpub taprooms. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Museum scales back reopening, bar owners react to second shutdown and more: Houston-area business, community news

Read the latest news from the Greater Houston area on Community Impact Newspaper’s website.

In-person appointments for driver license renewal and replacement are now being offered at driver license offices across the state. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas driver license offices reopen for in-person renewal, replacement services

The second phase of reopening announced July 7 expanded services offered at driver license offices.

New guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
New U.S. guidelines require exchange students to take in-person classes this fall

The guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas.

The Texas Education Agency and Renaissance have partnered to give students unlimited access to enhanced digital books in English and Spanish. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas students given access to thousands of books, news articles for summer reading through TEA partnership

The Texas Education Agency and Renaissance have partnered to give students unlimited access to enhanced digital books in English and Spanish.