Thursday, May 3, 2012

Montgomery County Women's League of Voters The Woodlands Debate

Each year the League of Women's Voters of Montgomery County conducts a question/answer session with candidates for The Woodlands Township Director election. Last night, all candidates participated except for Margaret Chavez. I will share my impressions below.

Position 1 
Claude Hunter won points by his typical "service oriented" pitch to the voters and he demonstrated that he understood some of the issues from experience. Claude's simple summary of the incorporation issue won him points. However, Gordy Bunch has arrived on the scene and offers a fresh look at what is needed and how to solve some of the issues. "We should not copy other communities" but rather be ourselves. New blood in the position continues to be my preference.
Position 2
Mike Bass was the clear leader for this position. His city council experience and his matter-of-fact approach to the questions was the mark of confident experience. He sees opportunities to reduce taxes and has a clear vision of managing the convention center funds. The signage issue is a strength also. He is a "can do" person. Ted spent a lot of time defending himself from some email that perhaps some voters saw, but I sure didn't see it, so I saw that approach as a personal thing for him, and nothing for the voters. He also slipped up on misquoting something Bass had just said and that did not go over very well.
Position 3
This was the least clear of the positions to assess. We have four excellent candidates vying for this position. I appreciate some of the answers from  all of them, but lean towards Borey's views of The Woodlands most of all. As he stated, "We came here to the invisible city." That pretty well  describes what we are and how we do or need to perceive this place. Insight and common sense go to Borey. He was the only candidate that said it is possible to change the covenants. "Think outside of the box." That is a "can do" fresh attitude, so I am 100% in his court. His doctorate in Biology and environmental experience would go a long way to help us in our ecology and tree issues. It also helps to have the Chevron Oil value system in his blood. That emphasizes  integrity, excellent capital stewardship and protection of the environment. Of particular mention from Nutt was his humor and his view of politics.    
Position 4
Two years ago, Ed Robb was unable to attend this forum. This time, he had some things to say to win some points. For example, a sign ordinance needs to be consistently enforced. His introduction was a simple thank you to the organizers of the forum. He however in his closing remarks made claims that "he" accomplished the lowering of crime. Crime has been lowered in all municipalities and the entire area, so if we are to be fair to his challenger, the truth of crime in Southeast Texas needs to be weighed in with the stats. I should point out that apparently nothing has been done about excessive noise and speed on our roads by any Board Director. I wish some humility in what was not done right would also be stated, and then he would have made some points with me, but not the case. I liked the statement by John Risher "I am not a proponent of outside studies" in his response to the question "What steps need to be taken before incorporation occurs?"  He advocates decision making for a roadmap that states clearly what we intend to do, so our partners know how to plan their future (county especially). I continue to believe we need a change in this position and now endorse John Risher for this position, even though I do not perceive that he understands some of the services and who administers them (based on one answer about maintaining green areas).

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