This page contains responses to the key issues in Bruce’s campaign. If you would like to address any issue, please Contact Us.
Q. What do you see as the two most important challenges for The Woodlands Township and what steps would you take to address those challenges?
A. Clearly traffic/mobility and drainage are the key issues. Since drainage is covered in Q2, I will concentrate on mobility. We can handle our own internal growth, but mobility planning for the residential and commercial development around us is essentially non-existent. Despite repeated calls from The Township Board for a countywide mobility study, the county has yet to act. This lack of planning adversely affects The Woodlands residents and threatens property values. Over the repeated objections of The Board, the current county boulevard plan calls for the extension of Woodlands Parkway, as well as the extension and widening of both Branch Crossing and Gosling Roads. These projects, if completed, will add significant congestion to all of the east/west roadways within the township. Instead, improvements and widening should be a priority on our natural ring roads, I-45, FM2978, SH242, FM1488 and SH99 so that through traffic can be efficiently routed around our residential areas.
Q. Describe your view of the role of the Township in supporting the Montgomery County and Harris County Commissioners’ Courts to address the surge in the county’s growth and the resulting impact on flood control?
A. For the past two years I have chaired the Township’s Drainage Taskforce so I am very familiar with what the Township can and cannot do. After Hurricane Harvey (the third 500 year flooding event in less than 18 months) Harris County got serious about reining in development by completely revising their building standards and by persuading the voters to pass a $2.5b bond issue specifically for drainage mitigation. To date Montgomery County as neither revised their standards nor taken any public stance on storm water mitigation. Gordy Bunch and I travelled to both Washington, D.C. and Austin to lobby for Federal and State funding for mitigation projects. As part of a seven-point plan for improving our storm water and drainage systems, I have publicly called for a “drainage summit” meeting between Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett to openly discuss how they can partner to advance projects and harmonize design standards in the Spring Creek basin.
Q. The Township is studying the option of incorporation in the future. What decisions will be proposed during your term regarding incorporation that are important to voters? If elected, how will you engage voters and do you propose further studies to provide information and answer questions since the decision to incorporate will be theirs?
A. We are in the midst of a comprehensive look at the processes, costs and benefits of potential incorporation. This study will not be completed until the Spring of 2019. The Board has incorporation sessions at each scheduled Township Board meeting, and we have also hosted a resident Town Hall on the progress so far. My cell phone and email are both published on the Township website. We will continue to dialogue with Village Boards and residents directly. To be clear, the Township Board has no power to incorporate the township; the only action they can take is to call for a resident referendum to decide on both incorporation and the maximum tax rate that the new city can impose. These elections must occur on a unified election day in either March or November. Ironically, the two issues most often identified through resident surveys as their biggest concerns are traffic and drainage, and these are not township responsibilities.
Q. Are you in favor of incorporation? Why or why not?
A. Yes, I am in favor of self governance. The Township as currently constituted has very limited power in major areas of resident concerns. Most notably in the areas of traffic, drainage, and development. Traffic, roads and signals are the responsibility of the respective county governments. Harris County for Creekside Park, and Montgomery County for the villages north of Spring Creek. Drainage is provided through the eleven Municipal Utility Districts with stormwater mitigation vested in the Harris County Flood Control District and the San Jacinto River Authority. Development of the township is determined by the developer, Howard Hughes Corporation. The county and the developer have had complete control for forty-four years. The Woodlands has grown to encompass fourteen villages and approximately 117,000 residents. Incorporation will allow the residents to better control these critical issues, determining the use, maintenance, and expansion of roads, development standards that affect drainage, and to control the remaining development with the Township boundaries.