Attempting to keep the Big Monster at bay
The Woodlands is having to deal with questions of future governance:
Residents were given their first opportunity to comment on options regarding future governance of the master-planned community during four scheduled public meetings.
The options were presented in four main areas: status quo, annexation, incorporation and The Woodlands solution (a possibility that has not been identified). These possibilities were created by the Governance Steering Committee, a group of appointed representatives created to represent The Woodlands stakeholders.
"We primarily want to hear from you," said Peggy Fiandaca, one of the consultants from Partners for Strategic Action Inc., which is working with the GSC.
The four areas were broken down into subsets.
Status quo was broken down to status quo with improvement or special districts, an extension of the agreement with Houston to delay or prohibit annexation, or the current structure with a district-elected community council.
One of the potential negatives of the status quo option is "the state Legislature has tried to limit the power of homeowners associations over the past few sessions and is likely to continue to do so," Fiandaca said.
According to resident surveys, the community is pretty happy with the current structure, she said.
"We're going to have to continue paying the city of Houston off," resident Barry Dean said.
That last quote appears to reference a concern The Woodlands has that the city of Houston will one day try to annex the large, master-planned community. In fact, the Conroe Courier says many Woodlands residents view Houston as the Big Monster, fearing a Houston takeover similar to what happened in Kingwood almost ten years ago.