Three governing boards of directors have agreed to begin transferring services to what might become the new governing entity - The Woodlands Township - in 2008 and 2009.

The boards approved a "memorandum of understanding"" highlighting the timeline for the change in authority as The Woodlands Tx looks toward a new form of governance and the implementation of a solution leaders worked out with Houston and Conroe that prohibits the cities from annexing the community.

Residents are being asked to vote in November to give the Town Center Improvement District, or The Woodlands Township, the ability to collect a property tax. However, Bret Strong, attorney for The Woodlands Association, The Woodlands Community Association and The Woodlands Commercial Owners Association, said the township will not begin levying the property tax until 2010.
The associations' assessments, which have been used to pay for city-type services, will drop ""dollar for dollar"" as the township takes control.

Ben Higgins, a 24-year-old Panther Creek resident who was among at least 30 homeowners who attended the meeting, called the memorandum the ""make or break document"" that will draw voters to the polls. ""This is the driver - knowing who will be in charge,"" he said after the meeting. ""Up until about an hour ago, they didn't even have a plan.""Some board members questioned whether the associations would need to exist after 2012, when the township fully takes over the property tax collection and control of services. ""I don't know what entities need to remain through this process,"" Strong said. ""The issue we are trying to face here is how to consolidate these services into one government entity after Dec. 31, 2011.""

TWA and WCOA President Joel Deretchin expressed satisfaction the boards came to the same conclusion about the document. ""Not everyone is going to like every part of it, but it is workable and will put us in good shape for the next four years,"" he said. But not every board member agreed.

WCA director Cheryl Crandall Tangen said she is unsettled by a provision in the agreement that allows the property owners groups' financial assets to be transferred to the township in 2008 - while some members of its board of directors are still appointed rather than elected.

May 2010 is the first year the township will have a fully elected board because the Texas Legislature cannot remove a director from a seat until his term expires. ""The people I consider constituents will find it unnerving to turn over the (association's) assets and budget authority to a board that isn't resident elected,"" she said, before voting against the memorandum. Two other WCA representatives, Deborah Sargeant and Karen Booren, and Anthony Fasone, a TWA director from Sterling Ridge, also voted against the measure. The boards, who are awaiting the TCID's approval of the memorandum, hope to finalize a binding transition agreement in February.

" Posted by Tamborrel Bulox Team on
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