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Posted on: January 26, 2024

Boardroom Briefing for Wednesday, January 24, 2024

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The following is a review of The Woodlands Township's regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting. Meeting agendas are posted to the Township website 72 hours in advance of each meeting. Boardroom Briefings are distributed via email and posted to the Township website within one to two business days following each meeting. 

REGULAR AGENDA 

ACCEPTED - Report from the Development Standards Committee 
The Development Standards Committee (DSC) Chairman, Walter Lisiewski, presented the Board with the DSC 2023 Year End Report. Lisiewski identified the types of requests reviewed by the DSC for a total of 631 residential and 230 commercial requests, along with 32 requests regarding policies and procedures. There was an overall decrease in requests compared to 2022. Additional information provided by Lisiewski included information about the new Solar Panel Guidelines implemented last year, impacts from the June 21 storm and summer drought, the new Development Standards Committee Bylaws and items discussed during a DSC workshop. The DSC report was accepted unanimously by the Board.  VIEW AGENDA ITEM

ACCEPTED – Law Enforcement Reports 
Captain Tim Holifield of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and Sergeant Jason Cearley of Harris County Constable's Office Pct. 4 jointly presented the public safety annual report for 2023. Information presented included the total number of calls and incidents for the year and the breakdown of specific crimes such as assaults, burglaries, fraud, theft and other categories of note. Captain Holifield shared with the Board that the total number of vehicle accidents was down by 9.04 percent from 2022, with a total number of accidents reported of 1,117. The top five vehicle accidents are attributed to speed, failure to yield when turning, unsafely changing lanes, driver distraction and impaired driving. The community was reminded to be careful when online, to change their passwords frequently and to set up two-factor authentication. Each year around this time, law enforcement sees an increase in fraud schemes and scams, and while these crimes are down in The Woodlands, they can happen to anyone at any time.

Chairman Dr. Ann K. Snyder said, “I applaud that crime is down and that The Woodlands is one of the safest communities in the country.” 
 
She then noted crime can still occur and shared information from a resident about a recent break-in. Chairman Snyder wanted to take the opportunity to remind residents to always set their home alarms and secure their homes. 

Sergeant Steven Terrell with the Criminal Investigations Division for the Montgomery County Constable’s Office, Precinct 3, presented the Board with a 2023 Fourth Quarter Update on the Safe Harbor and Special Victims Unit. Sergeant Terrell reported that six new cases were assigned, five search warrants were executed, 10 felony charges were filed, and one misdemeanor charge was filed. The Board of Directors allocated funding for three additional personnel for the Safe Harbor and Internet Crimes Against Children programs in the 2024 budget.

The Law Enforcement reports were accepted unanimously by the Board.  VIEW AGENDA ITEM

ACCEPTED – Township Financial Report 
Chief Financial Officer Kellan Shaw presented the financial report for November 2023 to the Board. Favorable variances in revenue were generated in sales tax and hotel occupancy tax in addition to the newly acquired mixed beverage tax. 

“We collected $117,000 in mixed beverage tax which was 25 percent more than we budgeted,” said Director Brad Bailey. “I think it’s important to point out that these tax revenues were previously going to the state. It wasn’t until Senator Creighton and Representative Toth helped the Board pass a bill that we got to keep our fair share here in The Woodlands.”

The Financial report was accepted unanimously by the Board.  VIEW AGENDA ITEM

APPROVED – Interim Solution for The Woodlands Community Magazine
Director of Communications LeaAnn Petersen presented a budget amendment to the Board for consideration regarding The Woodlands Community Magazine. An interim solution to the print and distribution of the March 2024 magazine issue is needed after the magazine's current publisher terminated its agreement with the Township. The Board unanimously approved a budget amendment in an amount not to exceed $40,000 to print and distribute the March magazine to 35,000 households. Communications will present long-term proposals for consideration at a February Board meeting.  

The budget amendment for the March 2024 edition of The Woodlands Community Magazine was approved unanimously by the Board.  VIEW AGENDA ITEM

APPROVED – Bid Award for Reforestation Tree Install Services
Chris Nunes, Chief Operating Officer, presented a bid award for the purchase and installation of trees. The Board of Directors allocated $1 million from the 2024 Budget to reforestation efforts. Nunes recommended that the Board approve the purchase of 5,155 trees from Texas Tree Depot and for the trees to be installed by Rothco. Selected trees for purchase include 30- and 15-gallon hardwood, pine and yaupon and/or wax myrtle. 

The bid award for the purchase and installation of trees was accepted unanimously by the Board.  VIEW AGENDA ITEM  

APPROVED – 2024 Pool Fees
A Public Hearing was opened to the public for input regarding the proposed amendment to Township Order No. 020-09 relating to Pool and Park fees. No public comment was received. Following the Public Hearing, the Board unanimously approved the proposed amendments to Township Order 020-09.   VIEW AGENDA ITEM 

CONSIDERED – Homelessness Task Force
Director Cindy Heiser requested an item on the agenda for consideration of the development of a Homelessness Task Force. Director Heiser indicated during her campaign that constituents recommended that the Board establish guidelines regarding increases in panhandling and homeless camping in The Woodlands to protect our residents and visitors and provide resources and assistance to these groups. The Board unanimously agreed to direct Township staff to draft a Charter for a Homelessness Task Force to be presented and considered for approval at a future meeting.  VIEW AGENDA ITEM 

APPROVED – Updates to The Woodlands Township Board Operations Policy
The Board of Directors discussed, considered and approved the following updates to The Woodlands Township Board Operations Policy.  

  • Amend the time allotted for public comment from three to two minutes in the event that more than 15 speakers sign up to comment on any topic. If there are 15 speakers or fewer, the allotted time will remain at three minutes. In addition, speakers who sign up to speak may not yield their time to another speaker. This amendment was approved by a vote of six in favor and one opposed.  
  • In regard to adding items to the agenda, Directors will now be required to obtain a second from another Director for an item to be placed on a future agenda. This amendment was approved by a vote of five in favor and two opposed.
  • Amend the responsibilities of the President and CEO to reflect the essential responsibilities and duties outlined in the President and CEO’s job description. Additional housekeeping to the policy updates the General Manager to the President and CEO. This amendment was unanimously approved.   VIEW AGENDA ITEM 

ACCEPTED – Village Presidents Council Report
Director Franks reported on the most recent Village Presidents Council meeting. Hennie vanRensburg, Director of Covenant Administration, gave a presentation to the Village Presidents on how to advise residents on making improvements to their homes. Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley will speak at the next Village Presidents Council meeting.

The Village Presidents Council report was accepted unanimously by the Board. VIEW AGENDA ITEM

CONSENT AGENDA 
The Consent Agenda consists of non-controversial, or “housekeeping” items required by law. One motion with modifications, if applicable, approves for action, all items contained within the Consent Agenda. Items may be moved from the Consent Agenda to the Regular Agenda by a Board Member making such a request prior to a motion and vote. To view more information about each item, please review the Meeting Agenda online.  

The following items were unanimously approved by the Board of Directors: 

VILLAGE ASSOCIATION REPORTS
Maryann Braid provided a report for the Village of Alden Bridge regarding their recent events and activities. The next Alden Bridge Village Association meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, and their annual meeting will be held on March 19, 2024. All residents are invited and encouraged to attend meetings. VISIT ALDEN BRIDGE ASSOCIATION ONLINE

Township Director Richard Franks gave a brief report for the Village of Creekside Park. Director Franks commented that the Association had a great turnout for their annual Chili Cookoff, stating that, “The chili was terrific, the weather was perfect and a good time was had by all.”   VISIT CREEKSIDE PARK VILLAGE ASSOCIATION ONLINE

The Village Association Reports were accepted unanimously by the Board. 

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