The Woodlands Township Addresses Misinformation in Commissioned Reports
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Woodlands Township realizes there has been much information, misinformation and speculation circulating within the community regarding the Nov. 2, 2021 Incorporation election.
It is a fact that the election will allow residents of The Woodlands to vote on whether the community should remain a special purpose district or become the City of The Woodlands. Commissioned reports not generated by The Woodlands Township that have been released and reported in the media included nonfactual information that has potentially led residents to misunderstand the rationale for the election.
Unfortunately, the two commissioned reports, A Report on The Woodlands Township Incorporation Financial Model, as well as A Critique of the Novak Consulting Group’s Law Enforcement, provide incomplete and deficient assertions regarding incorporation.
Conversely, a Township-funded study conducted by the Novak Consulting Group, one of the leading municipal consulting firms in the nation with a history of helping communities through these types of transitions, led to the reliable Township Incorporation Model. This model was developed in combination with Township staff and subject matter experts. The Township staff is unaware of any person affiliated with other commissioned reports having sought out or requesting updated Township information prior to publishing the deficient reports.
“When information that is untrue is included in seemingly official documents like the commissioned reports, it is confusing for residents,” said Gordy Bunch, Chairman of the Township of The Woodlands Board of Directors. “The commissioned reports grossly understate the funding available in The Woodlands Township Incorporation Model. This is why the Board believes it is important to provide unambiguous, factual information so residents can make a fully informed decision,” Bunch said.
The consultant reports have resulted in inaccurate information being circulated in The Woodlands community. When comparing the Township’s Incorporation Financial Model to the commissioned reports, the differences are evident through these facts:
• The consultant’s claim that law enforcement operations and capital were underfunded by $7.7 million was based on analyzing a different law enforcement model than the one approved by The Woodlands Township’s Board of Directors.
• The consultant’s report did not include $5.9 million already in the Township base budget for public works.
• The consultant was off by $2.5 million plus an additional $1.25 million budgeted annually by the Township for concrete and asphalt street rehabilitation.
The consultant was off by $12.2 million on the incorporation reserve balance in the year of 2025 developed by the Township.
• The consultants understated funding for already current Township contracted law enforcement personnel by $11.4 million.
• The consultants understated funding for additional Township direct law enforcement personnel upon incorporation by $4.8 million to $7.3 million.
• The consultants understated available Township funding for law enforcement vehicles by $6.1 million.
The outdated and inadequate data has led to numbers being misinterpreted in the community and to the media.
The total amount by which the commissioned report understates funding available in The Woodlands Township Incorporation Model is $28.3 million plus $1.25 million on an ongoing annual basis. The other commissioned report understates the amount available for Law Enforcement by $22.3 million – $24.8 million.
“The facts within the official Incorporation financial model provide more funding than either of the commissioned reports indicated were needed,” Chairman Bunch said.
For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about Incorporation, here’s a link: https://www.thewoodlandsincorporationstudy.com/about/widgets/8662/faqs
To vote in The Woodlands Township election, you must be a registered voter in the county of your residence and a resident of The Woodlands Township. Early voting runs from Oct. 18 – Oct. 29, 2021. Election Day is Tuesday, November 2, 2021.