OPINION: Addendum to Candidate Analysis for The Woodlands Township Board Election – Shelley Sekula-Gibbs

By: Bruce Tough
| Published 10/30/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX – Readers of my 2023 The Woodlands Township Board Directors Election Candidate Analysis reached out to let me know they found it very helpful and informative as they make their voting choices. Thank you. After reading my analysis, many expressed concerns about one of the candidates and have provided additional points of information to emphasize or add to my analysis and to share with friends, associates, and others who vote. Thank you for your additional insights.

Candidate still doesn’t meet assessment criteria for Township Board position.

There is a lot at stake in this year’s Township Board elections. Early voting is currently underway and ends Friday November 3 and Election Day is Tuesday November 7.

The following points serve as an addendum to my candidate analysis of Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, the candidate who readers expressed concerns about.

Incorporation. Incorporation was discussed in my earlier analysis, however I’ll emphasize again that Shelley, as a follower of the Incorporation Squad, pushed for a costly and wasteful incorporation of The Woodlands that nearly 70% of voters rejected.

Public Education. Shelley was the only Township Board vote against a resolution in support of the CISD school bond. She opposed the bond that was put forth with unanimous support of the CISD Board of Trustees and with broad support by a bond committee that included many residents of The Woodlands. CISD has the lowest 2023-24 property tax rate of any ISDs in our area and the bond will fund much-needed improvements and facilities for our local public schools.

Mitchell Pavilion. Sekula-Gibbs had a complaint about Cynthia Woods-Mitchell Pavilion and tried to take away event tax funding for the Pavilion. However, other members of the Board had already addressed the underlying issue at hand with the Pavilion and next steps were underway. The funding Shelley tried to remove, which is generated through ticket sales and mostly reinvested in the Pavilion, benefits The Woodlands with non-profit programs, symphony nights, school field trips, and community events like graduations and recitals.

Partisan Pandering. Even though the director position is non-partisan, Shelley continues to campaign on her partisan and allegedly conservative credentials.

Allegedly Conservative. Shelley argued for incorporation to create bigger government, which does not exemplify conservative values. She sought the endorsement of Planned Parenthood and said abortion should remain legal when she ran for Houston City Council… then flipped her position in her subsequent race for U.S. House.

Flip-flopper. Shelley’s values appear to change for political expediency and for whatever benefits her own interests in the moment.

Grandstanding. Shelley seems to opportunistically attempt to claim personal credit when progress or resolution is achieved by the Board. Her grandstanding conduct often leads to redundant statements, cringy moments, and unproductive out of order disruption of the Board.

Out of Order. Recently during a Board meeting when the Board Chair simply sought legal advice on a questionable attempted action by Shelley, Shelley falsely wailed “you are trying to cancel me again!” Shelley then unsuccessfully attempted to goad the public audience to shout in protest for the action. The audience remained silent in a moment of cringe. Legal counsel advised the Board against her attempted out of order action.

Aria Isle - Not for thee but OK for me. After vocal criticism of the developer about plans for Mitchell Island, Shelley secretly purchased a freshly clear-cut lot on the newly named and exclusive Aria Isle development. She recused herself from a Board meeting and broke quorum regarding a vote about Aria Isle while trying to hide the reason why she had a conflict of interest.

Backed by the SQUAD. Incorporation Squad leaders Gordy Bunch and Bruce Rieser back Shelley and recently raised campaign funds for her in the gated community of Carlton Woods, presumably to further their ongoing quest for power and control of The Woodlands.

The above points, thanks in large part to my readers, serve as useful additional background for my candidate analysis and, based on the criteria outlined in my analysis, further affirm that Sekula-Gibbs does not meet my assessment criteria.

Voters can continue their research and make their own decisions. In my opinion, based on my 2023 The Woodlands Township Board Directors Election Candidate Analysis, I believe that Tricia Danto, who meets my assessment criteria, would be an excellent Township Board Director for our community.

Voters in Montgomery and Harris Counties may vote at any early voting location within the county where they are registered to vote.

Click here for early voting locations and times in Montgomery County

Click here for early voting locations and times in Harris County

Yours truly,

Bruce Tough
Former Chairman, The Woodlands Township Board
Principal Attorney, Tough Law Firm

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