The Woodlands Township board election is Nov. 5, and local candidates are out and about around the community meeting voters, seeking endorsements and other activities. Here is quick roundup of some recent candidate news.
Candidates attending farmers market
The Woodlands Farmers Market in The Village of Grogan’s Mill has been hosting candidate for the township Board of Directors since late August when the official filing period ended.
Bruce Cunningham, one of the market’s co-founders and also a member of its governing committee, said market officials wanted to increase interest in the 2019 election by giving the 11 candidates a venue to meet and greet with residents and market customers. There is special booth set up in the middle of the market area and candidates can talk about issues, hand out informational material and showcase their platforms.
“The biggest thing we’ve got going right now is the election and registration of voters,” Cunningham said. “Each Saturday, we have invited as many as four different candidates to come and do a ‘meet and greet’ with residents. We have set up a special tent in the middle of the market for candidates with rules to not bother people who are shopping.”
On the past two Saturdays, Aug. 31 and Sept. 7, two candidates have been on hand for the ‘meet and greet’ sessions: Walter Lisiweski who is seeking the Position 7 seat on the township board and Rashmi Gupta, who is vying for the Position 5 seat on the board. Cunningham also said representatives from the Montgomery County League of Women Voters are expected to be at Saturday markets helping citizens register to vote until the deadline for new registrations is over on Oct. 7.
Cummingham said four unidentified candidates are scheduled to be at the market on Saturday, Sept. 14. The market is open each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon and is hosted in the parking lot of the Grogan’s Mill Village shopping center, near the intersection of Grogan’s Mill Road and South Millbend Drive.
Snyder endorsed by Woodlands firefighters
Incumbent township Director Ann Snyder, who holds the Position 6 seat on the Board of Directors, was endorsed recently by The Woodlands Professional Fire Fighters Association.
Erik Secrest, president of The Woodlands Professional Fire Fighters Association, said in a press release that local firefighters decided to endorse Snyder following a thorough review of her record “on public service and public safety in The Woodlands during her two terms as director.”
“We believe Dr. Snyder’s longtime service to organizations and institutions in The Woodlands and Montgomery County gives her a unique perspective to advocate for everyone in our community,” Secrest said in the press release. “We especially respect her interest in and support of public safety. As we have strived to build on our fire department’s strengths and extremely high standards of public service delivery, Dr. Snyder has supported those efforts at every step along the way.”
Snyder is the lone incumbent of three directors seeking re-election this year. Fellow directors John McMullan and Carol Stromatt decided to not seek office in the Nov. 5 election. Snyder is facing a trio of challengers for her seat, including Tom Chumbley, Luis “Louis” Granados and Alan Richel.
Lisiewski: supports CISD bond, against township incorporation
One of the candidates for the Position 7 seat on the Board of Directors, Walter Lisiewski, has issued two press releases stating his views on the Conroe Independent School District Bond and the issue of whether or not The Woodlands should incorporate and become a city. Lisiewski, who currently serves as the chairman of The Woodlands Township Development Standards Committee, is the first of 11 candidates to publicly state their stances on both issues.
“Many have asked me to state my position on the November Conroe ISD bond. After consultation with Woodlands residents, much research and thoughtful consideration, I would like to share with you my wholehearted support of the November 2019 CISD Bond,” Lisiewski stated in a press release. “This bond is a reasoned response to fast-paced growth, heightened safety and security needs, needed upgrades and legislative mandates. Good schools are an essential component of great communities and we need to make sure the schools remain strong for our kids and grand kids and an attraction for new residents and businesses.”
Lisiewski also stated his opposition to incorporation in the same press release.
“At this time, there is no meaningful proven benefit and there are significant proven increased costs requiring a sizable property tax increase,” he stated in the release. “The Woodlands’ unique governing structure meets our needs with lower costs and less bureaucracy than a city.”
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors has been engaged in a costly and lengthy study process since January 2018 exploring all aspects of possibly incorporating into a city. To become a city, the question of whether or not to incorporate must be approved by the seven-member township Board of Directors to be placed on a ballot in an election year. Then, residents of the township would have to approve becoming a city. The earliest possible date for a potential vote on the issue is November 2020.
The township election is Tuesday Nov. 5, with early voting running from Oct. 21 through Nov. 1. The final day to registed to vote is Monday, Oct. 7.