Jim Carman, Howard Hughes, Issues Open Letter To Residents to Vote Against Rushed Effort of Incorporation

By: Lorrie Parise
| Published 08/23/2021


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Today, Jim Carman, President of the Houston Region for The Howard Hughes Corporation®, issued an open letter to residents of The Woodlands®, opposing the rushed incorporation of the state’s only township.

In the letter, which can be found here, Carman carefully explains his reasoning, including the following key highlights:

“The Woodlands Township Board of Directors’ recent decision to hastily put incorporation on November’s ballot has placed the future of The Woodlands as we know it at risk, with an unnecessary and costly proposal to needlessly change the fundamental nature of our exceptional community. We cannot afford to make the wrong decision.”

“The success of The Woodlands has not happened by accident. Our unique governance model was designed to deliver outstanding services while keeping property taxes low and avoiding the overreach of government bureaucracy, in keeping with founder George Mitchell’s vision to deliver the very best environment for families and businesses to thrive.”

“We are a thriving community because The Woodlands is NOT a traditional city. The system of governance we enjoy today in The Woodlands should be replicated, not eliminated. If we vote to incorporate, the decision would be permanent.”

“We have read the Incorporation Planning Study prepared under the guidance of The Woodlands Township Board of Directors. It represents a fundamental and extremely risky change to budget and forecasting models which have served The Woodlands well. The flawed study wants us to believe—without the data to prove—that a future “City of The Woodlands” could somehow maintain our current levels of service and safety without a tax increase, and at a significantly lower tax rate than our ‘peer cities’.”

“The bottom line is that incorporation is a needless and costly proposal to ‘fix what ain’t broke’ and forever change a community that has thrived by keeping taxes low and government small.”

“In my conversations with local business owners and residents, the fear of annexation by the city of Houston is often mentioned as a reason to become a city. The truth is that forced annexation is illegal under state law, meaning The Woodlands cannot be annexed without the consent of our citizens at the ballot box. Incorporation is not necessary to protect us from annexation, nor is there an impending deadline or threat to our way of life that necessitates this rushed vote.”

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