MUD election sees candidate interest in The Woodlands surge

Interest in councils governing nine municipal utility districts in The Woodlands resulted in 49 applicants seeking employment this year.

Non-partisan councils perform functions such as setting retail and sewer rates as well as collecting tax rates to fund infrastructure. Typically, tax rates in water districts decline over time as they pay down debt, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which oversees water districts across Texas. WaterCode.

A total of 22 contested positions are available on the boards for The Woodlands MUD #1 and Montgomery County MUD #6, 7, 36, 39, 46, 47, 60, and 67.

James Byers, chairman of Precinct 24 of the Montgomery County Republican Party, said in an email that although the candidates are nonpartisan, he is assisting some of them in their campaigns. MUD councils are concerned with the interests of the community, both residents and developers,” he said.

Byers said several issues spurring candidate interest are councils’ ability to issue bonds and public debt as well as the lack of public coverage of MUD meetings.

Representatives of the Woodlands Water Agency, which acts as the co-ordinating agency for the councils, said topics of interest among applicants generally include groundwater and surface water tariffs in the districts. Wholesale rates charged by the San Jacinto River Authority in fiscal year 2021-22 for groundwater are $2.88 per 1,000 gallons for groundwater and $3.30 per 1,000 gallons for surface water, increasing since 2018-2019 by $2.64 and $2.83, respectively. These costs are passed on by MUDs to consumers.

“We know that the ongoing community debate about groundwater and surface water has raised public awareness about our future water sources,” WWA chief executive Jim Stinson said in an email.

Other topics, such as subsidence or subsidence of the ground as a result of groundwater abstraction, have also generated interest, he said. Fault line activity has been associated with increased subsidence. Flooding, drainage, water rates, transparency and the topic of using bonds instead of cash to fund infrastructure needs are also topics that engage voters, Stinson said.

Byers said he believed it was the first time all MUD positions had been contested in an election at The Woodlands since the first formed in 1976. Election day is May 7. Early voting will begin on April 25 and end on May 3. information, visit www.woodlandswater.org.

Municipal Utility District Candidates:

* designates the owner

Woods

Municipal Utility District 1 Board of Directors

Two positions open

Robert Leilich*

Walter Lisiewski*

Steve Lawrence

MUD 6 Board of Directors

Two positions open

Tracy Winters

Neil Gaynor*

Brooke Hamilton*

Aaron Hoffstadter

MUD 7 Board of Directors

Three open positions

Crystal Shie

Kyle Mays*

Paul R. Nelson*

Nelson Reyes

Rhenalea Beck

Brad Houk

Marc Holt Meinrath

Jennifer Robinson

Jack Munich

MUD 36 Board of Directors

Two positions open

Vince Fredrick

Sharon DeMarsais

John Yoars*

Michel Meece

Granny Polk*

MUD 39 Board of Directors

Two positions open

Erik Berglund*

Kevin Pollock*

Brent Kitchens

Julie David

Sean Apostalo

MUD 46 Board of Directors

Three open positions

Marjorie Podzielinski*

David L. Smith

W.Tim Bush

Fred Lederman

Thomas Schwarzkopf

MUD 47 Board of Directors

Two positions open

Hugh H. Connett

Antoine Cardiel*

Diane Nielsen

Daniel E. Lewis

Jennifer J. Ronk*

MUD 60 Board of Directors

Three open positions

Bob Lux*

Donna McAleer

Brent W. Dorsey

Amanda “Bee” Beasley

Richard Carranza

Dale A. Walker

W.Richard Stromatt*

MUD 67 Board of Directors

Three open positions

Roland Johnson*

Alain Fritsche*

Paul J. Martin*

Reid Davidson

Chap Caughron

Anne Perry

Sources: The Woodlands Water Agency, Montgomery County Elections/Community Impact Newspaper


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