In a dramatic flip-flop, The Woodlands Township board of directors voted to formally endorse the Conroe Independent School District’s massive bond and tax hike, which is on the November 5 ballot. The vote came after the board spent almost two hours discussing the issue.
CISD has already raised its debt service tax rate over 4 cents in anticipation of the bond, which will add $677 million to the district’s debt. Although voters defeated CISD’s bond back in May, the district refused to respect the will of the voters and decided to put a slightly pared-down version back on the ballot in hopes of obtaining a more favorable outcome on the second vote.
The vote by The Woodlands Township to support the tax hike was an unprecedented foray into the affairs of another government body.
The resolution supporting the bond initially failed on a 4-3 vote, with directors John McMullan, Ann Snyder, and Carol Stromatt voting in favor; directors Gordy Bunch, Bruce Rieser, John Brown, and Brian Boniface voted against.
However, McMullan, who is retiring at the end of his term, became emotional and pushed the board to reconsider. In a bizarre breach of decorum, Snyder pulled out her cell phone on the spot and called CISD Superintendent Curtis Null, frantically asking him to hurry to the meeting.
Null then appeared sometime later with CISD board president Datren Williams. The two proceeded to hijack the meeting, delivering an impromptu presentation and playing a promotional video.
After Null’s presentation and promotional video, the board brought the resolution back up for a vote. This time it passed 5-2, with Bunch and Brown flipping their votes, while Boniface and Rieser remained opposed. Although Rieser has said he supports the bond, he felt it was outside the board’s jurisdiction.
As the resolution passed, a handful of Democrats in the audience broke out in applause.
Early voting runs through November 1. Election Day is November 5.