Strengthening Our Relationships & Culture of Respect
Good leadership empowers good people. Leadership that empowers good people is built on relationships in a culture of mutual respect. This is the bedrock upon which Mr. George P. Mitchell and our founding leaders developed in The Woodlands and is a fundamental principle we must restore as a community. The Woodlands’ foundation embraces all ethnicities, all cultures, all socio-economic groups, all ages and all faiths.
And building good relationships, empowering positive partnerships, and having productive dialogues with our Residents, County Officials, Sheriff and Constables, The Woodlands Economic Development Partnership, The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, and Howard Hughes Corporation is essential.
Our relationships with our valued public safety agencies, law enforcement and the fire department, and Montgomery County must be at the top of the Township’s list of relationships we embrace and enhance. Equally, if not most important is our relationship with the local community and listening to and acting on behalf of residents’ priorities and concerns.
In my roles as a public servant and as a resident in The Woodlands since our family moved here in 1989, I have seen the importance of building and nurturing all relationships to build a successful and cohesive community. I have also seen the consequences when relationships within our community and our surrounding region are not maintained or become acrimonious.
Our community suffers when personal ambitions, agendas, and grievances outweigh responsive leadership and a commitment to working together for the benefit of our community. President Dwight Eisenhower stated, “By mutual respect, understanding and with good will, we can find acceptable solutions to any problems which exist or may arise between us.”
Recently, our community experienced a refreshing opportunity to work together for a common cause. Elected officials heard concerns from The Woodlands residents about the proposed widening of 242. Representative Steve Toth and I attended a TxDOT informational meeting at Suchma Elementary School in June where many residents expressed their concerns about the 242 plans.
In keeping with these concerns, a collaborative group, including Representative Steve Toth, Commissioner Charlie Riley, The Woodlands Township, Lone Star Montgomery College, residents, and Howard Hughes Corporation expressed their opposition to the plan through dialogue, meetings, and correspondence. Simply, the community came together to successfully push back on the TxDOT proposed plan, and the TxDOT plans were modified accordingly.
One of the rewards of collaboration is when residents in our community take the time to acknowledge when we pull together to accomplish something in the spirit of mutual respect. I was deeply moved by numerous resident messages saying thank you.
I particularly appreciated the comment of a Woodlands resident, Vivian, who lives near 242, who wrote “242 is saved. I am so incredibly thankful. It took the entire community, a village.” It reminded me of the importance of building and maintaining good relationships, listening to our residents, and working with stakeholders. This is a principle we must embrace and cherish in The Woodlands.