YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU OWE - AN ISSUE OF GOVERNMENTAL TRANSPARENCY.
For far too long, residents of The Woodlands have experienced a culture of secrecy regarding governance of their local water services and related property taxes. Few residents realize these services are neither provided, nor administrated, by The Woodlands Township or county government. Instead, the services are governed by a network of special districts with little public awareness or accountability.
A contributing factor to the lack of awareness is Information on policy deliberations, decisions, AND HOW YOUR TAX DOLLARS ARE SPENT is difficult, if not impossible to find as there is NO ON-LINE ACCESS TO MEETING NOTICES, AGENDAS OR MINUTES. If you want to know about an upcoming meeting, you must visit the Water Resource Building on the proper day to see a posted notice. Even though directors of the various boards are elected and PAID public officials, there is no on-line information on how to contact them.
THIS SITUATION IS SIMPLY NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR A TAXING ENTITY IN THIS DAY AND AGE OF THE INTERNET.
Across the nation, governmental entities are actively using the Internet to implement open government concepts of: transparency, participation and collaboration. Transparency promotes accountability by providing the public with information about what is being considered. Participation allows members of the public to contribute ideas and comments so that their government can benefit from expertise contained within the community. Collaboration improves effectiveness by encouraging cooperation with other governmental entities and private institutions.
The Woodlands Township board is a great example of complete transparency and information access, as you can not only access upcoming meeting information online but can view live streaming video of an active meeting as well as view videos of past meetings. You also can submit questions and concerns through the website.
YET IN REGARD TO OUR LOCAL MUDS, YOU CAN’T EVEN FIND BASIC INFORMATION – YOU MUST REQUEST IT
It is time for residents to demand their local MUD board move into the 21st century, embrace the open government culture of The Woodlands and provide easy access to information about pending issues and deliberations.
As residents footing the bill, we have a right to KNOW and be informed about how the tax dollars we OWE are being spent.
Please help make on-line information access a reality for MUD #1 by electing me to the board.
Daniel E. Lewis
Candidate for MUD #1