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Woodlands board member McMullan to step down

May 9, 2019

The Woodlands Township board is guaranteed to have at least one new person on it in 2020 after long-time board member and current vice chairman of the directors John McMullan announced he will not seek re-election in November.

McMullan, first elected in 2013, sent a brief email to The Villager with news of his decision to not seek re-election in November. His announcement means at least one new person will join the board in 2020 depending on what fellow incumbents Ann Snyder and Carol Stromatt decide to do in regard to their positions on the board.

“I’m not seeking re-election in 2019,” McMullan wrote in an email. “It has been an honor to represent and get to know the residents of The Woodlands. However, because of my current work and family demands, I’m not confident I can continue to dedicate the time to The Woodlands Township that our residents deserve, so it’s best that I not seek re-election.”

The Woodlands elects members to the township’s Board of Directors every two years. McMullan was re-elected in 2017 along with fellow director Snyder. Stromatt defeated incumbent Laura K. Fillault to earn her first term on the board in 2017. Neither Stromatt nor Snyder have made and public statements about their efforts to seek another term or not. The opening period for filing for a township seat usually begins in late July and remains open until late August.

Fellow township board member John Anthony Brown posted a brief statement on Facebook about McMullan’s decision, saying in his post that McMullan would be “sorely missed.”

McMullan’s announcement comes several months after a frequent visitor to township meetings — Walter “Buster” Boyd — told dozens of attendees during a public comment session that he suspected McMullan would not seek another term in 2019. At the time, McMullan brushed off the statement, saying he had not pondered the issue and would make his intentions publically known closer to the 2019 election.

As one of the more outspoken board members over the past two years, McMullan has been extremely active and engaged on a wide variety of issues, asking for reports and analysis of issues such as the rising rates of suicide and attempted suicide in the township, requesting analyses of bus data and ridership numbers for The Woodlands Express, and also vigorously debating — and objecting to —the need for giving out tax abatements to large corporations in the township.

In an email, McMullan said he felt he governed in an inclusive manner on a range of issues.

“In a challenging political environment, I governed in an inclusive and fiscally restrained manner and made prudent investments in public safety. Residents today pay less in taxes — both tax rate and actual dollars — to The Woodlands Township than they did when I joined the board, and we were still able to secure new funding for our fire department and for the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, making all of us safer,” he wrote. “While I have not yet succeeded in changing the township’s misguided corporate tax abatement policy, I believe my focus on it made residents more aware of the issue.”

As for the next steps, McMullan said he will continue to put in the required effort and attention to the board as they navigate the ongoing incorporation task force studies, but as for the future, he has ruled out for now any bid for a higher elected office.

jeff.forward@chron.com

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