WHO DOES THE WHOA WORK FOR?

Being a visual person, when I access the WHOA web site:

http://thewoodlandsfl.com/

Subconsciously, my thoughts, memories, values and the full sensorial experience are stenciled in a mind’s image like the one I have shared as the illustration of this article.

Despite anyone’s thoughts about the infilling of houses in the two golf courses, let’s start by admitting that our once relaxing and peaceful retreat of life has been disrupted and that we all face a long process that will interfere with the feeling of home that brought most of us to The Woodlands and that made some neighbors come back after a venture elsewhere.

Since first reported in the local media the WHOA facilitated 13th Floor Homes’ solicitation to all the residents of our community. In November of last year, 13th Floor Homes scored a dedicated section in the WHOA web site, right after being given the stage in the monthly WHOA meeting so they could present to the residents the first draft of a proposal to put down the two golf courses. The same developer that brought to Tamarac a constructive solution that petrified all the green space in the Sabal Palm and the Monterey golf courses. Now setting sights on The Woodlands.

Over the next two months, all arrangements were made for 13th Floor Homes to continue to promote their business with each of The Woodlands’ sections at their club houses.

Meanwhile, the concerned residents of the Woodlands had no formal platform of organization and relied on social media to find or express the other side of the story. The large and thriving community of The Woodlands has a few formal communication platforms, one homeowners web site branded and restricted exclusively by the WHOA, the monthly WHOA meetings in which the residents are not allowed to ask questions, the annual WHOA meetings and the monthly board meetings of each section. No wonder why there are few to none alliances between the sections, lack of trust and two of them are not aligned with the WHOA.

Last February one hundred and sixty-two neighbors attended the 2018 WHOA annual meeting, all of them were there to learn about and agree on the next actions planned by our representatives to ensure the appropriate preparedness of the community to respond timely and decisively. But instead, all calls for organized opposition were disregarded and deemed futile by the WHOA president, he praised 13th Floor Homes for recently scoring in the retirement community of the Avalon Trails golf course that closed in 2014 and alluded to the fact that there is nothing we can do to stop a private entity from using their property as they please.

The good news is that at the end of the 2018 WHOA annual meeting the residents’ call for action prevailed and the Neighbors Alliance Committee was commissioned to focus in the issue of the sale of the golf courses, the sharps and flats of the rezoning of the land and the infilling proposal by 13th Floor Homes. Different scenarios are starting to trend within the Neighbors Alliance Committee as it portrays itself as the platform of organization for the concerned residents. I heard we’ve got talented and motivated people planning the defense and offense strategies. Stay tuned.

The answer to who does the WHOA work for? I learned that the WHOA works for all the sections but two. The sections’ boards elect the members of the WHOA, not the residents. That could explain the constant disdain for them.

We – the residents, can be participants. Let’s get off the bleachers and reach out to our sections’ boards and our fellow neighbors to build alliances and influence change. Remember that any means of government should only exist to represent its constituents. The supremacy resides in the people.

Before I close, will point you back to the WHOA web site (or to the illustration of this article if you prefer). The first published new of this month was to promote the 13th Floor Homes biased survey, that was designed to only produce outcomes that support their development proposal, with no option to express opposition. The second published new of this month was to bash the Section 7 residents’ survey because it referenced the WHOA instead of the Woodlands Section 7 HOA in its online version. This was an error but why the WHOA has difficulty promoting a survey from the residents to the residents and fully disassociates from it?

And what about the pictures that garnish the news? 13th Floor Homes gets the green tree with the stylish cursive W of The Woodlands, whereas we get a cyber-impostor beware sign. Section 7 edited the reference to the WHOA and will move forward with its simple Yes or No question that provides ample space for comments.

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