Scenes from a Public-ish Meeting of the Montrose Management District

SCENES FROM A PUBLIC-ISH MEETING OF THE MONTROSE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT Montrose District Bike Houston Bike Rack, Montrose, HoustonYesterday’s mid-day Montrose Management District monthly meeting involved a good deal of waiting around, Nancy Sarnoff reports, as more than a dozen of the Montrose property owners who signed the most recent petition to dissolve the district showed up to chat publicly with the organization’s board members. Some of the owners who had planned to speak reportedly left before doing so, however, as the board started the meeting with a closed executive session that the group’s past agendas and meeting minutes imply usually happens near the end of the monthly sessions. Sarnoff writes that once the board opened the meeting back up for public comments, “many of those who spoke made a similar plea: ‘Accept my petition or drop me from the assessment rolls.‘” A rep from the district says the recent court findings that some of the district’s founding documentation is invalid won’t cause any changes in the organization’s immediate plans (nor cause them to return any of that collected $6.6 million) until any upcoming appeals are finalized; while a final judgment document has been signed in the current case in the 333rd District court, the proceedings are still technically ongoing, as the MMD filed a document last week asking the judge to please change his mind. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of bike rack in Montrose: Montrose Management District

8 Comment

  • What pisses me off most about the MMD is the fact they were given signatures by over 75% (which is the required %) and they just decided to completely ignore the petition.
    Scratch that. They spent $30k (I think that was the #) on “validating” the signatures. I know MY petition was marked as invalid. I’ve asked why. Haven’t heard back. I bet a lot of the pissed off people at the meeting were those that signed the petition only to have the MMD say “we’re not counting this one”.
    By the time MMD butchered the petitions, they claimed only ~50% or so signed (vs. the 80% delivered). Nice isn’t it that THEY get to be the ones to determine if it’s valid or not? Using the money that they took from the people trying to remove them?
    I used to think “Well at least they have good intentions”. Not anymore.

  • Unbelievably bad form to open a public meeting and then go into executive session. I used to serve on a MUD board and if people took the time to come to a meeting we always heard them first so they could speak their piece and then leave. Looks like MMD is circling the wagons instead of engaging residents – thereby adding fuel to the fire.

  • I live in the district but don’t own a business, but the lack of accountability here borders on criminal.
    Hawes Hill is enriching themselves at the expense of businesses.. What have they actually delivered during their years of existence (and millions of dollars in fees). Long ago they touted beautification (and that damned bridges lighting project which still hasn’t been completed) yet lower Westheimer looks like urban blight. Get your shit together or get out.

  • These guys need to be taken down… hard. I live in the District and can attest that they have not done one single thing that I would consider and “improvement” in the 20 yrs I’ve lived here.

    The problem–as always–is money. They have it (that they’ve illegally collected from us), so they can afford to continue the fight in the courts. The irony is that most of the affected tax payers probably wouldn’t pony up a penny to contribute to the legal fees to get rid of them through the courts… they’ll just keep being sheeple and paying their annual extortion to these mobsters.

    I, for one, am more than happy to pitch in. Just tell me where to send the check.

    Also, hundreds if not thousands are adversely affected by these clowns… yet only a handful of dissenters showing up at their meetings? Sounds like a mobilization problem. I once applied for an innocuous variance with the city and dozens on unaffected clowns that didn’t even live in the neighborhood showed up at the hearing to protest against it.

  • I have to agree that it was a bad move to go immediately into executive session, just to duck comments from aggrieved residents and/or businesses. This doesn’t endear them to their voters.

  • This being a taxing public entity should it not be subject the state’s Open Meetings Act? Closed Executive Sessions of insiders likely violates this act. Is this for the Harris County District Attorney to determine?

  • MontroseResident,

    Not having attended the meeting, I can’t speak with absolute certainty but Robert’s Rules of Order allow for an executive session if the board convenes in open session, officially states the reason for the executive session and announces whether it will reconvene in open session at the end of the executive session. Votes on topics can occur behind closed doors, but an accurate accounting must be kept for further discussion in open session. If a vote occurs, a roll-call tally must be kept for public consumption.

    All things being said, I agree that those actions most certainly don’t endear the MMD to its constituents.

  • First of all, they do not succeed in engaging the real
    Montrosians. The meetings are public and you are invited to contribute. But that invitation does not come from the heart, it seems. They will only send you an agenda, without all underlaying documents. So they’ll discuss all kind of plans that you were simply never able to read. While they sit behind piles of paperwork. How on earth can you make sensible contributions?

    Second, the spend the money on very odd projects. Like fixing esplanades on backroads, while doing nothing on Westheimer. Like the new flashy Montrose-signs that nobody can read. Nobody.

    So, no miracle companies dont feel like paying for this anymore.