US Vote Smart

Home » 2020-11-03 election » The Woodlands » At-large Township Position #1 » Gordy Bunch

Gordy Bunch
Party Republican
Occupation Owner TWFG
Religion United Methodist
Marital Married

Gordy Bunch


Position No. 1
Term Expires November 2020

Prior to moving to The Woodlands in 1995, I served four years of active duty in the US Coast Guard. My deployments included Hurricane Andrew Emergency Response Team, Bering Seas winter patrols, Mass Migration Operation Able Manner (Haiti), Human Trafficking & Drug interdiction, Search & Rescue. I am now the Capital Campaign Chair for the National Coast Guard Museum charged with preserving the Coast Guard’s history over its 230 years of service to our nation. Our board is comprised of past USCG Commandants, USCG Veterans and Department of Homeland Security Secretaries. Decorations and Medals include: Meritorious Unit Commendation with one gold star, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Expert Rifleman, Expert Pistol, Sea Service Ribbon, USCG Good Conduct Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal and Secretary of Transportation’s Outstanding Achievement Award.  

As a young veteran I founded The Woodlands Financial Group in 2001 with $10,000. TWFG has grown to become one of the largest independent insurance agencies ranking #27 out of 38,000 in the USA and #1 privately held in Texas and Louisiana for Homeowners and Auto insurance. The combination of military discipline and entrepreneurial experience has led to the strong “can-do” spirit of dedication and commitment with which I always serve my clients, employees, church, and community. I was honored to be selected as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year by my peers in the Gulf Coast Region in 2015 – an honor shared in history by The Woodlands founder, George Mitchell, in 1992. I’ve also founded TWFG General Agency, TWFG Premium Finance Company, Evolution Managements Systems and The Woodlands Insurance Company.

Our family & TWFG sponsored major special events like  the TWFG Gran Fondo for MS, TWFG Muddy Trails Bash for Kids, TX Ironman National Championship; and is a key contributor to Montgomery County Women’s Center,  the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Toys for Tots, Interfaith of The Woodlands, YMCA, American Heart Association, Young Life, JROTC, CASA Child Advocacy, University of North Texas, Texas A&M, member of University of Houston-Downtown Advisory Board; Waterway Arts Council; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; The Woodlands United Methodist Church, The Woodland Christian Academy, Safe2Save, Abundant Harvest, Breaking Strongholds, Feeding the Frontlines, Mighty Oaks, Dynamo Soccer and the National Coast Guard Museum. 

I am a lifelong Republican and have attended the Texas’s Republican State Conventions, voted in primaries, volunteered on campaigns and run as a Republican for Senate District 4 in 2014 and provide updates at local Republican Women’s group meetings.

Michelle and I have been married since 1995 and celebrated our 25th anniversary this past March 2020. Michelle is also a member of The Woodlands Republican Women. We have three sons with our 8th and 10th graders attending The Woodlands Christian Academy and our oldest son entering his Junior year at Texas A&M University.


Received the Vetting Committee Recommendation, approved by membership.




Do you think The Woodlands should become a city or remain unincorporated? Why or why not (what are some of the pro's and cons)?  And if so, when should incorporation occur and why in that time frame? 

The Woodlands will eventually become its own city in my opinion within the next 10 years. The pros are permanent elimination of Houston and Conroe ETJ Annexation rights, Ability to consolidate MUD's, Ordinance of Law authority, Tax freezes for 65 and older, new revenues sources, HGAC voting membership and control within our boundaries. The Cons would be costs associated with providing additional services that are not netted by new revenue sources or fees collected. 

What are the three main attributes that make you the most qualified for this position?

I have a proven record of reducing tax rates, paying down debt, and lowering expenses for the Township. I was first elected in 2012 when our tax rate was .3274 and total debt was $119,685,000, today’s rate of .2231 represents a 32% tax rate reduction with today’s total debt of $45,025,000 our hometown debt has been significantly reduced by 62.5%. I have a proven record and would like to see our hometown through the Covid-19 crisis while looking for additional opportunities to improve an our already awesome hometown.

I pro-actively reviewed our community’s insurance coverages, and found we were both paying too much and missing much needed coverages. My recommended changes saved our taxpayers $800,000 per year while increasing our community’s insurance coverages. The new coverages came into play during Hurricane Harvey where The Woodlands Township recovered $1,000,000 for damage to Bear Branch Pool that previously would not have been covered.

I also initiated the transition to artificial turf and accelerated our expansion of Alden Bridge, Gosling and Bear Branch Sports Fields. These changes increased the playable times from 50% available to nearly 95% available.  

As a Director on The Woodlands Township I have voted to reforest areas impacted from the 2011 drought and expanded our annual reforestation efforts above previous levels. I am committed to making sure our community lives up to our name The Woodlands.

Are you in favor of allowing the residents to vote on the incorporation question once the incorporation planning process is complete? Why or why not?

Yes, our resident deserve an opportunity to vote for themselves on whether or not we transition into the City of The Woodlands. The opportunity to incorporate came from voter approved regional participation agreements in a 2007 election. Voters approved the plan for eventual governance changes to be brough forward to be voted on. In my opinion the will of the people should be heard for or against. 

Should board members actively engage with other government entities to fight to reduce burdens placed on them by other taxing entities?

Yes, and I have been consitent in standing up for The Woodlands. We also have to work with local government entities to find solutions that work for all parties. 

What are the advantages/disadvantages of Economic Development Partnerships?

The EDP helps source larger corporate relocations as well as retention efforts for existing businesses. The Woodlands relies on a healthy hotel and sales tax revenue stream to offset property tax burdens on our residents. These relocations help stablelize and diversify our business community. The relocated employees help with property values and consumption at our local retail and restaurants.

Are you familiar with the FTA grant requirements that enable Federal Funding for the Park and RIde and Trolley services? Would you try to modify those agreements? Why or why not?

I am the current Chairman for The Woodlands Conroe UZA for FTA funding. The Woodlands portion for the Park and Rides are revenue nuetral as we charge fares that cover the costs for capital and operations. I don't see a need for changes right now and we do add and reduce services if they no longer support a revenue neutral outcome. 


As a representative of a Top Rated Master Planned Community, what are the challenges you see with balancing the expected ammenities and the increasing costs with property taxes associated with them?

Our Boards have done a good job utilizing 5 year and 30 year planning principles. Many of our ammenities are requirements from the old absorbed HOA's. The planning process and capital reserves contemplates keeping our service standards high as we continue to grow. The old HOA fees went away and the new Township tax is actually lower and deductible compared to the HOA fees. 

What are your thoughts regarding the 2020 Preliminary budget ?  Do your support it in full and if not what do you object to?"

Yes and it is a good thing we are savers. The drop in revenues from Hotel and Sales taxes were manageable with mid year adjustments and utilizing a sales tax reserve to pre-fund anticipated revenue shortfalls. Director Rieser whom Chairs the Budget Task Force did an excellent job reducing current year spending and lining us up to be in a decent position for 2021.

Should the economic development reserve fund serve as a general fund, to go to multiple projects such as ice-rinks, museums, buildings, street repairs etc. or should it be a project specific only account?

We have several projects in the planning phases that these funds are often viewed as being used towards. The Performing Arts Theater, Convention Center Expansion and eventual Municipal complex are all potential uses. The fund has not been growing and is set aside to fund projects that can help generate non-property tax revenues.

Should the township be funding non-profit organization events such as Interfaith luncheons, senior pick-up services, Education for tomorrow luncheons, etc...with tax dollars.

Normal Non-Profit items should not be funded with tax payer dollars. The senior rides with Interfaith and Meals on Wheels are actually funding with FTA dollars and are required services to qualify for the FTA funds used for the Park and Ride and Trolleys. The Board has eliminated many previously funded activities that did not qualify as required services. 

What are your thoughts regarding the 2020 Preliminary budget?  Do you fully support it in full and, if not, what do you object to?

repeated question?


What is your position on the Homestead, Over 65 and Disabled Exemptions available to the residents of the Township?

We currently provide each of those listed with some level of Homestead Exemption which I support.

With The Woodlands reaching full residential build-out, what do you think the Township should do to generate additional non-property tax revenues to maintain services without a property tax increase?

Expanding our sales and hotel tax generating business community is the best way to increase non-property tax revenues. Expanding the Convention Center would open us up to host larger events generating both Hotel and Sales Taxes. The Performing Arts Theater would also provide addition new revenues. 

It's been reported that The Woodlands comprises only 20% of households in the county, yet provides almost double that (38.5%) of the county total in property taxes. What would/could you do to correct this gross imbalance of tax inequity?

Without changes to the appraisal process it will stay at these levels until Non The Woodlands Property values grow to rebalance the ratio. Commericial valuations are significantly below actual values and there is a disproportionate effort on appraising residences over businesses.



Have you ever been convicted as result of arrest? Ever had any tax liens? If so, give start & resolution dates?


Have you and/or any of your family members ever ben employed by or worked under contract to either The Woodlands Township, Woodlands Development Company or Montgomery County?


What are your thoughts about the community using the board to promote certain social justice agendas? Should the board maintain neutrality since they represent broad views of all residents?

I think we have issued a few to many proclamations and recently changed our board policy regarding those going forward. I do think we have to represent all our constituents including those who do not support us. 


What are the 3 most pressing mobility issues in The Woodlands and what is your preferred solution to each?

Proposed under and overpasses along Grogans Mill and Research Forest and Lake Woodlands and Six Pines. I believe these should be at grade improvements at a fraction of the costs to build either over or under passes.

Kuykendahl between Woodlands Parkway and Research Forest needs to be expande to 4 lanes.

Branch Crossing to 1488, Woodlands Parkway to 249 and Gosling to 1488. I do not think any of these expanded thoroughfares would be good for our hometown. I know we are being told some or all will not be built and i'd like to see them removed from the thoroughfare plans.

Commissioner Riley is actively planning the extension of the Mansion's Way parkway. What should the Township do to prevent a flood of cut though traffic on Woodlands Parkway?

Without incorporating The Woodlands has little power to prevent or deter through traffic. As a City you could have a no through Trucks ordinance that could help prevent our roads being overun with passthrough trucking traffic. Without control of the roadways we really don't have many options. 

What is your opinion of the WRUD (Woodlands Road Utility District) and how is it useful and what's the downside?

It should be sunsetted or disolved as an entity or conveyed or absorbed into The Woodlands Township so it can be run by a broader elected board. 


What are the three main reasons you are running for this office? Do you see any potential conflicts of interest?

a.   COVID-19 & Oil & Gas impacts to our local economy. The capacity restrictions, social distancing requirements, previous statewide stay at home orders and the drop in Oil & Gas are having a compounding effect to local businesses and local employment.

b.   Texas needs to revisit its current restrictions and look for ways to expand the re-opening of our economy.

c.   The Woodlands Township uses Visit The Woodlands to ramp up the re-marketing of The Woodlands Hotels, Restaurants, Retail and business community.

d.   The Woodlands Township is the largest contributor to the Economic Development Partnership and works side by side presenting to companies looking to re-locate to The Woodlands.

e.   The Woodlands Township has deferred action on our Incorporation Study as well as our Performing Arts Facility study. Both items need to be picked up on the other side of COVID-19 and have their studies completed and presented to the public.

f.     Flood mitigation, subsidence and long-term water supply also need to stay on the radar to ensure the long-term viability of our community. Several studies are underway, and they need to be completed as well.

What do you perceive to be the biggest threat to our community within the next 5 years?

There will be a lot to address over the next five years:

  1. The Woodlands Township Assumes all of the waterway in 2023.
  2. Single Family Residential will be built out before the end of 2025.
  3. Older areas of The Woodlands will need infrastructure improvement as well as beginning to be re-developed.
  4. The Woodlands Township Board will need to be looking at Economic Development opportunities to help generate non-property tax revenues to keep our property tax rates low.
  5. The Woodlands Incorporation Study will be completed, presented to the public and our residents will have an opportunity to vote for or against becoming our own City of The Woodlands.
  6. The Woodlands Performing Arts theater will open with Hamilton within the next five years.
  7. The Woodlands Convention Center will be expanded to accommodate larger conventions.
  8. The Woodlands will be the #1 Place to live, work, play and pray in the USA!


With new legislation (HB347) prohibiting annexation of smaller communities by larger/adjacent cities unless approved by voters, is The Woodlands still obligated to pay-off Houston ($1 million) and Conroe ($500,000) for that purpose?

Yes and the numbers are higher annually than described above. The Woodlands is under a 99 year regional participation agreement with annexation deferred until 2057. Houston and Conroe have ETJ rights to our areas and would resume annexation rights in 2057. The law noted above may or maynot exist by then. The only way to permenantly remove annexation is through Incorporation.

Do you agree/disagree with MCTP Core Values?  Please explain if you disagree

I haven't read yours so not sure. I do know many of your members and find we align the vast majority of the time. 

What political party do you affiliate with? Do you believe in that party platform (all of it or % part - if %, please describe what you disagree with)?

I am a lifelong Republican and have attended the Texas’s Republican State Conventions, voted in primaries, volunteered on campaigns and run as a Republican for Senate District 4 in 2014 and provide updates at local Republican Women’s group and other grass roots meetings.