Message from Outgoing WHCA President / by Mark Sternfels

From outgoing WHCA President Tim McConn:

I have had the absolute pleasure of serving as President of the Woodland Heights Civic Association for the last year. I call it an absolute pleasure because it has provided me the opportunity to work with and get to know a number of my neighbors from across this great neighborhood, all of whom love this neighborhood dearly and all of whom have a common purpose in mind: ensuring that the Woodland Heights continues to be the best neighborhood in Houston. And it was by working with those great neighbors that we were able to accomplish so much this past year. 
Preserving and beautifying our green spaces is always a top priority for the WHCA. This past year, we devoted significant funds to maintaining and beautifying the wonderful green spaces around the neighborhood, including the Norhill Esplanade, Ley Plaza Park, and the Watson Esplanade.  
Preserving the integrity of our neighborhood through the enforcement of deed restrictions is also a top priority of the WHCA, and this year we made great strides on that front. Members of the WHCA Board worked tirelessly with the members of the Norhill Deed Restrictions Committee to help shepherd the Norhill Deed Restrictions through to approval, ensuring that a large portion of our beautiful neighborhood is protected by reasonable and balanced deed restrictions. Also, our deed restrictions team continued their monitoring efforts around the neighborhood, and as a result, we were able to work with multiple residents to make sure their renovations and new constructions complied with applicable deed restrictions.
Helping to ensure the safety and security of the neighborhood will always be a top priority of the WHCA. This past year, we fully funded two shifts of Constable service. We also worked with the City on the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program because of serious and very real concerns about the increasing volume and speed of traffic in our urban neighborhood. I know that not everyone in the neighborhood is in favor of the measures being proposed, but I hope everyone understands that all of the hard work of the WHCA Board members and the Neighborhood Traffic Committee on this issue are being driven by one goal: maintain the safety and security of Woodland Heights residents. I am very proud of our efforts on this issue.  
The WHCA also works hard to maintain open lines of communication with government officials to make sure they are fully aware of the needs and viewpoints of Woodland Heights residents. Last July, when the closure of I-10 at I-45 sent big rig trucks and thousands of other vehicles streaming through our neighborhood, we spent hours working with Council Member Gonzales’s office, the Mayor’s office, and TxDOT to remedy the situation and to make sure it doesn’t happen again. These efforts resulted in TxDOT officials and new Council Member Cisneros coming to our General Meeting in November to discuss what should be done during a similar closure in December. The result of this meeting and follow up discussions was that there was virtually no impact on the neighborhood during those most recent closures. We also held a debate at our September General Meeting for the candidates for the City Council District H position. This provided our members a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the candidates.   
Finally, we organized a number of events to bring neighbors together in a fun and social setting. We had our first Movie Night on the Norhill Esplanade in October, and we put on the 2nd annual night before Lights in the Heights gathering for the neighborhood. But the best of all was yet another successful Lights in the Heights. Jan Greer and her team of volunteers did an amazing job, and the result was a fun-filled night for all who came. We hope to duplicate this success as we bring back the Home Tour in April.   
We could not have accomplished so much without such an active and hard working Board. These people are volunteers who have full-time jobs and families, but they spent several hours each week working hard to ensure the success of all of the WHCA’s projects. They all deserve our heartfelt gratitude.  And an extra big thank you to David Jordan, who is rolling off the Board after serving for several years in various capacities, including as President. We all owe David our gratitude for his hard work and passion for this great neighborhood of ours. 
Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your President. You’re in great hands with incoming President Casey Ballard and the new Board.