|Since 2004, the Township (and predecessor HOAs) has contracted for a full range of government relations services, including advice and counsel regarding local, state and federal government relations; maintaining good working relationships with appropriate elected and appointed officials; and regular representation in appropriate government venues such as the Texas Legislature. The Township's executive staff interfaces with the government relations consultant on general legislative and regulatory issues of interest to the Township, and assists the Township in determining actions and goals for specific bills or issues, as appropriate.
Since 2010, when considering the contract for government relations services, a Request for Interest (RFI) has been issued as a means to identify individuals/firms interested in providing the specified services to the Township. The Township Request for Information seeks interest from consultants with experience or qualifications in representing political subdivisions on the local, state and federal level for a full range of government relations services, including but not limited to the following scope:
- Providing advice and counsel on state and regional legislative matters
- Maintaining positive working relationships with appropriate elected officials
- Maintaining positive working relationships with appropriate appointed officials
- Representing the Township in appropriate government venues, with particular emphasis on the Texas Legislature
- Frequently attend Township Board of Directors meetings to maintain a close working relationship with the Board and staff
- Be proactive in identifying and communicating state legislative issues that may be of concern to The Township
- Work with Township Board and legal counsel to prepare the Township’s legislative agenda
- Work cooperatively with the Township’s Legal Counsel during the legislative sessions
In 2011, the Board recognized that preparation for the 2013 Legislative Session actually began mid-year 2012 and the Township would want the same individual to represent the Township through the entire two year legislative process, and therefore established a two-year term for the agreement for these services.
In 2013, following a Request for Interest process, the Township reached a two-year agreement with Mr. Rob Eissler for services to be provided in 2014 and 2015. In 2015, following a Request for Interest process, the Township Board again reached a two-year agreement with Mr. Eissler for services to be provided and the term of that agreement expires on December 31, 2017. As background, from January 2002 to January 2013, Mr. Eissler represented The Woodlands as a Representative in the Texas Legislature. Mr. Eissler was intimately involved in drafting and passing bills in the Texas Legislature in the 2005, 2007, 2009 sessions, assisted the Township with passing bills in 2015, and most recently directed passage of Senate Bills 1014 and 1015 in 2017. The bills passed during the above legislative sessions built on prior legislation and expanded the authority of The Woodlands Township as it exists today.
In 2017, the Township received four responses to the recent Request for Interest. The responses (listed in the order they were received) are from Rob Eissler/Schlueter Group, Tim Tuggey/Tuggey McCutcheon LLP, Denise Rose /Jackson Walker, and Eric Knustrom/Texas Star Alliance. All four appear to be qualified to perform the requested consulting service as set out in the RFI.
Attached is a Government Relations summary of the four firms responding to the RFI including proposed monthly prices for representation by the firm.
Given that preparation for the 2019 Legislative Session begins in 2018, if governance relations services are desired by the Township Board of Directors, staff recommends a two year contract with the selected firm.