Conroe, February 13 – Just as Hercules confronted the “Twelve Labors” as penance for mistakes he had made in his life, so must the citizens of Montgomery County face “Twelve Labors” as penance during the February 13, 2018, Commissioners Court meeting. Hercules had to slay a nine-headed Hydra and other mythical beasts while the citizens of Montgomery County must slay profligate spending and corruption.
The following are the Twelve Labors the citizens must suffer during the February 13 Commissioners Court Meeting:
1. Unbridled spending like a 9-headed hydra. The Commissioners Court will approve 119 single-spaced pages of spending totaling $11,898,067.49 without any review, discussion, or deliberation, because all of it appears as one line on the secretive “consent agenda”: “Approve Payment of Accounts.”
2. $73 million, 3.6 mile, TX 249 Tollway, also known as Decimation of Hope Highway. The Commissioners Court will approve $131,196.07 in additional spending out of the taxpayers’ general revenue fund of the County government for the $73 million, 3.6 mile, TX 249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway.
Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley have repeatedly lied to the citizens of this community that the Texas Department of Transportation would not build the road as a free road. TxDOT Commissioner Victor Vandergriff spoke to the Commissioners Court on December 19, 2017, and told the public that TxDOT would build the road as a Farm to Market Road, like F.M. 1488, so that the full TX 249 Extension could proceed as a free road.
Since building the road as a Tollway gives Doyal and Riley the ability to funnel enormous funds to their favored political contributors and criminal legal defense fund contributors, Doyal and Riley are the only two people in Texas who actually want a tollroad!
3. Halff Associates, Inc., Payment to the engineering firm of Doyal’s best friend and business partner. The Commissioners Court will approve a payment of $29,400.18 to Halff Associates, Inc., the firm of Bobby Jack Adams, Doyal’s best friend and business partner. Halff is the so-called “project manager” for the Decimation of Hope Highway.
4. Seems like we know now how Craig paid for his silly trip to Washington, D.C. Last month, Doyal and others made a ridiculous trip to Washington, D.C., to duplicate the efforts of United States Congressman Kevin Brady to try to procure flood mitigation federal funds. Doyal can’t seriously believe he has more influence in the Nation’s Capital than the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The question has arisen who Doyal paid for the trip, because everyone knew it had to have been on the backs of the taxpayers.
Here’s your answer: Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador has proposed a “Budget Amendment” to transfer $5,000 from his “carryover” “slush fund” to line item 400-7425 (County Judge – Travel)!
In other words, road and bridge funds that ought to go to repairs and maintenance on County roads instead paid for Doyal’s junket to Washington, D.C.
5. Budget Amendments. The County government budget process is a complete mess. They’re supposed to publish the budget and then allow citizens to participate in public hearings. Doyal, Riley, and their colleagues (other than Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark who objected) chose to conduct a closed set of meetings where they didn’t allow the public to object to all of the mistakes, problems, duplications, and overspending within the budget.
Now, during this year, the Commissioners Court has to go in and clean up the messes they created with the haste of the budget process and in their not permitting public citizen eyes to view and help them out with their mistakes.
That’s why you’re seeing more than $5.6 million of so-called “budget amendments” done in secret for the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. They’re having to clean up their messes.
6. Anti-citizen Bail Bond Board. Doyal has appointed two of the most extreme anti-citizen employees in the entire Montgomery County government to take over his duties on the Montgomery County Bail Bond Board: Sylvia Olszowy and his “chief of staff” jim fredricks (when Olszowy can’t make the meetings). Of course, Doyal can’t attend due to his busy golf schedule.
7. Holzwarth duplicates salaried County Engineer. The Commissioners Court is paying engineer John Holzwarth $2,774.37 this month to duplicate the work of Montgomery County Engineer Mark Mooney, who receives a lucrative salary from the taxpayers. Mooney is the official “road engineer” under the Texas Government Code, but Holzwarth gives substantial political contributions to Meador, Doyal, and Riley. Holzwarth makes a hefty rate of return for those contributions.
8. Texas Association of Counties Payment: add insult to insult. If there is anything in the agenda analogous to when Hercules had to clean the entire Aegean Stables by himself in a day, the payment of $2,440 in dues to the Texas Association of Counties is it. TAC is one of the most pro-tax, anti-property-tax reform lobbying groups in Texas.
TAC works against the taxpayers in Austin to make sure your taxes remain high. Doyal, Riley, and Meador pay them your tax dollars in order to fund TAC’s lobbying to ensure you pay higher taxes.
9. Did Marc Davenport order Doyal to do this one? There is an $11,413 budget amendment to move those funds from the County government’s contingency fund to the “transportation” budget of JP James Metts’ Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace.
10. Paying retail prices for auto parts. Throughout the Commissioners Court agenda are payments of almost a million dollars for auto parts at full retail prices. One example is the $245,752.97 the Sheriff’s Office is paying. If you check the backup invoices for the payments, they should the auto parties suppliers are making nice markups on full retail prices.
It’s the taxpayers money flushing sound that you hear.
11. Meador’s slush funds. Meador is the king of unexplained budget amendments. In this one Commissioners Court meeting alone, Meador is moving $1,824,342.90 of “slush” into various accounts within his Commissioners Precinct Office.
That’s what budgeting without any oversight looks like.
12. JP collections debacle. Four of the five Justice of the Peace Courts are losing millions of taxpayer dollars by doing court collections through a private law firm under the name of Graves Humphries Stahl (“GHS”). GHS practically does nothing to collect the fees. Please see “Metts, Davenport Ring JP Court Collections Disaster Continues For Montgomery County Taxpayers Through All Of Last Fiscal Year,” The Golden Hammer, January 24, 2018.
To add insult to injury, even though GHS does nothing for the collections fees it receives, the County government regularly pays them a whopping fee for that lack of service. This month the fees to GHS will total $18,045.63.