Conroe, August 22 – The Montgomery County Animal Shelter and County Judge Craig Doyal’s nepotistic proclamation honoring his daughter and his daughter’s boss within the County government are two of the highlights of the August 22, 2017, 9:30 a.m., Commissioners Court meeting. There will be a particularly fun “Golden Hammer Award” during the citizen comments.
After the regular Commissioners Court meeting, the Commissioners Court will hold the sham which Doyal and the County Commissioners refer to as the Montgomery County Toll Road Authority (MCTRA) and a so-called “budget hearing.”
The MCTRA meeting is a sham, because the Commissioners Court and MCTRA are one and the same. In the upcoming MCTRA meeting, County taxpayers will have the opportunity to give MCTRA $405,500 to spend on a repetitive study to support building the $73 million Tx-249 Tollway.
The “budget hearing” is even more of a sham, because Doyal, his “chief of staff” jim fredricks, and County Auditor Phyllis Martin still have failed to make the current version of the “proposed budget” available. Citizens likely should expect the budget to become public around the end of the day on Friday, September 1, 2017, so that there will be as little time as possible for review before the September 5, 2017, final hearing on the budget when the Commissioners Court will likely vote 5 to 0 to adopt the budget with the highest governmental expenditures in the history of the Montgomery County government. Only debt service reductions allowed the Commissioners Court to reduce the budget to a level where total spending is a bit lower than during the current Fiscal Year 2017.
Here’s what will happen on Tuesday, August 22.
Agenda Item 7A: Doyal has offered a proclamation to honor his daughter, his daughter’s boss County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, and others with a proclamation declaring “National Payroll Professionals” week in Montgomery County.
Agenda Item 9A1: As always, the Commissioners Court will refuse and fail to review the payment of accounts. They will spend more than $6.575 million, including payments to:
- $40,427.46 to Aguirre & Field engineers for the Tx-249 Tollway. An engineering firm that kindly provides substantial political contributions to Doyal and Riley.
- $51,514.14 from Riley’s Precinct 2 to LJA Associates, the engineering firm which took several County officials, including Commissioner Mike Meador, on a nice fishing trip at a resort in southwest Louisiana two months ago.
- $90,430.44 to Binkley & Barfield engineers, some of the largest contributors to Doyal and Riley.
- $6,876 to John Holzwarth, the large political contributor and engineer who duplicates the work of the Montgomery County Engineer.
- $363 to Ben Blair, the Wayne Mack assistant known for pornographic Facebook posts during County business hours.
- $127 to Missy Ringo, the Wayne Mack assistant who receives Blair’s posts during County business hours.
- Over $40,000 in Citibank charges on the County’s credit card with no oversight.
- Over $7,400 to a Public Storage facility to store equipment for the Elections Administrator, which seems like a total waste of money given the empty excess building capacity in the Montgomery County government.
- $314.14 for the County Treasurer’s Marriott Hotel bill. (She did just return from California with her husband Marc Davenport!)
- Retail price payments to Lowe’s, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Staples, and Planet Ford.
Agenda Item 9A2: Budget Amendments. Since the Commissioners Court exercises very little oversight or discernment during the budget process, they permit the County Auditor to operate the County as she sees fit and declare “grave public necessities” and “emergencies” through phony budget amendments, including:
- $394,000 for the Animal Shelter with no allocation.
- $695 to the Building Maintenance Department for “help desk licenses.”
- $5,000 for allowances for 60 teenagers.
- A $678,000 budget amendment for Precinct 2 Charlie Riley’s asphalt fund. Perhaps, he’s finally going to get to work on some of the roads in his precinct since we’re getting closer to the March 2018 Republican Primary Election.
- $35,000 for Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark to upgrade the Tram Road Park.
- $525,000 in vehicle purchases out of the contingency fund.
- $390 in supplies.
- $2,000 in travel expense for Extension Agents.
- Spend $3,000 for unbudget supplies for JP 1 Wayne Mack.
Agenda Item 9C Purchasing:
- Several hundred thousand dollars of change orders and contracts.
- Approve advertising to widen Woodlands Parkway from I-45 to Grogans Mill Road.
Agenda Item 9G: Secret payroll change request forms. This newspaper got them. Sadly, the members of the Commissioners Court didn’t.
Agenda Item 9M: County Attorney J.D. Lambright has proposed adding to the Code of Ethics a requirement that the Human Resources Director will take action to ensure that future violations of the Code of Ethics do not occur after someone has violated the Code a first time. This item should not be on the “consent agenda”!
Agenda Item 18: Eliminate the salary of the Assistant Airport Director and create a new position of Supervisor Airport Operations.
Agenda Item 19: Another super-secret tax abatement agreement that neither the Tax Assessor-Collector nor the County Judge can disclose to the public prior to the Commissioners Court meeting for purposes of secrecy and avoiding public scrutiny.
Agenda Item 21: Set up a $301,080 budget ironically for the new “Budget Office.” The budget office is an expensive joke. Every penny of this budget should come directly out of the County Auditor’s Budget. It’s just a new bureaucracy.
Agenda Item 22: Spending $996,000 of the Animal Shelter budget and giving the Director the authority spend the money without any constraint or budget. The Director – and the Commissioners Court – would seem to be completely out of control.
Agenda Item 23C: There simply is no way that this agenda item complies with the Texas Open Meetings Act notice requirements. Here’s how it reads: “Consider, Discuss, and Take Appropriate Action on Proposal by Purchasing Agent Regarding Submission of Purchasing Related Agenda Items.” Secrecy prevails! (Just watch. The new Purchasing Director will hand out a secretive written proposal to the members of the Commissioners Court. No one in the public will have the opportunity to review the proposal, make citizen comments about it, or even know what it is, until after they vote upon it and pass it. That’s the Craig Doyal way!)
Agenda Item 26B: Commissioner Clark wants Sheriff Rand Henderson to prepare a proposal for a non-consent towing policy in the future.