Magnolia, June 6 – Since Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley and County Judge Craig Doyal realize that the vast majority of voters in Precinct 2 and the rest of Montgomery County would not support their crazed $73 million 3.6 mile Tx-249 toll road extension, now better known as the Decimation of Hope Highway, at the far southwest edge of Montgomery County, they’ve desperately gotten their “249 Partnership” colleague Paul Mendes, the Magnolia City Manager, to place a resolution supporting the highway boondoggle on the City of Magnolia’s City Council agenda for tonight, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at 7 p.m. In order to make citizen participation more difficult and confusing, Mendes, Doyal, and Riley moved the meeting location away from the City Council chamber to the Magnolia Community Center at 422 Melton Street, Magnolia, Texas 77354.
On May 31, 2017, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, and Halff Associates, Inc., engineering firm’s James Baker made a desperate plea to the “249 Partnership,” a special interest trade group of vendors involved in the construction of the $73 million 3.6 mile Tx-249 extension, more commonly known as the Decimation of Hope Highway. At a small group meeting of business interests from Harris County, Tomball, Navasota, and a small smattering of individuals from Magnolia, Doyal pled, “Pack the [Montgomery County Commissioners] Courtroom June 13 to make people think there’s support!”
The meeting occurred in the Magnolia City Hall as Paul Mendes, Magnolia City Administrator, cooked hamburgers for the people in attendance. Mendes welcomed the attendees. Riley also commented that he realized “people in The Woodlands and in most of Montgomery County don’t support this project but we need to make people think there’s a lot of support.”
Riley said he would put an agenda item on the Commissioners Court Agenda for the June 13, 2017, 9:30 a.m. meeting, so that the 249 Partnership representatives could speak longer than the 3 minute limit that Doyal strictly enforces so that political critics cannot express their free political speech. “We’ve got get this done. Let them know that Tx-DOT wouldn’t give us the tolls, which we could make for years as a source of income.”
At the April 11, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting, highly-paid attorney Rich Muller, a vendor on the Decimation of Hope Highway project, admitted that Montgomery County voters would vote down any referendum on the crazed spending proposal. The more than $12.6 million that Montgomery County has already spent on the non-voter-approved project largely benefits out-of-county vendors who provide massive political contributions to Doyal and Riley for their legal defense funds and for their political campaigns. Baker’s Halff Associates has received more than $2 million as the “project manager” for a highway not even under construction.
While Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack has consistently suggested that a Montgomery County voter referendum would be appropriate for such a major financial undertaking, Doyal and Riley have vehemently resisted the idea of permitting citizens to make such an important decision to Doyal’s, Riley’s, and their top campaign contributors’ wellbeing.
The June 13, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting ought to be quite interesting.