Image: Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley embracing major political contributor (and County vendor) Jeff Cannon, President of LJA Engineers, February 28, 2017.
Magnolia, June 16 – Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley has submitted a proposed budget for his Commissioner Precinct that is against citizen interests, because it’s anti-roads, anti-spending reduction, and anti-law enforcement. Riley is very much for building up the bureaucracy inside of his Precinct 2 Commissioner’s Office, however.
From his bloated $8,096,175 Fiscal Year 2017 budget, Riley could only find $1995 to save in his proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget of $8,094,180. His reasons for continuing his fiscally-bloated ways are pretty shocking.
Citizens in Montgomery County have clamored loudly for substantial spending reductions along with a commitment to spend a portion of the savings on roads and on an increased investment in our law enforcement community. The Montgomery County Republican Party Executive Committee overwhelmingly passed a resolution to that effect on February 28, 2017. The Citizens Budget Committee is also working on a proposed budget that would bring about $100 million in spending reductions, while taking $40 million of those savings and investing them in law enforcement and a road and bridge capital fund.
Riley, who would make Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs look like a hard-right conservative, has ignored all of those pleas.
Riley has proposed increasing the “salary” budget for his Precinct 2 operation by $198,625! Revealing his inability to manage his workforce, Riley has also continued to budget $50,000 for overtime payments and $1800 for his cell phone allowance. With such giant salaries, it’s no surprise that the contemporaneous County benefits budget for himself and his out-of-control Precinct employees would increase by $84,298 under Riley’s proposed plan.
Riley is also increasing his “Uniforms” budget by $2,000 to $16,000 and his “equipment operations” budget to $300,000 from this year’s $237,400. If any of the County vendors, mostly engineers and road contractors who are Riley’s primary “constituents” because they contribute almost all of his campaign and legal defense funds, are worried about their stake in the future, they really don’t need to worry at all. Riley has continued to budget $250,000 for “professional services,” meaning that Precinct 2 will continue to depend upon those County vendors for their political contributions. (Oops, for their services.)
Where is Riley then saving money so he’s reducing his total budget by a mere $1995?
Riley is saving money out of his proposed budget in the worst place of all. He’s reduced his “culverts” budget by $22,250. With all of the drainage problems arising in Precinct 2, especially with the growth of subdivisions along F.M. 1488 and west of the City of Magnolia, reducing the “culverts” budget is unwise to say the very least.
Where Riley has slammed his constituents in Precinct 2 most of all, however, is that he’s reduced his budget for “asphalt & road materials” by $326,997, to $4,191,815.
Of course, by failing to reduce his budget an overall 5% or more, as many other County Departments have, Riley is harming Montgomery County taxpayers who support his exorbitant salary, luxurious lifestyle, and nepotistic salary for his wife. Riley is also setting back citizen efforts to redeploy wasteful County expenditures into law enforcement departments which genuinely require more funding.
Riley’s budget is anti-citizen, but it surely delivers a lot of money into the right pockets, Riley’s true “constituents,” County vendors and County bureaucrats.