Conroe, July 29 – Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and other “establishment” elected officials are making a concerted effort to silence citizens who dare to seek to provide input into the County government.
Near the conclusion of the so-called 4-day “budget workshop” that was little more than each Department director announcing that she or he accepted the County Auditor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, the Publisher of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, timidly stood up and asked, “May a private citizen please make a very brief comment?” Doyal immediately responded, “No, sir.”
Citizens were not permitted to provide input in the so-called “workshop.” Any ideas other than those of County bureaucrats simply were not welcome before the Commissioners Court.
Since the County Auditor, Phyllis Martin, filed her “Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget” with the Montgomery County Clerk on July 14, 2017, Texas Local Government Code Section 111.038 mandated that the Commissioners Court hold a “public hearing” within 10 calendar days after July 14 on the proposed budget. The statute further mandates “Any person may attend and may participate in the hearing.” Tex. Loc. Gov’t Code Ann. Sec. 111.038(a)(second sentence).
Doyal was so fixated on prohibiting citizen input in the budget process that he ordered Martin to refer to her official “Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget” as the “recommended budget,” which such appellation the County Department heads also used.
Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador suggested – twice – that the Commissioners Court should not conduct any public hearings on the budget: “I don’t think a public hearing’s necessary…”
Mack attack on free speech
During the “budget workshop,” former head janitor Wayne Mack stated that he was “so very Proud of our electeds that didn’t given (sic) into to (sic) a (sic) unelected budget committee and all of the arrogance of ignorance in county government operations.” Mack referred to the work of the Citizens Budget Committee as “vomit” but also made clear that he never reviewed the Committee’s 36-page report. Mack’s point was that citizens simply don’t and shouldn’t have rights under the First Amendment to express their input into the operations of the body politic of this community. (Mack does, indeed, seem to have issues with the First Amendment. He would likely agree with the statement that “freedom is precious; so precious that it must be appropriately rationed” when V.I. Lenin made that remark.)
Sage Bill O’Sullivan responded to former head janitor Mack’s comment:
On Wayne Mack’s page he expressed the report of the Citizen’s Budget Committee was ‘Vomit.’ I wrote the following: ‘Funny. The 20% Homestead Exemption, the focus on salaries and their relevance to what would be normal in the private sector or in other Counties, the focus on appraisals and their questionable growth, the focus on the folly in Toll Roads, the revealing that we are over $2 Billion behind our mobility needs for the next 25 years and roads are going where big landholders want them rather then where the County needs them are all things that Mr. Mack calls ‘Vomit.’ In fact they are questions that come from taxpayers particularly those on fixed incomes who are getting eaten up by appraisal growth and water bills. This whole focus on spending discipline did not start in Commissioner’s Court. It started with the people. And now, like the career politicians that they are, they see an angry crowd and try to run to the front of it hoping the deception of what’s occuring now will carry them through the March Primary. At that point the incumbent Elected Officials, their Vendor friends and supporters and the big interests that drive the whole process can breathe easier and can resume the business as usual that created this mess that they are trying to deflect attention from now. We’ll see.”
O’Sullivan is correct. These anti-citizen “electeds,” as former head janitor Mack calls them, should ensure that the following individuals, who need a stern reminder that they’re regular people like the rest of us, have strong electoral opponents:
- Craig Doyal, County Judge
- Charlie Riley, Precinct 2 County Commissioner
- James Metts, Precinct 4 JP
- Wayne Mack, Precinct 1 JP
- Stephanne Davenport, County Treasurer.
With removal of those incumbents, the citizens would make great strides in cleaning up Montgomery County and getting rid of the corruption. Of course, the primary focus should be to send Doyal to Halff Associates, Inc., as a full-time marketing consultant on March 6, 2018. Riley should be nowhere near roads or public money. Metts should be nowhere near any position of authority. Mack is a good person who has become totally corrupted. Davenport is just a total mess.
Furthermore, in 2020, Mike Meador will likely retire on his own.