Conroe, November 16 – Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, his “chief of staff” jim fredricks (who oversees two secretaries), and Doyal’s administrative assistant Sylvia Olszowy received “The Golden Hammer Award” during the Tuesday, November 14, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting for “hammering the taxpayers.” Doyal carefully avoids having substantive conversations with citizens, but one issue which Doyal and the Publisher of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, have actually discussed is that there are a lot of better ways for the taxpayers to ensure they’re getting optical contract pricing, especially for engineering contracts, than the current procedures – or lack thereof – which the County government follows.
The full presentation of “The Golden Hammer Award” follows:
“The secrecy you impose on the contract process harms the Commissioners Court and the citizens. Members of the Commissioners Court do not have the opportunity to review the contracts on which they must vote at Commissioners Court meetings before they must vote on them. Often, they never see the contracts at all. The citizens also do not have the opportunity to review the contracts, because County Judge Craig Doyal and his “chief of staff” jim fredricks and administrative assistant, Sylvia Olszowy, who prepare the Commissioners Court agends for the golf-obsessed Doyal, do not provide copies of the contracts to the backup materials for the meetings.
“On the November 14, 2017, Commissioners Court Agenda, there’s an Item 17A concerning a Settlement Agreement and Release between the County government and Xerox Corporation. The proposed Settlement Agreement referred to a “Lease Agreement attached as Schedule in Exhibit A,” but the Schedule and Exhibit A were not a part of the materials made available to the Commissioners Court or the public prior to the meeting. When the Commissioners Court voted on the Settlement Agreement, they voted blindly to terminate copier leases about which they knew nothing.
“Even worse, was a $54,390 change order that Doyal, fredricks, and Olszowy wanted the Commissioners Court to approve for the Tx-249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway and the $73 million Tx-249 Tollway Extension. There was no explanation what the change order concerned. No one had seen the Change Order. None of the Commissioners Court members could review the $54,390 proposal for whether the pricing was fair, whether the Change Order was necessary, or whether the Change Order was advisable.”
During the discussion of the Toll Road proposal, Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack also complained that Doyal, fredricks, and Olszowy had failed to provide the backup documents for the Commissioners Court members or the public to review during or before the meeting. Of course, Doyal, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador voted for the Change Order to pay their political campaign and criminal legal defense fund contributor Jones & Carter engineers more money. The blind Change Order passed on a 3 to 2 vote, with Noack and Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark voting against it.
“The Golden Hammer Award” as well as the name of Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper commemorates those instances where government and the individuals trying to run it “hammer the taxpayers.” In this instance, Doyal-fredericks-Olszowy hammered the taxpayers as to the two contracts they intentionally left out of the Commissioners Court materials. More importantly, they follow those secretive practices all the time and are costing Montgomery County’s citizens hundreds of millions of dollars in inflated pricing for County contracts, especially involving engineering services.