Conroe, July 6 – Conroe businessman Brian K. Dawson announced today he will run for Commissioner, Precinct 2, in the 2018 Republican Primary Election. Dawson has worked in politics over the last decade and has spent the past year expressing his concern for the leadership on the Montgomery County Commissioners Court.
“As a resident of the 7th fastest growing county in the country, it is imperative to rein in spending, develop a more workable mobility plan, halt the tax-and-spend culture the Court has adopted and cease reactive governing to the growth challenges,” Dawson said in his announcement. He added, “In making this announcement, I am also going to insist on a clear and closely followed ethics standard by everyone on the Court.”
Dawson expressed his concern to The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, that people on the Commissioners Court are constantly concerned about “legal or avoidance issues” and that “takes away from their ability to properly govern and think outside the box about new solutions for a fast-growing county.”
Who is Brian Dawson?
Dawson earned a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing from Stephen F. Austin University and is on the Board of the Stephen F. Austin Alumni Association. He is a member of the Montgomery County Fair Association and is also a member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo CWW Go Texan Committee. Recognized by many party activists in Montgomery County as a GOP leader for a number of years, he is also a member of the Texas Young Republicans, the Montgomery County Young Republicans and is also a Past President of MCYR.
Aside from his non-profit contributions, Brian is in sales of engineered solutions. “I’ve got private sector business experience and known how budgets should be built. My experience in planning and my involvement in construction projects during my business career will be invaluable to me as a County Commissioner.”
Dawson and his wife, Amber, live in Jacobs Reserve off of FM 1488.
County government spending
During an exclusive interview with The Golden Hammer, Dawson commented that he recognizes in looking at the County Budget, “it’s grown $76 million in the two years since my opponent [Charlie Riley] took office. That’s 21% in just two years, a far greater pace that what it should be.”
Dawson criticized the manner in which the Commissioners Court does its budgeting. “I saw it last year and I expect to see it again this time in the budget hearings that begin later this month. The Court members look at ‘how much money do we have and then let’s cut the pot.’ Instead there needs to be a different practice altogether. What should happen is that we start from zero and build our budget relative to what the actual needs are to provide the services necessary to run the County.”
Dawson added, “I’m looking forward to the race and to showing the residents of Precinct 2 zero-based budgeting, an expanded pay-as-you-go budget system and maximizing our partnerships that work with the county, are all very viable options for us. And, we can do it while cleaning up our ethics issues in the county.” He lamented, “Unfortunately, the same issues are at the forefront now as those that were prevalent in 2014. Taxes are going up through appraisal increases, and our mobility hasn’t improved. If you pay more for the same piece of property, that’s a tax increase whether or not the actual tax rate goes up or down. Our elected officials have hidden behind a tax rate and superficial tax decrease that doesn’t really help the taxpayers.”
In addition to his concerns about taxation and spending, Dawson expressed frustration with the lack of progress on County road projects. “Mobility has worsened in Precinct 2 in the past two years. I don’t know of one project on the approved bond list, approved 2 years ago, that’s been completed. Some of those projects are as simple as turning lanes. I think my opponent’s focus has been elsewhere, and that’s harmful to the residents of Precinct 2.”
Dawson also noted, “our increased spending isn’t going to pay as you go for roads and infrastructure; it’s going other places inside the County government.”
Incumbent Charlie Riley
Dawson directed criticized incumbent Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley during the announcement interview earlier today. “We see a disengaged attitude from our commissioner. During the original homestead discussion, his response was ‘I just got this information yesterday and I need to do some research,’ but the public version of the Commissioners Court agenda comes out on Friday. There doesn’t seem to be any preparation or involvement by Charlie until the night before the meeting.”
The challenger also remarked on the recent discussion of the Montgomery Central Appraisal District’s proposed budget during the June 27, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting. Riley serves as a member of the Board of Directors of MCAD, which had approved its proposed budget on June 12. Riley claimed at the June 27 Commissioners Court meeting that he had not seen the proposed budget until the night before June 27. Dawson responded, “Last week during the MCAD budget discussion, Charlie said he just got the budget the last night, but he sits on the MCAD board. I was troubled that he had not seen the budget. He seems disengaged from his responsibilities or willfully ignorant, to the detriment of the people of Precinct 2.”
Dawson told The Golden Hammer that he opposes Montgomery County funding or taking primacy over the construction of the Tx-249 extension, the 3.6 mile tollway project, that will cost approximately $73 million and possibly take the form of another tollroad in this area. “That project should’ve been turned over to Tx-DOT a long time ago. It has distracted us from other things the County should be focused on. We’ve loaned the toll road authority $13 million and that amount is growing. That’s just not acceptable.” Dawson noted that, if Tx-DOT were to build the road instead of Montgomery County, “we can push not to make it a tollroad.”
“We’re at a turning point in this community. We’ve got to change the way we do things. We’ve got to put more forethought into how we address mobility concerns.”