Conroe, October 13 – Just as Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal was going to proceed with a vote for his $73 million, 3.6 mile, Tx-249 Tollway project at the far southwest edge of Montgomery County in order to provide free roads to favored real estate developers Rick Sheldon of San Antonio, Varde Partners of Minnesota, and Pete Peters recently of federal prison but now of Austin, all three of whom are major political supporters and central organizers of Doyal’s criminal legal defense fund which hired criminal defense lawyer Rusty Hardin to represent Doyal under his indictment, all Hades broke loose in the Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.
Precinct 1 County Commissioner made a motion to approve the next step in the development of the immensely unpopular Tollway. Shockingly, Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack quickly seconded the motion! That’s right: Noack.
But then Magnolia Republican Precinct Chair Ginger Russell interrupted and asked, “Are you going to let the citizens speak who signed up?”
Doyal wasn’t going to let her speak but then he succumbed to Russell’s plea.
At that point, Russell delivered an amazing address to the Commissioners Court, which follows:
“I spoke 2 weeks ago about the tollroad and about how I value transparency. Sadly, I have a Commissioner [Charlie Riley] that doesn’t correspond or answer emails and has blocked any correspondence on Facebook.
“I was contradicted after attending a Republican Women’s meeting and came and said [at the September 26, 2017, Commissioners Court] about how we were told that he [Riley] was for the taxpayers having a say and when our money is being spent. When I went to go sit down, I was contradicted as to what I said.
“Sometimes I may get things wrong and sometimes politicians use words that we’re not familiar with as taxpayers, so I went and looked up the word ‘toll’ in the Webster’s College Dictionary. I was amazed.
“What is a ‘toll’? It’s a tax or a charge for a privilege. So it’s amazing to me that three people in Montgomery County who have sat on this court can vote to put that tollroad in, and you refuse to let the voters have a say on this.
“And I was at church on Sunday and in my bulletin was the Scripture the Pastor was talking about and it’s in Luke 16:15:
“‘And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.‘
“You can sit here and you can deceive the taxpayers, and I know the verbage, ‘well you don’t have to get on the tollroad,’ but there’s roads there that we’ve already paid for with our tax money and what y’all do is y’all limit the speed limit on the roads that we’ve already paid for with our tax money.
“What y’all will do is limit the speed limit on the roads and the service roads down to 30 miles per hour and you force the people to use the tollroads that they don’t even want.
“I don’t want the tollroad.
“It’s not needed.
“You’re forcing us to use the tollroad that we don’t even want.
“Y’all don’t care about the citizens at all. This is all y’all’s agenda.”
The Commissioners Court then proceeded to vote on the Tollway and ignored the Magnolia Republican Precinct Chair’s concerns in their entirety. Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark and Noack voted against the proposal.