Montgomery County Commissioners Court continues to march in lockstep at October 24 meeting

The Montgomery County Commissioners Court met on October 24, 2017.

Conroe, November 11 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting  on October 24, 2017, was another fiscal disaster for the citizens of Montgomery County where the five members of the Commissioners Court seemed to march in lockstep.

The Golden Hammer‘s ratings measure Commissioners Court votes that affect spending in comparison to the provisions of the Republican Party of Texas Platform. Points are good. The number of points depends upon the amount of money involved in each vote.

Commissioners Court meeting, October 24, 2017, 9:30 a.m. All Court members present, except for Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador. Since Meador was absent, the Court could not consider any matters involving the Tx-249 Tollway, as such matters would fail on a 2 to 2 tie vote.

Agenda Item 9A1: Consider and approve budget amendments for prior Fiscal Year. The Commissioners Court voted to approve 20 budget amendments for the last Fiscal Year as an “emergency” and “grave public necessity.” It’s not clear how something that happened last year could be an emergency. What the Commissioners Court is doing, however, is attempting to skirt the requirements of the Texas Local Government Code for public hearings for budget matters. The budget amendments totaled $3,885,353.20 of tax dollars. The Commissioners Court approved payment of $36,999.48 in overtime compensation to salaried employees during the month of September for overtime related to Tropical Storm Harvey. A “no” vote was appropriate. 25 points.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A2. Budget amendments for the current Fiscal Year which began October 1, 2017. They passed 7 budget amendments for the current Fiscal Year already, signifying that they messed up the budget when they hastily passed in during the budget process. The amendments totaled $1,048400.50. A “no” vote was appropriate. 25 points.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A3. Approved a $3.8 million audit of official fees for each County Department from the past two months without any backup material. 10 points. “No” vote appropriate under the circumstances.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A4: Approved eight departmental audits without backup material. How in the world can you approve an audit without looking at it or the backup material behind it? 10 points. “No” vote appropriate under the circumstances.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A5: Consider and approve payment of accounts. Approved paying $6,948,352.77 in expenditures without any review whatsoever. Those payments included payments to Graves Humphries law firm for fee and fine collections for the Justice of the Peace courts which should have occurred through the County’s Collection Department. The County loses millions of dollars per year as a result of this Davenport Ring-led corruption. 25 points. “No” vote appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9B: Approved three reports from the County Treasurer concerning monthly statement of balances, monthly investments, and pledges of depository collateral without any backup material. It’s easier to hide from the citizens if Treasurer Department documents remain secret. 10 points. “No” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9D: Purchasing. Exercised eight contract renewal options without any examination of whether competing prices might be better for the County’s taxpayers. Approved three open-ended contracts with no fixed contract price for Cisco Systems and other vendors. Approved advertising for more animal cages and kennels for the Animal Shelter. Approved advertising for contracts, change orders, and awarding seven contracts to county vendors without discussion of why. 25 points. For millions of dollars of purchasing decisions, there was no review, discussion, or deliberation. A “no” vote is appropriate under the circumstances.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 15A: Tax abatement for Scannell Properties (Federal Express). This enormous tax abatement was secret prior to the meeting. The single most important question that, of course, no member of the Commissioners Court dared to ask never came up during the discussion. WOULD FEDERAL EXPRESS COME TO CONROE WITHOUT THE TAX ABATEMENT? Of course, the answer is “yes.” And, of course, neither the Tax Assessor-Collector nor any Commissioners Court member would discuss such an obvious question. 10 points. A “no” vote is appropriate under the circumstances.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 20A: Approve over $1.08 million of contracts without any competitive bidding or oversight for two road projects and roof repair. Amazingly, the County Commissioners Court was so stupid as to pay $171,374 for “consulting services” for “roof management.” Apparently, they’ve never heard of the concept of just hiring someone from the lower bidder to do the job. 25 points. Major vote. A “no” vote is appropriate, even though the two road projects are meritorious.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 21A: Approve $800 for food, beverages, and kitchen supplies “during the period of the disaster declaration for Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey.” Please note that the supplies were not necessarily necessary during the storm but only represented buying more food and beverages during the “disaster declaration.” It’s amazing that the Commissioners Court would be that sound asleep on the job with respect to necessary oversight. 5 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

 

 

Agenda Item 27: Citizen Comments.

Bill O’Sullivan discussed frontage road expenses for the Tx-249 Tollway.

Eric Yollick presented The Golden Hammer Award to Doyal and Riley for the Tx-249 Tollway since they failed to plan for frontage road costs.

Ralph Leno of the Town of Woodloch City Council complained about lack of drainage planning.

John Wertz complained about the lack of drainage planning around River Oaks Drive.

Commissioners Court ratings for October 24, 2017, meeting:

DOYAL 0/170. Grade F.

MEADOR 0/170. Grade F.

RILEY 0/170. Grade F.

NOACK 0/170. Grade F.

CLARK 0/170. Grade F.

Well at least they’re getting along!

The following are the cumulative scores for Fiscal Year 2018, which began October 1, 2017.

DOYAL -65/421. Grade F.

MEADOR 35/421. Grade F.

RILEY 35/421. Grade F.

NOACK 85/421. Grade F.

CLARK 110/421. Grade F.

The citizens must remain vigilant.

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