Undocumented Metts expenditure, Noack dissents on mid-year employment changes lead ratings for January 23 Commissioners Court meeting

Left to right, Rob Eissler, Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack, at Woodforest Bank Stadium.

Conroe, February 11 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved a $5,000 expenditure for JP James Metts of Precinct 4 that had no explanation whatsoever other than the fact that the funds came from the “Justice of the Peace Technology Fund.” As far as the Commissioners Court might know, the $5,000 went into Metts’ campaign coffers.

Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack’s dissents on mid-year employment decisions highlighted an otherwise uneventul January 23, 2018, Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting. “Uneventful” is an appropriate description for the meeting and the Commissioners Court’s actions only because they continued to spend massive amounts of tax dollars mostly without even considering what they were doing or the burden which they foisted upon this community’s taxpayers.

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, January 23, 2018, 9:30 a.m. All Court members were physically present.

Agenda Item 9A1: The Commissioners Court continued to clean up the terrible accounting and bookkeeping mess from the previous fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2017. Now, four months later, they’re still having to vote in favor of spending measures for dollars they spent in the previous year without any formal approval. They approved more than $3,130,000 of changes to the budget without considering those changes, reviewing them or discussion them. 25 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A2: An 89-page $10.823 million report of payments was completely out of order and largely incomprehensible. Since it was apparent the Commissioners Court members never reviewed the report, but just passed the spending measures blindly, perhaps that didn’t matter. The Commissioners Court included a payment of over $101,o00 to CDM Smith, the engineering firm hired to show that the TX 249 Tollway will be a revenue earner. Of course, similar revenue projections for the SH 242 flyovers were a total failure. Nevertheless, to Doyal and Riley, who are the only two individuals in the entire State of Texas who support more tollroads, getting CDM Smith to agree to say whatever they want is probably worth that money (to Doyal and Riley, not to the taxpayers. The Montgomery County Commissioners Court paid $30,859.90 to Halff Associates, Inc., the engineering firm whose regional Vice President is Bobby Jack Adams, the best friend and business partner of Doyal. Since Doyal had a serious conflict of interest, the County Commissioners Court should never have approved any of those contracts with Doyal voting for them. Major vote. 25 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A3: The Budget Amendments for the current Fiscal Year 2018 were more than $832,157 and included, inter alia, a massive payment of overtime compensation to employees within the County Auditor’s Department allegedly related to Tropical Storm Harvey. There was no review, discussion, or oversight of these amendments to the budget. 10 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A5: The entirety of all information that the Commissioners Court had before it when it approved a $5,000 expenditure was “Consider and Approve Request by Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 to use $5,000 from the Justice of the Peace Technology Fund.” There was no backup information. Was it a payment to Marc Davenport? To James Metts? To one of the convicted felons who works on Metts’ campaign? Blindly, every member of the Commissioners Court voted to approve this spending measure. Major vote due to its reckless nature. 25 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9D: The Commissioners Court approved over $7 million of spending without oversight or discussion. Major vote. 25 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9H: Approve payroll changes. No backup material, no review, no oversight. A blind vote. 10 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 10: There were no citizen comments, as County Judge Craig Doyal has essentially shut them down.

Agenda Item 13A: The Precinct 2 Constable sough to move a part-time position into a full-time position with no proposed source of funding. The funding would cost $4,992.62 without a designated source of funds other than contingency. 5 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL No

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK No

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 13B: The Commissioners Court voted for transfer of one position in the Precinct 2 Constable’s office into another one. Funds were available for the change except the Commissioners Court required the Constable’s Office to use a vehicle already available. Therefore, the funding required no additional expenditures by the taxpayers. 5 points. A “yes” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 16B: The Animal Shelter wanted to upgrade two positions with funds already available in the budget. 5 points. A “no” vote is appropriate, because these are payroll changes that are in the middle of the Budget year.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK No

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 23 – Citizen Comments.

County Clerk Mark Turnbull discussed the status of the construction of a records management building from collected fees already earmarked by state law for that purpose.

The Sage, Bill O’Sullivan, discussed the need for a full-time medical examiner.

Commissioners Court ratings for January 23, 2018, meeting:

DOYAL 10/135. Grade F.

MEADOR 5/135. Grade F.

RILEY 5/135. Grade F.

NOACK 10/135. Grade F.

CLARK 5/135. Grade F.

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

DOYAL -760/1,643. Grade F.

MEADOR 85/1,643. Grade F.

RILEY 85/1,643. Grade F.

NOACK 950/1,643. Grade F.

CLARK 960/1,643. Grade F.

The citizens must remain vigilant.

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