Commissioner James Noack is the seventh most powerful person in Montgomery County at the present time.
For the purpose of this discussion, I generally define “power” as the ability to get things done in our community. So if someone has specific business or political goals and can get them done for himself or herself or for others, then they have power. Noack fits that definition very precisely.
Noack has been getting a lot of things done, even though he is often the lone conservative dissenter on the Commissioners Court where his colleagues are very much tax-and-spend liberals who want to do what they want to do rather than what’s good for our community.
Noack’s strong finance background has enabled him to find almost $10 million in savings for Montgomery County taxpayers in bond interest payments. He has been instrumental in the road and infrastructure development in south Montgomery County, particularly those areas outside of The Woodlands. He gets the job done when road and traffic problems arise and require solutions throughout his Precinct. He’s even assigned his road crews to fix problems outside of his Precinct when the Commissioners of adjacent Precincts don’t get the job done quickly enough.
Noack was also a major force in finally bringing some progress to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. He worked with volunteers and political activists to make improvements at the shelter, despite considerable resistance from Commissioner Jim Clark (Precinct 4) and County Judge Craig Doyal, who opposed any light shining on the major problems at the shelter. Noack accomplished this progress by doing something many of colleagues on the Commissioners Court fail to do: he listened to his constituents and to experts, then analyzed the information, and made critical decisions.
Noack was first elected in 2012. He had a rough first couple of years, because he hadn’t yet found the balance between arguing on the one hand and, on the other hand, expressing policy disagreements while maintaining personal courtesy. He’s now found that balance, although the writer wishes that Noack would force his colleagues to vote on some issues rather than backing off from those votes and giving those colleagues a “pass.” Noack’s lone dissents on 4 to 1 votes, where he is the conservative, would be very effective, as long as Noack maintains personal courtesy towards his erring colleagues. (Former Associate Justice William Rehnquist did that for decades while still developing strong personal relationships with his colleagues on the United States Supreme Court.)
Someone can use power for good and bad. A friend commented to me that she hoped Noack would not be on the Top Ten List, because the List has mostly been dark, although #10 (Sheriff-Elect Henderson) is a very positive leader. I’m not sure that I agree that we can differentiate people as positive or negative. There are many positives I can find in everyone on the Top Ten List so far. Power is power. That’s what the Top Ten List focuses on. I’m leaving the List of the Ten Best People to others.
In addition to his work as County Commissioner, Noack and his family have become major and very effective philanthropists through their Noack Foundation. His Precinct “barn” is right outside of The Woodlands and he lives in The Woodlands. Congratulations to James Noack for making the Top Ten List.
CURRENT TOP TEN MOST POWER PEOPLE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY LIST:
#7 James Noack, County Commissioner, Precinct Three.
#8 Phyllis Martin, County Auditor.
#9 Bobby Adams, Civil Engineer.
#10 Rand Henderson, Sheriff-Elect.