Conroe, November 13 – Government succeeds at dictatorship utilizing three techniques: secrecy, destruction of the rights of freedom, and the raw wielding of power. On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court will meet and spend millions of citizen dollars. Since Craig Doyal became the County Judge and Charlie Riley became Precinct 2 County Commissioner, they’ve operated in secret, destroyed the rights of freedom of the citizens, and wielded raw power for their benefit and to the detriment of the taxpayers.
The following are seven of the worst examples of dictatorship on the November 14 meeting agenda along with the historical seven worst dictators to whom they are analogous.
7th Worst Dictator in History: How the Houston-Galveston Area Council resembles Pakistani dictator Yahya Khan.
General Khan led the Pakistani military during World War II and became the third president of Pakistan from 1969 to 1971. He instituted martial law and led a war against Eastern Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Khan objected to the people of East Pakistan who resisted federal policies and Pakistan National Government Commissions. Khan tried to solve the resistance problem by killing 3 million Bengali nationalists.
The Houston-Galveston Area Council is an ambitious federal agency which distributes federal highway dollars within the territory of the Greater Houston Area that includes Montgomery County. HGAC has grown from a small regional cooperation group into a gigantic bureaucracy that seeks to regulate roadways, tow trucks, and transit. Rather than permitting Montgomery County to determine its own destiny with respect to a mobility study, HGAC, with the cooperation of Doyal and Riley who are its cheerleaders, has attempted to dictate a regional mobility plan on local communities such as ours.
The Commissioners Court will vote on two delegates and two alternates to represent Montgomery County in the HGAC Assembly. Doyal and Riley want the jobs and will likely demand that they serve again as reliable pro-government-growth supporters. It will be interesting to see whether Commissioners Clark and Noack try to gain seats on the HGAC instead. It would be even more interesting if the Commissioners Court were to appoint regular citizens such as Bill O’Sullivan or Bob Smith on HGAC’s governing body to represent the real interests of the people.
6th Worst Dictator in History: As Czar “Bloody” Nicholas II shared the Russian royal family’s opulence with the ruling class in pre-Soviet Russia, Doyal, Riley, and Meador pay a fortune to engineer John Holzwarth to duplicate the duties of salaried County Engineer Mark Mooney.
Czar “Bloody” Nicholas II of Russia ruled as Emperor of Russia from 1894 until his violent overthrow in the 1917 Communist Revolution. Nicholas, who directed the murder of more than 3,000,000 Russians who resisted his social policies, lived an opulent lifestyle and shared the wealth of the ruling elite with the top families in St. Petersburg.
One of the largest and most consistent political contributors to Doyal, Riley, and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador is John Holzwarth. The November 14 Agenda shows their intention to pay $16,309.75 to Holzwarth just for the past three-week period! Holzwarth provides road and bridge supervision services as an engineer, which are the identical duties for which the taxpayers pay County Engineer Mark Mooney and his Department $1,853,096 per year to perform.
Doyal, Riley, and Meador are masters of spreading County tax dollars to their favored political contributors. Holzwarth plays the political contribution game better than most and he reaps the rewards.
5th Worst Dictator in History: As General Tojo stuck the Japanese people with decades of paying for his terrible decisions, the County government has stuck Montgomery County taxpayers with an eternity of supporting their health benefits.
General Hidek Tojo’s reckless ambition to rise to the power of Hitler in Germany led to his disastrous decisions that cost the lives of more than five million people in Asian nations surrounding Japan and resulted in Japan’s political dependence on the United States in the post-War era.
The Montgomery County government seems to have no limitations upon its desire to spend taxpayers’ dollars. Unlike the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies – over 93% of them, in fact – Montgomery County provides retiree health benefits to its former employees for life. Just during the three-week period ending in the November 14, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting, the citizens of Montgomery County will pay $321,844.68 in retiree health benefits, as hidden nicely in the “consent agenda.”
4th Worst Dictator in History: the Davenport Ring’s NetData folly costs Montgomery County taxpayers millions per year. If anyone dares question their maneuver, they threaten them in a manner similar to Stalin’s Great Purge.
Although historians generally don’t rank Josef Stalin as worse than Mao or Hitler, it’s arguable that his actions resulted in more deaths. Stalin didn’t hesitate to murder political activists who dared to disagree with his policies. He launched the “Great Purge” in the Soviet Union to kill every person who opposed him which some historians believe resulted in more than ten million deaths.
It’s interesting to observe the dogmatic manner in which JP James Metts and his supposed “sworn deputy” Marc Davenport argue in favor of the private collection system they’ve established for four of the five Justice of the Peace courts in Montgomery County. Under their private system, the County must use the NetData court database for those courts and pay Graves Humphries Stahl law firm an enormous percentage fee for amounts collected. Just during the November 14 Commissioners Court meeting, the Court will pay Graves Humphries Stahl $7,424.88 in fees.
By comparing the poor collections of those four JP courts with the one JP court, Precinct 3, which uses the County’s internal collection system instead, it becomes clear that Metts, Davenport, and their collection system are costing Montgomery County taxpayers $764,000 in uncollected fees and fines per year.
What’s perfectly Stalinesque about Metts and Davenport is the vicious manner in which they attack anyone who would dare question their use of the outside collection system rather than the far more efficient County collections operation in place under Montgomery County Clerk Mark Turnbull and Collections Director Clegg DeWalt. During County employee committee meetings in 2012 and 2013, Metts and Davenport told all those in attendance that they were using the outside collection system no matter what the merits were otherwise. Those meetings were where Metts introduced Davenport as a “sworn deputy” in his JP4 office. During 2013 Commissioners Court meetings, Metts literally screamed at Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack who questioned the decision to use the outside system. On June 16, 2016, Metts appeared before the Commissioners Court again to defend his and Davenport’s use of the NetData collection system and to announce that he would never change from that system, apparently even if the Commissioners Court voted otherwise.
3rd Worst Dictator In History: European colonial powers granted Leopold II the territory of the Congo Free State in order to improve the lives of its inhabitants. Instead, he committed some of the worst atrocities in history in his secret genocidal campaign. Nothing the Montgomery County government has done would come close to those atrocities, but there’s no question that the Commissioners Court has ruined the lives of many taxpayers through their spending policies and secret budget amendments.
Secrecy is a prime tool for dictatorship, as the light of day will bring political activists to the fore for the purpose of change and reform. The Texas Local Government Code has very narrow requirements for the manner in which County governments must prepare and approve their budgets. Those requirements include “public hearings” with fair notice so that citizens may participate, in a meaningful manner, through the budget process.
After a County passes its budget, which Montgomery County’s Commissioners Court did on September 5, 2017, for the Fiscal Year 2018, which began October 1, 2017, it may only change the budget if there is an “emergency” involving a “grave public necessity.” Even in those circumstances there are very narrow limitations on the manner in which a County may amend a previously-passed Budget.
In Montgomery County, however, the Commissioners Court relies upon Leopold II’s primary tool of secrecy through which he killed millions of Congolese without the rest of the world knowing about it.
On November 14 alone, the Commissioners Court will pass twenty-three (23) budget amendments for the previous Fiscal Year as part of the “consent agenda” without any discussion, review, or deliberation. Those budget amendments represent millions of dollars of instances where the County government failed to follow its budget and spent money in other ways instead, a clear violation of the Local Government Code and Generally Accepted Accounting Practices.
The Commissioners Court will also consider eighteen (18) budget amendments for the current Fiscal Year 2018. Those budget amendments total $2,992,742.80. Meador is moving $2,000 from his road and bridge “slush fund” for “land.” He’s also moving $400,000 from his “slush fund” for unnamed and un-explained “machinery.” The remainder of the Commissioners Court will look the other way, just as the world did while Leopold II committed genocide.
If nothing else, these budget amendments reveal the sloppy and haphazard manner in which Doyal, Riley, Noack, and Meador passed the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark voted against the Budget in part due to those failures.
2nd Worst Dictator In History: The Tx-249 Tollway resembles the methodology of the National Socialist Party (Nazis).
As discussed in the Featured article in today’s edition of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, the Tx-249 Tollway project has almost no citizen support whatsoever. It’s entirely the child of a tiny group of individuals who are profiting off of the crazed $73 million spending project, which will likely cost the taxpayers of Montgomery County closer to $150 million when factoring in the cost of frontage road construction.
The philosophy of the Tx-249 Tollway is strikingly similar to that of the National Socialist Party in pre-war Germany. The idea of National Socialism was that private industry failed to develop the economy in the direction and manner which government leaders wanted. Therefore, the Nazis sought the government to direct “economic development.”
The Tx-249 Tollway project is identical to that philosophy. In reality, it will lead to greater traffic congestion and less mobility. The only “winners” from the Tollway are Doyal and Riley who are funneling enormous amounts of money to the contributors to their criminal legal defense funds and the campaign contribution funds, a select group of out-of-town real estate developers who speculated on land in the pastures northwest of Magnolia in the hopes that they’d convince the County and the state to build the Tollway to nowhere and improve the value of their speculative investments, and the engineering firms, such as Jones & Carter, Land Tech Surveyors, and Halff Associates, who hoped that legal defense fund contributions and political contributions would pay them back in the form of giant County contracts.
The Tx-249 Tollway is National Socialism in its modern form.
Worst Dictator in History: Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution is frighteningly similar to the 21st Century “Tax Era” in Montgomery County’s government.
The November 14 Commissioners Court Agenda includes the election of two members to the Board of Directors of the Montgomery Central Appraisal District. If there’s any institution in this community which resembles the treachery and anti-citizen attitude of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which resulted in the deaths of over a million innocent Chinese civilians, it’s the MCAD.
The MCAD is what has created a “Tax Era” in Montgomery County. It’s the engine for the growth in taxes by which governmental entities, such as the County government, have more and more money to spend without having to worry about efficiency or even fiscal planning. Politicians, such as Doyal, use the MCAD as a mechanism to claim they’re “lowering” taxes when they vote in a tiny tax rate reduction, such as last year’s 1 cent tax rate reduction. This year, there was no tax rate reduction at all. But in both instances, taxes actually rose, because the Appraisal District’s “reappraisal” policy imposed property tax valuation increases substantially higher than in previous years.
The result is that Montgomery County taxpayers’ tax bills are higher in 2017 than they have been in history. It’s our own “Cultural Revolution.” Government doesn’t exist to serve us any longer. We exist, work, and earn money in order to serve the government.
Just listen to Doyal speak to a real estate or economic development group. His measure of success is “growing the tax base.” It’s not providing greater government service at a lower price. Success to Doyal, Riley, Meador, and their colleagues means bringing more money into government coffers.
That’s the Cultural Revolution of 21st Century Montgomery County.