Conroe, October 8 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court has four people whom it will seriously consider for nomination to the Montgomery Central Appraisal District (MCAD). A fifth person appears merely to be a “revenge nominee” of the angry Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley. The Court may nominate two individuals to the MCAD Board of Directors.
Riley is running for re-election after his first term as County Commissioner in the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election. He’s been the subject of substantial criticism for his work to raise property tax appraisals on the MCAD Board while voting to increase County government spending on the Commissioners Court. Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador has also suffered the same criticism, but he has no plans to run for another term as a County Commissioner, so he doesn’t care.
At the September 26, 2017, Court meeting, County Judge Craig Doyal began the discussion, “Commissioner Meador, you’re on the Board now?” Meador responded, “And I will be glad to serve again.” That’s not a surprise, since Meador has clearly worked to give property tax appraisal favors to his family members and businesses who have made political contributions to him.
Doyal then turned to Riley, “Commissioner Riley, you’re wanting to come off?” (Since Doyal and Riley don’t believe in the Open Meetings Act, they’d obviously discussed this matter prior to the open Commissioners Court meeting.) Riley responded, “I’m wanting to step down and I do want to nominate someone.” Doyal innocently said, “Okay.” Riley continued, “I nominate…” someone against whom Riley clearly thought he sought revenge. When Riley made the nomination, the room burst into applause and laughter.
Meador then remarked, “I may change my mind.” Riley responded, “I understand that too.”
Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack then made two more sober suggestions for the nomination: Peggy Hausman of The Woodlands, and Bill O’Sullivan of The Woodlands. Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark suggested Guy Hancock of New Caney and Bob Casey of The Woodlands.
Who are these people?
Peggy Hausman is a longtime resident of The Woodlands who served as the President of the Woodlands Community Association and later as a Board member of the Woodlands Township. Hausman chose not to run for re-election after her husband, Mitch, retired and they began to spend more time in Colorado together. Hausman was establishment politician Bruce Tough’s nemesis on the Township Board.
Bill O’Sullivan moved into The Woodlands in 1992 after retiring as an executive in the insurance and risk management industry. He has been a conservative political activist for a quarter of a century, is known to all as “The Sage,” and serves as Treasurer of the Texas Tea Party Patriots Political Action Committee.
Guy Hancock is an affable member of the political establishment and would be a reliable vote for higher property tax appraisals to continue to fund the growth in County government spending. He lives in the New Caney area and has served as on the Board of Directors of an Emergency Service District. Hancock is a friend of Marc and Stephanne Davenport, Doyal, former County Commissioner Ed Rinehart, and the influential Hayden family of East Montgomery County.
Bob Casey is a retired Harris County Deputy Sheriff who lives in the Imperial Oaks area and is also a Republican Precinct Chairman. Since 1998, Casey has been self-employed as a vending machine distributor under the name Lawmens Vending.
Elected members of the Commissioners Court tend to view themselves differently from the remainder of the population. Therefore, it’s quite possible that the Court will draw from its own, despite Riley’s choice not to seek re-nomination. That would seem to put Noack in prime position for the nomination, as one person on Doyal’s political team confirmed that Doyal would like for Noack to serve on the MCAD Board. In Doyal’s view, that nomination would both draw Noack closer to Doyal and the political establishment, ensure that the Appraisal District will continue its expansive reappraisal policies, and create political vulnerability for Noack if he “acts up” and doesn’t tow the establishment political line.
In order of most likely to least likely of the five serious candidates for MCAD, besides Meador, the candidates line up as follows:
- Noack, most likely
- Hausman, least likely (due to her poor relationship with establishment scion Bruce Tough, who already serves on the MCAD Board and who is a reliable pro-tax vote).
O’Sullivan and Hausman are both immensely qualified for the MCAD Board but, as the service of Meador and Riley has shown, qualification is not what the political establishment seeks in nominees. They seek loyalty.