Toll Road, Spending Overshadow July 25 Commissioners Court meeting

Appraisal District Board member and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley gorging himself on citizens’ tax dollars.

Conroe, July 25 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting on July 25, 2017, at 9:30 a.m., involves a 14-page secretive “consent” agenda, a few mundane “open” agenda items, but then massive County government spending on the Tx-249 Tollway and the Animal Shelter.

Agenda Item 9A1: 81 pages of $5,590,798 of payments will receive no review. Those payments only include $6,909.19 for the Tx-249 Taxway project, including $6,683.28 to Linebarger Goggan Blair law firm.

Agenda Item 9A2: The Commissioners Court intends to declare an emergency and grave public necessity so that they can spend the following funds as “budget amendments”:

$1,800 for Airport Maintenance for professional development

$21,333.50 for machinery and equipment at the Animal Shelter

$7,146.80 for equipment for the Building Maintenance Department

$66,000 from Meador’s Precinct 1 slush fund (carryover from previous year) mostly for additional salaries for his staff.

$2,844.44 for the County Engineer to purchase additional supplies with no explanation.

$900 more for the District Clerk to spend on mobile telephones.

Agenda Item 9A5: County Auditor Phyllis Martin will ask for approval of an unaudited financial report for the month of June, 2017, which she failed to provide with the Commissioners Court packet.

Agenda Item 9C: The Commissioners Court will approve three single-spaced pages of purchasing contracts without any review or discussion. One of the items is to purchase “Meal Delivery for Emergency Management.”

Agenda Item 9I2: Accept $30 donation to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy, which someone gave in the last Commissioners Court meeting.

Agenda Item 12A: The Tax Assessor Collector seeks permission to notify Forest Ridge Office Condominiums that they are in default under their tax abatement agreement with the County government.

Agenda Item 13A: Appoint Joanne Arnold, Dorothy Woodall, Cathy Motherwell and Melicio Franco to Library’s Reconsideration Committee for the review of juvenile and young adult materials.

Agenda Item 14: Accept certification of sufficient signatures on petition for local option election to legalize the sale of all alcoholic beverages in JP Precinct 4. The referendum would occur on November 7, 2017.

Agenda Item 15: The Animal Shelter wants funds held back during the budget season in 2016. The Shelter has offered no plan for the expenditure of the funds. The lack of plan would seem to be consistent with the willy-nilly spending policies of the County government.

Agenda Item 16A: Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack is requesting $1,445,569.10 for changes to the Geneva Outfall Storm Sewer Construction associated with Wild Rose Commercial Development for the Rayford Road Widening and railroad grade separation from Richards Road to State Highway 99.

Agenda Item 16B and C: Close several positions in the Purchasing Department to fund the hiring of the new Purchasing Director and Assistant.

Agenda Item 16D: Spend $50,000 for a courier vehicle for the library. There is no funding source, so the money will likely come directly from general funds.

Agenda Item 18A1: Commissioner Mike Meador wants to hire a new part-time laborer for $22,620.00 with $4,694.87 of those funds taken from his asphalt account.

Agenda Item 18A2: Meador wants to hire another part-time clerk at $20 per hour. The funds will come from a secret account not listed in the budget.

Agenda Item 18A3: Meador wants to name a new director for the Airport. In his world, posting the job, taking applications, or interviewing is probably not the normal method.

Agenda Item 18B: Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark put the Citizens Budget Committee report on the agenda so that they could make a 12 minute presentation.

Agenda Item 20: The Commissioners Court will discuss two items in executive session involving ongoing litigation.

Finally, the Commissioners Court will vote by a 3 to 2 vote, as always, to give a $400,000 contract to CDM Smith so that they can provide a report to attempt to fool the citizens that the Tx-249 Taxway is an economically viable project.

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