Conroe, The Woodlands, New Caney, Magnolia, Montgomery, Porter, Willis, and Everywhere Else in Montgomery County, July 8 – Over the course of the past few weeks, three candidates have announced their intentions to run for the Montgomery County Commissioners Court, a governmental body seriously in need of major reform. Montgomery County’s government suffers from the following gigantic problems, among others:
- The County government’s spending is out of control and growing. In the past two years, spending has grown by $76 million, or over 20%. In the past seventeen years, during the Craig Doyal era of County government, spending has grown by 424% while population has grown only 84%. The waste is far and wide. The internal mismanagement of tax dollars is extreme. Salaries of elected officials and of the “Solid Gold Top 50,” among others, are just a start towards addressing a spending problem out of control.
- Ethics is short and seriously needed. Nepotism abounds. The “Riley 2-step,” Craig Doyal’s daughter, Mike Meador’s family members and close friends of his wife, and the Building Maintenance Department that seems to be Nepotism HQ are just examples. There are dozens of matters on which Craig Doyal, Mike Meador, Charlie Riley, Jim Clark, and James Noack have major conflicts of interest and simply should not vote as members of the Court. Notice that Mike Meador and Charlie Riley recused themselves from voting up or down on the Montgomery Central Appraisal District budget, because they served on the Board of Directors of that thieving institution. If that’s a conflict for which they had to recuse themselves, then please explain to me how ANY of the Commissioners Court members could vote to “loan” millions of dollars to the Montgomery County Toll Road Authority – interest-free – when they all serve on the Board of that supposedly separate entity that’s borrowing the money?!
- The Montgomery County government operates in secret and without an ounce of transparency. In order to obtain information about matters happening inside your County government, this newspaper practically has to conduct espionage operations (utilizing techniques from a Texas A&M Bush School of Government Course on that exact topic). That’s ridiculous. The closed and locked doors of the Sadler Administration Building and any government building are unacceptable. Public officials should have NO expectation of privacy whatsoever. Citizens should have the ability to walk straight in to any desk and ask to see any document.
- The County mismanages roads. The 2015 road bond projects are proceeding with all deliberate speed. Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley has made little progress. The other precincts (other than 3) face similar issues.
- Downright corruption, involving the Davenport Ring (the candidates and elected officials who follow the directions of this mean-spirited, overbearing, and corrupt person and his wife who exhibit the maturity of rebellious adolescent children), must come to an end. Three candidates – Wayne Mack, Judge James Metts, and County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport – are up for re-election in the 2018 Republican Primary Election. If they continue their affiliation with Marc Davenport, people should avoid voting for them at all cost. Hopefully, by 2020, Sheriff Rand Henderson and Precinct 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden will have broken off their ties with the Davenport Ring. Hayden is the one member of the Davenport Ring who largely marches to his own tune. Henderson needs to come to realize that he enjoys the talent, skill, and personality to be a great leader without his mean-spirited “boss.”
Now, that some choices exist in three of the Commissioners Court races – County Judge (Keough and Doyal), Precinct 2 County Commissioner (Dawson, Parker, and Riley), and Precinct 4 County Commissioner (Clark, Bagley, and probably Metts) – it is your responsibility and your duty to learn about these people. Don’t trust initial instincts. Don’t judge people by how nice they are or whether they strike you as a “good person.” Look at their records. Ask probing questions. Find out who their campaign consultants are. See how they’ve voted. See how they act under pressure.
Two incumbent elected officials – Jim Clark and Mark Keough – have remarked that, in many ways, The Golden Hammer has become almost an “encyclopedia” of facts about the Montgomery County government. That’s nice of them to say, but it’s not true. Encyclopedias do not admit an up-front bias, as has this newspaper, in favor of reducing government spending, although we do attempt to provide facts. Every news organization has an ulterior motive. The Courier blog is trying to survive and trying to make the political “establishment” look as good as possible. The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading newspaper, has announced its ulterior motive: reduce county spending. The Montgomery County Police Reporter does a fine job providing information about crime and law enforcement, but it does have a pro-Davenport Ring political slant.
Remember that political flyers are just that, political flyers trying to sell you on a person.
Please avoid the politics of personality. Just because you like someone doesn’t mean they’re always right. You should question everything said by every candidate and elected official. You should investigate everything they say.
If you show up at the polls and need to rely on a voter guide to decide how to vote, then you have not done your job.
We can clean up Montgomery County. Citizens are far more aware and invigorated than they’ve ever been.
But if you go to the voting booth and vote for Craig Doyal because you think he looks like a nice man or because he’s a nice guy, then you’re the problem, not Craig, Charlie, Stephanne, Wayne, Metts, or the others who take advantage of citizen ignorance.