While Montgomery County floods and the taxpayers face impending doom when the tax bills arrive in a month, the Commissioners Court fiddles on September 12

B. Hussein Obama imitating Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and the Commissioners Court.

Conroe, September 12 – While Montgomery County suffers from a devastating, largely government-caused flood, and while taxpayers face the impending doom of receiving their property tax increase bills next month, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court fiddled around on September 12, 2017, took no action to reduce government spending, and appeared to address business as normal. There was one shocking vote where a commissioner decided to change his longstanding opposition to mid-year salary increases and vote with the “establishment.”

Here are the ratings of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper. The cumulative ratings began on October 1, 2016, the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017, which ends on September 30, 2017.

Points are good.

REGULAR COMMISSIONERS COURT MEETING, September 12, 2017, 9:30 a.m.

Agenda Item 9A1: Payment of accounts.

Once again, the Commissioners Court approved payment of millions of dollars of accounts without eyes reviewing those accounts first. The payments consist of 85 single-spaced pages totaling $15,971,225.06 of taxpayer funds.

Some of the most appalling payments included:

  • $33,703.51 paid to Graves Humphries law firm for their failure to collect Justice of the Peace fees and fines adequately;
  • $30,318.58 to Halff Associates, the engineering firm of Bobby Jack Adams, the best friend and business partner of County Judge Craig Doyal;
  • $105,983.63 in additional payments for the $73 million, 3.6 mile Tx-249 Decimation of Hope Highway Tollway;
  • an additional payment to Halff Associates out of the Precinct 1 budget for $4,720.00;
  • $7,463.76 to John Holzwarth, the private engineer who duplicates the services and duties of County Engineer Mark Mooney; and
  • hundreds of thousands of dollars to Lowe’s, Sherwin Williams, Amazon.com, Hitouch Business, Ofice Depot, Kroger, and other retailers at full retail prices.

A “no” vote was appropriate. 25 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9A3: Budget amendments. Several million dollars of budget amendments. For once, there was a genuine emergency expenditure as to some of the amendments arising from Tropical Storm Harvey. But there were also some trivial amendments which just revealed a lack of transparency and accountability for budgeting, such as:

  • $285,000 Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador is spending on vehicles out of his carryover slush fund from previous years’ budgets
  • $113,223.90 Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley is spending on capital outlays out of his asphalt and road account without any explanation
  • $1,030 of unexplained funds County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, wife of indicted political boss Marc Davenport, is spending on “professional development.”

A “no” vote was appropriate. 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9D1: The Commissioners Court renewed a contract for supplying the library with periodicals without any review of the proposed renewal. Under the circumstances, there should have been some discussion and deliberation. Instead, they passed this item as part of the secretive “consent” agenda. 10 points. A “no” vote was appropriate.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9D8: The Commissioners Court approved construction materials for engineering and testing for the widening of Woodlands Parkway. 5 points. A “yes” vote was appropriate.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9D9: The Commissioners Court approved a request for proposal for competitive bidding of emergency bulk fuel. 5 points. A “yes” vote was appropriate.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9D10: Meador is buying $124,857.51 in mowing equipment for keeping the grounds nicer in Commissioner Precinct 1. Patently ridiculous. Meador fiddles, while Montgomery County burns. What a jerkish move! 10 points. A “no” vote was appropriate.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9L: County Judge Doyal once again is advocating the corrupt and troubled EB-5 immigration program. Doyal had tucked this program into the consent agenda on March 28, 2017. The program, which Presidents Bill Clinton and B. Hussein Obama had aggressively pushed, allows foreign nationals to get favorable immigration and tax advantages for investing in real estate transactions. Basically, the program invites investors, many of whom the FBI and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating under what Forbes magazine refers to as a “massive eight-year fraudulent scheme,” into Montgomery County. Of course, Doyal claims he supports “economic development” but this program is really just an instance of giving favoritism to corrupt foreign companies, particularly organized crime elements from East Asia. Please see “County Judge Craig Doyal has an illegal immigration problem: Doyal’s EB-5 Program,” The Golden Hammer, May 9, 2017.

10 points. A “no” vote was appropriate.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 10: Citizen Comments.

Iraq War veteran John Webb discussed debris removal from Tropical Storm Harvey and some his concerns.

Attorney Eric Carter announced he had resolved a road issue with the County.

Mayor Diane Lincoln of the Town of Woodloch spoke to the Commissioners Court regarding the San Jacinto River Authority’s improper actions and the terrible services Woodloch is suffering in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Bill O’Sullivan spoke against payment of overtime to salaried county employees for doing their jobs in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Harvey. O’Sullivan also spoke against carrying over funds from one budget to the next without strict controls.

Eric Yollick presented “The Golden Hammer Award” to County Judge Craig Doyal, and Commissioners Mike Meador, Charlie Riley, and James Noack.

Agenda Item 13: Carryover all of the Building Maintenance Department’s unspent funds into Capital Outlay for Buildings for Fiscal Year 2018 in order to pay for all of the capital projects Doyal wants to get done during what may be his last year in office. Doyal is pushing these capital projects as hard as he can in order to shovel money towards the engineering vendors with whom Doyal has close ties.

A “no” vote was appropriate. 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 14: Carryover all of unspent information technology funds into more information technology capital funds for Fiscal Year 2018. Agenda Item 14 is particularly sneaky, because it’s a carry forward of professional services, capital outlays for equipment, and capital outlays for software for five different departments, even though the agenda item appears only to concern Information Technology. During the past year, one of the new methods of hiding spending is lumping departments into these “cost centers” which are actually multiple departments. It’s a new and failed method of opacity.As Bill O’Sullivan noted, there are no cost controls on the use of these carryover funds. A “no” vote was appropriate. 25 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 15C: Spending $50,000 more for “routine” airport maintenance. It’s a sign of poor budgeting. A “no” vote is appropriate. 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 20: Precinct 1 Commissioner Meador asked for mid-year raises for a superintendent and other part-time employee effective August 26, 2017. Commissioner Noack has consistently voted against such mid-year raises, because they represent poor budget practices. Nevertheless, Noack is now working far more closely with the “establishment.” Has he sold out his conservative supporters? Let’s hope not. 5 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 24: Citizen Comments.

Nokusene Wind discussed the poor management of the debris removal in River Plantation. (Not a surprise, since Riley is overseeing that effort.)

Aylin Altinook complained that there has been no testing of flood waters for E. coli, tetanus, or staph, so people may develop serious illnesses without understanding the causes.

Eric Yollick awarded the County Department Directors who achieved 5% spending reductions for Fiscal Year 2018 with Golden Hammer lapel pins. Ten Directors received those pins.

TOTAL SCORES FOR September 12, 2017 Meeting.

Doyal 10/125. Grade = F.

Meador 10/125. Grade = F.

Riley 10/125. Grade = F.

Noack 10/125. Grade = F.

Clark 10/125. Grade = F.

CUMULATIVE POSSIBLE SCORES FOR FY 2017 = 6,470.

Doyal = 322/6,470. Grade = F.

Meador = 361/6,470. Grade = F.

Riley = 406/6,470. Grade = F.

Noack = 1,661/6,470. Grade = F.

Clark = 3,796/6,470. Grade = D-.

As citizens, we must remain vigilant.

 

 

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