Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer
The 2018 Republican Primary Election, which will, of course, determine the winner of the November General Election, provides an opportunity for Montgomery County government employees to restore dignity to their careers. With County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley under criminal indictment for official misconduct and violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act, we’re all embarrassed.
With openly-corrupt County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport and her husband whom many employees have characterized as “a creep,” we’re puzzled that the Commissioners Court puts up with them at all. JP James Metts and the group of convicted felons who are his primary political operatives make us wish we were some place else. Can you imagine how utterly depraved the Precinct 4 Commissioner’s Office will be if Metts and that group came into office with a budget many times the one Metts has abused as a JP?
We all recognize that Doyal and Riley are really bad liars. When reform-minded citizens face off with them in Commissioners Court, it’s like David (the citizens) versus Goliath (Doyal and Riley). The largest group of people who watch the live streaming of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court (when the Texas Legislature is not in session and their staff turns it on) is the group of the men and women who work in the County government.
The Commissioners Court watchers include the men and women of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, with morale lower than it’s been in decade, largely due to the aloof nature of the new “leadership” team and the enormous number of peace officers who are choosing to leave the law enforcement department. There’s no reason that Rand Henderson shouldn’t be one of the greatest Sheriffs in Montgomery County history, except for that the fact that, at the behest of Marc and Stephanne Davenport, the Sheriff openly mixes politics with law enforcement.
There is, however, a great opportunity for reform in just two days. On Tuesday, March 6, County employees and their families can come out as a bloc to replace Doyal, Riley, and the Davenports. They can get rid of Metts once and for all time (since he’s leaving his JP seat to run for Commissioner).
County employees can ensure that their jobs are safe, their retirement pension receives proper management and oversight, and the government for whom they work operates with transparency and decency for and towards everyone. Just look at the quiet dignity of some of the County employees who have suffered the slings and arrows of Doyal’s and the Davenports’ over-politicization of the administrative functions of the County government. Building Maintenance employees fear for their jobs because of Doyal’s politics. County Treasurer employees hate coming to work each day. Commissioner Precinct 2 employees wonder when the nepotism and open use of government as a political toy will stop.
The reformers – Mark Keough for County Judge, Melanie Bush for County Treasurer, anyone but Metts for Precinct 4 Commissioner, anyone but Riley for Precinct 2 Commissioner, Mark Turnbull for County Clerk, Melisa Miller for District Clerk, Matt Beasley for Precinct 3 JP, Ronald Willingham for Precinct 4 JP, and Kristin Bays for 284th District Court Judge – can bring a quiet dignity to the Montgomery County government. With the help of Steve Toth in the Texas Legislature, our local government can become a national example of the great things a community can do to turn itself away from corruption and become a shining beacon of the light of reform.