Image: County Judge Craig Doyal looks at Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador with admiration while likely thinking, “Wow, that guy really knows how to spend and tax!”
Willis, June 24 – Montgomery County Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador finally released his proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget almost a month after The Golden Hammer sought the public information from him under the Texas Public Information Act/Open Records Act. Embarrassment must have caused the delays, because Meador’s proposed budget contains little management effort and a meaningless spending reduction.
After an Open Records Act request on May 26, 2017, Meador responded on May 31, 2017, “Mr. Yollick everything that we have per your request is a duplicate of what is in the Auditor’s office.” That meaningless response to a formal request for a copy of what Meador submitted to the County Auditor’s Office to begin with was quite ridiculous all-around. Meador continued to refuse to respond to the request, until a request to the County Attorney’s Office. Finally, after 27 days, Meador provided his proposed budget.
Like Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, Meador’s proposed budget does not address the bloated salaries and staff of the Precinct 1 Commissioner Office. Meadow’s Precinct generally provides the slowest road and bridge maintenance service to its constituents of the four County Commissioner Precinct Offices.
Meador’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget grew to $8,018,577 from $7,767,188 the previous year, a 3.2% spending increase. Meador’s proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget will only go back down to $7,762,221, a 3.2% reduction, that is less than $5,000 down from Meador’s Fiscal 2016 Budget!
Where Meador’s proposed spending really goes awry, however, is in his failure to recognize the real source of his spending, his $4,969,647 “slush fund” of accumulated dollars Meador has not spent but has accumulated from previous budget years. In actuality, Meador’s real proposed 2018 Budget is in the range of $12.7 million!
What’s particularly sad about Meador’s proposed budget is that he has refused to address the problem with salaries and overstaffing in his County department. Instead, Meador’s proposed spending “cuts” come from reductions in Meador’s “asphalt & road materials” budget and from his “equipment lease/purchase” budget. Both of those account categories are the precise areas where Meador pulls money from his “slush funds” and spends the dollars on unexplainable items such as “truck for Gerald” or thousands of dollars of flowers for the lawns at government buildings.
If Meador wanted to lead rather than hide his County activities, he’s reduce his Fiscal Year 2018 Budget by the full amount of his almost $5 million slush fund and give the taxpayers a break.