Conroe, April 27 – Montgomery County Airport Maintenance Director Scott Smith announced his resignation in order to retire with his last day on the County payroll to be July 28, 2017. Smith has been the Airport Maintenance Director since 2007.
Smith provided a lengthy memorandum of resignation on April 24, 2017, to all five members of the County Commissioners Court including County Judge Craig Doyal. Despite the Commissioners Court meeting the following day, on April 25, and the discussion by Smith of a major spending proposal to spend approximately $185,000 to clean and repaint two runways during the meeting, neither Doyal nor any member of the Commissioners Court disclosed the Smith retirement to the public. Smith acknowledged during the April 25 Commissioners Court meeting that he had failed to obtain competing bids for the maintenance project. Both Smith and Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador originally proposed that the County should incur debt for this maintenance project, but the Commissioners Court instead voted to expend funds from airport rentals.
As Director of the 7-person Airport Maintenance Department, Smith oversees a $759,168 annual budget which includes his $134,953 annual salary, plus County benefits. Smith is #21 on The Golden Hammer‘s “Solid Gold 50,” meaning that his salary is $49,951.92 higher than the national average for an airport maintenance director in private industry.
The airport, renamed the Conroe North Houston Airport, has been a major expediture of tax dollars for the County government with very little specific economic development to show as a result of the facility. Smith has overseen some improvements at the airport, but the County continues to lose substantial funds each year on it.
Neither Doyal nor any Commissioners Court member has announced whether the County has begun a search for a replacement for Smith as Airport Maintenance Director. James Brown is the Assistant Airport Maintenance Director and joined the Department on February 27, 2017.
In a secret Executive Session, without proper notice on the Commissioners Court agenda, County Judge Craig Doyal and the four County Commissioners secretly interviewed the Assistant Director of Houston’s BARC, the municipal animal shelter of Houston, for the position of Director of the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. The interview went very well. Secrecy prevails.