Kelli Ann Cox, Publisher, and Eric Yollick, Editor-in-Chief, The Golden Hammer
Are Montgomery County citizens, like all citizens of localities in America, experiencing Daniel’s “final vision”?
In the final vision of his prophetic book, at Daniel, Chapter 11, verses 36 to 45, the prophet Daniel sees a vision of those ostensibly in power, the “king of the south” and the “king of the north” arranging diplomatic marriages and making war, all at the expense of the people who live in a deplorable state of desolate abomination. Rather than serving the people, the kings merely serve themselves. There is mighty suffering.
How far is Montgomery County from that precise scenario? How far are all American localities from that scenario?
Not far. The reality, however, is that we have no one to blame but ourselves.
We have allowed the government we created turn into something far afield from our Original Intent. When Americans formulated a system of government, the idea was to create a government which served us.
Instead, we have, through inaction and a growing dependence, allowed government to become primarily a servant serving itself.
Just listen to a meeting of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court. Precinct 4 Commissioner James Metts adulates himself above citizens who don’t serve as “elected officials.” At the April 27 Commissioners Court meeting, Metts showed the ugliness of his “us versus them” mentality wherein he looks out for what is best for government rather than what is best for the people that government is to represent and serve, in theory.
Metts, Montgomery County Tax Assessor-Collector Tammy McRae, and other elected officials in Montgomery County, including just about every school district board member, view whether government is a “success” based upon the “amount of revenue we collect.” That “revenue,” however, falls under a better description: “taxation.” The more “revenue” a governmental entity collects really is a mark of its failure, not success, because it must collect more in taxes from its constituent taxpayers in order to accomplish its mission.
County Judge Mark Keough took his own tragic mistake, driving under the influence of powerful drugs, and turned it into a perquisite for his benefit, when he convinced the Commissioners Court to provide a County-taxpayer-funded vehicle for a County-taxpayer-funded law enforcement officer to act as Keough’s chauffeur to drive him to and from work to his home and around the community at his behest.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley won’t even allow his constituents into his office. Rather, he spent over $200,000 of tax dollars to create layers of security to barricade the public from having contact with their elected County Commissioner. Riley maneuvered the County government to waste $100 million on an unwanted and unnecessary tollroad, $11 million on an unnecessary Forensics Center, and many tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary pay raises and salary benefits for County employees whose primary benefit should be job security rather than massive public salaries.
And Robert Walker, the new Precinct 1 Commissioner, just goes along with everything Metts and Riley put in front of him. He exercises no oversight. In fact, his only exercise at all is a nod of the head.
As a result, the spending of Montgomery County’s local government has exploded during the past two decades, growing far faster than the growth of the federal government. The County government runs a mostly-empty convention center, a public library school bleeding money with declining usage, and a bloated Forensics Department trying to grow into a completely-unnecessary Medical Examiner Office. Metts, Riley, Keough, and Walker just voted to fund a brand new County Court at Law at a cost of over $1 million per year, even though the dockets of Montgomery County’s County Courts are actually declining. They’re far more focused on how to give themselves across-the-board pay raises than any other measure.
Government works for itself. Government protects itself. The County government has spent many tens of millions of dollars on so-called “homeland security,” which doesn’t protect the citizens but rather protects its buildings and the sacred public officials who revere themselves.
The prophetic warnings of Daniel, chapters 10 and 11, actually have come true in a suburban community outside of Houston. And the truth is that almost every local government in Texas has adopted the same attitude and the same inward outlook.