Conroe and Magnolia, October 20 – While the Montgomery County government perfunctorily shows “Voters” or “Citizens” at the top of the official organizational chart, the public servants who work for those citizens sometimes forget that they’re a step beneath the citizens. The citizens, however, have gotten substantially more involved in the County government during the past several weeks. Citizens can’t wait for election time, because that allows the servants to get into trouble for two or four years between elections. Citizens must remain vigilant.
Therefore, two events are important that occurred this morning, Friday, October 20, 2017.
Citizen triumph number one
In Conroe, after storing his trailer and personal property on County government property for almost nine (9) years, Building Maintenance Department Director Paul Case moved his trailer and property off last night, October 19, 2017. It was most definitely wrong for Case to use County property for storage.
Nevertheless, let’s give credit where credit is due. Yesterday, The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper ran the story, “Breaking News! Building Maintenance Director Case Has Stored Personal Trailer on County Property for Almost 9 Years, Leads Ethically-Challenged County Department,” The Golden Hammer, October 19, 2017.
To Case’s credit, after the story broke, Case ended the problem by moving his property off the County storage yard. Thank you, Paul Case!
Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley should consider Case’s example in determining how he should have reacted to The Golden Hammer‘s numerous stories about Riley’s behavior at Precinct 2. The problem with Commissioner Riley clear is his attitude that County government property, equipment, and personnel are there for his enjoyment and plunder. They’re not. Riley manages the employees and operates and oversees the property and equipment as a public trust for the citizens’ benefit, not for Charlie Riley’s.
Citizen triumph number two
Riley’s wife Deanne place the following post on Facebook this morning. This newspaper takes exception to one comment and agrees with another in Mrs. Riley’s post.
Deanne Riley repeatedly referred to Mrs. Ginger Russell, a Republican Precinct Chair and conservative activist, as “the stalker.” But “stalker” has a very specific definition under Texas law, especially in Section 42.072 of the Texas Penal Code. In order to “stalk,” one must threaten and cause fear. Russell hasn’t threatened Deanne Riley or even her apparently delicate husband, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, with any sort of harm. In fact, Section 552.001 of the Texas Government Code provides:
“Under the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government that adheres to the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people, it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”
In short, when Deanne Riley or her husband are on County property, working with County employees, using government vehicles, using other government equipment or property, or using government services, Ginger Russell as well as her 562,000 closes friends (the citizens of Montgomery County) have the right under Texas law to observe, follow, and even record everything that Deanne Riley or her husband are doing.
As for a fear that Russell might cause Deanne Riley fear. It’s possible. Deanne Riley and Charlie Riley probably fear the light.
Anyone who has every watched the great baseball movie “The Natural” knows that the corrupt fear the light, a major theme in Bernard Malamud’s novel which later became the movie.
Nothing Russell did should have provoked a fear of a physical threat. Rather, Deanne Riley and Charlie Riley fear the light of day.
Ginger Russell is no stalker. Rather, she’s called a “citizen.” Finally, the citizens of Montgomery County have begun to step in actively to oversee their County government, which has obviously needed that attention for a long time.