Conroe, May 10 – The Citizens Budget Committee, composed of eleven grassroots conservative citizens who have invested enormous time into studying the Montgomery County government budget, presented a Salary Survey to the Montgomery County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, during the regular meeting. The Salary Survey is a 7-page report the entirety of which is printed at the end of this article.
The Committee examined the ten (10) largest counties in Texas in population to determine the annual salary and car allowance for County Commissioners, the position, which under the Texas Constitution is the focus of County government management and operations. The average salary for a County Commissioner of the ten largest counties in Texas is $137,532. The Montgomery County government, which is the eleventh (11th) largest County in Texas in population, pays County Commissioners $168,808, far higher than the pay County Commissioners should receive in a County of this size population.
In fact, Montgomery County’s exorbitant salaries paid to the County Commissioners would make it the third highest paid salaries in Texas, after Harris County and Tarrant County.
The Citizens Budget Committee also examined whether jobs in the private sector in a comparable position are higher or lower than the massive salaries the Montgomery County Commissioners Court pays itself. Shockingly, the job most comparable to a County Commissioner in the private sector, a senior project manager in construction contracting firms, pays only $110,000 per year, or almost $59,000 per year less. Additionally, Montgomery County’s employee benefits for government employees are vastly more lucrative than the employee benefits provided in the ten largest counties in Texas.
In 2016, the Commissioners Court appointed a Salary Study Committee, which former County Human Resources Director Diane Bass chaired. The Bass Committee reported that Montgomery County salaries for all elected officials were far higher than in other counties in Texas, particularly comparable counties such as Fort Bend, Collin, Denton, and Williamson. The Bass Committee recommended against salary increases. County Judge Craig Doyal and the Montgomery County Commissioners Court (which did include Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley) rejected the Bass Committee’s recommendation against raises and voted to give themselves a 3% raise nonetheless.
The Citizens Budget Committee Salary Survey contains a recommendation that Montgomery County Commissioners should receive no more than $121,772 in salary per year. The Committee noted that the Governor of Texas and the Texas Attorney General both receive salaries of $150,000 per year. Therefore, a Montgomery County Commissioner and the Montgomery County Judge both earn substantially higher salaries than the Governor and the Attorney General!
Since the Citizens Budget Committee Salary Survey includes a recommendation for a substantial reduction in Commissioners Court salaries, the Committee also recommended a method to transition to the lower salaries for the current members of the Commissioners Court.
The entire Citizens Budget Committee Salary Survey follows.