The Golden Hammer Award goes to Clark, Doyal, Commissioners, County Engineer for wasting millions of dollars on plush engineering contracts

The Golden Hammer Award goes to Clark, Doyal, Commissioners, County Engineer for wasting millions of dollars on plush engineering contracts

Image: With the millions of dollars the Montgomery County government pays engineer John Holzwarth, this photograph is a likely depiction of his master bathroom constructed with the citizens’ money.

Conroe, November 21 – The life of opulence goes to anyone fortunate to give the right political contributions to the right politicians inside of the Montgomery County government, the most corrupt County government in Texas. Engineer John Holzwarth has “greased” the wheels of government almost every campaign finance reporting period with standard contributions between $2,000 and $5,000 to Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and to three of the Montgomery County Commissioners (Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador, Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark).

Holzwarth’s “investments” have paid off nicely. Yesterday, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court awarded Holzwarth two contracts in the amount of $946,800. What is particularly appalling about the two contracts is that Holzwarth is not providing design work or construction.

“The Golden Hammer Award” for “hammering the taxpayers” went to Clark, Doyal, Meador, Riley, and County Engineering Mark Mooney yesterday. Observers glimpsed Clark walking out of the Sadler Administration Building with “The Golden Hammer” after the Commissioners Court meeting.

Rather, Holzwarth is merely to “assist the County with management of design consultants, surveying, and mapping…”, to “provide Construction Management and Inspection Services…”, and to “provide other related services as needed” for the Sorters Road and Old Houston Road bond projects. Very clearly what Holzwarth will provide at a very dear cost to the taxpayers are precisely the services that citizens pay County Commissioners to perform.

While County Commissioners are not necessarily to provide design or construction services directly, it’s their job to manage design consultants, surveyors, mappers, and to provide construction management and inspection services. When they can’t perform those services due to the specific technical nature of the particular job, the Montgomery County Engineer, Mark Mooney, who receives the tenth highest salary of any employee in the entire County government.

Mooney takes $167,166.15, plus benefits of approximately $67,367.96, for total annual payment of $234,534.11.

County Engineer Mark Mooney, who does practically nothing for his immense salary, got to serve as cook at Mike Meador’s May, 2015, “Camp Party.”

Of the top ten salaries, Mooney’s is arguably the most outrageous of all (other than Doyal’s). As County Engineer, Mark Mooney is absent from work long hours every week. Because Mooney has failed to perform his duties as the official “road engineer” under Texas law for the County government, County taxpayers are paying an outside engineer, John Holzwarth, hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to perform the tasks for which the taxpayers already pay Mooney.

What’s particularly appalling about the Holzwarth contracts, which the Commissioners Court approved on November 20, is that the County Engineer’s Office has employees who perform all of the specific functions which Holzwarth receive premium prices under his two plush contracts. What’s also appalling is that none of the members of the Commissioners Court appear to have glanced at those two contracts before they voted to approve them.

The Sorters Road contract, which the Commissioners blindly approved yesterday, totals $589,400. The breakdown of that contract is for a project manager, engineer technician, construction representative, construction technician, and “clerical/administrative.” County taxpayers are paying John Holzwarth $60 per hour for secretarial services inside of his engineering firm, even though the two contracts don’t require Holzwarth to do anything but assist with management and construction services of other firms which will actually do the work.

Comparing the cost that Holzwarth is charging the County government for those services under each of the two contracts – for Sorters Road and Old Houston Road – it’s clear that County taxpayers are overpaying Holzwarth more than $520,000 by contracting for those services from an exorbitant outside firm rather than using internal resources of the County government’s massively bloated staff of employees.

But $520,000 is not the real amount of money that Mooney, Clark, Doyal, and the other Commissioners have wasted, since Clark’s employees, along with the County Engineer’s Office, should perform all of the services under the two contracts. That same principle goes for the incoming employees of James Metts, the oft-disciplined JP who has cost County taxpayers millions of dollars as a result of his spending and sexual shenanigans. Metts is bringing into his office his girlfriend Diane Rogers, terminated County Auditor Phyllis Martin, and Doyal’s constantly-napping “chief of staff” jim fredricks. There is no reason those individuals could not perform the services under the two contracts rather than paying an outside vendor to do so (other than the fact that they’ll likely never do any work for their bloated salaries.)

What is clear is that Clark, Mooney, Doyal, and the entire Commissioners Court “hammered the taxpayers” by at least $520,000 and more accurately the full $946,800 amount of the two contracts.

For that, they deserved and received “The Golden Hammer Award.”

The Golden Sledgehammer makes the Golden Hammer look tiny.

 

 

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