The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe and The Woodlands, September 3 – Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack got into an argument on social media with former Montgomery County Republican Party Vice Chairman Reagan Reed and Republican Precinct 66 Chairman Adrian Kaiser. Reed and Kaiser made clear that they expect Noack and Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough not to show up for the September 8, 2020, Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting, so that the three liberals on the Court will be unable to raise taxes under Texas law.
Reed, who was a leader among grassroots conservatives on the Republican County Executive Committee until his term expired last month, posted the following late Tuesday night:
“Looks like Commissioner James Noack has deleted my comment on his post about the upcoming county tax rate meeting. While he said in his post that he is opposed to raising the tax rate during the pandemic, I pointed out in my comment that the only way he and Judge Keough can stop the tax hike being pushed by the other three is to boycott the meeting and deny the others the quorum needed to raise taxes.
“This was done successfully by the Republican commissioners in Harris County last year when they successful stopped Lina Hidalgo’s tax hike. According to the law, if they do not have at least four commissioners present, they cannot raise the tax rate and it reverts back to the effective rate.
“If Noack shows up, we all know what will happen: the other three commissioners will vote to raise taxes and after Noack and Keough have given speeches opposing it, the tax hike will pass 3-2. I stand by my comment that if Keough and Noack are really serious about stopping this tax hike, they will boycott the meeting. If they do show up, their vocal opposition will be exposed as nothing more than pandering and grandstanding, because we all know the vote is going to be 3-2.
“Either way, the public needs to know that Keough and Noack have it in their power to stop this tax hike if they really want to. Perhaps that’s why my comment was deleted?”
Kaiser, a friend of Reed’s and an ally of both Reed and Noack responded:
“Don’t feel bad. He completely unfriend[ed] me. So yea.”
Noack then chimed in with a criticism-laden response both to Reed and Kaiser:
“Adrian Kaiser [and] Reagan William Reed, when you two can lower the tax rate 10% while in office, reduce the budget over 5%, better law enforcement funding, institute a 20% homestead exemption, turn off red light cameras, save taxpayers over $34 million because you actually know how to manage debt, and improve county infrastructure you can tell me how effective your take my ball and go home strategy is. You spend more time fighting with Republicans than you do the Democrats. We have an election to win in two months! Can we not work together? Reagan I’ve seen you complain more about the Republican Party than I have heard you compliment it. You both are fine young men let’s focus on winning in Nov.”
Reed refused to take Noack’s punch and replied:
“I find it interesting that you completely avoided addressing my point that if you show up to that meeting you will be enabling the other three in passing the tax hike. I’m also curious which of my criticisms of the Republican Party you disagree with? Seeing as how Republicans have complete control over the state and county government, and y’all still can’t stop taxes from going up, perhaps my criticism is warranted?”
Kaiser also counterpunched Noack:
“I love the fact that you don’t actually addressed the issue that Reagan has pointed out in that if you don’t attend the meeting then there is no tax increase.
“I applaud you for the work you’ve done. I’m never been shy about that.
“I’m also vaguely curious as to what criticisms I’ve had for the Republican party that you disagree with? Or are you saying that we should never hold elected officials who are members of our party accountable to their actions and to their votes?
Noack provided specific ways to save tax dollars and avoid a tax hike for Fiscal Year 2021 to his colleagues on the Commissioners Court on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, during a regular meeting. Nevertheless, Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, who has become the liberal leader on the Commissioners Court and arguably a genuine center of power in Montgomery County, made it clear he didn’t want to discuss the issue.
Clearly, Riley was unprepared both during the July “budget workshop” and during the August 11 Commissioners Court to discuss specific department needs and priorities or to find any methods to avoid a huge tax hike on Montgomery County individuals, families, and businesses.
After a disastrous 3 to 2 vote on July 31, 2020, at the end of a “budget workshop” by the Montgomery County Commissioners Court to raise taxes substantially on beleaguered Montgomery County taxpayers, Noack, who was one of the two in the minority, attempted to convince his colleagues to change their minds and not raise taxes on Montgomery County citizens reeling from the disastrous economic fallout arising from the government panic in response to the Chinese Coronavirus scare.
Riley, Metts, and Meador all voted for the $4 million tax hike when they set the coming year’s tax rate at 44.12 cents per $100 valuation. As County Judge Mark Keough has noted, with aggressive increases in property tax appraisals, that tax rate constitutes a “substantial tax increase that people can’t afford.”