Commissioners Court Ratings for February 14, 2017: Commissioners Noack, Clark Receive First Non-Flunking Scores Ever in History of the Ratings (!), Getting Stronger, Pushing Conservative Reform Agenda Forward; Noack’s Garners an A+

Commissioners Court Ratings for February 14, 2017: Commissioners Noack, Clark Receive First Non-Flunking Scores Ever in History of the Ratings (!), Getting Stronger, Pushing Conservative Reform Agenda Forward; Noack’s Garners an A+
Commissioner James Noack with his family, left to right, likely future Nobel laureate Maverick Noack, Lori Smith Noack, and likely POTUS Macoy Noack.

Conroe, February 20 – The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, released the Commissioners Court ratings for the February 14, 2017, meeting with cumulative scores as well for the Fiscal Year 2017 reporting period.

Points are good. For the first time ever, a member of the Commissioners Court got a score other than an F. Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack received an A+, while Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark received a D. Congratulations to both gentlemen for not flunking!

COMMISSIONERS COURT MEETING FEBRUARY 14, 2017, 9:30 a.m. (Judge Doyal and Commissioners, Meador, Noack, Riley, and Clark were present.)

The Consent Agenda was another kick in the taxpayers’ stomaches.

  • Agenda Item 9A1 – Consider and Approve Payment of Accounts. These accounts included:
    • – numerous Citibank credit card charges unidentified totaling thousands of dollars
  • – an $11,215 payment to Halff Associates engineers, the firm of Craig Doyal’s business partner and best friend out of the County Engineer’s Department
  • numerous pages of payments to “North West Pest” out of the Precinct 1 “Road and Bridge” fund
  • – several payments to major political contributor Bob Smith’s firm Geoscience Engineering from various Precincts
  • – $247,000 of undocumented road and bridge fund expenditures from the Precinct 4 “Road and Bridge” fund
  • – a single invoice of $1,128,274.28 to Correct Care, the County health purveyor
  • – $241,267.21 on certificates of obligation
  • – $4,895.75 to Halff Associates, the firm of Doyal’s business partner and best friend for work on the Sheriff’s District 1 building (what is an engineering firm doing on a building already constructed and why is that explanation not on the agenda)
  • – $936,657.34 of payments to a variety of politically-contributing engineering and contracting firms supposedly under the road bonds
  • – payments over $6,000 to Barbara Adamick for road bond work from Precinct 2
  • payments totaling $143,286.99 for the Tx-249 “Decimation of Hope Highway” project, that is 3.6 miles at the far southwest edge of Montgomery County, for a project that TxDOT has indicated they’d build any way, if Montgomery County did not spend the money, including $82,265.05 for Halff Associates

AND almost a hundred pages of other payments.

The Commissioners should have discussed these items, conducted open deliberations, and then voted with knowledge about what they were voting. That didn’t happen. Therefore, the proper vote was “No.” 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9A2 – Consider and Approve More Budget Amendments for the Current Fiscal Year – There are some large multi-million dollar budget amendments which the Commissioners passed without review, discussion, or concern. A “NO” vote is the proper vote. 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9C – Approve multiple purchasing items. There was little disclosure of these purchasing items all of which are a great secret. It is clear, however, that they involve hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures. 10 points. “No” vote is the proper vote.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9G – Consider and accept payroll change request forms. The problem here is that County Judge Craig Doyal failed to make these changes available to the other Commissioners so that they could conduct a meaningful review. Therefore, the Court had the following as the entirety of their information about this agenda item involving hundreds of thousands of dollars: “Consider and Accept Payroll Change Request Forms.” No kidding. That’s all they knew. The Golden Hammer obtained the forms through an Open Records request before the meeting. Fortunately, there was nothing untoward. Under these circumstances the proper vote was “No” but it’s only 5 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9I2 – Consider and approve payment to SJRA of $90,000 from contingency per previously approved interlocal agreement with SJRA for flood protection grant. Considering the vast overcharges the SJRA has perpetrated upon Montgomery County citizens, and the lack of discussion or understanding of this Agenda item by the Commissioners, the proper vote was “No.” 5 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 30A2 (out of order) – The Court received an excellent presentation by Tax Assessor-Collector Tammy McRae on the homestead exemption which Montgomery County has failed to make available to taxpayers. Commissioner James Noack requested this presentation and brought this item before the Commissioners Court. Therefore, The Golden Hammer awards Commissioner Noack a 100 point bonus rating! Congratulations, and thank you, Commissioner James Noack!

Agenda Item 10 – Citizen Comments. There were some amazing citizen comments that lasted almost an hour. Almost all of them were in favor of a 20% homestead exemption for the County’s ad valorem taxation of our homes. For complete coverage of the citizen comments, please see “Doyal Succumbs To Citizen Demands For Homestead Exemption, Then Tries To Take Credit For 10% Homestead Exemption; Doyal’s War Against The Taxpayers (WATT) Continues” in the February 17, 2017, edition of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper. Each and every citizen comment was excellent! All citizens were respectful yet firm in their resolve to bring reform to the County government. It was a great moment in the history of this community.

Agenda Item 15D – Commissioner Meador, who accumulates massive funds in his 7997 slush fund, on which he should be spending the money on road and bridge projects or not taking the funds into his budget at all, offered to pay for vehicle graphis for 16 Precinct 1 Constable vehicles. While, as a community, we should support the Constable Department, Meador should give his excess funds back to the general fund and should stop over-taxing us through his large and unnecessary Precinct Budget, which he obviously doesn’t use. Considering the poor road service Meador provides to people who live in his Precinct, Meador’s actions are little more than a sign of his mismanagement. The Golden Hammer does NOT fault anyone for supporting local law enforcement, however.

Agenda Item 17 – During a presentation by District Attorney Brett Ligon, Commissioners Meador and Riley tried to criticize citizens calling for County government spending reductions by attempting to claim that those citizens wanted reductions in law enforcement spending. District Attorney Ligon made clear that he was “not scared” by the proposed County government spending reductions, because this newspapers and others have made clear that they want a $100 million reduction in County government spending BUT an increase in law enforcement spending with some of those saved funds. Meador and Riley failed in their feeble effort in support of The War Against The Taxpayers. Each of Noack, Clark, and Doyal get a 25 point bonus for keeping quiet during Meador’s and Riley’s shameful display.

Agenda Item 18A – Spend $9,780 for a fence at the Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport. What a waste of money! How many flights have you taken recently into or out of this airport boondoggle?! A “No” vote is proper. 5 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 21 – Consider and discuss options regarding abandoned heaters in the Courthouse. This Building Maintenance item was intentionally cryptic and deceitful so that citizens would not be able to ascertain that there is a MAJOR ASBESTOS problem in the Montgomery County Courthouse. Doyal and his helper, Paul Case, the Building Maintenance Department head, failed to mention “asbestos” during the presentation but the secret report Case handed to the Commissioners Court revealed the full story. More to come later…

Agenda Item 22 – Library – This one is funny and a bit sad. Consider and, if appropriate, authorize paying the full amount of charges related to vehicle rental, an additional $338.68 to the total approved previously. A library employee went to the Big City of New York. The $338.68 was for additional funds she spent on the rental car insurance she paid in New York City!!! That request begs a bunch of questions. Did the employee drive a rental car from Montgomery County to NYC? Did the employee rent a car in NYC? Why would an employee need a rental car at all for a trip to NYC?! That must have been quite a rental car for the extra insurance costs to be $338.68. Anyone who rents a car in NYC must seriously have little regard for the public dollars she is spending. Someone could have flown to NYC round trip (especially at government discount rates) and taken a cab (at least one way) for less than the $338.68 for the extra rental car insurance charges! A “No” vote is proper. 1 point.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Did this advertisement inspire the Memorial Library system management to rent a car in NYC?

Agenda Item 25 – Give a pay raise to someone in the Veterans Services department without any funding source named. The Commissioners took the money from the “contingency fund,” their usual grab-bag. People should not get mid-Fiscal-Year raises, especially when the funds aren’t available within a Department’s budget. A “No” vote is proper. 5 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 26A – $60,000 for a no-bid contract for records management. A “No” vote is proper under those circumstances. 5 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 26B – Issue Request for Proposal for folding panel partitions for the Lone Star Convention Center. Total waste of money. A “No” vote is proper. 5 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 26D – Over $1 million in non-bid contracts. No discussion, no deliberation, no consideration. A “No” vote is proper. 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 27A – County Attorney presentation on the status and implementation of procedures related to the Code of Ethics. Assistant County Attorney B.D. Griffin had nothing to report. They haven’t done anything, because, by merely passing the Code, Doyal and friends have assured the money from TxDOT will continue to flow. The sole purpose of the “Code of Ethics” was to ensure TxDOT would not cut the County off from state funds, which TxDOT has threatened due to the poor ethics of the Montgomery County government. Since County Attorney Lambright advised the Commissioners Court to ignore the Code of Ethics directly in another part of the meeting (concerning the $100 million 3.6 mile Decimation of Hope Highway project at the far southwest edge of Montgomery County), it’s not particularly surprising that Lambright has taken no action on implementing the same Code of Ethics he’s recommended that the County Judge and Commissioners ignore.

Agenda Item 30A2 – Consider, discuss, and take action on General Homestead Exemption up to 20% as allowed by Texas State Law. Placed on agenda by Commissioner James Noack. Moved by Noack, seconded by Clark. For full discussion, please see “Doyal Succumbs to Citizen Demands for Homestead Exemption, Then Tries to Take Credit for 10% Homestead Exemption; Doyal’s War Against The Taxpayers (WATT) Continues” (February 15, 2017). The Montgomery County Commissioners Court rejected a 20% homestead exemption on a 2-5 vote, despite a standing-room-only crowd of citizens who spoke in favor of the measure. Doyal expressed his desire to increase County government spending. The Commissioners then enacted a 10% homestead exemption for which Doyal tried to take the credit.

Major vote. A “Yes” vote on the 20% homestead exemption is proper. 25 points.

Doyal NO

Meador NO

Riley NO

Noack YES

Clark YES

A “Yes” vote on the 10% homestead exemption was proper after Doyal, Meador, and Riley defeated the full exemption. 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 30A3 – Consider, Discuss, and Take Action on Resolution Supporting Legislative Efforts to Bring About Meaningful Property Tax Reform. No-brainer. “Yes” vote is proper. 10 points. Doyal tried to blame school districts for high government spending. He needs to show something called “leadership” by cutting the County budget drastically, so that the Montgomery County budget reflects the values of our community. 10 points. A “YES” vote is proper.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 30A4 – Consider, Discuss, and Take Action on Returning County Administrative/Management Structures Back under Entire Court. Right now, Doyal and his “chief of staff” Jim Fredricks run the County government as a dictatorship in total secrecy. Article V, Section 18, of the Texas Constitution places the duty to run the County government squarely under the entire Commissioners Court, not just under the direction of a power-hungry, and golf-crazed, County Judge. Major vote. “YES” vote is proper. 25 points.

Doyal NO

Meador NO

Riley NO

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 31D – Settle lawsuit against Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office for $25,000. Both the Fire Marshal and the County Attorney should have explained this item to the public. A “No” vote is proper. 10 points.

Doyal NO

Meador NO

Riley NO

Noack YES

Clark YES

Citizen Comments.

Mrs. Lynn O’Sullivan asked the County Commissioners to approve an x-ray machine for the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. Please see “O’Sullivan Calls For County To Purchase X-Ray Machine For Montgomery County Animal Shelter” (February 15, 2017).

Eric Yollick presented “The Golden Ice Pick” to County Attorney Jerry Don “Ice Man” Lambright for costing taxpayers at least $110,000 and possibly many millions of dollars for failing to administer the Allendale-Greenbough engineering contract with Binkley and Barfield engineers and for failing to enforce the County’s rights under Section 11.086 of the Texas Water Code to collect remedial expenses for flooding which a neighbor caused.

TOTAL SCORES FOR FEBRUARY 14, 2017 MEETING.

Doyal 45/146. Grade = F.

Meador 20/146. Grade = F.

Riley 20/146. Grade = F.

Noack 195/146. Grade = A+. (CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!)

Clark 95/146. Grade = D.

CUMULATIVE POSSIBLE SCORES FOR FY 2017 = 1,578 Points.

Cumulative Scores through February 14, 2017:

Doyal = 170/1,578. Grade = F.

Meador = 235/1,578. Grade = F.

Riley = 230/1,578. Grade = F.

Noack = 550/1,578. Grade = F. (He’s moving on up!)

Clark = 175/1,578. Grade = F.

Disappointing (again). As citizens, we must remain vigilant and raise our awareness.

 

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