Commissioners Court to begin 2021 with enormous tax dollar spending spree, complete reversion to secrecy

The Montgomery County Commissioners Court, shown on December 8, 2020, will have one new member, Precinct 1 Commissioner Robert Walker who replaced his outgoing cousin Mike Meador (shown on far right). From left to right, Precinct 4 Commissioner James Metts, Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack, County Judge Mark Keough (standing), Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, and Meador.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Conroe, January 12 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court will begin 2021 today with a wild spending spree most of which they’ll approve in secret under the super-secret “consent agenda” which Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough has enlarged during his first two highly secretive years in office.

The proposal, which should give taxpayers the most pause, comes from the Board of Judges, which, on January 8, passed a resolution unanimously asking for the Commissioners Court to seek approval from the 87th Texas Legislature for the creation of two more county courts at law. Presently, Montgomery County has five of those courts, which lean on the taxpayers for a total of $3,426,141, or an average of $685,228.20 per court.

In other words, with the blink of an eye, the Commissioners Court will likely approve spending more than $1,370,456.40 in the upcoming fiscal year budget over and above current spending levels. Since the Commissioners Court fears the judges of the District Courts and the County Courts at Law, the likelihood is that the proposal will pass with at least four, if not all, votes of the Commissioners Court.

Halff Associates, the engineering firm of “deep state” leader Bobby Jack Adams, the heavy-political-contributing local engineer and close friend of former County Judge Craig Doyal, will receive $281,200 in County taxpayers funds for some construction design work on Nichols Sawmill Road and the Nichols Sawmill Bridge. The proposal, which comes out of Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley’s office, involved no bidding whatsoever for the job and, of course, no oversight of pricing to ensure taxpayers are not paying above-market rates to the firm, which is a major Riley political contributor.

As part of the secretive and obfuscating “consent” agenda, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough and County Auditor Rakesh Pandey are presenting 244 pages of line-item spending, totaling $14,505,285.61. As a result of the implementation of the “enterprise resource planning” software, which will cost taxpayers over $16 million, the proposed spending over 244 pages is incomprehensible and not even identifiable by County government department or purpose.

A sample page from the secretive 244-page spending proposal follows.

One incomprehensible page out of the “Payment of Accounts” for the January 12, 2021, Commissioners Court meeting.

If spending more than $15 million in the first two weeks of 2021 were not rough enough of taxpayers, the County government also included some secretive reports bragging about their seizures of assets during 2020, a clear violation of the Republican Party of Texas Platform, which vehemently opposes civil asset forfeitures. Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon seized $1.657 million, while Precinct 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden seized over $242,000 and Precinct 5 Constable Chris Jones seized over $180,000.

Additionally, the County government intends to spend over $150,000 in CARES Act funds for “vaccine distribution.”

 

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