Conroe, March 26 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court will face all sorts of controversy during its meeting on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, who has tried to unify the Court, will preside over the meeting.
The Commissioners Court will vote on the hiring of Precinct 4 County Commissioner James Metts’ first cousin, Jane Metts Landers, as a County government employee who will report directly to her relative as her boss. Metts already has his live-in girlfriend Diane Rogers, his top political supporter and convicted felon Greg Long, and terminated County Auditor Phyllis Martin on his Commissioner Precinct 4 payroll.
Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Matt Beasley has requested $82,103 in increased spending for his County Department for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019, which Judge Beasley proposes to fund out of the “contingency fund.” Those changes will likely increase the base budget for Fiscal Year 2020 as well.
In an executive session, the Commissioners Court will consider County Judge Keough’s desire to remove the tolls from the State Highway 242 flyovers. The matter will proceed to executive session for a meeting with County Attorney B.D. Griffin to discuss legal ramifications, if any, for Keough’s proposal.
The Commissioners Court will approve $7,973,676.26 in spending without any meaning oversight or review. There is actually one positive in the so-called “payment of accounts,” however. The Information Technology Department under the new co-direction of Charles Cobb and Robert Powell appears no longer to utilize the services of Phonoscope for fiber optic cable but has instead gone back to using WaveMedia, a local fiber optic cable vendor without ties to the Davenport Ring of corrupt politicians who follow the direction of corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport.
Budget Director Amanda Carter will present her annual Budget Policy, which is little more than a group of bureaucratic forms on which County Departments will submit their wish lists for greater spending of tax dollars. The Commissioners Court’s so-called “Budget Hearing” will occur from July 30 to August 2. It’s unclear whether the Commissioners Court will continue to exclude citizen participation in the hearings, a secrecy and citizen exclusion policy typical of disgraced former County Judge Craig Doyal. Before Doyal, County Judge Alan B. Sadler permitted citizens to participate in the “Budget Hearing.”
Keough has authored a resolution for the Commissioners Court to endorse the JD Lambright Local Government Ethics Law, Senate Bill 710, which passed unanimously out of the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee yesterday afternoon.
Arguably the most controversial measure before the Commissioners Court will be an effort by Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack to remove Keough as Chairman of the Facilities Committee. Keough has served on that Committee with Purchasing Director Gilbert Jalomo and Building Maintenance Director Tim Stewart for approximately one month. Noack is pushing for the County to proceed with a vendor contract to hire a consultant who will recommend as much as $400 million of new building construction for the County government. (Hopefully, Noack will work with Keough and other Commissioners Court members to prevent such a financial atrocity.)