Conroe, March 14 – County Auditor Phyllis Martin will present certain budget-related documents to the Montgomery County Commissioners Court during the meeting today at 9:30 a.m. The documents provide a small glimpse of the complete fiscal mess which County Judge Craig Doyal and his colleagues on the Commissioners Court have created. Martin provided a memorandum to cover the reports claiming that they are “Budget Committee Reports” in reference to the secretive fake “budget committee” consisting of Doyal, Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador, and Martin herself.
Schedule of Revenues
Tax-and-spend liberals, such as Doyal, Meador, and their cohort Charlie Riley, Precinct 2 County Commissioner, refer to taxes as “revenue.” The following is the entire “Schedule of Revenues”:
Taxes $248.85 million
Licenses & Permits $8.333 million
Intergovernmental Revenue $34.226 million
Fees $17.399 million
Charges for “Service” $3.912 million
Interest earnings $0.346 million
Contract reimbursements $14.616 million
Fines and Forfeitures $3.954 million
Inmate House $15.8 million
Miscellaneous $0.477 million
TOTAL “REVENUE” $347,914,687.00, which means, of course, that Montgomery County is spending $30 million per year more than it receives, since Doyal, Meador, and Riley have never met a spending proposal they didn’t like.
Unspent Budget Analysis
Even when the County leaders don’t spend the money, they still are kind enough to tax you for it. The disclaimer on Martin’s report is actually funny, in a frightening manner: “Use of this report at its face value is not recommended, as any of the above could contribute to a distorted view of actual financial situations.”
Martin’s wonderful disclaimer then raises the question: if the County Auditor recommend not using “this report at its face value” because it could contribute to a “distorted view of actual financial situations,” then why would she present that distorted view to the County Commissioners Court and the public in an open meeting?!
Here’s what the “distorted view” revealed, regardless of the attempted obfuscation of Martin, Doyal, or Meador. In the following four Fiscal Years, the County didn’t spend funds in the following amounts but were kind enough to continue raise spending budgets and taxes anyway.
Fiscal Year 2012 $65.598 million
Fiscal Year 2013 $108.83 million
Fiscal Year 2014 $75.749 million
Fiscal Year 2015 $90.214 million
Fiscal Year 2016 $120.727 million.
Sweeping these unspent funds into the large “7997” accounts has become an important tool for the members of the County Commissioners Court to spend tens of millions of dollars without public scrutiny of their behavior. These funds are “swept” into carryover “7997” accounts the following year for which expenditures come out only on the secretive “Consent Agenda” which Doyal and his “chief of staff” jim fredricks have created.
Vacant Positions Report
These reports arose approximately four weeks ago when the Citizens Budget Committee audaciously requested this information from the Human Resources Department. Local political activist Kelli Cook has referred to many of these positions as “ghost employees,” budgeted employee positions which lie vacant for years but for which the taxpayers are paying dollars into Department budgets anyway.
The most famous ghost (perhaps, we should begin referring to this position as “Casper”) is an Administrative Assistant position in the County Judge budget (Account 400). Casper receives $50,120.52 in salary plus $2,080.00 in additional benefits. No one has filled this position since October, 2014. Nevertheless, County Judge Craig Doyal accumulates Casper’s funds within his budget continues to charge the taxpayers for the empty position.
The Report Total for vacant positions is $7.379 million!
Available Certificates of Obligation
Always looking for a way to spend public dollars without the public noticing, Martin and the “Budget Committee” provided a report for unspent funds available from Certificates of Obligation. There is a $3.5 million fund balance available from a Series 2012 Certificate of Obligation which may be spent for remodeling the Courthouse, furniture, parks, wasting the money on Mike Meador’s pet airport, building a forensic services facility, purchasing land for County offices, renovations for the Jail, or, what is surely Doyal’s and Meador’s favorite, for professional services in connection with the above.
The Golden Hammer apologizes to its readers for such a depressing article so early in the morning.