Conroe, February 26 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court will continue to shred the citizens of this community with out-of-control spending and rising taxes. Rather than showing leadership to other taxing entities, such as school districts, municipalities, and utility districts, by lowering taxes, freespending Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and his top crony, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, have spent their energy trying to hide the spending and trick voters into believing that their government spending growth that is faster than the federal government or any other county government in Texas somehow represents “conservative” principles.
In order that the items appear on the Doyal-concocted meeting agenda, here are some of the threats facing Montgomery County citizens on February 27.
Shredding government documents
While the amount of the expenditures is minuscule, several different County Departments, particularly those involved in the Davenport Ring of corrupt politicians and elected officials who have taken their direction from local political boss Marc Davenport, seem to shred government documents regularly.
There are a number of payments the Commissioners Court will vote to approve to Texas Shredding Solutions. Even though the payments are tiny amounts, such as $12, or $15, the much bigger question is: why are County Departments, such as County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport or the corrupt Wayne Mack (Marc Davenport’s protege), shredding government documents at all?
Stephanne Davenport’s government records fall under the Texas Open Meetings Act, although she doesn’t seem to pay much heed to the policy of openness. Mack’s records fall under Rule 12 of the Texas Rules of Judicial Administration which also don’t seem to provide for shredding of public documents.
Paying the favored engineers
Doyal’s, Riley’s, and Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador just adore three engineers. To Halff Associates, Inc., the firm of Bobby Jack Adams, Doyal’s best friend and business partner, the Commissioners Court will pay $16,960.00. To LJA Associates, the engineering firm best known for the fishing trip to Louisiana it provides to the County Judge and Commissioners, as well as County Engineer Mark Mooney, your tax dollars will flow in the amount of $28,771.76.
To John Holzwarth, the private engineer who gives large political contributions to Doyal and three of the four County Commissioners, the Commissioners Court will approve payments of $26,684.33 just for the 2-week period of this meeting. Holzwarth duplicates the duties of County Engineer Mark Mooney who is a salaried employee.
Decimation of Hope Highway, also known as the $73 million TX 249, 3.6 mile extension
The Commissioners Court will pay CDM Smith $15,032.46 more to continue work on their traffic and revenue projections, which Doyal and Riley expect to support construction of the Decimation of Hope Highway, also known as the $73 million TX 249, 3.6 mile extension. That payment will come directly out of general revenue tax dollars, so don’t labor for a second under the belief that Montgomery County taxpayers aren’t paying for that tollroad.
Total “Payment of Accounts” Expenditures
Under a one-line item, “Payment of Accounts,” on the secretive “consent agenda” which the Commissioners Court will not discuss and which they’ll approve without discussion, your County government is spending $9,992,905.82 for 90 pages of single-space lines of expenditures. There’s no oversight for those expenditures by any member of the Commissioners Court of Doyal.
Budget Amendment for Fiscal Year 2018
Since Doyal and Riley forced the Commissioners Court to pass its budget in haste – without a proper opportunity for the public to comment – the Commissioners Court must pass more than $277,000 in “budget amendments” on an emergency basis just for the past 2-week period.
It’s a reflection of the randomness of budgeting within the Montgomery County government.
Major purchasing decisions approved blindly
There are two major purchasing decisions on the Commissioners Court agenda. There is no backup whatsoever for the decisions which the Commissioners Court will approve, so they won’t know what they’ve voting or either. One of the approvals is to approve an award for repairs and waterproofing of County buildings by the Building Maintenance Department. The other approval is for an “external assessment of the Sheriff’s Office Facilities.” That “external assessment” will no doubt suggest that taxpayers should drop a couple of hundred million dollars on a new criminal justice facility.
Executive session secrecy
There’s an agenda item 18A, “Discuss and Deliberate the Appointment, Employment, Evaluation, Reassignment Duties, Discipline, or Dismissal of a Public Officer or Employee (Section 551.074).” That’s not a proper posting for an agenda item even for an executive session. Courts have held that under the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA), a governmental body must describe the position and the employee who is the subject of the proposed action, whether it’s in executive session or not.
Does that item tell you, as a citizen, what the Commissioners Court will discuss in secret executive session? Of course not. If you’re interested in what’s happening, please stay tuned for tomorrow’s edition of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper.
How rude can Doyal be?
Agenda item 20 is the “citizen comments” portion of the meeting which Doyal has not moved to the end of the meeting, so citizens are only able to comment after the Commissioners Court has completed its business. If someone know’s Doyal’s tricks, they can speak during the meeting instead.
Either way, this portion of the meeting is where citizens will have the opportunity to see Doyal, Riley, and Meador at their very rudest.