Magnolia, May 31 – Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, and Halff Associates, Inc., engineering firm’s James Baker made a desperate plea to the “249 Partnership,” a special interest trade group of vendors involved in the construction of the $73 million 3.6 mile Tx-249 extension, more commonly known as the Decimation of Hope Highway. At a small group meeting of business interests from Harris County, Tomball, Navasota, and a small smattering of individuals from Magnolia, Doyal pled, “Pack the [Montgomery County Commissioners] Courtroom June 13 to make people think there’s support!”
The meeting occurred in the Magnolia City Hall this evening beginning at 6:40 p.m. Paul Mendes, Magnolia City Administrator, cooked hamburgers for the people in attendance. Mendes welcomed the attendees. Riley also commented that he realized “people in The Woodlands and in most of Montgomery County don’t support this project but we need to make people think there’s a lot of support.”
Riley said he would put an agenda item on the Commissioners Court Agenda for the June 13, 2017, meeting, so that the 249 Partnership representatives could speak longer than the 3 minute limit that Doyal strictly enforces so that political critics cannot express their free political speech. “We’ve got get this done. Let them know that Tx-DOT wouldn’t give us the tolls, which we could make for years as a source of income.”
At the April 11, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting, highly-paid attorney Rich Muller, a vendor on the Decimation of Hope Highway project, admitted that Montgomery County voters would vote down any referendum on the crazed spending proposal. The more than $12.6 million that Montgomery County has already spent on the non-voter-approved project largely benefits out-of-county vendors who provide massive political contributions to Doyal and Riley for their legal defense funds and for their political campaigns. Baker’s Halff Associates has received more than $2 million as the “project manager” for a highway not even under construction.
On May 23, 2017, Riley brought Troy Stuckey, a longtime political supporter and the husband of Riley’s former campaign treasurer, to the Commissioners Court to say that he supports the Decimation of Hope Highway. Of course, Stuckey failed to disclose to the people in the Courtroom that he also was a former employee of Jones & Carter, an engineering firm that has received more than $1.5 million from Montgomery County as a vendor on the wasteful project.
The Decimation of Hope Highway is one of the “ten worst highway boondoggles” in the United States, according to U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The cost of completion – more than $20 million per mile – will make the Decimation of Hope Highway one of the most expensive road construction projects in American history, monies that seem to make Doyal, Riley, and their favored political contributors who are County vendors salivate. Therefore, it’s not at all a surprise that Doyal would have spent his birthday and the birthday of Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark at the 249 Partnership meeting with his Doyal’s and Riley’s allies from outside of the county.
Riley’s and Doyal’s antagonism towards Alden Bridge and The Woodlands as a whole is well known. Riley and Doyal supported the Woodlands Parkway Extension as a means of moving traffic from The Woodlands to the Decimation of Hope Highway. Voters rejected that proposal in the May 2015 Bond Referendum. Doyal sits on the board of directors of Woodlands Road Utility District #1, one of the most anti-resident government bodies that has existed in the history of the State of Texas.