Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer
There are a lot of great things going on for grassroots conservatives in Montgomery County and throughout Texas. In Montgomery County, easily one of the most corrupt county governments in all of Texas, if not the most corrupt, there have been a lot of positive changes.
In 2017, thanks to the great leadership of citizen activist Kelli Cook, the Commissioners Court adopted a 20% homestead exemption. There have been some minor ethics reforms but they seem to be building towards more significant ethics reforms. Citizens have raised a lot of great issues and made the public and elected servants aware that spending and tax issues are the highest priority, because spending and taxes represent the taking away of freedom from tax-paying citizens. County government employees are rapidly learning that they work for the citizens, who are at the top of government in the American system, even though many of them greatly fear lame duck County Judge Craig Doyal who has threatened them to continue with the veil of government secrecy until the end of his term on December 31, 2018.
The 2016 Republican Primary elections were absolutely and totally wonderful! In the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election the reform slate swept into office (although a few of them face weak democrat opponents in the General Election). In the May 22, 2018, Republican Runoff Election, while the ultimate results weren’t necessarily that for which we hoped, there was a very important outcome: the leadership of the grassroots conservatives learned some major lessons about how to win runoffs in the future. The political establishment should not dream for one instant that there best tactic will be to run multiple candidates in the Primary Election to force runoffs. That tactic will fail in the future, because the grassroots took a hard look at how to win runoffs and gained the knowledge we need.
Will the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget bring reform? Probably not. One of the five members of the Commissioners Court, outgoing Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark, seems very open to fiscal conservative reforms. Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack wants a huge salary increase and seems willing to give away any fiscal concessions to the establishment majority on the Commissioners Court to get his raise. For example, all of the promises to reduce the County Auditor’s budget by the amount set aside for the Budget Office have gone down the sewer.
At this point, grassroots conservatives appear to have an ally in one member of the Commissioners Court. Where will that number be on January 1, 2019? It’s unclear. How do we clarify that number? With vigilance and citizen activism to make it clear the direction we expect the Commissioners Court to go.
The March 6 Republican Primary Election was a significant mandate for reform. Mark Keough won the Republican nomination with 57% of the vote, a landslide margin. Other reform candidates, Melanie Pryor Bush (County Treasurer), Kristin Bays (284th District Court), Melisa Miller (District Clerk), Mark Turnbull (County Clerk), and Matt Beasley (Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace) won by even larger margins. If the current members of the Commissioners Court choose to ignore that strong message, the citizens will deal with their intransigence assiduously.
Times are great. Let’s have fun!