Conroe, May 24 – Oh, the games Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and his allies play to fight for County government spending and against spending reductions! Remember, since these people live off of the public dole in several ways, any reduction in government spending constitutes a direct threat to their “livelihoods.” Doyal and his cronies have a particular way about them.
Here are some of their methods:
- Blaming other government entities. When The Golden Hammer began, or its Publisher’s efforts to reduce County government spending began, the first line of attack by Doyal and his cronies was to blame other government entities for high taxes. “Why don’t you go after the Conroe ISD?!” jim fredricks, Doyal’s “chief of staff” (over his 2 secretary “staff”) angrily asked. Doyal himself in one of the two infamous videos in the “Video-Gate” scandal blamed high government spending on the federal government (so true) but told us he followed “fiscal conservatism” (a complete falsehood). When serious citizen efforts to reduce County government spending began in June, 2016, Doyal and several of the County Commissioners began to blame the Texas Legislature for failing to implement property tax reform. They don’t want to face up to the stark reality that property tax reform would be completely unnecessary if local governments made efforts to control government spending.
- Claiming how “tight” the budget is. Doyal et al. wouldn’t have a clue about how tight or loose the budget is. They generally don’t even know what’s in the budget. They surely don’t have any understanding of how lean or fat are the operations of County Departments because they never – truly never – “manage by wandering around” (the managerial technique made famous by GE’s Jack Welch and by 3M). Doyal has never engaged in zero-based budgeting. In reality, Doyal has never engaged in any true budgeting at all, because the only method he’s ever followed as a Commissioner and then as County Judge is to grant almost every single “wish list” item County Department Directors have asked to add to their previous year’s budgets.
- Threatening reduced services, especially road and law enforcement. First, the Sheriff and Constables generally develop their budgets autonomously, so, historically, the Commissioners Court has had little to do with those budgets. Historically as well, the Sheriff and Constables have run tight budgets. (There’s a systemic reason for that.) Second, as to roads, it’s truly horrifying how poorly the road management is in the Montgomery County government. Examining the $280 million road bond that voters approved in November 2015, it appears that citizens will get about $120 million of actual roads, because Doyal and the Commissioners are wasting about $160 million on padded engineering and construction contracts. They don’t manage or oversee those projects at all. County Commissioners should be the project managers of every road project in their Precincts. Instead, they hire engineering firms to act as the “project managers” and those engineering firms basically do nothing but bill the County for the overlap of services which the Commissioners personally should provide.
- Secrecy. Secrecy is a major weapon in Doyal’s War Against The Taxpayers (the WATT). By hiding spending increases when they come before the Commissioners Court, by refusing to communicate with the public, by hiding government’s operations behind closed and locked doors, and by obfuscating matters in “consent agendas,” illegally vague agenda items, and “executive sessions,” Doyal has fought against openness and transparency. There’s an interesting trend going on inside the County government right now, however. When the County spending reduction efforts began around June, 2016, it was easy to obtain documents from the County government. For a few months, however, County Attorney J.D. Lambright and County Department heads began to tighten the screws to staunch the flow of public information. Lambright, who has committed to the voters every time that he’s run that he would stand for openness in government, has now actually begun to become an ally to those who seek public information and openness again. It seems that the turning point for Lambright occurred when Doyal and his allies fought Lambright and Lambright’s County Attorney staff on the Code of Ethics in February and March, 2017. Citizens seeking reform of government seem to be able, once again, to look to our County Attorney as “our County Attorney.”
- Telling citizens how ignorant we are. It’s a common thread through the statements of Doyal and his allies that “you just don’t understand” how complex and difficult are their jobs. No, gents (and ladies), you don’t understand that we do understand how simple your jobs should be.
- Intimidation and personally attacking critics. Look at where Adrian Heath, Mark Bosma, and Darlou Zenor are today. Critics of County government spending, especially those who attempt to work on the inside of government, don’t fare very well. Look at the treatment the Courier blog, Doyal’s greatest ally, gives to those who dare criticize the County government. Since Doyal’s and his buddies’ arguments are illogical and indefensible, Doyal and company have resorted to the use of fake names for these attacks. For years, Doyal and his buddies used “The Hoodlands” (Arrazate) and “Yizguy” (fredricks) to attack Bill O’Sullivan and Commissioner James Noack primarily. Those attacks not only continue today under different names but are intensifying as the criticism by private citizens of government spending has begun to increase.
What is the answer to all of these methods? You, the citizens, must provide those answers. Will you pierce through the false information or accept it? Will you wither away or maintain the fight? Will you bankrupt the United States at all levels (local, state, and federal) or will you leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren?
Or will you continue to leave government and the power of taxation (i.e., taking away your freedom) to Doyal and his cronies.