New Caney, December 31 – The Golden Hammer presented the “Mad Cow” Award for the Worst Elected Official of Montgomery County 2016 to Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark.
Here are the criteria for this Award:
- Candidates must be a resident of Montgomery County, Texas.
- Candidates must have held some elected office in local, state, or federal government during at least some period of 2016.
- The winner is the worst at fulfilling his or her duties of elected office.
Citizen support for Clark to receive the “Mad Cow” Award was overwhelming.
It’s sad for two reasons. First, East Montgomery has a lot of problems, a lot of potential, and a lot of really wonderful people. They don’t deserve such a terrible County Commissioner. Second, on a personal level, Jim Clark is a nice man who brought in some excellent staff to work for him and had a lot of potential to be a great Commissioner. He has failed, and the citizens of Precinct 4 must bear the consequences.
Clark’s decision to volunteer to oversee the Montgomery County Animal Shelter was a disaster for him, for his constituents, and for thousands of animals who died or suffered cruel treatment under his watch. Clark didn’t know how to run an Animal Shelter. He didn’t know how to hire responsible and knowledgeable people to run the Shelter for him. He refused to listen to those who did.
Clark wanted to show the world how he could turn the Shelter around. It only got worse. The Shelter reached its bottom around Labor Day this year when Clark and Shelter Director Todd “Boss” Hayden were slaughtering dozens of animals daily just to make space for others. Clark and Hayden had no program to move animals into adopted caring homes. They had no idea how to care for the animals under their watch. They only knew how to kill. They chased away hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers, fosters, and rescue groups. Clark’s close ally, Nathan Arrazate, writing as “The Hoodlands,” even suggested in The Courier Online the idea of killing all of the Shelter’s animals, dynamiting the Shelter, and leaving a giant crater there. Their attitude towards the animals and the taxpayers was disgusting.
Clark’s arrogance resulted in his refusal to listen to any knowledgeable citizens’s suggestions how to solve the Animal Shelter mess. Clark displayed complete ignorance of the budget process, how to create a budget, or how to manage expenses and budgets. The extent of Clark’s culpability for wasted money and animal cruelty became clearer on December 12, 2016, when the efforts of Commissioner James Noack and certain active citizens (Laurie Elliott, Bill O’Sullivan, Robbie Benson, Bob Milner, to name a few among many) finally resulted in the hiring of Charles W. Jackson as the Shelter Director to replace Boss Hayden and the removal of the Shelter from Clark’s control. Almost overnight, the Shelter improved into a clean, responsible, humane facility where an aggressive adoption program has provided many animals and humans with loving relationships that they will enjoy for a long time. It only took ELEVEN (11) DAYS to turn the Shelter around.
While Clark spent all of his time and energy failing at the Animal Shelter, he neglected the primary duty of his job as Commissioner: to maintain the roads of East Montgomery County and to provide County services to protect the citizens from road hazards and drainage concerns. Potholes, other road hazards, and drainage problems from Clark’s failure to maintain county roads and ditches abound in East Montgomery County. Citizens who contact Clark to inquire about these issues usually receive no response whatsoever.
Clark appears overwhelmed. He rarely arrives to work before 10:30 a.m. Clark’s reputation for tardiness to meetings with vendors and constituents is far and wide. Intense lobbying by Halff Associates’ Bobby Adams and other engineering firms has created a “core constituency” with whom Clark will always vote regardless of the negative impact of those votes on the real citizens of his Precinct. While Clark clearly loves the recognition as a County Commissioner, he has shown little interest in actually doing the job.