When I relocated to Montgomery County 5 years ago, I did so knowing it was the perfect place for my wife and I. I had served my country and my community faithfully and now it was time to join the private sector. I believed that Montgomery County reflected my governing philosophy; that the role of the government within a civil society should remain minimal but efficient, and always err on the side of individual freedom. However, I am writing this because there are concerns in Montgomery County that I can no longer ignore. We are one of the largest counties in the State of Texas and one of the fastest growing, with a population north of 540,000. Montgomery County has a bright future ahead, with a wealth of resources, both in people and in the promise they bring. Yet, from the Montgomery County Commissioner Court, all I see are indictments over secret meetings, hiring of relatives, offering up county business based on political favors to supporters, over taxation, excessive spending and rampant cronyism, which now litter the political horizon of our county landscape.
Since he has been in office, my Commissioner Charlie Riley, has offered no resistance to the County spending growth of 150%, the over taxation, or the cronyism, as a matter of fact, he has gladly participated in such. As an experienced County Commissioner of 8 years, 3 years as a Commissioner of a Texas state agency and as a former City Manager, I know what it takes to clean up government and deliver results back to the people. I am less than impressed with the results, or lack there of, Commissioner Riley has offered up for our precinct thus far.
A clear, enforceable ethics policy for the Commissioners’ Court is a fantastic and necessary first step. But, let’s face it; the current members of the court (excluding Commissioner Noack) have little if any ethical compass. I am not asking commissioners to be perfect, I am asking commissioners to be objective and independent. Objective, is when you uphold the expectation of fairness, make decisions based on merit, and do not allow prejudice or bias to influence your decisions or behavior, and independent, is being free of relationships that may impair, or appear to impair, one’s ability to act with objectivity. Based on the commissioners’ indictments and documented cronyism they are incapable of either objectivity or independence, which are at the core of ethical behavior.
With that said, I believe that it is time for the citizens of Montgomery County, to ask if we are being lead by those interested in the prosperity for the citizens or, are we being lead by those interested in their own prosperity and the prosperity of a selected few. The conversation begins now because enough is enough.
Gregory Parker is a former Comal County Commissioner and city manager. He is also the author of of the book “Global Warming…Really?” which was chosen “book of the week” by the Conservative Monitor and the upcoming title “Conservative Essays for the Modern Era” due out in mid 2017.