Conroe, March 17 – How many times does the word “food” appear in the Fiscal Year 2017 Montgomery County Budget?
The word “food” appears in the budget four times. Two appearances are appropriate. One appearance of the word “food” is doubtful. One reveals a problem.
First, the phrase “Food Service Permits” describes the account, 43216, which projects that the County government will bring in approximately $450,000 during the Fiscal Year, from October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017, in Food Service Permits. The amount of this revenue has declined from $500,000 two years ago.
Second, there is an entire County Department, entitled “Permits,” (Account 601), which lists the following as part of the Mission Statement for its $427,721 budget, 7-person, department: “Our permitting provides protection from fire, and ensures public health with regards to food establishments and septic systems.”
Third, there is a budget of $30,000 per year (!) for “jury food,” which admittedly seems rather exorbitant. Jurors, who are performing a civic duty, should normally feed themselves.
Fourth, County Attorney Jerry Don “Ice Man” Lambright, at $196,164 in salary per year, the highest paid elected official in the State of Texas, heads up the only County Department which has a completely bizarre budget category especially for his office. The budget account is 4751-7486, entitled “Food/Shelter/Supplies”! C’mon, Ice Man. You spend $4,144 on a 523-pound capacity ice machine, many tens of thousands of public dollars on your fancy office furniture, televisions, and buildout. Now, the taxpayers have to foot the bill for your “Food” and your “shelter.” (Note that office supplies are an entirely different category.)
The Ice Man is hungry…