County Judge Keough announces Countywide mobility plan to proceed, but rejects Doyal-Riley attitude of “we know what’s best for you”

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough moved to reduce his own salary by more than 12% at the Tuesday, January 8, 2019, meeting of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court. 

Conroe, February 8 – Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough announced, during a speech at the Montgomery County Eagle Forum on Thursday, February 7, 2019, his intention to ask the Commissioners Court on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, to proceed with development of a Countywide mobility plan. Prior to Keough coming to office, his predecessor, Craig Doyal, and Commissioners Mike Meador (Precinct 1) and Charlie Riley (Precinct 2) had eschewed proposals for Countywide mobility plans, similar to the Commissioners Precinct 3 mobility plan which Commissioner James Noack has developed since he came to office in 2012.

During candidate forums last year, both Doyal and Riley repeatedly stressed how hard it was for them to government but “we know how to make the decisions that are best for you, even if you may not want them.” Keough told the crowd, “when I hear ‘we know what’s best for you,’ I’m out on that one.”

Keough assured the roomful of conservatives that he would only allow a Countywide mobility plan to proceed with substantial citizen input. “We will start with community input with all stakeholders talking about what you think we need,” Keough explained.

Asked question about his view of tollroads, Keough reminded the audience that he had signed the “Pledge,” during the March 2018 Republican Primary Election, never to construct or fund a tollroad without voter approval first. “We need to figure out how not to have wait in traffic, but also how not to have to pay tolls,” the County Judge said.

Keough reminded the conservative audience that he had won election on a platform he entitled his “Contract with Montgomery County.” “I assure you that I will do these things and in 100 days you can check me out,” he said.

Keough had a strong start when he reduced his salary by 12% at his first Commissioners Court meeting on January 8, as he had promised he would during his campaign for the office of County Judge. He added, “I’m very excited that two County Commissioners Courts around the State have followed suit and also cut their pay, after I started it.”

The new Montgomery County Judge also discussed the need for greater transparency in the County government. “We’ve adjusted the way the Commissioners Court agenda works. One thing is we move payables we approve out into the open section of meetings where you can see where the money is going,” Keough said to loud applause.

Keough told the group of approximately one hundred, “If I come to a situation and I believe I need to vote a certain way, I may get voted down, but they can’t take that away from me. Standing alone to do the right thing, you get used to it. You’re going to be persecuted for it.”

Mark Keough has made clear that he won’t back down from his quest for greater County ethics, lower taxes, and more openness and transparency.

 

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