Conroe, November 25 – Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador wants to move $277,764 from his “asphalt and road materials” account and hire four new operator positions and give a giant raise to a current members of his road crew. With benefits and salaries, the average amount for the five positions will exceed $55,552.
Meador hardly utilizes his road crews right now as it is. His road and bridge employees usually spend about 1 to 2 hours at the end of three to four work days each week drinking beer with Meador behind his Commissioner’s barn.
Meanwhile, there are dozens, and possibly more, of road and bridge projects that require attention in Meador’s Commissioner Precinct 1. Meador instructed County Auditor Phyllis Martin to show that the funds for his additional employees should come out of his “asphalt and road materials” account, which the Commissioners Court designed for road and bridge materials when it passed the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget on September 5, 2017.
The five positions appear in the following chart Meador provided to the County Auditor on November 20, 2017:
The payments of salary and benefits are prorated from December 2, 2017, through the end of the Fiscal Year on September 30, 2018. Therefore, County taxpayers will actually get stuck with five additional employees in the amount of $277,764 for coming fiscal years in a County Department that is already substantially overstaffed and underworked, because Meador won’t address necessary road projects.
The Noack conundrum
Until the end of July, 2017, Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack consistently voted against any mid-year salary increases or the creation of new positions in the middle of budget years. His argument for voting against such spending increases was that those matters should have come before the Commissioners Court during the budget process – to the extent one could call the haphazard voting the Commissioners Court does in July and September a “process” at all – or they should wait until the next set of budget hearings.
After July, however, Noack has seemed to want to get along with his colleagues at the expense of the taxpayers’ interest. Therefore, he has started to vote in favor of their budget requests on every occasion with the exception, of course, of Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark whom County Judge Craig Doyal, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, and Meador are punishing for his agreement to cooperate with the State of Texas in the Texas Open Meetings Act indictments pending against Doyal, Riley, and corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport.
Before Meador spends money out of his asphalt and road material account to pay for five new positions, Meador should take care of the road and bridge business and utilize the funds for asphalt and road materials, as the Commissioners Court intended.