Conroe, March 9 – If there were any single issue where Montgomery County voters sent a strong message to the County government’s public servants, the issue most certainly is tollroads. The voters could not have sent a stronger message than: “WE DON’T WANT TOLLROADS WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL!!!”
Proposition 2 on the Republican Primary ballot on March 6, 2018, emanated from Montgomery County and read as follows: “No governmental entity should ever construct or fund construction of toll roads without voter approval.”
PROPOSITION 2: NO GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY SHOULD EVER CONSTRUCT OR FUND CONSTRUCTION OF TOLL ROADS WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL.
Statewide, 1,372,554 Texans voted for Proposition 2, while only 154,077 voted against it. That represents an 89.90% in favor to 10.09% against margin.
Montgomery County voters, however, provided an even larger margin of victory for Proposition 2 in the March 6 Election. Those results are particularly interesting. Countywide, Proposition 2 passed by a huge margin of 43,915 voter in favor to 4,187 votes against, or 91.30% for with 8.70% against.
The Golden Hammer examined Magnolia-area voting precincts, because County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley have argued that the Magnolia area supports the TX 249 Tollway – specifically as a tollroad – even if there is no voter approval. Doyal and Riley were both quite incorrect.
Voting Precinct 29, where the Precinct Chair is none other than Linda Stuckey, in the heart of Riley’s and Doyal’s area of greatest support, the voters voted in favor of Proposition 2 – and against tollroads unless they receive voter approval first – by 89.85% for and 10.15% against. (Please note that in that same Precinct, Doyal receive 59.31% of the vote to Mark Keough’s 40.69%.)
Clearly, the voters of Montgomery County and of the State of Texas have sent the message, “WE DON’T WANT TOLLROADS WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL!!!”
After the lies and “bait-and-switch” schemes they’ve observed out of their corrupt Montgomery County Commissioners Court, citizens in Montgomery County had enough. Therefore, on August 15, 2017, the Republican Precinct Chairs in the GOP County Executive Committee brought to a vote a resolution calling upon the State Republican Executive Committee to place a proposition on the ballot that no governmental entity should ever construct or fund construction of toll roads without voter approval.
The establishment-controlled County Republican Party Chairman, Walter Wilkerson, Jr., tried to kill the tollroads referendum by adjourning the Executive Committee meeting. A brilliant young Precinct Chairman, Reagan Reed, fast becoming one of the primary leaders in the Montgomery County Republican Party, outmaneuvered the Party Chairman’s illegal parliamentary tactics. When the matter finally came to a vote, the anti-tollroads referendum passed 34 votes in favor with 1 vote against, a 97% margin. The only Precinct Chair who voted against the resolution ultimately was Jim Schulze, whom voters ousted from his Precinct Chair position on March 6, 2018.
The “establishment” Courier blog in Montgomery County wrote a lead article the next day that contained the following editorialization as a fact: “A vote by the Montgomery County Executive Committee of the Republican Party to get a nonbinding referendum on the ballot in March won’t go anywhere because the local group has no authority to take such action, according to the head of the Montgomery County Republican Party [Wally Wilkerson].” (Emphasis added.)
On December 1, 2017, a group of Montgomery County conservative activists, including Reed, Precinct Chair Paul Gebolys, Diane Gebolys, Tamara Yollick, and others went to Austin to lobby the State Republican Executive Committee to place the proposition on the statewide ballot. On December 2, 2017, under the brilliant parliamentary leadership of Terry Holcomb, the SREC Committeeman from Senatorial District 3, the hope of all citizens finally to bring an end to tollroads shoved down their throats by backroom crony politics renewed: the SREC overwhelmingly voted to place Proposition 2 on the ballot.
It’s important also to note that State Representative Mark Keough who won the March 6 Republican Primary Election for County Judge, Steve Toth who won the Primary Election for State Representative, Gregory Parker who made the runoff for Precinct 2 County Commissioner, Jim Clark who made the runoff for Precinct 4 County Commissioner and is the incumbent, and several other Primary winners had all signed a written pledge that they will not approve government funding or construction of any tollroads without first obtaining voter approval.
Riley and Doyal have caused Montgomery County taxpayers to spend more than $13 million on the TX 249 Tollway out of the County’s general revenue rather than spending that money on far more significant mobility projects such as the widening of F.M. 1488 from the Waller County line to Mostyn Manor, the widening of F.M. 2978, the widening of F.M. 1774, the widening of Hardin Store Road, and other much higher priority road improvement projects. Instead, Riley and Doyal have spent that money on a tollway project that the Texas Department of Transportation has made clear it would build as a free road, if Montgomery County chose to get out of the tollroad business.