Magnolia and The Woodlands, April 26 – Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack harshly criticized Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley for lying to and “working against the people.” Riley sent out a missive which contains a number of false statements, as he faces a stiff May 22 Republican Runoff Election challenge from conservative leader and former Comal County Commissioner Gregory Parker.
On April 24 and 25, Riley issued a standard form email in response to several hundred citizens who complained to his office for opposing the clear citizens’ will. In the e-blast, the wiley Riley (1) supported the $95 million, 3 mile, TX 249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway, (2) opposed critical mobility improvements in the Magnolia area by fighting against the widening of Hardin Store Road, (3) supported the Woodlands Parkway Extension, and (4) announced his opposition to the IronMan competition, the single biggest revenue-producing tourist attraction in all of Montgomery County. The full e-blast is at the bottom of this article.
What’s so bizarre about Riley’s comments is his opposition to the much-needed widening of Hardin Store Road as an available east-west corridor. Riley has repeatedly stated that the Magnolia area needs more east-west corridors for increase mobility. Nevertheless, Riley’s steadfast commitment to the voter-rejected Woodlands Parkway Extension along with his rejection of the Hardin Store Road widening reveals that Riley is not committed to east-west mobility at all. Rather, the embattled Riley is only committed to road development which contributors to his criminal legal defense fund support, as those supporters have backed the Woodlands Parkway Extension.
In response, on Wednesday evening, Precinct 3 Commissioner Noack harshly criticized Riley for the anti-citizen tone of the e-blast and for Riley’s opposition to clearly-expressed citizen will. Noack said, “I’m very disappointed in Charlie Riley. He has claimed that he has stood up to me since 2015, but what he’s really been doing is standing up against the will of the people whom I’ve been fighting for. I can’t believe Riley is still fighting for the Woodlands Parkway Extension, opposing the widening of Hardin Store Road which vast majority of the people of Magnolia want, and criticizing the IronMan competition which is a huge tourist dollar revenue producer for all of Montgomery County.”
“I’m very disappointed in Charlie Riley. He has claimed that he has stood up to me since 2015, but what he’s really been doing is standing up against the will of the people whom I’ve been fighting for. I can’t believe Riley is still fighting for the Woodlands Parkway Extension, opposing the widening of Hardin Store Road which vast majority of the people of Magnolia want, and criticizing the IronMan competition which is a huge tourist dollar revenue producer for all of Montgomery County.” – – Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack
Noack added, “Charlie Riley is working against the people. I look forward when he stands with me and fights for the will of the people, rather than against the citizens.”
In the e-blast, Riley announced his continued support for the Woodlands Parkway Extension, his opposition to widening Hardin Store Road despite serious safety and mobility issues along that road, and supporting for tolling the TX 249 extension.
Riley attempted to claim that the Texas Department of Transportation “determined [TX 249] to be a tollway.” What Riley didn’t mention was that Riley and County Judge Craig Doyal lobbied TxDOT to make TX 249 a tollway by lying to the TxDOT that Montgomery County citizens were “unified in support” for making TX 249 a tollroad.
Riley also lied about Proposition 2, the referendum on the March 6 Republican Primary Election ballot, which voters in both the Magnolia area and all of Precinct 2 passed with 91.7% of the vote. Riley claimed that Proposition 2, which stated that no tollroad should be constructed by a governmental entity without voter approval first, “was for future toll roads.” In fact, the TX 249 Tollway was the specific tollroad which prompted Republican leaders in the Montgomery County Republican Party to draft the language for that ballot proposition and to lobby the State Republican Executive Committee to include the measure on the March 6 Republican Primary ballot.