The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, May 15 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved two departmental reorganization proposals from County Clerk Mark Turnbull’s office at the Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Commissioners Court meeting. Even though the proposals were budget neutral, and would actually save the taxpayers $11,351 in this Budget Year and provide enormous savings for Fiscal Year 2021, they only passed the Commissioners Court on a 3 to 2 vote, with Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough and Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack dissenting.
Chief Deputy Clerk Darrin Bailey, one of the most knowledgeableCounty Clerk Mark Turnbull presented two proposals to reorganize his management staff, close certain positions, and open others. The net of the reorganization will return $11,351 to the County government’s general fund.
Bailey explained that, in his first budget 26 years ago, Turnbull had 38 employees. With all of the growth of the County, Turnbull has managed to operate with only one additional employee for a total of 39.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador remarked, “Mark Turnbull has been one of the best stewards of the tax dollar that we’ve got.”
During the discussion, Budget Director Amanda Carter noted, “The 2021 Budget for the County Clerk’s Office will be decreased compared to what it is today.” Carter recommended approval of the reorganizations which involved the main County Clerk’s Office as well as its Records Management Department.
Noack complained, however that Turnbull was circumventing the budget process, “This court has said we’re not going to do mid-year budgets and reorganizations.”
Keough disagreed with respect to elected officials who are department heads: “Because they represent the people, they should be able to come before us anytime and make recommendations about their budgets.” Keough later added the profound comment, “”The difficulty we have in looking at this is that we all agree.” It then became unclear why Keough voted against the proposal which would save taxpayers substantial funds.
Metts commented, “We still have to provide the services that the people desperately want. We all get calls every day…We are public servants of all people including County employees, as well as everyone else.”
Metts, Meador, and Commissioner Charlie Riley voted for the proposal to save taxpayers money.