Conroe, May 25 – Citizens should be very apprehensive about the selection process for a new Director of the Building Maintenance Department to replace Paul Case, the Director who is retiring today. The process appears closed and rigged to select Timothy Stewart, the husband of another County government Department Director, as a nepotistic hire who will be loyal to Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack, who oversees the Department which Stewart’s wife heads.
The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, obtained documents related to the hiring process, which confirm the problems in the procedures the County government has followed to appear to consider someone other than Stewart, who has already received a nice office inside the Building Maintenance Department next to the Director’s Office. At least two members of the Commissioners Court have already introduced Stewart to others as the “next Director of our Building Maintenance Department,” although the sources who confirmed those introductions have requested anonymity both for themselves as well as for the two Court members for fear of reprisal.
The Director of Building Maintenance is a plush position with plush compensation of $4,031.42 to $5,077.06, plus County benefits equal to about 40.3% of that salary. It’s a job that pays a lot more than comparable positions in the private sector. An experienced construction manager from the private sector would be perfect for the position.
Nevertheless, the Commissioners Court and the Human Resources Department seem to avoid any competition for the position by purposefully not posting the job on public websites such as indeed.com or monster.com. If the County government were to post the job in a proper public manner, they’d probably receive a flood of hundreds, if not thousands of extraordinarily qualified applicants from the Greater Houston Area.
Instead, by posting the position only on the County website under the Human Resources Department’s job postings, the Commissioners Court is able to ensure that they’ll receive the fewest qualified applicants to compete with their politically-handpicked choice, Stewart.
To make matters worse, this newspaper has confirmed that the interview committee for applicants will be comprised of lame duck County Judge Craig Doyal, who seems willing to go along with Noack’s plans to put Stewart into the position, Noack, Noack’s political aide Evan Besong, and Shaw, who is a strong Noack ally among the County Department Directors.
In other words, the interview process will likely be a procedure without any purpose other than the hiring of Timothy Stewart.
Stewart and eight others have applied for the job of Building Maintenance Department Director. All nine applicants have some connection to the Montgomery County government, so it’s apparent how they knew about the job opening.
In order to protect whatever integrity remains in the process, The Golden Hammer will not name the individuals who have applied with the obvious exception of Stewart:
- Stewart, who is a Manager for Building Construction, is a high school graduate, completed approximately one year of college, and has worked in the construction industry for 26 years;
- One candidate is a real estate broker with property management experience and two years of college;
- A candidate is a Master Plumber with extensive experience in the plumbing field and current employee in the Building Maintenance Department;
- An applicant who is a retired senior project manager for the City of Houston and a journeyman electrician;
- A licensed HVAC technician, former employee of the Building Maintenance Department, and currently working as a Building Engineer for CBRE;
- An unlicensed plumbing supervisor in the Building Maintenance Department who has worked there for more than 21 years;
- A maintenance technician for the Building Maintenance Department who has worked there for 18 years;
- A district manager for a chain of restaurants; and
- An environmental compliance coordinator with the City of Conroe.