Montgomery County Judge Doyal, Commissioners march for more spending in lockstep: August 8 Commissioners Court ratings

The buck stops down the street from the Commissioners Court at Halff Associates engineers’ office, where Bobby Adams, Craig Doyal’s best friend and business partner, seems to dictate Montgomery County spending policy (along with a few other County government vendors).

Conroe, August 14 – Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and the four County Commissioners, Mike Meador, Charlie Riley, James Noack, and Jim Clark, marched in lockstep to vote for greater County government spending with almost no review whatsoever of anything on which they voted. The Commissioners and Judge voted for everything in front of them. They unified for a combined score of “0” for each and every one of them.

Here are the ratings of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper. The cumulative ratings began on October 1, 2016, the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017, which ends on September 30, 2017.

Points are good.

COMMISSIONERS COURT MEETING, August 8, 2017, 9:30 a.m.

The “Consent Agenda” was a complete mess of secretive spending and budget amendments all under Agenda Item 9.

 

Agenda Item 9A2: Consider and Approve Payment of Accounts. 78 pages with $7.155 of bills and expenses none of which any eyes of the Commissioners Court reviewed or even discussed. The bills included $98,122 of payments to Halff Associates, the engineering firm of Bobby Jack Adams, Craig Doyal’s best friend and business partner. The bills also included $77,420.92 for the Tx-249 Taxway, the $73 million 3.6 mile tollroad project on which Montgomery County voters have never had an opportunity to vote. There were hundreds of thousands of dollars in full retail price payments to Sherwin Williams and other retail outlets as well as payments on the County’s credit card for which there is no accounting. The County paid Wayne Mack $438 with no explanation.

A payment to what JP James Metts refers to as a “free” collection service in the amount of $24,504.99 overshadowed the August 8, 2017, 9:30 a.m., Commissioners Court meeting. The payment to Graves Humphries law firm is part of the Graves Humphries/NetData collection and JP court database fiasco which Metts and local political boss Marc Davenport foisted upon the County government. The four JP courts which utilize the NetData database and Graves Humphries for court fee and fine collections have a substantially lower collection rate than does Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Edie Connelly, who utilizes the County government’s far more efficient Court Collections Department.

Major vote. 25 points. A “no” vote was appropriate.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9A3: $127,529.34 labeled as “emergency” expenditures and “grave public necessities” such as $209.65 for travel expense for the emergency management department to attend a meeting. One of the budget amendments was to pay an increased expenditure under the contract for the Joe Corley Detention facility in the amount of $52,091.93. A “No” vote is appropriate. 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9D: Several hundred thousand dollars of purchasing contracts for approval with no discussion. Item 9D8 was the carefully worded item “Approve Rejecting Project #2016-0034 RPF…” A “No” vote is appropriate. 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 9G: Payroll change requests. No list of the payroll changes included with the agenda. They voted for the County employment changes anyway. A “no” vote was appropriate under those circumstances. 5 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 10: Citizen comments.

Paul Haas, the President of the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Association, spoke in favor of the County passing a revision to the STEP plan for law enforcement salaries which Haas argued would be helpful for retention and recruitment.

Lynn O’Sullivan spoke in favor of Robbie Benson’s appointment to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter Advisory Board.

Longtime extreme liberal activist and ACLU supporter Theresa Domino spoke against the treatment of inmates at the Joe Corley detention facility.

Bill O’Sullivan spoke in favor of the Benson’s appointment to the Animal Shelter Advisory Board and suggested that the Commissioners Court develop a regional mobility study.

Agenda Item 11B: Doyal placed on the agenda to discuss setting the salary, expenses, and allowances for County officials for Fiscal Year 2018. Nothing happened.

Agenda Item 12A includes selection of the public members of a salary grievance committee. They randomly drew names from a hat. That method constituted their most reasoned decisional methodology of the year.

Agenda Item 22A: Discuss appointment to Animal Shelter Advisory Committee. There was no open information about the proposed appointments. The Commissioners Court voted to remove Todd “Boss” Hayden and Aubrey Ross from the Board and added renowned animal expert Robbie Benson to the Advisory Board. Still, the Advisory Board is very weak. Despite the strong addition of Benson, the Commissioners Court should have exercised far more care and thought to the oversight of the Animal Shelter. The Golden Hammer would be inclined to give the Court a negative rating for this complete failure to exercise due care but the addition of Benson at least added some eyes and ears for the citizens and the animals on the Advisory Board. No rating.

Agenda Item 23: There are approximately $330,000 of contracts for road construction in Precincts 1 and 3. While the projects are worthwhile, once again, there was no oversight. A “no” vote was appropriate. 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 25A1: Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley is putting forward an agreement to contribute right of way funds for improvements to FM 1488 with the Texas Department of Transportation. The plan is very secretive. Here’s how Riley explains the proposed funding source: “Funding Source will be 6134015-7598582-RD200052.” Isn’t that informative to the public?! (It means that Riley is paying for the rights of way through a Montgomery County Match but the amount is unspecified.) Without any oversight, the lemmings all voted together for it. A “no” vote was appropriate under the pitiful circumstances. 10 points.

Doyal YES

Meador YES

Riley YES

Noack YES

Clark YES

Agenda Item 26. Citizen Comments.

Trey Ita, whose wife works at the Animal Shelter, said the Animal Shelter is great.

Tara Tenant spoke for the Animal Shelter.

Eric Yollick presented “The Golden Hammer Award” to Jeri Williams, the Director of the Montgomery County Library. Williams showed no grace, little interest, and complete belligerence towards the interests of citizens and taxpayers.

Alan Wells of Splendora asked the Commissioners Court to spend tax dollars wisely.

Hannah Jones (sp. ?) spoke against the Joe Corley detention facility.

Theresa Domino, liberal activist, told the Commissioners Court that the County Library should continue to act as a free employment center (even though the Texas Workforce Commission already provides those services).

TOTAL SCORES FOR July 25, 2017 MEETING.

Doyal 0/70. Grade = F.

Meador 0/70. Grade = F.

Riley 0/70. Grade = F.

Noack 0/70. Grade = F.

Clark 0/70. Grade = F.

CUMULATIVE POSSIBLE SCORES FOR FY 2017 = 3,694.

Doyal = 296/3,694. Grade = F.

Meador = 335/3,694. Grade = F.

Riley = 380/3,694. Grade = F.

Noack = 1,610/3,694. Grade = F.

Clark = 1,245/3,694. Grade = F.

Our County government requires some serious corrective action and some leadership to move in that direction.

As citizens, we must remain vigilant.

 

 

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