Image: Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal (right under computer screen) leads an ad hoc task force set up to fix the Commissioners Court’s audio-and-video system which broke down approximately nine minutes into the December 19, 2017, meeting. Other ad hoc task force members included Assistant County Attorney B.D. Griffin and Doyal’s “chief of staff” (who oversees a staff of one) jim fredricks, neither of whom seem to know anything about technology.
Conroe, December 23 – Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal lost his self-control and control of the Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday, December 19, 2017. The meeting had a feel more of a public execution where gawkers and hooters voiced their pleasure at the blood and where Doyal, like Britain’s King Edward, was even less popular than the hero, William Wallace, who was the victim of the execution.
Doyal was visibly angry throughout the meeting. Every time Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack voiced any statement of facts or analysis, Doyal recoiled into a defensive posture. Doyal revealed particular affront at Noack’s comments about Doyal’s and Community Development Director Joanne Ducharme’s strange proposal to develop a lending task force to oversee local banks providing pay day loans through the County government. Neither Doyal nor Ducharme possess the slightest competence to oversee such a task force. Noack questioned why government would become involved in such a program at all.
Doyal’s poor management of the County came to the fore within approximately nine minutes of the beginning of the meeting when the audio-and-video system for the Commissioners Court meeting broke down. Chief Deputy County Clerk Darin Bailey brought the mishap to Doyal’s attention. Doyal called a meeting recess “for a few minutes” which actually turned out to be a half an hour break.
As shown in the photograph at the top, Doyal quickly called together an ad hoc task force of himself, his “chief of staff” jim fredricks, and Assistant County Attorney B.D. Griffin to repair the system. They failed.
Information Technology Director Marshall Shirley, whom Doyal is supposed to supervise, but never is able to do so as a result of the county judge’s numerous golf obligations that call him away from work, was nowhere to be found until the very end of the Commissioners Court meeting, when it was far too late to help.
An Information Technology employee came into the Commissioners Court meeting several minutes later. He was unable to restore the video system but Doyal reconvened the meeting with audio only. The last portion of the meeting included video as well but only included spotty live streaming. The lack of management or supervision over the Information Technology Department by Doyal or the ever-napping fredricks has left the County government with little coordination of information technology functions at all, other than the corrupt interference of local political boss Marc Davenport who has no actual authority.
When the meeting resumed, Doyal became even angrier than when the meeting had begun. Doyal engaged in a brief yelling match with conservative Republican Precinct Chair Ginger Russell at one point. Doyal refused to permit certain citizens from making citizen comments for fear they would criticize Doyal. Doyal interrupted the presentation of “The Golden Hammer Award” because he was one of the recipients of the Award since Doyal “hammers the taxpayers.”
During discussion of the $95 million, 4.5 mile, Tx-249 Tollway, more commonly known as the Decimation of Hope Highway, Doyal permitted supporters of the Tollway to yell, shout profanities, and “shush” opponents of the Tollway. Doyal’s poor handling of the meeting gave the event more of a look and feel of a circus.
Doyal changed his ad hoc rules about citizen comments from one Commissioners Court meeting to the next. Unlike most other governmental bodies that publish their rules about citizen comments after the entire body has approved them, Doyal follows his personal whim from moment to moment.
Doyal showed an absence of any feeling that he’s a servant to the public. The meeting was a mess. Doyal was only a servant to his uncontrolled anger.