Montgomery County Judge Doyal sends strong message at first meeting after losing re-election: he’s working for self-interest, engineering firm cronies now

Montgomery County Judge Doyal sends strong message at first meeting after losing re-election: he’s working for self-interest, engineering firm cronies now

Conroe, April 4 – At the first Montgomery County Commissioners Court County Judge Craig Doyal attended after he lost his re-election bid in the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election in a landslide to State Representative Mark Keough, Doyal sent a strong message: he’s now working completely and openly for self-interest and for his engineering firm cronies. Doyal’s closest political cronies have always been his best friend, business partner, and County vendor Bobby Jack Adams, Halff Associates, Inc.’s regional Vice President, Dave Hamilton who is a principal in Binkley & Barfield Engineers, and Precinct 4 Harris County Commissioner “Cactus Jack” Cagle who is an important link for Doyal to many engineering firms and opportunities.

Rather than slowing down the priorities, which Montgomery County voters soundly rejected on March 6, Doyal has begun to sped up his goals to ensure that the County government will spend a fortune on the engineering firms who are Doyal’s real supporters.

The Golden Hammer‘s ratings measure Commissioners Court votes that affect spending in comparison to the provisions of the Republican Party of Texas Platform. Points are good. The number of points depends upon the amount of money involved in each vote.

Commissioners Court meeting, March 20, 2018, 9:30 a.m. All Court members were physically present, except for Jim Clark. (Riley rarely reviews the materials before the meetings so he’s totally unprepared.)

Agenda Item 9A1: Allow Wayne Mack to spend $1,678.09 in funds that are totally unaccounted for and have no backup whatsoever. There was no discussion, no deliberation, and no investigation. 5 points. A proper vote would be “No.”

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 9A4: Under a one-line item, “Payment of Accounts,” on the secretive “consent agenda” which the Commissioners Court didn’t discuss and which they  approved without discussion, your County government spent $12,676,230.04 for 121 pages of single-space lines of expenditures. There’s no oversight for those expenditures by any member of the Commissioners Court of Doyal. The expenditures included:

  • $49,761.58 for the $85 million, 3 mile, TX 249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway paid directly out of general revenue taxpayers funds;
  • $34,724.73 paid to Halff Associates, Inc., the engineering firm of Bobby Jack Adams, Doyal’s best friend and business partner, for whom Doyal will vote for absolutely anything regardless of the conflict of interest;
  • $5,630.17 paid to John Holzwarth, the octogenarian engineer who pays large political contributions and thus is paid exorbitant fees to duplicate the work of the salaried Montgomery County Engineer (who plays golf);
  • $744.00 to Phonoscope out of the County Judge’s budget for unauthorized services or installation or something which no one has ever identified;
  • hundreds of thousands of dollars of charges on the County’s credit card with no backup or review;
  • $43,916.62 to Graves Humphries law firm for doing nothing other than charging exorbitant collection fees for their outside collection system which loses the four Justice of the Peace Courts over $880,000 per year in uncollected fees;
  • and many millions of dollars of unreviewed charges.

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

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 9A5: Budget amendments. Since Doyal and Riley forced the Commissioners Court to pass its budget for the current Fiscal Year in haste – without a proper opportunity for the public to comment – the Commissioners Court passed more than $10,054,970 in “budget amendments” on an emergency basis just for the past 2-week period. It’s a reflection of the randomness of budgeting within the Montgomery County government. 25 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 9D: The Commissioners Court approved one-and-a-half pages of purchasing decisions covering over $6,782,149 of purchases without any discussion, with the except of Phonoscope, Inc., which the Commissioners Court briefly discussed, discovered that the Purchasing Department had no knowledge whatsoever of why the Phonoscope expenditures were occurring, and approved them anyway. Major vote. 25 points. “No” vote appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 9I: Approve variance requests to install aerobic systems in the 100 year flood plain at 12 homesites in Montgomery County. The discussion under this agenda item proved very interesting. County Engineer Mark Mooney indicated that he had spoken with Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack. Both Mooney and Noack expressed concern that providing aerobic system variances in the 100 year flood plain might encourage people to construct homes in the 100 year flood plain that would put them at risk for flooding. At the request of Noack, the Court only approved 10 of the 12 applications and deferred approval for the two properties within Commissioners Precinct 3.

Agenda Item 10: There were no citizen comments, because Doyal has changed the procedures for making citizen comments so many times that no one can follow how to make such comments. When citizens attempt to make comments, Doyal usually treats them like dirt. One citizen, Keith Matthews, attempted to make a citizen comment about flooding and Tropical Storm Harvey. Doyal very rudely interrupted the citizen and wouldn’t allow him to complete his comment about that very significant issue. Doyal interrupted the citizen at the point when it became clear that the citizen was implying criticism of his puppet Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley.

Agenda Item 11A: Consider and discuss update on 2015 road bond program and overview of current bond market.

Agenda Item 11B: Consider and discuss presentation of 2045 Regional Transportation Plan by Houston-Galveston Area Council. The HGAC representative had great difficult with the English language. Noack commented that he objected to HGAC trying to impose the cost of bike lanes on Montgomery County. The HGAC representative seemed only to shrug his shoulders and ignore Noack entirely. Bill O’Sullivan made a citizen comment about mobility planning.

Agenda Item 11C: Ginger Russell and John Hill Wertz provide citizen comments against the TX 249 Tollway project. The Commissioners Court deferred action on that item.

Agenda Item 11D: Pretend to create County Budget Office and appoint Amanda Carter, whom the Commissioners Court interviewed in secret, as Budget Office Director. The Commissioners Court had voted secretly, in violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act, to take these actions previously. Carter had already quit her job and moved to Conroe under a written contract she already had with the County government. This action was nothing but a pretext for show. 25 points. A “No” vote was appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 16: Approve four purchasing items for engineering services without any discussion or oversight:

  • $125,850 for architectural services from Veritas AEC, LLC, for Montgomery County Youth Services;
  • $119,726 fro Geotest Engineering for Nichols Sawmill Road;
  • $54,645 for Geotest Engineering for Gene Campbell Boulevard; and
  • $464,500 for Halff Associates, Inc., for FM 1097.

Doyal should not have voted, because he is best friend and business partner of Bobby Jack Adams, an officer of Halff Associates. Doyal voted for it anyway. Under the circumstances, a “No” vote was appropriate. 10 points.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 19: Create and fund two new positions in Commissioners Precinct 1 Office. The Commissioners Court should have disapproved this mid-year budget change. 10 points. A “No” vote was appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Absent.

Agenda Item 20C: Secret Commissioners Court meeting with County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport about why she released the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of 79 County government employees. Noack walked out of the meeting to protest the failure to notice it properly under the Texas Open Meetings Act. After the secret meeting, the Commissioners Court returned and Doyal announced, “No action necessary out of executive session.” The three members of the Commissioners Court who participated in this secret meeting – Doyal, Meador, and Riley – each receive 100 point deductions for their move which would nicely be characterized as “bonehead.”

Final Agenda Item: Approve use and possession agreement between Montgomery Conty and TxDOT for certain parcels of land for Doyal’s and Riley’s TX 249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway. 100 points. A “No” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK No

CLARK Absent.

Commissioners Court ratings for March 20, 2018, meeting:

DOYAL -100/225. Grade F.

MEADOR -100/225. Grade F.

RILEY -100/225. Grade F.

NOACK 100/225. Grade F.

CLARK 0/225. Grade F.

The following are the cumulative scores for Fiscal Year 2018, which began October 1, 2017.

DOYAL -860/2,093. Grade F.

MEADOR -15/2,093. Grade F.

RILEY -15/2,093. Grade F.

NOACK 1,075/2,093. Grade F.

CLARK 1,585/2,093. Grade C.

The citizens must remain vigilant.

 

 

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