Montgomery County’s new “budget office” is a bureaucratic budget disaster with bloated budget to boot; don’t forget the water cooler (!)

Image: Robert Earl Hughes was the heaviest man in recorded history. At his peak, he weighed 1,069 pounds. At his death at the age of 32, Hughes weighed 1,041 pounds.

Conroe, August 22 – Montgomery County’s new “budget office,” which Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 3 County Commissioner touted as some sort of positive development, is rapidly moving towards becoming a bureaucratic budget disaster with a bloated budget to boot. The budget for this new spending boondoggle is on the agenda for the August 22, 2017, 9:30 a.m., Commissioners Court meeting.

County Auditor Phyllis Martin has proposed a budget of $301,080 for this three-person “budget office.” The Budget Director would receive a salary of $116,241.00, plus approximately $41,730 in benefits, for total compensation of approximately $157,971.

Even though Martin’s County Auditor Department currently handles the budget function, Martin, Doyal, and Noack have not proposed to carve the Budget Office out of the County Auditor’s budget. Instead, they seek new expenditures of additional funds, making taxpayers immediate losers in the “budget office” formation.

With Doyal, Noack, Martin, and their colleagues apparently licking their chops to spend tax dollars, what’s amazing is that Martin has proposed a detailed budget – even including water cooler rental (!!!) – for the new Budget Office without any duties, goals, or tasks.

No new bureaucracy is complete in the Montgomery County government without (1) a bloated Department director salary, and (2) a water cooler.

Despite Noack’s assurances that the new “budget office” would fall under the direction of the entire Commissioners Court, Martin and Doyal have already set the direction of the incoming Budget Director by planning attendance at the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Budget Analyst Training Academy in Chicago. Rather than teaching methods of finding management or operational efficiency in a governmental organization, GFOA’s training academy will instead indoctrinate the new budget officers in “working relationship with operating departments to develop goals and budget requests” (emphasis added), “budgeting for grants,” and “position budgeting and salary projections for public-sector organizations.”

Participants in the 4-day GFOA trip to Chicago, Illinois, will get to “network” with other government bureaucrats from around the United States for only $925 per person (not including hotel, dinners, or transportation). Don’t worry Montgomery County’s newest bureaucracy director will receive a continental breakfast and lunch as part of the program’s indoctrination.

If you had any doubts about the bureaucratic nature and pro-spending indoctrination of Martin’s and Doyal’s latest method of increasing County government spending, here’s Martin’s proposed budget for the bloated monster:

Department head salary     $116,241.00

Budget Analyst salary          $54,122.38

Analyst support salary         $39,635.00

Benefits for all three             $75,446.00

Supplies/Other                       $4,700.00

GFOA Academy                      $1,850.00

3 webinars                                $255.00

1 Austin conference                $795.00

Chicago airfare                         $706.00

Chicago hotel                            $1,992.00

Chicago per diem                     $460.00

1 more night hotel                     $173.00

2 more days per diem              $77.00

mileage to Austin                      $175.00

travel WITHIN MoCo              $250.00

business cards, forms               $1,000.00 (Wow, that’s a lot of business cards.)

copier lease                                 $2,448.00 per year

water cooler                            $288.00 per year

Association Dues                       $500.00

Total Bloated Budget                $301,000.00.

Martin’s and Doyal’s note about the proposed budget: “** THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY CAPITAL ITEMS SUCH AS COMPUTERS, LAPTOPS, LARGE PRINTERS OR REMODELING COSTS**”.

What’s particularly amazing is that Martin, Doyal, Noack, and the rest of the Commissioners Court have determined how to spend the money on the new department but have never set any goals, duties, purposes, or functions for the department yet.

Apparently, for the new “budget office,” spending tax dollars is the highest priority!

 

 

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