More bad spending stuff slated for Tuesday, June 11 Commissioners Court

Budget Director Amanda Carter, January 29, 2019. Has Carter just become a puppet behind whom the Commissioners hide or will she operate independently of political forces to make honest recommendations to reduce government waste and inefficiency?

Conroe, June 11 – In addition to the horrible agenda item 9.F.1, the proposal by Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack to allow Commissioners to hire, fire, and create new positions in their departments without external scrutiny of the citizens they’re supposed to serve, there are at least three other bad action items on the June 11, 2019, Commissioners Court agenda. They are in order.

Taking slush funds carried over from other budgets to pay for the spending explosion the Commissioners Court members refuse to address

In order to try to fool the public, the Commissioners Court no longer refers to budget amendments as budget amendments. Instead, they appear on the secretive “consent agenda” as “Consider, approve, and authorize the line item transfers and adjustments for FY 2019 Budget according to Budget Policy.” The problem, however, is that these budget amendments actually concern line item transfers and amendments involving funds from previous year’s budgets.

Whenever the suffix “7997” appears in a budget amendment or transfer, citizens should beware. The 7997 suffix refers to “carryover” funds from previous years. In other words, County Departments have spent more than they’ve budgeted for the current Fiscal Year 2019 and they need to draw funds from another source to cover their out-of-control spending.

Here are the carryover funds, which the Commissioners Court will blindly approve in June 11:

  • The IT Department will spend $3,460.71 for overspending on supplies and $101,000 for unexplained “major projects”;
  • Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley will draw $10,630.00 in slush funds for subsidize his park maintenance;
  • Environmental Health will draw $2,231.25 from slush for supplies; and
  • Precinct 2 Constable Gene De Forest will spend $2,036.60 from slush for supplies.

Sadly, the Budget Director, Amanda Carter, appears to need a $5,122.14 budget amendment for her own department. In other words, the Budget Director can’t properly budget for the Budget Office.

The total is $124,477.70 of unmanaged and uncontrolled spending on budget amendments alone.

Pushing forward with the Obama-Doyal EB-5 scam

The federally-administered EB-5 program allow foreign nationals to pay large sums of money for real estate development projects in return for receiving visa approvals for certain individuals associated with them. The program has been a wonderful method of moving Asian gang members into the United States without immigration scrutiny.

The EB-5 program, which Doyal and Obama have fostered, has successfully brought thousands of members of Chinese and East Asian gangs into the United States with full immigration authority condonation. The Commissioners Court will review a proposal to designate the Budde Road area near the intersection with Nursery Road as having a high unemployment rate to justify the aggressive program to allow foreign nationals to participate in the real estate development and gain immigration favors in return.

The program will result in one of the ugliest real estate projects in the history of Montgomery County a drawing of which follows.

The Box Office Park cannot stand on its own economically, probably because it is so hideous. Therefore, the Mexican developers are seeking $4 million in foreign national funds through the EB-5 foreign immigration special visa program.

Conservative Republican United States Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the current Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is one of the most vocal critics of the EB-5 program. The Judiciary Committee, under Grassley’s leadership, has investigated this program, one of the favorites of democratic administrations, especially Presidents Bill Clinton and B. Hussein Obama, who aggressively supported expansion of the EB-5 program.

Under EB-5, if a foreign national invests $1 million or more into a TEA, he may obtain green cards, and eventually permanent resident status, for foreigners who might otherwise not obtain any legal immigration rights into the United States. Grassley has concluded, “It’s hard for smaller states and cities to complete with the glitzy hotels and luxurious condo projects [that EB-5 brings into cities like]…Beverly Hills, Miami, and New York City.” Meanwhile democratic leader Chuck Schumer, a U.S. Senator, from New York has been an ardent advocate for the EB-5 program.

Unfortunately, EB-5 doesn’t just bring glamour and glitz. In 2013, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission issued an investor alert about fraudulent investment schemes involving the EB-5 visa program. Forbes magazine reported on a “massive eight-year fraudulent scheme” in which a ski resort in Vermont misappropriated more than $350 million of federal government and investor funds through the EB-5 program.

Basically, EB-5 has become a “cash for residency” program. The FBI’s office in Los Angeles is currently involved in dozens of matters involving EB-5 visa fraud schemes, because the program has attracted organized criminal elements from China and other parts of East Asia. Some companies claiming to have ties to the United States have advertised in mainland China that Chinese investors could buy visas by investing funds in EB-5 companies in TEAs in the United States. Kushner Companies, the firm of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law’s family, is currently mired in an investigation of its practices involving the use of EB-5 funds to finance some of its New Jersey and Manhattan development projects.

There are also connections with EB-5 investments to some of the East Coast crime families who have attempted to take advantage of the projects.

Squandering millions of County tax dollars without scrutiny or discussion

One of the reforms, which Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, the “People’s Judge,” has instituted is to move the “Payment of Accounts” to the open agenda during Commissioners Court meetings. The problem, however, is that none of the members of the Commissioners Court ever ask questions about the massive expenditures, there’s no discussion, and there’s just blind approval of spending millions of tax dollars.

The Commissioners Court will spend $7,178,784.86 in tax dollars. Those expenditures will include:

  • $150 paid to Kelli Cook (!) for the Decimation of Hope Highway, the $95 million TX 249, 3.1-mile extension;
  • $7,500 paid to LJA Engineering, the engineering firm which gives luxury fishing trips to members of the Commissioners Court;
  • Over $150,000 in undocumented Visa card charges by County employees; and
  • Over $603,000 in retail price payments to Lowes, auto part stores, and hardware stores.

 

 

 

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