Conroe, January 13 – In a December 28, 2016, press release, County Judge Craig Doyal bragged that one of “several successes for the county…in 2016” was “successfully passed a $280 million road bond election, and many projects are now underway.” Doyal revealed his confusion, because the $280 million road bond passed in 2015, not 2016. Doyal’s and Commissioner Charlie Riley’s and Commissioner Jim Clark’s indictments arising from alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act and related to the road bond election occurred in April, 2016. Perhaps, that’s the source of Doyal’s confusion.
In actuality, the November 2015 road bond has been a dismal failure. The road bond referendum contained 55 projects. Only one is complete and it’s the only one that was the responsibility of another government jurisdiction, the City of Willis. The vast majority of the road projects are not even close to the beginning of construction. 24 of the 55 road projects are not even in the development stage yet. Here’s the breakdown:
55 Road Projects
NOT STARTED 24
“IN DEVELOPMENT” 29
UNDER CONSTRUCTION 1
The only Commissioners Precinct where all of the approved road projects are moving forward, at least “in development,” is Commissioner James Noack’s Precinct 3. The breakdown of projects by Commissioners Precinct follows:
Precinct 1 (Meador):
Completed (by City of Willis) 5%
Under Construction 5%
In Development 68%
Not Started 22%
Precinct 2 (Riley):
Under Construction 0%
In Development 22%
Not Started 78%
Precinct 3 (Noack):
Under Construction 0%
In Development 100%
Not Started 0%
Precinct 4 (Clark):
Under Construction 0%
In Development 50%
Not Started 50%
Commissioners Riley and Clark have the worst records with respect to the road projects in their respective Precincts. That might make one ask the question, “What do they do all day?”
Besides the complete lack of attention by the County Judge and County Commissioners to these critical road projects, there are at least two other causes for the failure of the Commissioners Court to proceed with the road and bridge projects which more than 62% of Montgomery County voters approved in November, 2015:
(1) In order to give the road projects to engineering firms that contribute substantial political funds as well as funds for their legal defense, County Judge Doyal and the County Commissioners have excluded Montgomery County Engineer Mark Mooney and his office from managing the November 2015 bond road projects.
(2) Judge Doyal, Commissioner Riley, Commissioner Clark, and even the unindicted Commissioner Meador seem far too distracted with golf, their criminal defense, planning for “blood on the streets” as a payback for disfavored citizens, paying hefty bonuses to favored employees, instructing county employees not to provide public information, running the Animal Shelter as a euthanasia facility, and funneling many tens of millions of dollars to favored engineers and contractors to the “Decimation of Hope Highway,” also known as the TX – 249 Tollroad project, a non-voter-approved 3.6 mile tollroad project at the far western edge of Montgomery County, rather than using those funds and efforts to move the approved projects forward.
Doyal has suggested that one of his defenses to the Texas Open Meetings Act indictment is that, even if he technically violated the Act, it was more important to move these road projects forward and that he provided a great benefit to our community by doing so. During his June 28, 2016, “press conference” immediately after the Texas Judicial Conduct Commission temporarily suspended Doyal from his job as County Judge, Doyal emphasized how important the November 2015 road bond projects were, even in the face of allegations that he committed criminal conduct in getting the bond issue passed. The failure of these road bond projects to advance would seem to undercut Doyal’s request that the legal system turn the other cheek with respect to the Open Meetings violations allegations.
Bruce Tough, then Chairman of the Woodlands Township Board of Directors, openly opposed the November 2015 road bond referendum due to concerns over the “lack of transparency” on the Commissioners Court concerning approval of the road bond referendum.