Conroe, February 1 – County Judge Craig Doyal called for higher County government spending and proposed reducing Precinct Three County Commissioner James Noack’s proposed homestead exemption to five percent (5%) of a home’s value. Clearly, Noack’s proposed twenty percent (20%) homestead, the rate which Texas law permits and which many counties in Texas have imposed as an exemption, threatens Doyal’s goal to continue the massive County spending growth he has overseen.
Doyal announced a “statement of principles” for the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. Clearly, in order to support the massive elected official salaries he’s instituted along with a recent raise, the $100 million 3.6 mile “Decimation of Hope Highway” project he is ramming through without voter approval in the far southwest edge of the County, the wasteful management practices, the County Commissioner road “slush funds” used for expenditures other than roads, the nepotism-based salaries for multiple family members of Commissioners and favored County Department heads, and the general explosion of the tax burden on families, individuals, and businesses.
In what must certainly be a tribute to (a) the propagandistic principles of George Orwell’s “1984” and (b) the practices of the Soviet Politburo between the October Revolution of 1917 and 1991 when the Soviet Union suffered a complete fiscal collapse, Doyal’s first principle is a redefining of “conservative budget management” to mean to grow county government spending at the rate of the inflation rate. That’s not “conservative” at all given the growth which Doyal has overseen during the past fifteen years as County Judge and County Commissioner.
Since 2000, the population has grown approximately eighty-four percent (84%), while County government spending has grown four hundred and twenty-eight percent (428%). To call a limit of spending growth, after that fifteen year explosion of spending, “conservative” is the equivalent of calling the sinking ship Titanic “a pleasant place for a meal and a refreshing dip in the ocean.”
Amazingly, Doyal has attempted to redefine “fiscal conservatism” itself in order to suit his hungry grasping for citizen money. It’s the first step in the Orwellian world Doyal seeks to create. “Fiscal conservatism” is a “politico-economic philosophy regarding fiscal policy and fiscal responsibility “advocating low taxes, reduced government spending and minimal government debt.” (Coates, David, The Oxford Companion to American Politics, Volume 2, Oxford University Press, 2012). Doyal wants to redefine fiscal conservatism to suit his uncontrollable urge for government spending growth.
Since Doyal has redefined conservatism to mean liberalism, it’s not surprising that his second principle entitled “property tax relief” calls for reducing Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack’s proposed homestead exemption up to 20% to a 5% exemption. Doyal’s engineers, contractors, other county vendors, family members on the County payroll, and own massive salary and benefits require that the County levy its tax burden upon ninety-five percent (95%) of the value of your home, because obviously Doyal doesn’t believe that the Montgomery County Appraisal District has increased property values rapidly enough. Don’t worry, however, as Commissioner Mike Meador, Commissioner Charlie Riley, and their three other MCAD Board members are working hard to raise your property taxes as rapidly as humanly possible.
Since Doyal has redefined conservatism to mean liberalism, it’s not surprising that he chose to criticize Commissioner Noack who has the strongest conservative voting record of any member of the Commissioners Court and who has called for broad property tax reductions that would interfere with Doyal’s increased spending goals.
The third principle Doyal now has proposed is the most ironic of all: “in keeping with the previous recommendation by our Elected Official Salary Review Committee, I am proposing we put a hold on elected official salary increases…” No, Mr. Doyal! That’s not what the Salary Review Committee recommended. They recommended that you not give yourself a massive raise during the current Fiscal Year 2017, but you rejected the Committee’s recommendation and gave yourself a raise anyway. Elected official salaries in Montgomery County are easily the highest of any County government in Texas. “Putting a hold” on those salaries won’t come close to solving the problem. Rather, it’s time to drop those salaries out of the stratosphere.
The final principle is that Doyal wishes to “fund core services and responsible government.” Then, Mr. Doyal, why are you moving millions of dollars away from the road and bridge funds into non-road and bridge uses? Why are you not adequately funding our law enforcement departments? Why have you been so reluctant to enact Commissioner Noack’s proposals to manage the County’s debt, which, despite your foot-dragging, has saved the County more than $6 million during Fiscal Year 2017 alone?
In the fictional propaganda world of Craig Doyal, wild liberalism is conservative, up is down, unethical is ethical, cockeyed is sound, and complete management failure is a great success.
(Doyal thinks he’s untouchable. The Golden Hammer’s Editorial Board is reconsidering the suggestion a few days ago that he’s salvageable.)