Part 3a of 3: Without a blink of an eye, the Commissioners Court spends millions of dollars without oversight at the beginning of each meeting

Part 3a of 3: Without a blink of an eye, the Commissioners Court spends millions of dollars without oversight at the beginning of each meeting

Conroe, June 11 – Since the Montgomery County Commissioners is meeting on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, we all know that they’ll waste millions of tax dollars. They don’t seem to care. It’s “other people’s money” anyway.

Right after the Commissioners Court will approve they agenda, they’ll do the most damage to the citizens of Montgomery County of all.

First, they’ll present the Employee of the Month Award. That shouldn’t really involve any controversy and should only involve positive matters, such as praising a County government bureaucrat for acting like a good team-playing County government bureaucrat. Nevertheless, behind the scenes, there’s an ugly element to the Employee of the Month Awards. That ugly element is none other than crass politics.

There’s a very prominent employee in the Montgomery County government who has given her all under very tough circumstances. She’s received the nomination for Employee of the Month many times. Since the Employee Committee is really under the control of lame duck Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, and since she’s a member of Doyal’s “Hit List” of employees who have not supported Doyal politically, there is no way that County Human Resources Director Dodi Shaw could ever get the award that so many other County government employees believe Shaw so markedly deserves.

Doyal hates Shaw. Shaw and her Assistant HR Director, Kathy Flowers, blocked the promotion and raise for Doyal’s daughter to become the Assistant County Treasurer under her benefactor County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport. Shaw has tried to run the Human Resources Department in accordance with best Human Resources practices, which is an unacceptable standard for the political Doyal. Just recently, Shaw has received pressure from others, including Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack, not to advertise outside of a County website job posting for the position of the new Director of the Building Maintenance Department. Noack’s choice for that job is Tim Stewart, the husband of Noack’s employee Jeanie Stewart. Through it all, Shaw has attempted to run the Human Resources Department in as dignified a manner as possible, considering the fact that the Commissioners Court members seems to want to use her as the blocker in a game of political football.

The next item on the agenda would seem somewhat insignificant but, once again, reveals the incompetence of Doyal and his bloated administrative office: “CONSIDER AND APPROVE COMMISSIONERS’ COURT MINUTES FROM REGULAR SESSION DATED MAY 22, 2018 AS SUBMITTED.” You’d think there would be little to the posting of such an item and the submission of the proposed May 22 minutes as part of the posted meeting agenda.

Sadly, it’s obviously not that easy for the nappy “chief of staff” jim fredricks and his “staff.” Instead of attaching the May 22 minutes to the agenda for the members of the Commissioners Court and the public to review, the sleepy fredricks, Doyal who is far more focused on his golf obligations each day, and two secretaries the taxpayers also pay to do the job of about half a person attached the May 8 minutes that the Commissioners Court has already approved.

That’s representative of the incompetence and a complete lack of care among Doyal and his employees.

After approval of the wrong set of minutes, the Commissioners Court will approve the “Payment of Accounts,” a 116-page, single-spaced report that should blow your mind with $14,350,656.79 of spending at which literally none of the members of the Commissioners Court will glance. While there is a list of expenditures, County Auditor Phyllis Martin has appended no backup material whatsoever.

The expenditures include:

  • $16,150.70 for Graves Humphries Stahl for the JP court collection debacle, thanks to James Metts and Wayne Mack, wherein the County government fails to collect the fees and fines owed to those courts (and the taxpayers) in excess of $880,000 per year;
  • Several hundred thousand dollars of credit card expenditures by County employees without oversight;
  • Dozens of charges of several hundred dollars each paid at full retail prices to Lowe’s, Sherwin Williams, O’Reilly Auto Parts, XL Auto Parts, and Morsco Supply;
  • Payments by Precinct 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden to his political buddy TJ Knox out of County tax dollars;
  • $4,050 paid to NetData, which Metts and Mack have promised would be free to Montgomery County;
  • $7,053 paid to the Texas Association of Counties, the lobbying and trade group that has lobbied against statewide property tax reform and spending reform;
  • $16,280 paid to Half Associates engineers, the firm of Bobby Jack Adams, Craig Doyal’s best friend and business partner;
  • Just over $30,000 paid for this month alone to engineer John Holzwarth, who duplicates the work of salaried County Engineer Mark Mooney; and
  • $39,089.52 paid out of County general revenue funds for the $107 million, 3 mile, TX 249 Tollway, hopefully soon to be named the Marc Lawrence Davenport Tollroad.

There’s also a secret report showing that the County government took in $3.15 million during the month of February and $3.7 million during the month of March alone in additional fees over and above property tax collections.

 

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