Personnel issues, changes – many positive, some not so – offer interesting window into secretive Montgomery County government

Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack.

Conroe, April 8 – Several Montgomery County Departments face personnel changes, increased spending, and disciplinary actions in the Tuesday, April 9, 2019, Commissioners Court meeting. Some of the changes, such as many that have occurred in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office of Sheriff Rand Henderson have been positive. Some are not so positive, however, and portend higher personnel costs for the taxpayers.

In the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Rand Henderson has promoted two senior Lieutenants to the position of Captain. Tim Cannon is now the Captain over Administrative Services. Dan Norris is now the Captain over Law Enforcement Services, which such Division oversees support services which benefit the entire Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Henderson has transferred Lieutenant Michael Landrum to the Organized Crime Unit from the District 1 Office. Cannon had previously served as the Lieutenant in charge of the Organized Crime Unit. Lieutenant R.K. “Keith” Funderburk, a senior Lieutenant as well as a gifted novelist, now is in charge of the District 1 Office.

Jermaine Jenkins and Stephanie Logan are now shift Lieutenants in the Montgomery County Jail.

In a strange effort to veil secrecy over the discussion, the Commissioners Court has a cryptic agenda item, which reads “Discuss and deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation and reassignment duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee – Information Technology Department. (Section 551.074).” This agenda item for the April 9 meeting actually concerns necessary protocols for an individual assigned to the Information Technology Department to oversee the databases for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force members who work inside the County government.

The management of the individual working within the IT Department on those databases likely must be a certified peace officer. Therefore, how the County government should handle that position is a decision more appropriately for the law enforcement Department heads, such as the Sheriff and the five Constables.

Another secretive agenda item on the Commissioners Court’s “executive session” agenda is “Consider and discuss potential claims related to employee #011885,
who is Paula Day, a full time employee of the Elections Department. The agenda item appears to be a medical claim.

Precinct 4 Commissioner James Metts seems always willing to spend more money on hiring more of his political cronies for his office. Metts placed an agenda item,  “Consider and approve closing position 615-4030-500, Part-time Clerk, and opening position 615-3940-7, Clerk IV. Annualized salary will be $46,530. To be funded from funding position 615-9999-999.” The reference to position “615-9999-999” is a fiction, as there is no such funding position or account. Since Metts’ “chief of staff” is fired County Auditor Phyllis Martin, it’s no surprise that Metts didn’t get the reference to a funding position or a County government account right.

Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack is also increasing spending by opening a new position for an Administrative Assistant in his office. The new employee will receive a salary of $45,630. Unfortunately, funding for the position during this Fiscal Year, 2019, will come from Noack’s “slush fund” of carryover funds, 614.7997. That, of course, indicates that the taxpayers will have to fund the new employee in the next year’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020.

Clearly, there are no brakes on spending in the Montgomery County’s government, which continues to revel in the playing with “other people’s money.”

 

 

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