Image: The Montgomery County “Deep State’s” Holly Arbuckle, left, and friend Brian Dawson.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, December 22 – Bobby Jack Adams, Holly Arbuckle, and the “Deep State” of Montgomery County vendors comprise the third most powerful person in Montgomery County and is The Golden Hammer‘s Power Top Ten #3. They move money into their pockets like little fish sucked into a blue whale’s mouth in the deep ocean.
The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, continues the tradition of listing the Power Top Ten, the ten most powerful people in Montgomery County. The Power Top Ten doesn’t commemorate the ten best people in Montgomery County necessarily, but the most powerful people who are actually able to accomplish political or policy goals. In other words, he or she can get things done in Montgomery County.
So far, The Golden Hammer has named seven other people in the Power Top Ten:
#4 Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon
#5 Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson
#6 Conroe Independent School District Superintendent Curtis Null
#7 Montgomery County Judge Judge Chief of Staff Jason Millsaps
#8 Conroe Mayor Jody Czajkoski, Conroe First Lady Nicole Czajkoski, and Quadvest President Simon Sequeira
#9, Woodlands Township Chairman Gordy Bunch.
#10, Conservative Republican activist Ginger Russell.
#3: Bobby Jack Adams, Holly Arbuckle, and the “Deep State” of Montgomery County government vendors
Montgomery County’s government very much has a “deep state” of County government vendors who have enormous influence over decisions by the members of the Commissioners Court, the bloated Emergency Management Department, the Purchasing Department Director, and the other County Departments which have influence in the award of the lucrative road and bridge and facilities contracts which comprise gigantic swathes of where the citizens’ tax dollars disappear. No one among the County government vendors comes close to the influence of Bobby Jack Adams, a civil engineer who is the Regional Vice President for Halff Associates, Inc., a Richardson-headquartered engineering behemoth.
Nevertheless, during 2020, Holly Arbuckle, a long-time associate of former Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson, showed her whale’s jaws when she charged double the going rate to Jason Millsaps and the Montgomery County Emergency Management Department for temperature scanners. Arbuckle made a killing, while taxpayers and citizens paid a heavy price, both in treasure and in liberty. The temperature scanners clearly violate the Constitution, while they also don’t happen to work. Citizens have reported repeatedly that their temperature scans in the 60 to 70 degree range, a body temperature often found in recently deceased bodies.
Adams was a friend at Texas A&M University with disgraced former Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal who worked to award Adams and Halff Associates tens of millions of dollars of contracts during the course of Doyal’s four-year tenure as County Judge and twelve-year tenure as the Precinct 2 County Commissioner.
Adams, however, is the consummate politician. The members of the Commissioners Court have grown to love him with the exception of Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack who wisely shies away from Adams.
Adams knows how to play the game. He has socialized with the right officials within the County government. When issues arise pertaining to Halff’s work in Commissioner Precinct 1 (for Adams’ pal Commissioner Mike Meador) or on the $95 million TX-249 Tollway extension, also known as the “Decimation of Hope Highway,” Adams is rarely far away. Adams appears in Commissioners Court meetings with careful regularity.
Adams is the best among the County vendors. Members of the Court and other County Department directors enjoy meeting with him, talking with him, and shifting citizen tax dollars towards him in the form of lucrative County government contracts.
There can be no question that the Montgomery County government does, in fact, have a “deep state,” the County vendors who influence lucrative contract decisions. Engineering contracts do not go through any sort of competitive bidding process. As a result, the entire process for awarding such contracts is highly political.
Engineering firms are, by far, the biggest financial contributors to incumbent members of the Commissioners Court as well as to Precinct 1 Commissioner-Elect Robert Walker, Meador’s cousin who is his hand-picked successor. It’s truly a “deep state,” because the voters have little, if any, actual oversight or even ability to monitor what’s happening. It’s “deep,” because members of the Commissioners Court themselves often view the contractual arrangements of other Court members will little understanding.
It has become an even “deeper state,” because Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough has recently joined into its methodology by sending his perceived political allies, such as Arbuckle, many of the lucrative contracts arising from the Chinese Coronavirus response.
In truth, if the County government is ever to find real reform, the Ethics Commission must face squarely this problem of the relationship between those vendors and the members of the Commissioners Court.
Adams presides over Montgomery County’s “deep state,” because he has perfected the relationships which lead to its operation and keep spending out of the public’s eye. That is raw power.
Members of the Commissioners Court, other than Noack, have confirmed that Adams and Halff often determine which other County vendors, particularly engineers and general contractors, receive County government contracts through an informal selection process.
Readers should never discount the vast influence Adams and Halff have enjoyed through their involvement as the “project manager” of the gigantic TX-249 Tollway extension project, the Decimation of Hope (for taxpayers) Highway. Arbuckle’s recent rise to the top of the “deep state” is a sure indication that rather than seeking to clean up corruption, the County Judge and Commissioners are diving headlong into the whale’s mouth themselves.