Conroe, November 15 – Reform County Judge candidate Mark Keough, who is running to clean up Montgomery County’s government and seeking the Republican Nomination in the March 6, 2018, Primary Election, signed his “Contract with Montgomery County” during a packed event in downtown Conroe last night. Keough announced the terms of the “Contract with Montgomery County” to thunderous applause reminiscent of the enormous support the Republican “Contract with America” enjoyed during the bellwether 1994 national elections.
Keough, who is currently serving in his second term as Montgomery County’s State Representative, District 15, has enjoyed wonderful ratings from conservative organizations which rate the hundreds of votes each member of the Texas Legislature takes during each Legislative Session. Keough received an “A” rating from West Texas Right to Life and an 88%, the highest conservative score for any legislator from Montgomery County, from Empower Texans, a grassroots statewide conservative organization.
Keough decided he wanted to spend his considerable energy to bring reform to the Montgomery County government. Therefore, he decided to run for County Judge to try to clean up the corrupt mess that the citizens of this community face in the County government. Under the incumbent County Judge Craig Doyal, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador, who vote as a liberal pro-government spending growth bloc, Montgomery County’s government has:
- Suffered the indictments of the County Judge, Doyal, and Precinct 2 County Commissioner, Riley, as well as of corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport, who has worked very closely with Doyal and Riley, for alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act.
- Suffered government spending growth at a faster rate than ever before in history.
- Suffered an enormous increase in taxes as a result of the failure of the County government to reduce spending while they’ve worked closely with the Montgomery Central Appraisal District to increase property tax appraisals at a record-setting pace.
- Experienced nepotism and cronyism throughout almost every department of the County government.
- Fallen under a cloak of secrecy and “closed government” that Doyal, Riley, Meador, and “chief of staff” jim fredricks have imposed so that citizens cannot obtain information about the workings of the government.
- Suffered from intense conflicts of interest with members of the Commissioners Court entering into business arrangements with prospective and current County vendors.
Keough has repeatedly explained that he wants “to clean up our County government.”
Therefore, his “Contract with Montgomery County” begins with the recognition that “Elected officials are servants of the people. They do not rule, they serve.” Keough’s recognition of this important principle is precisely opposite to Doyal’s, Riley’s, and Meador’s attitude that they are in an elite class over and above the rest of us and have the right to use public facilities, property, equipment, and employees for their personal and political enjoyment.
Keough has rejected the secrecy and clandestine actitivites of Doyal in the second term of the “Contract with Montgomery County” which provides “The actions of elected officials are transparent and beyond reproach.” Keough specifically noted that he “will end the practice of granting preferential treatment to elected officials and their employees that does not apply to the citizens of this County.” Unlike Doyal who has instituted a toothless “code of ethics” solely in order to placate the Texas Department of Transportation’s minimum state funding ethics requirements, Keough has contracted that “I will ensure current County ethics policies have a mechanism of enforcement that deters current and future ethics violations.”
Like a breath of fresh air for the citizens of Montgomery County who have long suffered the stench of Doyal’s, Riley’s, and Meador’s spending increases, Keough has included in his “Contract with Montgomery County”:
- “County Governance will always function as fiscally responsible and accountable to the citizens of Montgomery County.”
- “I will work to reduce the tax rate of the County to account for increases in total property values throughout the County. Appraisal goes up, rate should come down!”
- “I will eliminate wasteful spending in our budget…”
That final point is particularly remarkable, because Doyal and Riley refuse even to acknowledge that there is any wasteful spending in the County government even though hundreds of County employees have suggested cost savings.
Keough has assured Montgomery County citizens that the era of “slush funds” has come to an end: “I will return any funds that are non-contingency related or are not carried over for unfinished projects to the taxpayers via reduction in tax rates.”
Obviously, Countywide mobility and infrastructure are major issues, because Doyal and his allies Riley and Meador have done such a terrible job in those areas while they focused on moving large amounts of funds into the hands of their favored political and criminal legal defense fund contributors. Keough, on the other hand, has promised in his “Contract” that he’ll “eliminate toll roads as a means of transportation infrastructure,” eliminate the use of “certificates of obligation” as a means to circumvent the will of the people of Montgomery County, and will work to develop a County-wide mobility plan. The elimination of the wrongful use of certificates of obligation has been a sore point for Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark and Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack, both of whom have objected to the use of COs for long-term infrastructure obligations.
Finally, Keough has recognized that outside special interests – engineers, developers, and other County vendors – have taken control of the heart and mind of Doyal, Riley, and Meador, so that they have become the real constituents of those three officials. Keough has included his “Contract with Montgomery County”:
“I will immediately end the influence that outside interests have upon the decision-making ability of those who govern and will replace this practice with what is the will of the people of Montgomery County.”
The 2018 Republican Primary Election will certainly be interesting to watch. Keogh’s complete “Contract with Montgomery County” follows.