Repudiated at polls, Doyal panders to vendors by cramming HGAC Regional Transportation Plan down Montgomery County citizens’ throats (yes, it includes Woodlands Parkway Extension!)

Repudiated at polls, Doyal panders to vendors by cramming HGAC Regional Transportation Plan down Montgomery County citizens’ throats (yes, it includes Woodlands Parkway Extension!)

Image: A map showing a portion of the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s 2045 Regional Transportation Plan that would force light rail into Montgomery County and high-speed rail along the TX 249 corridor. The Plan also includes the Woodlands Parkway Extension!

Conroe, March 18 – The big-government bureaucrats are hovering around Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and the Montgomery County Commissioners Court after Republican voters repudiated the big-government, massive spending and taxation approach Doyal and his close allies Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador in the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election. In order to lock Montgomery County’s citizens and government into the pro-big-government, pro-engineering vendors, and pro-construction vendors approach before reformers, such as State Representative Mark Keough, can come into office on January 1, 2019, Doyal is pushing his agenda through the Commissioners Court as quickly as possible.

Right out of the starting gate, just two weeks after the March 6 election, Doyal is cramming the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s (HGAC) so-called “Regional Transportation Plan 2045” down the throats of Keough and the other 562,000 citizens of this community. Doyal only appended a somewhat benign-appearing “executive summary” to the Commissioners Court meeting agenda.

The full HGAC plan calls for high-speed rail at the border of Montgomery County along the TX 249 corridor and light rail connecting Montgomery County to Houston and possibly with other connections inside of our community. The plan calls for construction of bike lanes, “environmental justice,” and many other details that a repudiated County Judge clearly should leave for his successor to review and determine whether approval is appropriate. The plan calls for construction of the Woodlands Parkway Extension!

The full HGAC plan calls for high-speed rail at the border of Montgomery County along the TX 249 corridor and light rail connecting Montgomery County to Houston and possibly with other connections inside of our community. The plan calls for construction of bike lanes, “environmental justice,” and many other details that a repudiated County Judge clearly should leave for his successor to review and determine whether approval is appropriate. The plan calls for construction of the Woodlands Parkway Extension!

One of the reasons voters repudiated Doyal soundly at the polls on March 6 was the County Judge’s close ties to engineering and construction vendors who have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Doyal’s criminal legal defense fund and political campaign fund. A group of Austin lobbyists, including convicted felon Pete Peterson, worked with Halff Associates engineers, San Antonio real estate developer Rick Sheldon, and numerous Montgomery County vendors to hire Houston criminal defense lawyer Rusty Hardin and provide Doyal with a criminal legal defense fund.

It appears that Doyal intends to pay his “true constituents” back in spades before he leaves office on December 31, 2018. Doyal has placed numerous items on the first Commissioners Court meeting agenda since he lost his re-election bid that will lock Montgomery County policy into place for a quarter of a century after Doyal has gone. If or when Doyal goes to work for those engineering or construction vendors as a marketing representative or paid lobbyist, they’ll have substantial feed to pick in the Montgomery County trough.

Doyal carefully left the full proposed HGAC Regional Transportation Plan 2045 out of the Commissioners Court packet. Of course, the HGAC Major Thoroughfare Plan for coming years includes the Woodlands Parkway Extension, which both Doyal and Riley have endorsed and which both of them have refused to remove from the HGAC plan.

2016 HGAC Major Thoroughfare Plan, which Craig Doyal and Charlie Riley approved, showing Wood Trace Boulevard as the new name for the Woodlands Parkway Extension.

Doyal and Riley placed the Woodlands Parkway Extension, under its new name Wood Trace Boulevard, on the HGAC Major Thoroughfare Plan in 2016, one year after Montgomery County voters had rejected the concept in a May 2015 road bond referendum.

Map attached as Exhibit to HGAC’s proposed Regional Transportation Plan 2045, which Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and his sidekick Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley conveniently left off the Commissioners Court packet. The Woodlands Parkway Extension is the red east-west line in the yellow oval.

No matter what, it’s clear that the Montgomery County government will have a new County Judge in January 1, 2019. There’s a strong likelihood that there will be one, and possibly two, other new member(s) of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court that day as well. Nevertheless, it appears that Doyal and Riley are working for their engineering and construction vendor cronies rather than for the citizens of Montgomery County. They seek to lock these plans in place before their citizen-supported successors may come into office.

The HGAC Regional Transportation Plan 2045 includes:

  • the Woodlands Parkway Extension;
  • light rail inside of Montgomery County;
  • high-speed rail at the edge of Montgomery County;
  • bike lanes and trails mandated by regional government rather than under Montgomery County local community review;
  • many tens of billions of dollars of spending programs.

There may be some positive aspects of the proposed regional plan but there’s no reason that the people’s County Judge and Commissioners shouldn’t have the opportunity to review and deliberate upon the full proposal. Doyal has only provided an executive summary to the Commissioners Court. These decisions shouldn’t occur in haste, even though Doyal may not want to provide Keough and the new Commissioners Court the opportunity to reject some or all of this pro-vendor regional plan.

 

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login