Conroe, April 11 – Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley received “The Golden Spike” at the April 10, 2018, Commissioners Court meeting for his bizarre work on the Decimation of Hope Highway, also known as the TX 249 Tollway, the 3 mile road that will cost over $75 million to construct!
The Publisher of The Golden Hammer presented “The Golden Spike” representing Riley’s decision to drive the final nail into his own political coffin with the following explanation:
“Today, we’re doing something special: Precinct 2 County Commissioner gets The Golden Spike, because his support today for the TX 249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway, will be the final spike in his political coffin.
“In this vote to let the construction contract to SpawGlass Construction out of Austin, here’s what we’re about to see Commissioner Riley do:
- Despite promising the voters of Precinct 2 that he would support a voter referendum if it was at all possible before spending money on the tollroad, a promise he made at least twice before our very eyes, Riley is voting for the tollroad funding and bonds.
- Riley is a man of many secrets. One of the secrets is that Riley has placed this massive project before his colleagues on the Commissioners Court without allowing them to review the Traffic and Revenue Study that the taxpayers of this County, not some phony Toll Road Authority, paid $405,000 for. The T&R study requires careful review by the Commissioners Court as a whole and the citizens, not some quick PowerPoint presentation by a paid advocate for tollroad spending. But Riley will vote on his beloved Decimation of Hope Highway without any public review of the T&R study that the public paid for, and paid a lot!
- At 44.33 cents per mile, the Decimation of Hope Highway will be the 5thmost expensive tollroad in the entire United States. If that’s not a sign of a complete failure to manage a project properly, then nothing is.
- Every single penny, Riley is paying for this tollroad is a totally unnecessary waste of money, including, by the way, the much higher interest rate (29 basis points) that the County government will have to pay. TxDOT has said they’d build this road for free.
- Yesterday, we learned something pretty important. One of the reasons that Riley doesn’t want to remove tolls from the SH 242 flyovers is because he’s already diverted more than $3 million of those tolls to pay for the TX 249 Tollway debacle.
- Yesterday, we learned that Riley was correct that County taxpayers haven’t paid $13 million for the tollroad so far. The number is closer to $25 million. We paid $13 million out our own revenue and we paid another $12 million to state highway taxes that Riley spent through TxDOT.
- In the past four days, we’ve learned that the entire contract and tollroad project came out of Riley’s office, even though the citizens of Precinct 2, including every precinct in Magnolia proper, voted in the 90% range that government should only fund tollroads after voter approval.
“WWTKD? What would Ted Kaczynski do? Let’s sit back and find out.”