Image: Artist’s rendering of the Apostle Paul of Tarsus, the author of the epistles to the Romans.
Conroe, September 23 – Montgomery County government salaries are completely out-of-control. If there’s anything that symbolizes the terribly poor and reckless job the County Commissioners Court has done in regulating government spending, it’s their own salaries as well as the salaries of the top non-law enforcement employees (other than elected one) in the County government.
Since Montgomery County elects all of its elected officials in the Republican Primary Election, genuine democrats (i.e., individuals committed to growing government spending) have run as Republicans, won, and created a county as corrupt as it was when democrats ran their own “good ol’ boy” system back through the late 1970s. Three things that are for sure: (1) County Judge Craig Doyal was a democrat when he first ran for office in 1978 for Montgomery County Commissioner and he’s clearly never changed his philosophical bent, (2) Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley spends tax money and treats citizen input like a socialist ward leader in downtown Chicago, and (3) Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador has never found a dollar he hasn’t wanted for the government to spend. Currently, Meador is developing his monument to himself, also known as the Montgomery County Airport, a spending boondoggle that seems to serve no purpose other than to give Meador and Doyal toys with which to play.
Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal’s salary is $169,689, the third highest county judge salary in all 254 counties of Texas. With lucrative County benefits, Doyal receives total annual compensation in excess of $236,564.
The Montgomery County Commissioners’ salaries are $168,808, the highest County Commissioner salaries in Texas. Meador, Riley, James Noack, and Jim Clark make more in salaries than County Commissioners in huge counties such as Harris County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, Bexar County, or Travis County. They make more in salaries than any of the counties usually compared to us: Collin, Denon, Fort Bend, and Williamson. In fact, their salaries aren’t even close to ours.
With benefits, Commissioners receive annual compensation in excess of $236,331.
Both the County Judge and the Commissioners receive cell phones, use of county vehicles, and use of county gasoline that don’t fall within those calculations. As this newspaper has shown, they receive many other perks worth a lot of money, such as free storage facilities for their private vehicles.
The following are the salaries of the top 50 employees in Montgomery County as of the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017. The Hammer Factor is the difference between the salary and the national average salary for a comparable position, according to the employment statistics webside indeed.com.
|Employee Name||Salary (FY 2017)||Title||Differential =HammerFactor|
|Mark Mooney||162,064.26||Senior Engineer||60,064.26|
|Phyllis Martin||145,563.49||Chief Auditor||66,563.49|
|Marshall Shirley||140,509.30||Director IT||61,509.30|
|Donald Carpenter||132,180.72||Facilities Director||40,180.72|
|B D Griffin||131,235.12||Associate Attorney||49,235.12|
|Daniel Wilds||127,600.27||Civil Engineer||47,600.27|
|Joanne Ducharme||123,721.78||Grant Writer||72,721.78|
|Richard Wongs||123,114.36||Traffic Study Engineer||67,114.36|
|Jeffrey Johnson||123,114.35||Transportation Engineer||48,114.35|
|James Williams||120,348.17||Fire Marshall||64,348.17|
|James Fredericks||118,178.27||Chief of Staff||36,178.27|
|Amy Dunham||116,592.89||Associate Attorney||34,592.89|
|Darlou Ann Zenor||112,478.68||Purchasing Agent||49,478.68|
|Donald Dean||109,748.46||Operations Manager||48,748.46|
|Marc Brumberger||109,661.69||Associate Attorney||27,661.69|
|Barrie Jones||108,039.09||IT Tech||43,039.09|
|Helen Sue Harvey||107,961.43||Director||66,961.43|
|Paul Case||107,961.43||Operations Manager||51,961.43|
|Tim Stewart||107,610.61||Construction Manager||43,610.61|
|J Armstead||105,178.72||Computer Technician||43,178.72|
|Billy Bob Lee||101,952.53||Operations Manager||19,952.53|
|Carolyn Etheridge||101,952.26||Office Manager||50,952.26|
|George Burlin||101,350.98||Fire Marshall||55,350.98|
|Matthew Beasley||100,723.68||Operations Manager||18,723.68|
|Angela Ford||100,478.56||Energy Manager||52,478.56|
|Dawn Becker||99414.06||IT Tech||34,414.06|
|Evan Besong||98,663.68||Operations Manager||16,663.68|
|Charles Cobb||98,663.68||Traffic Controller||51,663.68|
|Kevin Bates||98,047.93||Fire Marshall||42,047.93|
|Tracy Willett||97,496.87||Field Operations||43,496.87|
|Robert Long||96,742.21||Tech Support||31,742.21|
|Kimberly Roe||95,481.14||Tax Collector||55,481.14|
|Larry Petro||94,214.18||Data Analyst||33,214.18|
|James McLendon||94,010.65||IT Tech||29,010.65|
Basically, the foregoing chart tells us that, just in comparison to national average salaries in both the private and public sectors, out-of-control Montgomery County overpaid the top 50 employees $2,349,077.38 during Fiscal Year 2017 (which ends on September 30).
How do these salaries fit with Romans 13 in our Post-Englightenment society?
John Locke’s theory of these “natural rights of man” became the basis of the Declaration of Independence which the American colonies adopted on July 4, 1776, as its primary authors Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and probably Benjamin Franklin were serious students of Enlightenment philosophy. Adams, who wrote the preamble to the Declaration of Independence explained to the Second Continental Congress that his intent was to reject government ruled by a king with “divine right” and replace it with government “from the people.”
Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist Papers and James Madison in the Anti-Federalist Papers both concurred that the source of American democracy was the concept that “the people are the authority” in the post-Enlightenment world.
The State of Texas has followed Enlightenment philosophy from its inception, first as an independent republic and then as an American state. The concept of government by the people of Texas is express in many instances.
Unlike in ancient Rome when Paul of Tarsus wrote Romans 13, where Caesars were the ultimate government authority, in the United States, Texas, and Montgomery County, guess who is the ultimate government authority?
The citizens! We the people! You are!
Romans 13:1-2 provides, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
When Paul wrote his epistle, the governing authorities were Caesar, his governors, his soldiers, and his tax collectors.
In 2017, however, the governing authorities that “have been established by God” are the citizens!
That’s right. In 2017, it’s Biblical that we honor the citizens!
Rather than paying the public servants, such as Commissioners, County Judges, and County employees who are distinctly beneath the citizens as governing authorities that “have been established by God,” we must pay and honor the citizens.
That means that poor Tammy McRae, Montgomery County’s Tax Assessor-Collector, has the worst job in the entire County government, for she is the person who must carry the message to the taxpayers, when she send out the tax notices on October 1, 2017, that the County government, through exorbitant salaries, wasteful spending, inefficient government, and bloated expenditures, is dishonoring the government authorities that “have been established by God.” Poor Mrs. McRae must inform the governing authorities that our servants have rebelled against the Scriptures in order to fill their own pockets with the money with which they should be honoring the citizens…
…by allowing the citizens to keep their own pockets full of their own money!