East Montgomery County, January 12 – Running against incumbent Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark and Montgomery County Hospital District Board member Bob Bagley, JP James Metts who is seeking the County Commissioner job is avoiding candidate forums and any discussion of issues in the race.
Last night, Metts failed to appear for the Montgomery County Eagle Forum Precinct 4 County Commissioner Candidate Forum. Both Clark and Bagley attended and participated in the hour-long forum where they each took numerous questions from audience members on a variety of issues facing Montgomery County. Neither Metts nor anyone from his campaign provided any explanation for Metts’ failure to attend the forum.
Eagle Forum is an enormous conservative organization whose members largely hail from Commissioners Precinct 4, which is East Montgomery County, and from other areas as well. The Golden Hammer estimates that approximately sixty-three percent (63%) of the audience last night were citizens from Commissioners Precinct 4.
On Tuesday, January 9, 2017, Metts also failed to appear at a meeting of the East Montgomery County where each candidate had the opportunity to speak on issues and to present their backgrounds.
East Montgomery County voters have relied upon the outstanding biannual Elections Candidate Forums of the Concerned Citizens of Montgomery County organization, which has reliably held its very informative event every two years at New Caney High School at least since 1992. According to a Concerned Citizens Board member, who requested anonymity, a new slate of officers took over the board of the organization last month who, at the request of the Metts campaign, canceled the Candidate Forum for the first time in over a quarter of a century.
Very clearly, Metts does not want to have to speak in public in a setting where he cannot control the narrative completely.
Metts’ unwillingness to appear at candidate forums or debates exacerbates another major problem with his campaign: Metts has failed to address any issues either about his goals for Montgomery County or about his past. None of Metts’ campaign literature addresses any specific issues. Metts won’t return telephone calls from several different news organizations one of which is this newspaper. Metts won’t respond to inquiries whether he’ll sign the anti-tollroads pledge. Metts won’t discuss anything in public about what he’d do as a County Commissioner or about the many questions raised about his controversial background and poor performance as a Justice of the Peace.
It’s certainly possible that Metts does not want to appear with Clark and Bagley, because both of them are accomplished public speakers who have had to debate issues for many years in their respective capacities as County Commissioner and MCHD Board member. Both Bagley and Clark had an impressive knowledge of facts and figures during the Eagle Forum candidate forum last night.
Metts’ only appearance before the County Commissioners Court recently occurred in June, 2016, when he gave a lengthy speech that seemed to have little purpose other than saying he should receive a very high salary and defiantly arguing against not using the NetData court database system.