Conroe, April 9 – Secretive facilities planning and other County government spending proposals present perils at every turn for taxpayers during the Tuesday, April 9, 2019, meeting of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court. Montgomery County’s government continues to merit its reputation as “the most corrupt County government in Texas.”
Facilities spending: budget breaker?
Despite assurances that agenda items wouldn’t appear, unless the backup materials were with them, Item 12A is “Consider and discuss update on 2019 Capital Improvement Plan” with no backup whatsoever. The item falls under Amanda Carter, the Budget Office Director, who is working closely with Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley to move the County government forward with spending projects which County Judge Mark Keough indicated during the March 26 Commissioners Court meeting exceed $400 million.
Without backup materials, the proposal could easily include a brand new Courthouse Complex, a new Jail, a new Tax Office (necessary to take the citizens’ money to pay for all of the things the politicians want), a new Forensics Center and Crime Laboratory, and other buildings and facilities. The citizens have received no notice whatsoever of what items are within the discussion which the Commissioners Court intends to “consider and discuss.”
In a related matter, after the Commissioners Court unceremoniously remold County Judge Mark Keough from the Facilities Committee by a 4 to 1 (Keough dissenting) vote on March 26, Noack seeks to form a new Committee consisting of his staff members and closest allies inside of the bureaucracy of the Montgomery County government: Noack, Riley, Noack’s Chief of Staff Evan Besong, Noack’s IT director Charles Cobb, Riley’s Chief of Staff Bruce Berger, Building Maintenance head Tim Stewart (married to a County government employee who works in Noack’s office), Amanda Carter (Budget Office Director), and Gilbert Jalomo (Purchasing Department Director).