Image: The blob has taken over the Montgomery County government’s financial oversight.
Conroe, September 25 – There are at twelve hundred and forty-six (1,246) disgusting things on the agenda for the Tuesday, September 26, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting, that will begin at 9:30 a.m. Here are seven corrupt and disgusting things (among many others) that are on the agenda (with one item missing from the agenda).
The Commissioners Court – 1 county judge along with four county commissioners – have a duty to oversee and manage the business and operations of the Montgomery County government. They aren’t.
CORRUPT AND DISGUSTING THING #1. Salaries.
The Commissioners Court will approve the Salary Schedule for Fiscal Year 2018 which will include the bloated salaries of the County Judge ($169,687.70) and County Commissioners ($168,808). In this time when many County citizens have no salaries and have lost their homes to the flooding of Tropical Storm Harvey, it’s disgusting that these heartless “public servants” would pay themselves higher salaries than almost every County official in the entire State of Texas.
Amazingly, County Judge Craig Doyal will vote to approve the $60,983.52 salary of his own daughter. Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley will vote to approve the salary of his wife Deanne. Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador will vote to approve the salary of his brother Bill.
In Doyals’ County Judge Office, there are four employees for a total payroll of $400,706.28. Other than the one lady who is a secretary and does a minimal amount of paperwork, the entire Department appears to do nothing. Doyal is almost never there. His “chief of staff” jim fredricks is usually at home taking a nap in the afternoons. Here are the salaries for that Department:
- Doyal, County Judge, $169,687.70, who seems to do nothing but play golf;
- fredricks, $118,178.32, who gets paid for full-time napping;
- Sylvia Olszowy, $57,027.10, a grossly-overpaid secretary who usually stands around glaring and has no other functions or duties; and
- the poor fourth employee who is a lady who appears always to be the only one of the four of them doing any work. She earns the lowest salary, of course!
CORRUPT AND DISGUSTING THING #2. Tsai Fong Books.
Clearly, one of the most out of control Departmental budgets is the “Memorial Library” aptly named because it is murdering the taxpayers. In the September 26 agenda, the Library’s Director is seriously asking the Commissioners Court to pay $685.80 for books in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese from a Houston bookstore named Tsai Fong Books.
Why in the world would a local library spend money like that on books that are not in English? If someone needs those books in an Asian language, would not a free-of-charge inter-library loan suffice?
But Jeri Williams, the Library’s Director has no fetters when she’s playing with “other people’s money.”
CORRUPT AND DISGUSTING THING #3. John Holzwarth, duplicate engineer.
Out of the 2015 Road Bond funds, the Commissioners Court will pay engineer John Holzwarth $17,438.81 to duplicate the services which County Engineer Mark Mooney, a full-time employee of Montgomery County, should be doing. Holzwarth contributes substantial political funds to Doyal, Riley, and Meador. No one is checking his invoices. The County just pays him based upon his hourly rate.
No one has questioned or explained why Montgomery County should pay for duplicate engineering services when they budget millions of dollars for the team of engineers in the County Engineer’s office.
CORRUPT AND DISGUSTING THING #4. Meador’s $300,000 budget amendment from “slush funds.”
Meador has placed on the Court’s agenda an expenditure of $300,000 in the form of a “budget amendment.” His entire explanation for the $300,000 “professional services” expenditure is:
“Transfer $300,000 from line item 612-7997 [carryover funds] to line item 612-7441 [professional services].”
The Commissioners Court will spend $300,000 on an item with no explanation whatsoever. Now, that’s unfettered spending.
CORRUPT AND DISGUSTING THING #5. Montgomery Central Appraisal District.
Doyal has placed on the agenda to nominate Board members to the Montgomery Central Appraisal District, which, by raising property tax valuations, does the “yeoman’s work” in raising taxes for the out-of-control governmental entities that don’t want to do anything about controlling their spending.
Neither Doyal nor any other member of the Commissioners Court has disclosed any names for the nominations. It’s all a big secret.
Currently, the three members who control the MCAD Board of Directors, which sets its tax appraisal policies, are none other than Riley, Meador, and former County Commissioner Ed Chance.
It’s more than a coincidence that the MCAD is completely unchecked and raising citizens’ taxes as fast as possible. Those are the policies of Riley and Meador.
CORRUPT AND DISGUSTING THING #6. Tx-249 Tollway.
Out of the 90-page, single-spaced, “payment of accounts” agenda item on the secretive “consent agenda,” which none of the Commissioners Court members seem ever to review, the Court will spend $5,755.71 more in general revenue fund tax dollars for the $73 million, 3.6 mile, Tx-249 Extension, which Doyal and Riley are shoving down the throats of the citizens whether they want the Tollway or not.
The total “payment of accounts” agenda item is $6,612,524.04. Apparently, that’s not a large enough dollar amount to attract any scrutiny or oversight from any member of the Commissioners Court.
CORRUPT AND DISGUSTING THING #7. Where’s the resolution, Noack?!
In January, 2015, the Commissioners Court voted to place the supervision and management of all County Departments under Doyal. In other words, all of the members of the Commissioners Court are abdicating their duties to oversee the operations and business of the County government.
During January and February, 2017, Noack promised the citizens in open Commissioners Court that he would place a resolution on the Court’s agenda to return oversight of the County Departments to the entire Commissioners Court for every Court meeting until the resolution passed.
Where’s the resolution, Commissioner Noack? We appreciated your tenacity during the beginning of the calendar year, but it seems to have dissipated for the past several months.
The taxpayers are still reeling from the horrible Fiscal Year 2018 Budget the Commissioners Court passed on September 5, which included the largest operational expenditures budget in the history of Montgomery County. Neither you nor any other Court member has done anything about reform of your salaries. We’re still waiting for you to do, as promised, and continue to ask the Court to return oversight of the County government to the Commissioners Court where, under the Texas Constitution, it belongs.