Conroe, March 13 – Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal is the $6 billion man when it comes to government spending. The County government budget is $377 million with a crushing $55 million per year of annual debt service and long-term debt of in excess of half a billion dollars. That’s not enough spending for Craig Doyal.
Without any efforts to manage County Departments for efficiency, without any desire to conduct the zero-based budgeting that Sheriff Rand Henderson is doing inside his own Department, and completely ignoring the efforts of the Citizens Budget Committee which is working on an Annual Budget independently by going line-by-line in a several month process to reduce spending by $100 million but increase law enforcement spending substantially (by approximately $40 million), Doyal wants more spending.
Craig Doyal is a Keynesian liberal seeking bigger government and increased spending, with rampant nepotism in government. Three of the five members of the Commissioners Court have immediate family members in the employ of the Montgomery County government. Judge Doyal’s daughter, Lindsey Doyal, works for the County Treasurer’s Department, which he’s slated for a “reorganization” that he intends to push through on Tuesday’s calendar at 9:30 a.m. in the Montgomery County Commissioners Court.
Roads: The $6 Billion Man
The Houston-Galveston Area Council (“HGAC”) is a completely out-of-control, pro-government spending and bureaucracy regional organization on which Doyal sits as the Montgomery County representative. HGAC, which has grown into a substantial bureaucracy in and of itself, recently sent Alan Clark, its Director of Transportation Planning, to the January 24, 2017, Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting where Clark tried to convince the Montgomery County Commissioners Court today that the County should adopt a policy whereby certain tow truck operators receive monopoly protection when accidents occur or cars break down on major thoroughfares. Clark advocated a system whereby the County would receive some funding from HGAC, would pay tow truck operators in part, and citizens would not have the complete freedom to choose the towing company of their choice. Doyal seemed pleased with Clark’s presentation, while County Commissioners Jim Clark (Precinct 4) and James Noack (Precinct 3) raised substantial objections on free market principles to the government monopoly protection for favored tow truck operators.
HGAC has authored its so-called “Regional Transportation Plan” which, as of the January 23, 2017, update of its study, projects that Montgomery County will require $1.913 billion of road construction through 2040. That’s billion, not million. But that’s also over the next 23 years with projections for population growth and development.
Amazingly, Craig Doyal recently told Houston Public Media that he is “hoping to go back to voters for additional bonds, in order to meet mobility needs estimated at around $6 billion”!!! Doyal wants to spend and incur debt more than three (3) times than what even the bloated HGAC bureaucracy projects for the next quarter century!
Citizens should realize what Doyal’s $6 billion of debt would mean. Currently, Montgomery County has a bloated annual budget of $377 million of which $55 million is for debt service and the remaining $322 million is for County government operations.
Doyal’s $6 billion of debt would require approximately $622.314 million of annual debt service alone. In other words, the $6 Billion Man wants the County’s debt service to increase to a level twice the entire annual expenditure budget of Montgomery County.
Is Craig Doyal, the $6 Billion Man, a completely out-of-control bureaucrat?!
Is Craig Doyal serious?
Unfortunately, the answer is “Yes.”
Doyal is serious about doubling government spending
At the August 9, 2016, Commissioners Court meeting, Doyal stated “the county could double the budget and still not meet all the needs in the county.” Soon after that, the Publisher of Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, The Golden Hammer, began to present “The Golden Hammer Award” for wasteful County government spending that “hammers the taxpayers.”
Doyal was serious. He genuinely believes that the County government is not spending enough to meet the needs of Montgomery County. With taxes exploding, particularly through the County Commissioners Court-controlled Appraisal District which has aggressively increased tax appraisals so that residents’ tax bills rival the annual mortgage payments on their homes, Doyal wants to increase County government spending as rapidly as he can do so. Doyal recently expressed great joy that the County’s bond rating went to AAA, but the reality is that the bond service made clear that the County received the higher rating not because of its fiscal frugality but rather because the County government has gotten away with increasing its total taxation of County residents and businesses several years in a row.
Doyal and his primary allies on Commissioners Court, Mike Meador and Charlie Riley, have consistently rebuffed any proposals to reducing County government spending. Despite bloated salaries, wasteful management practices, exploding numbers of non-law enforcement employees, and a complete absence of any economies of scale, Doyal, Meador, and Riley have consistently fought for higher spending.
“Fiscal Conservatism”: Redefining the words
Citizens have called for a reduction of spending by $100 million with an increase in law enforcement spending of $40 million, for a net reduction in County government spending of $60 million. Two of the County Commissioners – Noack and Clark – have called for 5% across-the-board reductions in County government spending.
Noack, Clark, and thousands of citizens have called for a 20% homestead exemption on County government taxation. Doyal led the effort to reject that tax relief, replaced the proposal with a 10% homestead exemption, and then attempted to take the credit for it.
Doyal has announced in two recent press releases that he’s fighting for increased County government spending, despite the fact that the County government’s spending has exploded 428% since 2000, while population growth has only been 84% during that time period. Of course, Doyal, the $6 Billion Man, has found no economies of scale in the explosion of County government spending growth.
Amazingly, Doyal has claimed that he is a “fiscal conservative” and has attempted to redefine those words to mean someone who wants more government spending.
Calling for the County to incur three times the amount of road bond debt that even HGAC projects over the next quarter of a century, refusing to engage in any meaningful budget process to examine the need for each County Department’s spending, fighting against tax relief efforts and then claiming credit for them, while overseeing a historic increase in government spending over the past 15 years, is it any surprise that Montgomery County Craig Doyal is fighting to spend $100 million of County funds on 3.6 miles of road, which the state would fund anyway, at the far southwest edge of Montgomery County on the Tx-249 extension better known as the “Decimation of Hope Highway”?
Craig Doyal, the $6 Billion Man, is completely out of control.