Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer
The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, endorses Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley for re-election in the November 6, 2018, General Election. Riley is running as the Republican Nominee.
Riley’s opponent is an ultra-liberal, anti-Trump, democrat who is both out of touch with the conservative principles of Montgomery County and with community needs. Riley’s opponent is a huge supporter of Robert Francis O’Rourke, the ultra-liberal Irishman who thinks he’s running for the United States Senate against conservative incumbent Ted Cruz. When this newspaper tried to interview Riley’s democrat opponent about his position on the Woodlands Parkway Extension and other mobility issues, the democrat pled ignorance. While his opponent’s a nice guy, he has no business coming close to the multifarious project management responsibilities require of a County Commissioner.
Admittedly, Riley has had some challenges. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember who the man is and from where he comes. He grew up in Montgomery County, met his high school sweetheart at Magnolia High School, and married her. Both Riley and his wife graduated from Magnolia High School and have raised their children here. Riley’s father was a renowned County leader while Charlie Riley grew up.
Riley is a leader of the Magnolia Independent School District, a leader of his church, and an accomplished musician. When you get him away from talking about politics, he’s a fun and decent man.
Riley has tried very hard to be a very good County Commissioner. The Magnolia community generally adores him and, quite frankly, they’d know him better than people in the rest of the County.
Riley became the swing vote who supported the 20% homestead exemption on the Commissioners Court in March, 2017, even though it took him a while to get there on that issue. Riley has a basic conservatism in his nature that sometimes comes to the fore during open Commissioners Court meetings. For example, he was the one member of the Commissioners Court who brought genuine common sense to the manner in which the County government handles employee reimbursements for travel and training expenses.
Clearly, where Riley has gotten into trouble is with projects that have sprung from his so-called mentor, lame duck County Judge Craig Doyal. Doyal gets Riley into trouble at every turn. Doyal is the source of the TX 249 Tollway also known as the “Decimation of Hope Highway,” mobility problems in Precinct 2, overreaching engineering and vendor relationships, the problem with the November 2015 road bond referendum, and other spending proposals.
Sitting through every Commissioners Court meeting, however, what one clearly observes is that, when you separate Riley from Doyal, Riley’s basic conservatism and his human decency come out.
Charlie Riley deserves another term to show Montgomery County and the citizens of Precinct 2 what a great Commissioner he can be as a stand-alone leader away from the reach of his former boss.
Let’s give Charlie Riley a second term and a second chance.