Conroe, October 17 – The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, has issued our final year-long Fiscal Year 2017 ratings and grades to the Montgomery County Commissioners Court. The newspaper (and its predecessor social media) began to rate the five members of the Commissioners Court on October 1, 2016, the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017, which ended on September 30, 2017.
In a year which featured almost two dozen “The Golden Hammer Awards,” a “Golden Ice Ax,” a “Golden Sledgehammer,” and even a “Golden Plunger” (for the truth-challenged janitor lady who is a protege of Wayne Mack), the Commissioners Court members – County Judge Craig Doyal, Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador, Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack, and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark – received final grades of F, F, F, F, and D, respectively.
This newspaper tracked all Commissioners Court votes and graded them in accordance with whether they followed the 2016 Republican Party Platform, which is quite conservative, even though the Party’s elected officials oftentimes are not. The only votes not included were: (1) law enforcement issues, and (2) votes on contracts under road bonds which voters have approved. Points depended upon the amount of money involved with the vote.
Some bonuses in the 100 point range were given when Commissioners Court members showed strong leadership in some way. The vote up or down on the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget was the most significant vote of the entire Fiscal Year, so it rated 2,500 points. A “no” vote was appropriate for that budget, because it contains the highest operational expenditures in the history of Montgomery County and a plethora of problems, waste, and inefficiencies. In short, the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget is a complete mess.
The individual report cards follow.
County Judge Craig Doyal
Out of 8,590 total points, Doyal beat out Meador by 1 point.
Doyal’s voting record was a disaster. He did a terrible job managing road and bridge projects. Normally, a county judge would not even be involved in such projects, but Doyal has interfered so that he can funnel County tax dollars to his favored political contributors, golf buddies, and criminal legal defense fund contributors. During Tropical Storm Harvey, Doyal did little more than seek out television or video cameras in front of which he could stand.
Doyal is so totally within the grasp of corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport and a small group of County vendors that he’s better labeled the “County Vendor Judge” rather than the County Judge.
Voting Record 322 points out of 6,590
Road and Bridge Management 0 out of 1,000
Harvey Storm Leadership 50 out of 1,000
Total Score 372 out of 8,590.
4.3% = F.
Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador
Meador’s true and only constituents are County vendors who contribute money to him and his family members to whom Meador gives County jobs and property tax valuation breaks at the Appraisal District. Precinct 1 deserves a real commissioner.
Voting Record 361 points out of 6,590
Road and Bridge Management 10 out of 1,000
Harvey Storm Leadership 0 out of 1,000
Total Score 371 out of 8,590.
4.3% = F.
Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley
In almost every way, Riley, who could have been quite a good Commissioner, is a complete mess. He’s under indictment for allegedly violating the Texas Open Meetings Act. He’s constantly in the newspaper for nefarious activity. He’s the king of the “Riley 2-Step,” nepotism where he created a job for his wife and then put her into that position. He’s failed to take care of road and bridge projects in Precinct 2 until very recently, when he realized his job is in jeopardy.
As for the Tx-249 Tollway, Doyal’s arm is so far up Riley, that one must call him a “Tollway Puppet.”
Riley did a fairly good job in the Harvey storm. It was an occasion when his potential came to the fore.
Voting Record 406 points out of 6,590
Road and Bridge Management 250 out of 1,000
Harvey Storm Leadership 850 out of 1,000
Total Score 1,506 out of 8,590.
17.5% = F.
Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack
Noack got off track towards the end of the Fiscal Year. His work on the budget started out very strong. Noack single-handedly saved Montgomery County $22 million on debt service. But he starting playing politics far too intensely and allowed Doyal and Meador to get away with a terribly bloated budget. Noack should be the last Commissioner to tolerate the “consent agenda.” He’s too smart to let that happen.
Noack should have voted against the junk Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. He was the one Commissioners Court member who clear knew better.
Noack promised to continue to offer his resolution to return control and management of the County government to the entire Commissioners Court but he seemed to have lost his drive in that regard several months ago.
Noack’s recent votes with respect to the Tx-249 Tollway have been right on the mark.
As for a road and bridge project manager within his Commissioners Precinct and as for his work during the Harvey storm, he couldn’t have done better.
Voting Record 1,661 points out of 6,590
Road and Bridge Management 950 out of 1,000
Harvey Storm Leadership 1,000 out of 1,000
Total Score 3,611 out of 8,590.
42.0% = F.
If The Golden Hammer had curved the scores, Noack would easily have received a B. Nevertheless, several readers requested that the newspaper not curve the scores.
Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark
Clark has improved as a Commissioner enormously. He’s no longer working on County-wide projects and focusing, instead, on the business of Precinct 4. The morale of his employees has improved significantly. He’s implementing a constituent-centric service approach.
Clark is the one Commissioners Court member who voted precisely the right way on the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. Clark fought very hard for increased funding for law enforcement. He won most of those battles for more “troops on the ground.” After he got the spending programs for law enforcement to the degree he could, he still saw that the proposed budget had a LOT of fat, inefficiency, and waste. Clark was the sole Commissioners Court member who voted against the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. He explained, “The only way that we’ll get the funds we need for a long-term commitment to law enforcement, and mobility, is by trimming the fat from the budget. I got a lot of the law enforcement spending I wanted, but the Commissioners Court failed to trim the spending excesses in the non-law-enforcement portions of the budget.”
Voting Record 3,796 points out of 6,590
Road and Bridge Management 850 out of 1,000
Harvey Storm Leadership 860 out of 1,000
Total Score 5,506 out of 8,590.
64.1% = D.
The citizens must remain vigilant.
The Golden Hammer recognizes instances when politicians “hammer” the taxpayers with excessive spending.