“The Golden Hammer” goes to Precinct 4 Montgomery County Commissioner Metts for his “arbitrary” opposition to government spending reductions

James Metts.

Conroe, May 15 – Precinct 4 Montgomery County Commissioner James Metts received “The Golden Hammer Award” for his “arbitrary” opposition to government spending reductions.

On May 6, Metts sent a memo to every Montgomery County government Department head that he opposed calls for “arbitrary” spending reductions, clearly referring to the request of the Citizens Budget Committee, through its Chairman Jon Bouche, that the County government reduce spending by one percent (1%), and to the request of Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack to look for ways to reduce the County’s government spending as well.

The following is the full presentation of “The Golden Hammer Award” to Metts for his “arbitrary” comments:

“During the past 15 years, the Montgomery County government’s spending has grown 281.75%. During the same time period, the total of inflation plus population growth in this community was 110%. Nevertheless, your spending went from $119 million in 2005 to the more then $344 million it is today.

“Let’s examine for a minute the process of your budgets:

  • First, Montgomery Central Appraisal District, under the policy leadership of Mike Meador and Charlie Riley, as well as former Commissioners Court members and your spending allies, sets property tax appraisals as high as you can possibly get them, in order to boost taxes as high as possible.
  • Second, you keep the tax rate as close to the same as possible unless there is a clamor among taxpayers for some tax reduction, in which case you give us tiny rate reductions, which still result in our taxes rising, because the property tax appraisals have grown so aggressively.
  • Third, you appointed a Salary Study Committee, which found your salaries are way too high in 2016. You ignored their work and their conclusions and have given yourselves two pay raises of three percent (3%) each, even though no one working in the private sector has enjoyed such increases in compensation during the same time period.
  • The only budget “process” in which you engage is that you ask the County Department Directors to come into Commissioners Court each year with a wish list of new spending for the coming year. You generally grant those spending requests, except for the law enforcement departments whom you generally ignore.
  • Finally, rather than engaging in any real budget process, where you examine what each department actually needs to accomplish actual service purposes, you just simply spend all of the money you collect thanks to your extraordinarily high tax rate and property tax appraisals.

“The growth of spending in this County has been arbitrary and downright haphazard. You just spend what you take.

“But then on May 6, 2019, Commissioner James Metts, who has fought for higher government spending and bloated Big Government his entire career comes in and announces he will fight against ‘arbitrary calls for spending reductions.’

“A 1% call for reducing spending in comparison to a spending increase of 281.75% is hardly arbitrary. It’s measured and it’s a request that you do your jobs with the expertise you claim to have to manage our County government in a manner which provides the ultimate protection for the taxpayers.

“If you paid property taxes, Mr. Metts, you’d understand how arbitrary the County government’s spending and taxation has been. You’d understand what a grave threat those tax bills pose to the families and to the people, such as the elderly, on fixed incomes who receive them. Unlike you, those families pay taxes and they don’t have the ability to vote themselves a pay raise whenever they feel like it.

“Mr. Metts, your arbitrary comments merit today’s award of The Golden Hammer. You’re hammering your constituents in Precinct 4 and the rest of us. Would you ever consider carefully measured compassion instead?”

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