Ugly November 14 Commissioners Court meeting reveals Doyal, Riley, Meador indifference

Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal.

Conroe, November 20 – The Montgomery County Commissioner’s November 14, 2017, meeting was ugly. County Judge Craig Doyal and the members of the Commissioners Court didn’t seem to comprehend what was happening during the event.

The Golden Hammer‘s ratings measure Commissioners Court votes that affect spending in comparison to the provisions of the Republican Party of Texas Platform. Points are good. The number of points depends upon the amount of money involved in each vote.

Commissioners Court meeting, November 14, 2017, 9:30 a.m. All Court members were physically present.

Agenda Item 7A: Proclaim Montgomery County Adoption Day, including transgender adoptions. That the entire Commissioners Court seemed appalled when The Golden Hammer published an article two days later that they had taken this action revealed how little attention Doyal and the four County Commissioners paid to the proceedings. This item had no fiscal impact. Therefore, it’s worth 1 point. While supporting adoptions is certainly appropriate, the Commissioners Court should have voted “no” with the crazed wording of this proclamation. Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack made the motion and Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark seconded it.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 7B: Proclaim Montgomery County Adoption Month, including transgender adoptions. That the entire Commissioners Court seemed appalled when The Golden Hammer published an article two days later that they had taken this action revealed how little attention Doyal and the four County Commissioners paid to the proceedings. This item had no fiscal impact. Therefore, it’s worth 1 point. While supporting adoptions is certainly appropriate, the Commissioners Court should have voted “no” with the crazed wording of this proclamation. Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack made the motion and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador seconded it.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A1: Consider and approve budget amendments for prior Fiscal Year. The Commissioners Court passed twenty-three (23) budget amendments for the previous Fiscal Year as part of the “consent agenda” without any discussion, review, or deliberation. Those budget amendments represent millions of dollars of instances where the County government failed to follow its budget and spent money in other ways instead, a clear violation of the Local Government Code and Generally Accepted Accounting Practices. 25 points. A “no” vote was appropriate. Passed 5 to 0.

 

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A2. Budget amendments for the current Fiscal Year which began October 1, 2017. The Commissioners Court passed eighteen (18) budget amendments for the current Fiscal Year 2018. Those budget amendments total $2,992,742.80. Meador is moving $2,000 from his road and bridge “slush fund” for “land.” He’s also moving $400,000 from his “slush fund” for unnamed and un-explained “machinery.” If nothing else, these budget amendments reveal the sloppy and haphazard manner in which Doyal, Riley, Noack, and Meador passed the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark voted against the Budget in part due to those failures. 25 points. A “no” vote was appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A3. Approved an audit by the County Auditor of Precinct 4 JP James Metts where, as a result of poor management and oversight in his office, a credit card payment was deposited but not shown in the accounting records as payment of a fee. 5 points. “No” vote appropriate under the circumstances.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9A4: Approved payment of $17.4 million in expenditures without any deliberation, discussion, or analysis. The 107 page report on which the Commissioners Court voted contained several pages of accounting errors where expenditures were entered in the wrong category and where the expenditures were wholly outside of the County government’s budget. 25 points. A “no” vote was appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

 

Agenda Item 9C: Purchasing. Exercised four contract renewal options without any examination of whether competing prices might be better for the County’s taxpayers. Approved three change orders totaling $20,500. Approved a contract for digital media for the library without pricing. Approved eight requests for proposal for various purchases without any review. Rejected all bids for two contracts. Approved the purchase of $400,000 of light bulbs (!!!). 25 points. For millions of dollars of purchasing decisions, there was no review, discussion, or deliberation. A “no” vote is appropriate under the circumstances.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9D: Pay 3 claims against Montgomery County without any discussion or deliberation. 5 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 9G: Approve payroll changes. There was no backup and no information. The Commissioners Court approved the payroll changes blindly. Perhaps, they gave themselves raises! Perhaps, they appointed a Transgender Policy Czar at $300,000 per year. Who knows?! Does anyone care? 10 points. A “no” vote is appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 11D: Vote for candidates for the Montgomery Central Appraisal District Board of Directors, which establishes the tax property reappraisal policies for all of Montgomery County and which oversees the administration of the Montgomery Central Appraisal District.

There were a number of citizen comments.

Ginger Russell, the Quiet Lady from Magnolia, spoke in favor of Peggy Hausman and one other candidate.

Kelli Cook, of Montgomery, spoke in favor of Gregory Parker and one other candidate.

Sherry Shorten announced that she and her husband are convicted felons and they live in a school bus.

Bill O’Sullivan discussed the general distrust of the MCAD.

JP Wayne Mack’s court coordinator told the room full of people, on behalf of Mack, that people who don’t like taxes or red light cameras should move away from Montgomery County. Mack’s coordinator later made some bizarre comment about her “eyelashes.”

Noack and Clark then moved to vote for Guy Hancock and Peggy Hausman, two excellent candidates. This vote was an extremely major vote. 100 points. A “Yes” vote was appropriate.

DOYAL No

MEADOR No

RILEY No

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Noack and Clark then moved to vote for Guy Hancock and Peggy Hausman again but with a different distribution of votes. This vote was an extremely major vote. 100 points. A “Yes” vote was appropriate.

DOYAL No

MEADOR No

RILEY No

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Riley then moved to elect the “establishment” candidates, Bob Casey and Barry Blanton, even though Blanton had not been one of the nominees of the Commissioners Court of the position. This vote was an extremely major vote. 100 points. A “No” vote was appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK No

CLARK No.

Agenda Item 13A: Noack urged rejection of a contract program for attorneys ad litem for the mental health commitment program, because the program had not been included within the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. Noack made the comment, “No one respects the budget process.” He’s most certainly correct in that regard. A “no” vote was appropriate. 10 points.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK No

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 17: Approve a settlement agreement with Xerox Corporation to pay them $8,564.25, even though the documents behind the settlement agreement were missing from the materials before the Commissioners Court. The Court members had no idea what departments were involved in the settlement or which copier machines. A “no” vote was appropriate. 5 points.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 18A: Purchase 5 BMW motorcyles for $10,000 more for each vehicle than previously. The Purchasing Director at first didn’t even know what department was making the purchase. He admitted he didn’t know how many motorcycles were at issue. Eventually, he admitted that he didn’t know how much was spent on maintenance each year for Harley Davidson motorcycles, so it was unclear whether the switch to BMWs was a good or a bad decision. Both Noack and Clark insisted on deferring this agenda item until the Purchasing Department and the Sheriff’s Office could provide sufficient information. They each receive 50 point bonuses.

Agenda Item 18B: Approve the purchase of $475,000 of vehicles for unknown County departments and for unknown reasons. The Commissioners Court voted in favor without any information. 25 points. A “no” vote was appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK Yes

CLARK Yes.

Agenda Item 22: Citizen Comments.

John Hill Wertz spoke about flooding on River Oaks Drive.

Calvin Russell said he was appalled the Commissioners Court would permit the nastiness in citizen comments about one of the MCAD Board nominees.

Eric Yollick presented “The Golden Hammer Award” to Doyal, “chief of staff” jim fredricks, and secretary Sylvia Olszowy.

Bill O’Sullivan spoke about budget carryovers.

Sylvia Ohring spoke about problems in the Montgomery County Animal Shelter.

Toll Road

The Commissioners Court voted on a $54,390 change order for Jones & Carter engineering’s contract. Those funds came directly out of taxpayers general funds to support the Tx-249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway, also known as the $73 million, 3.6 mile, Tx-249 Tollway, at the far southwest edge of Montgomery County that will travel through vacant pastureland and end at nowhere.

No one had any information about the purpose of the change order or the contractual terms. Commissioner Noack complained about the lack of information. For that he receives a 25 points bonus.

100 point vote. A “no” vote was appropriate.

DOYAL Yes

MEADOR Yes

RILEY Yes

NOACK No

CLARK No.

 

Commissioners Court ratings for November 14, 2017, meeting:

DOYAL 0/562. Grade F.

MEADOR 0/562. Grade F.

RILEY 0/562. Grade F.

NOACK 485/562. Grade B.

CLARK 450/562. Grade B.

The following are the cumulative scores for Fiscal Year 2018, which began October 1, 2017.

DOYAL -65/983. Grade F.

MEADOR 35/983. Grade F.

RILEY 35/983. Grade F.

NOACK 570/983. Grade F.

CLARK 660/983. Grade D.

Gosh what a disaster of a meeting! The citizens must remain vigilant.

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