Unwinding the Animal Shelter Mess

Image: Cooking a gourmet meal requires care, attention, sound management, and team work.

Conroe, April 17 – With two exceptions, what government does, it does poorly. If you wanted to plan, find the appropriate recipes, cook, and serve a gourmet meal, would you choose the following team to get the job done for you?

Craig Doyal

Charlie Riley

Mike Meador

James Noack

Jim Clark

The answer most clearly is “no.” They’re almost incapable of communicating with each other, so they won’t be able to plan or find the appropriate recipes. They’re jealous of each other and arguably hate each other, so they’ll never be able to work together to cook and serve the meal. They’re five guys who somehow won some elections.

Doyal’s, Riley’s, and Meador’s real constituents are NOT the citizens of Montgomery County or any portion thereof. They’re engineering and construction vendors who want a large piece of the tax-funded pie. In other words, Doyal, Riley, and Meador are in office, because of their ties to special interests, not their ability to accomplish anything. All three of them began the heft of their careers as government employees. Their original constituent was government itself.

Please understand that the foregoing comments are not criticism of any of the five of them. Rather, it’s just a statement of fact.

When you bring the five of them together, it’s called a Commissioners Court. They don’t lead but they’ve perfected dysfunction.

The five members of the Commissioners Court working together aren’t that unique. You could ask the same question about Congress. If you had to fight a war, would you select those 535 people to lead it and make the decisions with respect to it? The clear answer is “no.” If you wanted to bake a cake, the truth is you couldn’t count on them to get the job done.

Perhaps, it’s time for Montgomery County citizens and all Americans to recognize the plain truth: WINNING AN ELECTION INVOLVES DIFFERENT SKILLS THAN PROVIDING SOLUTIONS TO COMMUNITY PROBLEMS.

 That’s why government almost always fails. The two exceptions, of course, are law enforcement (public safety) and national security where the form of government generally works. Could that be because the form of government arose specifically from the need to provide public safety and national security?

Look at the road projects under the November 2015 bond referendum. They’re a botch. Look at the Building Maintenance Department. It’s a nepotistic mess. Look at the government operations inside the Sadler Administration Building, the Auditor, Treasurer, Human Resources, Risk Management, and County Judge, in particular. They’ve descended into a hyper politicized cesspool of hatred and conflict. They don’t follow sound management, audit, accounting, or operational practices. Thanks to the power-hungry Craig Doyal, they’re seeking to manage the rest of the County government as well.

What a mess.

Now, Doyal wants to manage the Animal Shelter. We just finished almost two years of a mess before Noack and some private citizens embarrassed the rest of them totally, forced their hand, and required them to hire a serious and competent Shelter Director. After an eight month search, superstar Charles Jackson didn’t last even four months before he resigned. Now, let’s be honest. Jackson had his detractors as well. Some volunteers didn’t like him. The old advisory board crowd hated him and felt excluded. Doyal disliked Jackson because Jackson gravitated towards Noack, Clark, car dealer Bob Milner, activist Robbie Benson, and a few others who have never shown much deference to Doyal or his “Establishment” crowd.

Eventually, politics (i.e., the quest for government power) overwhelmed government’s capability to run a good animal shelter. Remember Doyal’s and Meador’s comments at the Animal Shelter Workshop in October, 2016? Both Doyal and Meador complimented Todd “Boss” Hayden for “bringing the shelter to a new level.”

Doyal, Meador, and most politicians believe that if alleged facts come out of their mouths, then we, the stupid plebeians will believe those facts as true.

In Montgomery County, that principle no longer holds. The citizens have begun to catch on to the government tricks in a mighty way. We don’t trust them. We don’t believe them. They don’t lead us anymore. The only people they’re fooling are themselves.

So where are we on the Animal Shelter?

We’ve run it as a County Department under the centralized incapable management of County Judge Craig Doyal. The Shelter failed.

We’ve run it as a County Department under the non-management of one County Commissioner. The Shelter failed.

We’re run it as a for-profit corporation. It failed, because – guess what – animal shelters aren’t a profitable business.

Nevertheless, as a community, we need an animal shelter. The citizens want an animal shelter.

The failures have occurred because, once again, the County government has failed to empower the citizens most interested in making the Montgomery County Animal Shelter succeed: the volunteers, the fosters, and the animal-caring community.

Is there a solution? Clearly. It’s the same one that presented itself over the past year. A non-profit foundation with citizen direction and a bit of government oversight just to make sure that it’s no longer a Hayden-Doyal-Clark slaughterhouse again.

Let’s remember what we, as a community, have experienced over the past four or five years with the Animal Shelter. Let’s remember that Doyal and his crew have made the situation far worse. All they know how to do is throw money at the problem. They hired a new Animal Shelter Director at an exorbitant salary but they couldn’t keep him when the politics became too intense. They threw money at the Shelter, but the real difference there came from the willingness of the volunteers to return.

Let’s remember the words of enlightenment philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudon, who in 1851, wrote:

“To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place[d] under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.”

Can’t we avoid that with our Animal Shelter? Can’t we bring it back into private hands and end this complete mess that the Commissioners Court has made of it?





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