Conroe, March 29 – Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal very rudely interrupted a flooding victim of Tropical Storm Harvey, Keith Matthews of Woodlands Lakes in Commissioners Precinct 2, at the March 27, 2018, meeting of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court. Despite following all of Doyal’s rules and procedures, Doyal clearly didn’t like the fact that Matthews hinted to speak critically of Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley and of the County’s response to Matthews’ concerns about engineering issues related to drainage and permitting.
Matthews dutifully went into Doyal’s office prior to the meeting and filled out a sheet stating that he wanted to speak on the agenda item where the Commissioners Court would discuss Tropical Storm Harvey relief and mitigation efforts, the precise topic about which Matthews clearly spoke. Matthews dutifully listened when Doyal admonished Matthews for 53 full seconds before Matthews began to speak that citizens could not “denigrate” the enthroned Doyal and his Commissioners Court colleagues (unless, of course, the public wished to criticize Doyal’s political enemies Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark or Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack).
Finally, after Doyal finished his admonishments, he lowered his scepter to permit Matthews to speak. Matthews then made the mistake of speaking.
Here’s what Matthews was able to say:
“Uh, yes, it’s directly relating to that topic [Hurricane Harvey relief]. I’m here, Commissioners and Judge Doyal, to determine why a homebuilder has been illegally constructing a roadway in the Woodland Lakes subdivision and also why this homebuilder is continually violating permit requirements when it comes to stormwater management compliance. These are directly related to the topic at hand.
“There’s four different locations where this homebuilder is out of compliance: one is on Tall Pines, the others are on Tall Pines and Woodland Lakes; the other two…
48 seconds into speaking, Doyal very rudely interrupted Matthews by saying, “This sounds like a subject where you need to visit with Commissioner Riley.” Riley then said, “Keith, why don’t you and me go down to the engineer’s office after the meeting and discuss?”
Matthews then meekly asked:
“Okay. Will you let me continue?
Doyal then argued, “It doesn’t really related to Hurricane Harvey disaster mitigation.”
“It does have to do with flooding problems in this neighborhood and that was the closest…”
Doyal snapped, “It’s different that what we’re talking about in this particular agenda item, so you need to discuss more with Commissioner Riley and it’s specifically related to Precinct 2.”
The next phase in the meeting was an enormous waste of time. Darren Hess, the Director of the County Office of Emergency Management inflicted a lengthy video (approximately 10 minutes long) showing scenes from Tropical Storm Harvey’s flooding in Montgomery County that almost every person sitting in the Commissioners Courtroom had just lived through directly, while Doyal and Hess sat in the County studio and issues press releases and pretend press conferences where they dressed up as though they had even felt one drop of rain during the storm.
Most of the Hess video was just music without talking. After three minutes of Hess’ torture, a citizen arose and stated:
“Excuse me, Judge Doyal. Mr. Hess is a citizen and this has gone on past your three-minute time limit.”
Doyal revealed his elitism once again when he said, “But he’s a Department head.”
Doyal interrupted another citizen later in the meeting.
Apparently criticism of Doyal’s Riley is more than the lame duck County Judge is willing to endure in his dissipating throne room.