Montgomery County in good shape, must plan for growth

By: County Judge Craig Doyal
| Published 03/22/2016


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett were invited recently to address a gathering of Montgomery County CEOs by The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership.

Judge Doyal told the audience that while the county is in good shape financially and in other ways, we must plan for future growth in order to stay strong.

The meeting, titled a CEO Roundtable, was held at the Westin in The Woodlands Wednesday, March 16.

Judge Doyal said it was a vision for the future that helped create a community like The Woodlands; a similar vision for the future - and a plan - is what it will take to help Montgomery County realize its own prosperous future.

One tool the county has used to plan is it's thoroughfare plan, he said.

"Thank goodness for those leaders who had vision (for The Woodlands) such as George Mitchell, Roger Galatas, and others," Judge Doyal said.

"These people had a forward thinking vision that helped create what Montgomery County is today."

With the county projected to double in population to a million people in 20 years, the county needs to have a similar forward thinking vision - especially in regard to transportation.

"Every car you pass on your way home can double that number within the next 20 years; if we're not thinking today about what is going to happen 20 years from now we are making a mistake. That's why our major thoroughfare plan is so important, so we are looking at every possible corridor moving forward."

Judge Doyal said the county has an especially good story to tell regarding its spending per capita in comparison with other state, federal and local governments. The county ranks lowest in those comparisons:

  • Federal government: $11,599
  • State of Texas: $3,870
  • City of Conroe: $2,368
  • The Woodlands: $1,121
  • Montgomery County: $640

"That's about $50 per person per month to fund the operations of Montgomery County," Judge Doyal said. With that, he said, the county funds numerous operations, including the 7th-largest Sheriff's Department in Texas, county parks, the county court system, the jail, the county airport, libraries, and road and bridge spending, among other things, he said.

"That also pays for any debt service on what we have, and a balanced budget - all for $50 a month.

"If the federal government could operate like we do every year, we wouldn't have those problems at the national level.

"There are counties all over Texas who would like to be Montgomery County," he said.