On September 23, 2015 at The Woodlands Township Board of Directors meeting during the public comment section words got heated and out of control between Steve Toth – Texas State Representative and Bruce Tough – current Township Director.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]”While you maliciously attempt to slander individuals who had no dialogue with Mark Davenport or any members of the court, you attempt to take credit for leading the charge for the November 2015 bond, while having done nothing.” – Steve Toth to Bruce Tough[/quote]
The heated debate starts at minute 10:05 in The Woodlands Township Board of Directors Public Comment video after Bruce Tough calls Steve Toth to the podium to address the board.
Steve Toth takes the microphone and his first words are, “Thank you, I’m directing my comments to Director Tough and the road bond. Bruce you sent out an email last week accusing me, and Gordy Bunch of wrong doing on recent bond fiasco.”
Toth goes onto say, “While your email recklessly attempts to infer wrong doing, you conveniently left out two elected officials of commissioners court who are your friends, who you’ve been supporting, or the actual focus of the investigation by a special prosecutor namely judge Doyle and Commissioner Riley and their political consultant Mark Davenport.”
“While you maliciously attempt to slander individuals who had no dialogue with Mark Davenport or any members of the court, you attempt to take credit for leading the charge for the November 2015 bond, while having done nothing.”
“Bruce you didn’t call a meeting to Montgomery County Mayors or City Council members to advance the bond in November, we did. You didn’t meet with retired Judge Allen Sadler and ask him to go before the full court in open meeting, to ask them to consider a November 2015 bond. Even though you lead the Township Board, you didn’t offer the Township’s resolution and support of the bond, Director Bunch did. In short I can’t think of anything you did to advance this bond.”
Tough then interupted Toth and said, “Well that’s flipping incorrect, ok Steve?”
Toth then began speaking again before being interrupted by Tough a second time, “You slandered me, you slandered Gordy and you slandered Ken Vaughn.”
Bruce Tough interrupted saying, “I’m not going to listen to it.”
Toth then continued, “Why don’t you let me finish?”
Tough then said again, “No, I’m not going to listen to you unless you come up here and do it, you know that deal stinks, you know it lacks transparency.”
Toth then interrupts Tough, “I had nothing to do with it, you never should’ve mentioned me.”
Tough says, “I’ll tell you right now, I tell you right now Steve, this is what was reported in the paper, so I’m not going to listen to you.”
Steve Toth, “No you won’t, no you won’t Bruce cause you are attempting to slander me.”
Tough, “It stinks Steve and you know it stinks.”
Toth, “It does stink Bruce, and you’re the one reason it stinks.”
Members of the board tried to diffuse the situation by saying this is public comment, there should be no dialogue right now Bruce.
Steve Toth manages to get the words in clearly between the turmoil of everyone talking over each other, “You should be ashamed of yourself, you should be bringing us together right now Bruce, not slandering those who chanced this bond.”
Mike Bass then called for order, “This is public comment, there should be no dialogue. If you want to finish your speech, finish your speech. Don’t insult anybody in the course of doing it, though.”
The directors of the board then began debating amongst themselves, with one saying the dialogue interruption came from Tough, to which Tough responded, “I’m not going to sit here and listen to him trash me,” while they continued to debate, bring order and attempt to diffuse the situation.
Toth then replies to Tough, “You trashed me to the public.”
Which Tough replies, “go comment somewhere else.”
John McMullan then stated, “This is not your township, Tough, this is the people’s township. This is a government building, this is not your building, this is a government building.”
Tough began saying he wasn’t going to sit there and let people slander him, but was quickly stopped with the words, “It’s not your choice.”
“You are out of line,” McMullan said, and Tough responded, “No, I’m not.”
Legal Counsel was then asked to advise them on public comment board of order to which she replied, “Let me remind you respectfully I provide legal advice, the requirement for public comment is both that the speaker at the podium respect the governing body, and that there be no dialogue with the speaker at the podium.”
Toth then continued addressing his comments to Tough with, “Tax payers repudiation of the May bond, was as much about what they disliked in the bond, as it was a message from taxpayers that they’re tired of crony politics, that you supported for to long Bruce. You stooped to character assassination.”
At this point Bruce interrupted Toth again, but the clarity of the conversation was muffled, as they were both talking over each other.
Bruce asked, “This is what you want Gordy? You and John?” This is what you two endorse and support, is that right?”
Gordy Bunch then stated to Tough, “Bruce, I’m not sure, but I’m pretty confident we are in public comment which means dialogue, probably between us, isn’t on the point of order.”
Tough then closes with, “Ok, that concludes public comment.”
Paul, a man identified by Tough when asked his name after yelling from the audience, “You don’t own this place.”
Tough replied, “Well, right now you’re disrupting a public meeting, so I wish you would just retain some courtesy for the board,”
Another board member then addressed Paul saying, “Sir if you want to speak, then you’ve got to request to speak, not do it from the audience.”