When the Katy Citizen Watchdog$ were opposing the first 2006 bond, the organizers invited Chris Cottrell and Kevin Tatum (the two founders of the Watchdog$) to a Bond Committee meeting for a "fifteen minute" presentation.  The purpose of the invitation (sent by the Superintendent), or so the Watchdog$ were led to believe, was to allow them to state their case as to why the bond was frivolous. Then were supposed to also field a few questions.

In retrospect, what they should have done was to take the microphone, point out that it was the job of the school board and the bond committee (since the board had given up it's powers to them) to come up with a good bond proposal and not the job of the Katy Watchdog$.  And then left.

Obviously, the invitation was a set-up as the two were confronted by an orchestrated attempt to undermine everything they said. They could barely get a word out before someone jumped on them! Questions from the bond committee members came from the facilitators* at each table and were prepared by the bond supporters well in advance of the meeting. These people were just rude and ignorant of the fact that they WERE being used. They thought they would conduct an inquisition on two young fathers who were just concerned about the school district wasting tax dollars and who had every right to do so!

Stan Stanley accused Mr. Cottrell of taking money from the Americans for Prosperity! (We hadn't, but what if we had?  It was none of his business.  Their supporters were "taking money" for a PAC from people that were going to benefit from passage of the bond! You can find a list of their supporters elsewhere on this web site.) They wanted Mr. Cottrell to enumerate all the ways he could think of where the District was wasting money. That wasn't something he was supposed to do! Committee member Donna Herzog took issue with an article I had written (which I actually wrote on October 18, 2005 way before there was EVER a 2006 Bond Committee) which suggested that people who serve on Bond Committees and don't realize that they are being facilitated and used by the District to get what the District wants are "Class A fools!"  Ms. Herzog wanted Mr. Cottrell and Mr. Tatum to apologize to her for MY remark!!!!  Those of us in the back of the room were rolling our eyes at such a preposterous request.  Mr. Cottrell replied to her, "I don't know you, but are you one of the ones referred to in Ms. McGarr's article?" 

In his remarks, while suggesting that the amounts proposed for new school buildings were fraught with excess, Cottrell talked about the plans to tile everything in sight.  Hyperbolizing he said something about the use of "imported Italian tile."  It was a remark made for effect (for those bond committee members who don't understand hyperbole.)

In a room full of those obviously not worldly enough to know about the nuances of imported tile, this remark most assuredly fell on naive ears, and thus a totally different meaning than the one ascribed to it by Mr. Cottrell emerged.  In any other situation it would have been a joke, but the people at that meeting jumped on the term, and we heard it for months being used to discredit the Watchdog$! 

If the issue had not been so important, we would have laughed it off.

As anyone can plainly see, explaining his remark to those who apparently were not so wise would have been useless, so we just didn't say anything.

What we could have done was to point out that ALL the tile used in PBK designed school buildings is probably imported "Mexican" tile as most tile that is used today comes from the artisans in Mexico, but we figured they wouldn't "get" that either!

Cottrell and Tatum held their own, but the grilling was merciless.  Finally A. D. Muller got up and walked from the back of the room to put a stop to it pointing out that "fifteen" minutes had become over an hour.  Chances are if he hadn't ended it, we'd all be there yet!

Tatum's and Cottrell's point that was lost on THIS crowd was that the bond amount was excessive, that building schools and other facilities that cost way too much is clearly wasteful, and that unless someone tried to stop them, it would continue forever!

Seven Lakes High School  (see tiled floor and walls below)
I rest my case.
*See "DELPHI" elsewhere on this web site.