By Helen Eriksen

The Houston Chronicle

August 28, 2008

The Katy school district says that because of “contractual disputes with management,” it has ended its relationship with Xpediant, a company to which the district has paid millions of dollars for technology services.

A school watchdog group, among others, often criticized the controversial six-year deal with Xpediant, which was inked under a no-bid contract.

Katy ISD spokesman Steve Stanford said Friday that district officials told all Xpediant employees Thursday not to return to work at any site in the district.

As of this blog posting, Xpediant had not returned calls for comment.

The district also issued a stern warning to campus principals Thursday saying “immediate action (was) required” to maintain security on campus sites. 

Marcy Canady, the district’s assistant superintendent for school and community engagement, urged principals to alert their staff “from the front office to night crews” to inspect badges of any Katy ISD employee who shows up at their schools. Canady said:

It is of utmost importance at this time of year with the increase in work crews in our buildings that all workers be checked for identification and task assignment. Of particular focus are those entering to complete technology department projects.

Canady further instructed principals to refer any Xpediant employees who show up after 4 p.m. Thursday to contact their employer for direction “but do not allow them to be or work in your building.”

In 2006, Katy ISD came under fire from the Katy Citizen Watchdogs after the group learned that the district had paid $13.4 million in four years to the firm, which fell behind on state franchise taxes owed in 2001. The company subsequently resolved the unpaid tax bill. 

Records show that on Oct. 1, 2002, Katy ISD signed a no-bid contract with the Sugar Land-based firm and that addendums were made to the original contract when additional services were needed. The contract was authorized by former Katy Superintendent Leonard Merrell and signed by Xpediant principal Wayne Caskey.

Services Xpediant provided under the contract to support this fast-growing district included setting up the e-mail and phone systems and designing the framework for the district’s curriculum-management system.

What are your thoughts on this? Now that Xpediant is gone, what do you think the district should do to maintain technology services? Should the district hire another outsourcing firm or perform all the work in-house?

Comments (100) (The Chronicle in the good old days not only took comments on line, but they printed some of them in the paper.  They don't do that anymore and they wonder why no one buys their paper any more!)


Katy ISD halts contract with technology firm citing “contractual disputes”


100 Responses

Dragon Lady says:

August 22, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Just the beginning. Let’s hope there are no incidents arising from this immediate ‘decision.’

stunning says:

August 22, 2008 at 7:19 pm

OH SNAP!!!! SOOO many comments, opinions and facts to post on here and back up and provide truth to what the Katy Citizens Watchdogs stated YEARS ago. Where to start, where to start???

13.1 million is a whole lot of cash. To be honest, my thoughts on this are that I’m THOROUGHLY peeved and agrieved that this District was fleeced by a greedy individual who lives in a far nicer home than most of us hard working, tax paying citizens who just want what is best for the children of this District. It sounds almost like someone's hands were caught in the proverbial money jar and maybe they were taking just a tad too much of our money for the lack of return on the services contracted for. You just have to love that term, “contractual disputes.” Can we get the District or Xpediant to define for us this verbiage, please? No, let me guess, Marcy and Steve, will that be a “the District has no comment” media soundbite????

There certainly is far more to this story than we will EVER know. One thing for certain, if ANYONE from Xpediant is found to be guilty of theft, they should be made to become the roommate of Andy Skilling in FEDERAL PRISON!!! How bad must this situation be if Xpediant was locked out of KISD immediately and barred from returning???? Sounds awfully suspicious and interesting to me!! “A stern warning was issued?……..” “but do not allow them to be or work in your building.” Were we in some kind of danger from these overpaid IT’s or was the school District's entire computer system in any danger? Watch out, they might attack you with their snazzy on a lanyard flash drives!!!!

Oh yes, I just bet Xpediant is “not returning any calls.” I’m super peeved over this super for them “deal”, er I mean “steal.”

BIG TIME KUDOS TO THE KATY CITIZEN WATCHDOGS FOR exposing this District boondoggle in the first place. Isn’t vindication sweet? If I were them, I’d print up shirts saying, “na, na, told you so, told you so” or some other in your face slogan. I’d buy a t-shirt from them. Hey, Marcy since you’re new and all to the District and have a really sweet and fancy title, “Asst. Superintendent for School and Community “Engagement””, maybe the District can approach the Watchdogs and get a piece of this in your face fundraiser. We’ve got to recoup what appears to be a massive hemmorage of wasted cash. 13.4 million and that’s only what we’re being told, mind you. Sorry for you, Mr. Fraley that you had to clean out this mess that you obviously inherited, but THANK YOU for doing this long overdue dirty deed.

Okay, Helen, there it is. You asked for “our thoughts” and I gave my first initial gut reaction. I’m angry, if no one could guess that from my post. Anybody know what other school Districts that Xpediant “partnered up” with?

And what kind of school District sound fiscal policy is it to award “NO BID CONTRACTS???” Well, gee, let us just see who authorized this, no one other than EX-STUPERINTENDENT Leonard Merrell along with Xpediant Principal Wayne Caskey. Who is this guy anyways??? Please don’t let me meet your wife at any Volunteer Function because she will CERTAINLY get a not so polite unsolicited but volunteered highly irrate opinionated tirade from me and my friends!!!

13.4 million but couldn’t pay their State Franchise Taxes??? Sure hope they paid their IRS bill!!! 13.4 million for “setting up an e-mail and phone system” and “designing the framework for the District’s curriculum-management system.”

Mary McGarr says:

August 22, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Your question is not the first one that needs to be asked and answered. It is customary in the IT industry, for a transition from one IT company to its replacement to occur over at least a one year period. To have an IT company walked to the door, with alerts issued to principals regarding the barring of Xpediant employees, (and principals alerted building inhabitants like it was an emergency situation) is extremely rare and alarming.

Obviously someone at Katy ISD uncovered something very serious, and the public needs to know what that is. Remember transparency!

I think you’ve stumbled on an important story–don’t let it not get covered!

Katy Teacher says:

August 22, 2008 at 7:32 pm

It’s about time! This company has been overpaid from our tax dollars from day one. Do a quick search and you will find that using this company has been a controversial choice from the beginning. Good riddance!

Steve-O says:

August 22, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Wasn’t this company Merrell Complex-based? I guess not anymore. I still can’t believe that a no-bid contract with unilateral amendments was allowed for so many years. Now what? We haven’t heard about any other outside firms coming in, or at least a bidding process this time around if KISD does go outside the district again.

So what happens if things crash on Monday?

Slim Pickens says:

August 22, 2008 at 11:26 pm

Holy Mackeral what tangled webs we weave

A.D. Muller says:

August 23, 2008 at 12:07 am

The “Watchdogs” salute the district for correcting the errors of the past. There should be further investigations to understand where the millions of technology dollars were spent. How much from the past of KISD Bonds went to Xpediant? Were these expenditures part of the past bonds? Will we carry the debt of a company that has left the district? What did we pay Xpediant for? One question may be is who has been watching our dollars in the technology department?

Just A Taxpayer says:

August 23, 2008 at 10:13 am

If you look at the Katy ISD website, you will see 12 positions that are posted in Technology. All Katy ISD is going to do is bring these jobs in-house.

Probably what will happen is most of the old Xpediant employees will become Katy ISD employees. If you will remember a few years back, several of the Xpediant employees became KISDites.

Wonder what old Wayne Caskey is going to do now?

Dianna says:

August 23, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Kudos to the Katy Citizen Watchdogs!

From http://www.keepeanesinformed.com

Katy Taxes says:

August 23, 2008 at 11:27 pm

KISD is/was Xpediant’s only listed client. With a no-bid open-ended “contract” like they had, why would they need any others? They weren’t a big company, even though they purposefully chose a name of a much larger technology service organization to appear that way to the uneducated.

Xpedient still only lists being a Microsoft Preferred Vendor as their credentials – those are credentials you, buy, not earn.

Leonard Merrell allowed KISD to get into a huge IT mess. Then he brought in running buds Lenny Schad and Wayne Caskey to fix it and the KISD board allowed them a blank check.

Lenny Schad was trumpeted as “CIO of an Oil & Gas Company”. Sounds Impressive, but the entire company was 144 employees at the time: hardly the credentials needed to get the position he has for such a large and fast growing network.

The state of technology did improve, although it could have been done FAR less expensively. The Merrellite loyalists are simply unable to admit that, or that perfectly good tube TV’s cost little to maintain and should only have been replaced due to attrition. But hey; it’s simple to look good when you have deep pockets.

Xpedient was making at least enough profit to loan their two principals a million dollars to buy their houses (on top of their salaries). That’s quite a profit margin.

Xpedient was officed in KISD property at no charge, using taxpayer funds and equipment to run their business in addition to the services provided to KISD. Talk about a sweetheart deal!!

Lenny Schad & Wayne Caskey toured the country bragging about what they accomplished trying to drum up more business for Xpedient under the guise of attending conferences. I wonder who paid for that… They’ve been awfully quiet since 2006.

Xpedient employees stored over 1,700 illegal copies of copyrighted music on KISD servers. Then moved them to another server when they got caught.

Leonard Merrell sat on the technology audit until after the bond election so that the fiscal mismanagement (and recommendations to replace his Xpedient buds) wouldn’t be considered when voters went to the polls. [This effort was just the same as Merrell's sitting on the fact that the Copperheads football team that was "renting" the Merrell Center weren't really paying any rent as their checks were bouncing.  That information came out after the second 2006 bond was won. MM]

Huge checks have continued to be quietly cut to Xpediant as Lenny Schad continued his on the job training. I’d love to see a forensic audit be performed on these services.

The house cleaning continues, but is not complete. There is still one person involved in this mess that should be replaced.

Yes Steve-O, it does take time to transition, but this was an abrupt replacement. It is both unusual to take security measures when terminating IT contractors, even under OK circumstances. These Xpedient employees could have hosed the network easily. Something happened and the KISD spin machine needs to explain to those they work for – the taxpaying public at large.

I can’t wait to see the old guard responses to this blog defending this enormous KISD debaucle with the “Merrell Colored Glasses” viewpoint. Let the spin… begin!!

Lee says:

August 24, 2008 at 5:12 am

Steve-O wrote, “So what happens if things crash on Monday.”

My Answer: Nothing, there appears to be no one in the IT department anymore until they hire people, so basically, the children, teachers, schools and District appear to be screwed if the system crashes on Monday. Let’s just hope no sort of virus or “special computer going away present” was planted or imbedded in the system as Xpediant packed up and was escorted from the building.

stunning says:

August 24, 2008 at 5:34 am


Good questions! “What did we pay Xpediant for?”

A lot of money for an overly expensive “e-mail, and phone system” among “other” things, allegedly. I think we really paid for Wayne Caskey and his friends to enjoy their yachts, trips and mega mansions homes.

“Who has been watching our dollars in the technology department?”

It appears no one was watching the money just pour out the door. Maybe the Old Superintendent held it wide open for him as he was on his way out of “his” building headed for the farm on his tractor????

Just saying…..

BlogComments says:

August 24, 2008 at 10:41 am

I realize that Xpediant and their performance is a very hot topic. While I don’t agree with many of the things they have done, it is important to keep a few things in mind. The 13 million was spent over several years. There are approximately 50 sites to manage from a technology perspective, over 42,000 students, and more than 5000 employees. That places the district alongside a mid-sized corporation in terms of infrastructure needs.

Using simple math, and assuming the 13 million was spent over three years, that translates into $86k per year per site, $866 per year per employee, or $103 per year per student. If Xpediant provided network support and operations services, then the cost per category is reasonable.

That said, it would have been a wise choice to issue an RFP and solicit bids for services after the first year to ensure that the cost per year remained reasonable.

I don’t know of a single parent who doesn’t appreciate the ability to proactively manage their child’s grades online and communicate with the teachers, receive voicemails regarding campus events or crisis information and pay the lunch account with the click of a button. Having phones in the classrooms is often the only way a teacher has to communicate in the event of an emergency for multiple hours each day.

With that in mind, is the money spent – regardless of whom the check was written to – a negative thing?

Just A Taxpayer says:

August 24, 2008 at 11:01 am


I agree! Who has been in charge of the tax dollars being spent in technology? I think it starts at the top with the one guy in charge of that department. That person is responsible for the waste of our tax payer money and should be removed from his position.

Katy Teacher says:

August 24, 2008 at 11:48 am


Good call on Xpediant employees becoming Katy ISD employees – this has already happened with at least one of them. However, sources tell me that the majority of them will not become Katy ISD employees due to a non-compete clause in their Xpediant employment contracts.

As for ol’ Wayne Caskey and Scott Wright (those made famous for the mansions built with the windfall profits from their sweetheart deal with Katy ISD), check out http://www.xpediantav.com.

Looks like they followed Steve Miller’s advice. No longer in the education fleecing business, now they are installing upscale audio/visual equipment. I would bet they can get you a really good deal on some speaker cable. Need some plasma TV’s to go with that?

jamie says:

August 24, 2008 at 2:08 pm

I do not think that any of us expected KISD to maintain a contract with Xpediant in perpetuity. Xpediant has done vital work for the technology function at KISD and their departure does not necessarily mean that there was some type of corruption going on as insinuated by some. JAT is right about KISD moving more of the technology function in house. It seems clear based on the 2006 technology audit (http://www.katyisd.org/files/services/communications/KISD%20IT%20Audit%206-14-2006.pdf) that KISD has always expected that at some point, more of the technology function would be brought in house and in fact, contrary to Ms. McGarr’s comments, that sort of transition has been going on for at least a year. The cited audit should also lay to rest Mr. Muller’s and the Watchdogs’ incessant questions about how the money was spent and whether or not it was bond money as the answers to all these questions are mostly available there. The process is open and transparent.

I would think that business types would be familiar with the process of terminating employees or contracts so they should be happy with KISD’s business like management of this process.

When KISD hired Xpediant six years ago, the KISD IT department was in crisis and it has been expensive to update and correct the KISD IT function. That situation is now much improved. Just because the choice to hire Xpediant has been “controversial” for some does not mean that the decision was wrong.

Hopefully, the people of KISD will resist the mix of rumor, innuendo, unrealistic expectations of the availabilty of cheap good technology and bitterness that we see in some of the posts on this blog and instead focus on the facts which so far show no evidence of malfeasance.

xmom says:

August 25, 2008 at 5:42 am

Follow the money…follow the money.

mad1mal says:

August 25, 2008 at 8:09 am

What terrible timing – regardless of your opinion of the company and KISD. This has left a lot of departments with out support the week before school starts! Katy Watch Dogs did get this one right – wonders never cease.

stunned says:

August 25, 2008 at 10:19 am


The “contract” is somewhat fuzzy, as there evidently were “addendums” made to the original one. The costs are somewhat fuzzy, too, because it’s been reported to be both 13.1 million as well as 13.4 million, so do we REALLY even know how much money was spent. Then there’s the associated costs spent as Wayne and Lenny toured America trying to “sell” this system. And it wasn’t for three (3) years, it was for six (6) so that brings the cost per student/per tax payer down as well. It’s not about spending money on the children to upgrade a very antiquated KISD system. All the things you mentioned are a tremendous help to us parents on behalf of their children. It’s about a lot of “other” things that just don’t seem cool or kosher to a lot of us who watch the pennies on behalf of the bottom line. Sorry, this just doesn’t pass the manure smell test and there’s more to this story than we’re being told. It just looks like Xpediant received preferrential treatment and we were taken advantage of in a sweetheart of a no bid contract. It’s about adults getting theres on the backs of the children. Sorry, uh uh, NOT COOL!!!!

Katy Taxes says:

August 25, 2008 at 10:35 am


Your simple math needs to include the millions paid to Xpediant since the $13, which was a 2006 figure. The KISD technology head continued to justify and the rest of the KISD administration allowed the fleecing to continue until last week.

Katy Teacher,

I find it ironic after wasting SO much money on the “video towers” that they would start another business having something to do with audio/visual equipment.


The sky is not falling. The entire IT department is not gone. You have your ITF’s as well – use them. This stuff is not rocket science, as evidenced by Lenny Schad & Expediant’s lack of credentials.

Maybe KISD will use this oportunity to put people in place who can efficiently manage the network without the bottomless deep pockets and an open-ended no-bid “contract”.


Using a no-bid contract under the guise of a so-called “professional services contract” was indeed wrong. Period. You should be able to admit that, but the fact you and the other Merrelites hold-overs can’t is why there are people such as myself who are fed-up with certain abuses by KISD.

Just A Taxpayer says:

August 25, 2008 at 11:26 am

Katy Taxes brings up an interesting point. Katy ISD has continued to pay Xpediant. Just check the check register online and you can see they have contiuned to do very well.

Someone mentioned that they the employees had a non-compete. It that is so, how did the several of the past Xpediant employees become Katy ISD people?

I agree that it starts at the top and the person in charge of this technology blunder is Lenny Schad. He has waisted lots of our tax dollars with this fiasco.

Katy Taxes says:

August 25, 2008 at 12:24 pm


People can be released from non-competes, especially when terminated. It’s also normal when the person performs the same function at the same place for a different employer, such as when the function is sourced to another vendor or “in-sourced” in this case.

HelenE says:

August 25, 2008 at 1:41 pm

A notice recently posted on the district’s Web site about the Xpediant contract says, “On July 21, 2008, the Board of Trustees approved a staffing plan inclusive of positions that will provide services to the district previously provided by contracted Xpediant employees.”


The board notes from the July 21 meeting indicate that out of 28 additional department positions approved, 12 are “currently filled by contract employees” but the notes do not specify which positions they are and for which departments.

(see notes 7-21)


Currently seeking clarification from KISD on that…


Katy Taxes says:

August 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Something doesn’t add up. JAT pointed out that there are positions listed on the KISD website.


I looked and those vacant positions were posted 7/31/2008. Since that date is prior to the termination of Xpediant services, are those the same positions? Did the vacant position postings have something to do with the apparent falling out and abrupt removal?

Inquiring taxpayers want to know.

flippedwilson says:

August 25, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Lots of vitriol coming from people who know absolutely nothing about what is going on. I would suggest you get your facts straight before shooting your mouth off. Just so we’re all clear, here is what Katy says about all the people who lost their jobs last week.

“The district extends heartfelt gratitude to the many Xpediant employees, some of whom have worked with the school district in excess of five years and are high quality individuals any organization would value having on their team. To them, the district expresses gratitude for all their positive contributions to the students and staff of Katy ISD.”

tam says:

August 25, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Wow, I knew this one would bring out lots of comments – and many have been as expected.

Terminating the contract staff as Katy ISD did is a Catch-22 for the district. They take heat for doing it the way they did it, but if they didn’t do it this way and just one of the consultants was malicious then the district would have taken heat for not seeing this and not terminating the contract staff immediately as it has done. As some have pointed out, termination of individuals with sensitive access to data and networks is sometimes done abruptly to eliminate any potential for harm. Katy ISD has errored on the side of caution in this case. Yes, if there is a system emergency, addressing it in a timely fashion could prove challenging, but that risk far outweighs the risk of the potential for malicious and intentional harm done by just one disgruntled individual.

There are obviously some in this district who will never be happy with what Xpediant did and the price they did it for, which by the way they did a lot more than just put in a phone and email system. Put that aside for a moment and let’s look at the cost of hiring these 12 positions in house. Assuming these folks are brought in at the mid-point of the pay grade and benefits add just 30% (a very conservative number) to the cost of salaries, the annual cost of these Katy ISD employees will be about $1 Million per year. This is still a far cry from the $3-$4 Million per year spent at the peak with Xpediant, however development/project teams are always staffed in greater numbers – by a factor of 3 to 4. This $1 Million a year that Katy will spend on employees will be less than using ANY outside outfit for the same support work, it always is – if you can find the people to fill the jobs at the lower KISD pay scale. KISD has to compete with the much higher paying energy companies in Houston for this talent and that can be a challenge.

Outsourcing project development work always costs more, but in some cases it is the only way to get the work done and done in a reasonable amount of time. If Katy ISD had hired 40 employees and then had to fire 28 of them at the end of project, what would the reaction and morale be of the IT staff and that of the community? Outside consultants always know they can be out at a moment’s notice and that is why many companies throughout corporate America do this very same thing. Oh by the way, these consultants are usually paid more (i.e. a premium) for accepting work of this nature. In addition, throughout corporate America, these outside consultants virtually always use company computers, resources and office space to do their job. This is the norm in most all domestic based consulting gigs. Nothing special was done here by KISD or Xpediant with respect to this issue as some here would have you believe. Oh by the way, when the district installs its new financial system, you can bet they will bring in outside consultants to help with that one as well and it would NOT have been Xpediant in any case as this is not their area of expertise and I believe even Mr. Schad and Mr. Caskey would agree with this.

curious says:

August 25, 2008 at 5:41 pm

So in checking, the some positions listed pay between 55 and 65k per year. In searching Monster and Careerbuilder, it seems the average pay for systems engineers and network engineers seems to average 75 – 95k. Can Katy really fill those positions for that little money, and if not what does it mean to the kids?

lee says:

August 25, 2008 at 8:27 pm

I agree with Jaime. The speculation on this blog by people with axes to grind with the district has gotten way ahead of the available facts.

Folks, the technology department at Katy ISD was an impending disaster when Xpediant took over six years ago. It would have been an awful move to give that job to the lowest bidder as suggested by some.

I do think that the Watchdogs are raising some good questions about other matters.

People should check out this link to a brief by Kevin Tatum of the Watchdogs.

http://www.katycitizens.org/index_files/Page3491.htm [No longer available.  MM]

Helen, could you ask Katy ISD some questions about this venture?

Discussions are under way for the new football stadium. According to Kevin if they build it like Rhodes it will cost $35MM, but they want a much larger stadium and a press box for network games. This would cost over $60MM.

We have been told that we need scientists, but professional football players seem to be more valuable.

Build a less expensive stadium and give me some science labs and rock walls which would provide physical fitness for more than just a handful of kids.

jamie says:

August 25, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Katy Taxes and all,

Before we get carried away, let’s take note that no “technology blunder” has been demonstrated to have occurred. This is all rumor and innuendo.

Xpediant was hired in a time of crisis for KISD IT. If you had a serious medical illness, would you look for the cheapest doctor you could find or the best doctor you could afford? Everyone in the anti-tax group is so fond of bidding out every contract. Should bid out all the contracts from aides to teachers to administrators to security and so on? Come on, I am sure we could get an administrator for less than we are having to pay Mr. Frailey.

Katy Taxes speaks out of both sides of his mouth when he complains that KISD hired Lenny Schad from a company with just 144 employees as if KISD would be able to afford to hire someone from a major company assuming that such a person would even be willing to work in a school district. Katy Taxes is fond of the mantra, “Why gold (tin?) when copper (dirt?) will do?”

KISD hired the best IT specialist it could afford, but it is no match for the “anti-KISD because I don’t want to pay Katy Taxes” shades.

So which is it?

Gold or copper?

Mary McGarr says:

August 25, 2008 at 11:35 pm

There seems to be some question about how much Xpediant made each month. The following information comes from the monthly check registers that the district puts on line for a short while. Here are the numbers for 2007:

January 1, 2007 $142,000.00

February 9, 2007 $124,750.00

March 9, 2007 $122,750.00

April 2007 $120,950.00

May 4, 2007 $122,750.00

June 8, 2007 $122,750.00

July 6, 2007 $122,750.00

August 10, 2007 $122,750.00

August 31, 2007 $122,750.00

September 21, 2007 $125,893.52

October 5, 2007 $125,893.52

November 9, 2007 $125,893.52

December 7, 2007 $125,893.52

December 21, 2007 $125,893.52

Total (2007) $1,753,667.60

What is not known is why there are 14 payments, whether these amounts just satisfy contractual obligations, and/or do these payments include the use by Xpediant of the school district’s office space, parking spaces, computers, and secretaries for 17 IT personnel, and so on. Did Xpediant pay the district for these additional perks?

Some would say that the answers to these questions are none of the public’s business, but when a contract is let without being bid, in my opinion, the public can’t help but be curious when the amount of tax dollars is so great, and deserves to have answers.

Katy Teacher says:

August 26, 2008 at 6:29 am


My understanding is that the positions you see posted are the Xpediant positions.

Jeff says:

August 26, 2008 at 9:03 am

OMG…a cancelled contract!….job postings?….millions spent on IT?!…are these the signs of a school district in shambles!!!???…. OR is it possible that these are signs that KISD is like every other business out there?

I have NEVER seen, been a part of, nor heard of an IT project that went perfectly. The fact is that it is not easy to design, build and implement large scale networks.

To the regular complainers…the hysteria you create cheapens your message and diminishes your credibility… and no, i do not work for the district. I’m just a parent sick and tired of the moaning and groaning from a few, loud voices.

tam says:

August 26, 2008 at 9:56 am

Ms. McGarr

You obviously have no clue about IT contracts and IT staffing arrangements. You may know stuff about education because of your years of involvement, but in this area you lack industry knowledge and have no basis for your claims and accusations. Standard IT contract agreements mean that the contract staff will use the company’s facilities – office space, parking space, computers and other support functions in order to carry out their the tasks they have been charged with doing. These are not “additional perks” as you continue to claim. Please limit your comments and accusations to stuff you actually know something about, which in this particular case is absolutely nothing as you have no experience in this area.

If the district spent $1.7 Million dollars on 17 positions over 12 months, that’s about $100K per position, which is a bare bones value in the contracting world – about $50/hour average. As curious pointed out above, KISD will encounter some challenges in filling these IT positions within the pay grades offered. Even if this funded just 12 positions, that’s till just $70/hour average – again, at the very low end of the scale in the IT contracting world. Based on these numbers, it sounds like KISD got pretty good value for the money relative to industry norms.

tam says:

August 26, 2008 at 10:05 am

Katy Taxes

You say “Xpedient was making at least enough profit to loan their two principals a million dollars to buy their houses”. I know a “million dollars” is sexier than the actual amount involved here, but then again, we know the dogs like to sensationalize things and exaggerate numbers. The folks at Xpediant should have made a profit – after all, what were they in business for – to make a profit, which last time I checked was still allowed in the capitalist driven economy in America. If they had close to 40 people there and were not making at least $10,000 per employee per year, then they were not running a good business. $10K a year profit per employee in a consulting company would be considered at the very bottom of the scale in that business. Two years of peak business would have easily enabled them to make an $800,000 profit. Yes, that’s a lot of money, but if you were running a 40 person consulting outfit, you too would deserve that kind of profit. Do you think another consulting company would have done this for less? Any of the big named brand ones would have been 2 to 3 times the cost.

You also state “The state of technology did improve, although it could have been done FAR less expensively.” OK, prove it! How much less would it have cost? How quickly would it have been done? Why would it have cost less? The dogs and their followers are famous for touting things can cost less, but they never give solid proof of their claims. If client bill rates are in the $50-$70/hour range you’re already bottom feeding with the rates, so please tell us how this can be done for “FAR less”.

tam says:

August 26, 2008 at 10:15 am

stunning and Katy Teacher,

You seem hung up on the homes of Mr. Caskey and Mr. Wright. According to the tax rolls, these houses built by the likes of David Powers and David Weekly are far from “mansions” as you claim. In addition, their neighborhood is not even close to being peppered with mansions as you might find in Lakeforest, Windsor Park Lakes and a few sections of Cinco Ranch. Are their homes more expensive than the “average” Katy house, yes, but they happen to be in line with the Watchdogs very own board member Mr. Law who’s own house is valued for more than Mr. Caskey’s. I guess it’s OK for a leadership member of the Watchdogs who is a board member to live in a “mansion” but if individuals who created a company and created jobs succeeded in the capital enterprise we proudly call America, this is somehow bad? As much as the leadership of the Watchdogs tout their conservative credentials, I find irony in their followers attacking the success of individuals in creating jobs and wealth. I know you will come back with something about how our tax dollars were spent to create these jobs and associated wealth, but do keep in mind – all money we spend ends up as someone else’s wealth at some point- I know I’ve contributed several dollars to the wealth of Bill Gates and Michael Dell over the years and I don’t resent them for their success, I applaud them.

Katy Teacher- You go on to make light of the fact that the 2 principals have go on to create another business. Individuals who seek to create businesses and employ people is what makes this country great. You can quit your day job and start a business of your own. If you succeed (and many don’t) you will be rewarded with long hours and hopefully good compensation for your efforts, otherwise, you would just continue to work for someone else as that is always easier and less risky than creating your own company.

stunned says:

August 26, 2008 at 10:58 am

So, Jeff, ignore it. But don’t cheapen yourself by belittling those who are engaging in healthy dialogue asking credible questions. There ARE those in this District who have for many, many years just believed everything they were told and swallowed it all hook, line and sinker. Perfect little “Party” robots who pay their taxes without asking or seeking the truth as to where their money goes. Must be nice to have that kind of cash to waste…..Could be some of what’s one of the things wrong with America today????

tam says:

August 26, 2008 at 11:12 am

Jeff – Well said, I couldn’t agree more with your comments.

Helen – Lee brings up and interesting topic to start a discussions on. As Lee stated the costs for this proposed stadium are $35M or $60M, but what Lee did not mention that Mr. Tatum is saying he feels like he can only support $20M. Should make for an interesting new blog and some good debate in the community as to what people do want in a stadium and are willing to spend on it. Please get a new blog going on this so we don’t clutter up this blog with that topic.

Katy Taxes says:

August 26, 2008 at 11:12 am


“Why gold, when copper will do” has nothing to do with credentials. It is in reference to spending too much for a result. Copper conducts. Gold conducts better, but copper conducts well enough to carry the required current. Gold *should* be cost prohibitive. SHOULD be…

Lenny Schad an expert? Puleeez… he was a techie with an inflated small company title who was given a large taxpayer funded salary, pension and perks. That is what I call gold plating.


Impending disaster??? Leonard Merrell created the mess via years of neglect. But suddenly it was a “crisis” that oddly required buddies to fix via a no-bid open-ended “contract”…


Some of those functions needed the help of contractors temporarily to reverse the mess. Had the contract been properly defined and placed out for competitive bidding, there would be no argument.

You are wrong in that most major outsourcing agreements, contractors DO pay for use of facilities and equipment via their client’s internal charge-back functions.


KISD will be able to fill them, but retention will be a challenge in the competitive Houston market. Xpediant did not pay their employees highly, even though they charged KISD $120-150 per hour for them, according to the rates listed on their website.


Guilty as charged, and point taken. I do wish KISD WOULD operate “like every other business out there”, especially putting expenditures under the microscope instead of looking at them with their Merrel Colored Glasses.

HelenE says:

August 26, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Tam and Lee,

I agree – the stadium issue is a great subject to discuss!

In nearby Waller ISD taxpayers approved $17 million of a 2007-$49.3 million bond package for a 10,000-seat stadium. I am not sure if this price includes the land or if the land was donated. But this would provide something for the district to compare plans to.

Katy Taxes says:

August 26, 2008 at 12:55 pm


Prove it? So, so typical of the insider’s contempt for taxpayers…

Since it wasn’t put out for bid, your comments are truly rhetorical. But yes, I believe that it could have been done much less expensively and achieved similar results. Having been in the business for over 25 years now, I feel that I can say that from a position of experience.

They were making far more than $10K per employee per year. Look up their rates on their website. Profit is acceptable/encouraged. This was gouging. Sorry you are unable to discern the difference.

I do agree on the mansion term. I think the term “McMansion” fits their houses; not mansion. Like the majority of the houses in that area…

McMansion is a pejorative neologism, coined by NY environmentalist Jay Westervelt, (Westerveld)[1] to describe a particular type of housing that is constructed in an assembly line fashion reminiscent of food production at McDonald’s fast food restaurants. The term is one of many McWords. A McMansion often denotes a home with a larger footprint than a median home, an indistinct architectural style similar to others nearby, and is often located in a newer, larger subdivision or replaces an existing, smaller structure in an older neighborhood.

A McMansion is generally considered[who?] a house between 3000 ft² (280 m²) to 5000 ft² (460 m²) in size, on small lots (the house itself often covering a larger portion of the land than the yard), in homogeneous communities that are often produced by a developer. Although they are generally large homes, they are mass produced and are not of the caliber of a mansion. Their cost places them in the purchasing range of the upper middle class segment of the population.


Mary McGarr says:

August 26, 2008 at 1:03 pm

What needs to be said is that Xpediant had two (2) employees when they were given the KISD contract. So averaging costs doesn’t work if one uses 40+ employees as a basis. Those other employees came later, and some of them are victims just like KISD students and taxpayers are.

Those who have no idea about the administration of a school district like to compare it to a “business.” It’s NOT a business; it’s a government. There’s no earning of the money it uses; that money is garnered from taxes. There’s no product; and if anyone dares to say that my child is a “product” they’ll earn my eternal ire. My children are not products. There is no business named “Katy ISD” so quit trying to turn it into one.

My concerns are with the two owners of Xpediant, the superintendent who cut off the bidding process to hire them, and an administration and especially a school board that provided no oversight for YEARS!!! The buck stops right there with the school board for me.

PS I’ll answer your points directly when you have the courage to put your name on what you have to say.

fool says:

August 26, 2008 at 2:09 pm

…this District was fleeced by a greedy individual who lives in a far nicer home than most of us… –Posted by: stunning at August 22, 2008 07:19 PMY’know, you may have some legitimate grievances about this contract, but I for one am sick and tired of the low-class whining about who’s got what, as if that automatically exempts someone from consideration as a decent human being.After all, if someone has a nicer home than you, they probably lied, cheated and stole to get it, right?Why not stick to the facts of the matter, and leave this B. Hussein Obama-esque “class warfare” cr*p out of it.

tam says:

August 26, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Katy Taxes,

I beg to differ 100% on your claim of contractors paying for facilities and equipment. I know people who have been contracting computer and consulting work for over 20 years and have never paid a dime to be housed at a client’s premise and use their equipment. In fact they were actually denied the right to bring in their own equipment when the client’s equipment was inadequate and were even forced to work at the client’s facilities instead of their own offices. If you want, you can argue that Xpediant substantially discounted their rates, which you could claim was compensation for office space and equipment they used if that makes you happy.

So, had this contract been put out for bid you are saying that you could have sourced it for “FAR less” than $50/hour. Maybe back in the early 80’s, but not in 2000. Just because something is not put out to bid does not mean the price in unfair. Your claim this could be done for “FAR less” is baseless and unproven.

The list price you refer to for Xpediant based on their website is much higher than what could have been charge to KISD or the overall bill as well as the current monthly bills per Ms. McGarr’s post would have been double what they were. For the number of resources involved and the dollars spent, the price seems to be in the range of $50-$70/hour, which as I stated earlier is at the bottom end of any consulting scale I know of. If you are in this line of work and offering these types of services for “FAR less” than $50/hour, you probably have more business then you have people to fill the slots.

Finally Done With KISD says:

August 26, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Katy Taxes,

Wow! You opened my eyes – I had no idea I lived in a “McMansion” according to the Wikipedia definition. Is that a bad thing? Well, in some people’s eyes, yes – others no. At least here’s a good thing – my “McMansion” is paid for and I am not obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses. How is it possible for a 40-something to have a 4,700 sq ft house completely paid for? Simple. Sell your house in California, buy one here, and have money left over to enjoy life.

wink1111 says:

August 26, 2008 at 2:51 pm

For all of the “glass half full” “the sky is falling” “oh whoa is me” complainers….count your blessings that you live in a school district with the advantages of Katy ISD.

I grew up and lived in a state with a poor tax base and limited focus on education. The school facilites were built on the cheap (when and if anything new was built at all), school employee pay was low, and funding for supplies was almost non-existant.

You may not always agree with how the school district is run or with the decisions that the school board and/or admininstration makes, but remember your well meant intentions and actions may be misunderstood as lack of pride in the school district in which you choose to reside.

I for one am happy to see all of the awesome buildings in which our kids go to school. You take what some may call the worst facility in KISD, and I will guarantee you it is 100% better than the best school facility where I grew up. I for one take pride in this school district because I know what the other side of the coin looks like.

tam says:

August 26, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Ms. McGarr

So, when the contract was first signed there were only 2 employees in Xpediant, which might explain why the first year monies paid by KISD to Xpediant were just $245,249. At their peak it appears Xpediant had 37 employees with revenue of $4,482,148. Assuming all 37 individuals worked a full year, this equates to a billing rate of around $60/hour – still within the $50-$70 I have made reference to in earlier posts. You continue to claim the bidding/selection process was somehow unfair, yet it appears the rates being paid by the district to Xpediant were very reasonable based the going market rates for these types of services. You may disagree with all that Xpediant did, KMAC being one of them, but that was the decision of KISD administration which you clearly have a beef with and have had since you did not approve of Merrell’s hiring back in 1995.

I will strongly agree with you that children are not products so I guess I avoid your eternal ire. In the business analogy for education, the product is education and the children buy/use/consume the product. We taxpayers are the shareholders and investors who are investing our hard earned money in the company to help develop a product that will be well received and valued by our consumers. Based on the growth in Katy, it seems our product we have been investing in is being well received by both the majority of investors and consumers.

I am not out to make a name for myself or my cause as you and others are. I am just a member of the community who moved to Katy for the educational opportunities for my children and I am just a voice of counter opinion to ensure alternative opinions are put out here for others in the community to read. Why is it that the identity of the anonymous naysayers of the district is never a concern, yet those who speak anonymously in support of the district are always questioned to their identity?

Katy Taxes says:

August 26, 2008 at 3:18 pm


I am not talking about “people you know”… I am talking about most “major” outsourcing agreements… something I am indeed intimately familiar with and you are wrong if you include those – had this been bid out, you can put whatever you want in there…

As far as the spin that you are attempting… we’ll never be able to prove it since it wan’t put out for bids… so your words are pure rhetoric.

What can be proven is the actual amout charged – my figure is the stated figure on the vendor’s website: you offer nothing to reference. How’s this sound?

Maybe the Chron can obtain the actual invoices and bill rates and we can debate using actual figures.

Katy Taxes says:

August 26, 2008 at 3:28 pm



Katy Taxes says:

August 26, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Finally Done,

I know a few people who have moved here from California at the right time and were able to do the same thing! Congrats! That is awesome!

As for me; mine doesn’t qualify as a McMansion since my property is almost 4 times the square footage of my house… which would qualify if it was on a smaller lot. 😉

Sure, I could pay it off quicker (we live easily within out means), but I prefer to invest in other vehicles and write the interest off my taxes. The market sure has me questioning that decision, though! Long term… long term… dollar cost averaging… click heels three times… There’s no place like home…

I had better stop. The “off topic” police will start in on me again.

Katy Taxes says:

August 26, 2008 at 4:13 pm


I also grew up in a much less affluent area, but I don’t base educational value on the appearance of a building.

To me, what’s important is what takes place inside the building. Education, which is something the teachers in KISD do a good job at… just like they did at my little run-down school.

tam says:

August 26, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Katy Taxes,

A contract with max annual spend under $5 Million is not a “major” outsource agreement such as IBM or Accenture might sign with a major Fortune 100 company which would be in the $100 Million range. Yes, you can include whatever you want in the bid process and thus the bidder can then set their price to accommodate the demands such as paying for office space in low dollar contracts. I’ve bid a million dollar contract and never paid a dime for office space. My gripe is with those who attempted to make an issue out of the use of office space (even parking spaces) and equipment when in lower dollar service bids such as this it is not the normal business practice. Yes, you could include it in the bid request and if the bidder just ups his price what have you gained?

I’m not attempting any spin, just taking the numbers that I see and doing the simple math. You reference a list price on website that has no correlation to the number of people working or the dollars that were paid. My numbers came from the same website you looked at http://xpediant.com/content.asp?secnum=7 as well as data provided by Ms. McGarr (via the KISD check register I assume) as well as the 12 published openings on the KISD website. My numbers are sound, just do your research. Let me know what other references you need in support of my numbers.

It is your words that are pure rhetoric as you were the one claiming this could be done for “FAR less”, not me, yet you offer no proof. I have shown that the range of rates that equate to the dollars and the number of staff involved are at the low end of the contract services spectrum and those who are familiar with this business will agree with my analysis of the rates as I have stated.

Katy Taxes says:

August 26, 2008 at 5:37 pm


Regardless of the numbers themselves, this should have been bid and that should not get lost in the debate. Nor the other items I listed above..

BUT… since you like to do addition with less that total figures, let’s go ahead and continue out with your fuzzy math and check back on one of your figures…

Assuming no other compensation was paid other than via check and 12 employees for all of 2007 (and I am sure both are incomplete):

$1,753,667.60 / 12 employees = $146,138 per employee.

Realistic compensation packages would give FAR more than the $10k per person per year profit margin you touted earlier.

Darn math.

Let’s get hold of the actual invoices and debate facts since you want to divert attention to this rabbit hole. Chron? Helen? Can you help?

FED UP says:

August 26, 2008 at 7:45 pm

You all sound like a bunch of whining, spoiled brats!!

Lee says:

August 26, 2008 at 10:41 pm

tam wrote: “My gripe is with those who attempted

to make an issue out of the use of office space (even parking spaces)”

Glad you brought that up, tam. Have you ever tried to park down at District when you have business to attend to inside the building? There are plenty of parking spaces for “visitors” out in the back 40 acres to be had, but certainly none up close for “guests” at the Admin. building. Isn’t that a fine way to treat those of us tax payers who funded Xpediant? Quite a few of the “fat cat” employees could use a little self imposed walking to and from their cars each day. Might just cut down on a few peoples medical expenses or shed a few pounds gained from donuts consumed at all these “meetings” they seem to have “doing business.” When I go to any hospital in the Medical Center for services to be rendered to me, I have to pay for parking. No different for you, so why should it have been any different for them!

Parking does seem to be an issue in this District. Just take one “Back to School/Find Your Room/Meet the Teacher Night.” One fender bender, one wreck, lots of angry neighborhood residents, lots of confused and distressed school attendees. VERY UNSAFE CONDITIONS!!!! Had there been a fire or need for an ambulance or police in the neighborhood, these homeowners would have been totally shoot out of luck. It rained and there was also light construction in the area, but funny, no KISD Police Department on the job, AGAIN!!! Many residents couldn’t get into their own driveways because rude, mannerless people were blocking and clogging up their streets. It was rush hour and people were rushing to get there to attend. Utterly miserable for everyone!!! There were/are several solutions to this. Buy the land in front of the school for another parking lot/additional District services Building, or have all the teachers park up at the high school and run an un-air conditioned school bus full of them to and from the Elementary. Maybe afterwards they could all have gone out to eat or had “cookies and milk” somewhere? Best solution would have been to split up the nights into two sections, K through 2nd on one night, 3rd through 5th on another. But when does anyone ever listen to the tax payer/homeowner/”business” partner???

Oh, tam, since when is office space “free” anywhere? The only business KISD has is to “govern the business of educating my children while not wasting my money. The “offices” are the classrooms. Those weren’t free and at many campuses, teachers have to fight to park at their job! I’m with you, Ms. McGarr – my wife and I “produced” our children, not KISD. We gave them life and even the opportunity to have an education by “parking” ourselves in a School

District and paying taxes. I’ve gotten neither a free “parking”space nor office space out of it, just a lot of indigestion and ire at the lack of manners, common sense and ability of grown and “allegedly” educated adults to play nice and respect others. Sometimes it sure seems like kitty cats scratching each others eyes out in the litter box. I pay for lots and lots of “extras” too, like close to $70.00 for school supplies, including paper towels and kleenex, or a “user fee” for P.E. Do you have any idea how much it costs to have a child in Cheerleading or Dance or Athletics? A free parking space here, a free office space there, does it really matter?

Yes, I think it does and apparently so do a lot of others. “Free Dumb.”

Steve-O says:

August 26, 2008 at 11:15 pm

As I have mentioned before, I agree that KISD was probably at a crisis point when Xpediant “saved” the district. I also agree, based on numerous conversation with parties in the district that “survived” the technology infrastructure development, that KISD is better off than it was before.

But I have NEVER been a fan of no-bid contracts. I HAVE been involved in technological transitions at my firm – which is an international company with a network much wider and more complex than KISD’s. Even though we appeared to be near dire straits at times, we still went through a bidding process to get not just the CHEAPEST, but the best overall bid for our firm. This means my firm went with EXPERIENCE, whose contract laid out more contingencies than even our in-house experts and consultants had considered.

The moral of the story? I checked with some of our IT execs, and they actually researched the contract details. The original contract had a total of 3 amendments for the first 5 years of the network/technology restructuring, and this was at over 50 global sites (a new MAINTENANCE contract was bid out after 5 years – which was won by a different firm!).

Yet I keep hearing their were multiple, unilaterally-approved amendments to the original Xpediant contract. So first, KISD doesn’t bother to even hold an abbreviated bidding process – they give out a contract to the first guys that offer a plan for restructuring (Xpediant barely even chartered at that time). Then KISD approves an unknown number of changes to the contract – apparently whatever Xpediant wanted, they got from KISD.

Instead of doing the bidding process, which could have involved established, experienced companies with likely greater vision and depth, KISD signs with the first (only) company that comes along. For a district that prides itself on its fiscal responsibility, they showed no foresight whatsoever. Perhaps Xpediant was the perfect company for the job, but it seems to me there seemed to be a LOT of learning on the job at taxpayers’ expense. That is NOT fiscal responsibility. Again, not many people seem to realize the importance of a bid process and its long-term financial impact.

And unlike a previous poster’s ridiculous “analogy” of shopping for the cheapest doctor during a medical emergency, computers are machines. If the network would have “died” during a bid process, then Dr. Merrell and the administration would have justly taken criticism for that as well. The panic KISD showed eliminated even a 3-month bid process would have given those “whiners” a LOT less ammunition to use. KISD has been catching flak over this for years, but they supplied the ammunition, so it’s hard to feel too sorry for them.

tam says:

August 27, 2008 at 12:10 am


I think you missed the whole issue about office space, parking etc. on this one. I never said nor implied that the office space or parking space or equipment was free, just that is was not the norm for it to be paid for by the consultants in low end contracts like this. Whether this staff was hired help from the outside or internal employees and there never was an Xpediant, the same amount of office space and parking would have been used to provide these services and yes, you and I the tax payer are paying for these spaces. I also bet you if you do some research you will find those folks from Xpediant as well as many of the other district employees in the admin building do park out in the back 40 just like many of us who have visited the admin building.

As to the rest of your tirade, yup, parking at schools, especially elementary ones on those various special nights is a royal pain in the you know what. Been there done that and have enjoyed partaking in seeing my kids achieve success in school and yes, I too have written many checks every year to this and that, just has many others in this district have.

tam says:

August 27, 2008 at 12:16 am

Katy Taxes,

Ms. McGarr said it was 17 employees for 2007, which is what the $1.7M was for per her numbers. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that it is just the 12 positions that are currently being replaced. Based on your math, that is $146,138 per contractor. Typical contractors bill about 2,000 hours per year, so we have $146,138/2,000 Hours = $71.57 per hour. OK, you caught me, my range should have said $50 to $71.57/hour – sorry, I was off by $1.57/hour. Anyway you choose to slice it these numbers are at the low end of the scale for contract services. By the way, if you actually read my post, you would have also seen that I did the math with both the count of 17 and 12 and thus my range of 50 to 70. There’s no fuzzy math here, it’s all out in the open for everyone to see. This is also the average rate, which means some will be higher and some will be lower, depending on the position.

Go back and read my other post, I said “at least” $10,000 profit per employee and that this would be at the very bottom of the scale. Realistic margins can range from a bares bones low of 10% to as much as 50% or more and if you are in this business you know this. Anyone who has ever done technical contracting knows this and they also know that a $72/Hour bill rate to a client is also at the low end of the payment scale for these types of services. Chop a 30% margin off the $72 and that leaves you about $50/hour net to the contractor if they are an independent, otherwise, you can start deducting payroll taxes and benefits from this number before you get to the net pay for an employee. Yup, a 30% margin would give them a greater profit, but is still in line with industry norms and not a gouge as you eluded to.

As for the rest of your list you initially rattled off. I chose to comment on those I easily saw as inaccurate or exaggerated and related to the dollars and given your call sign I figured dollars were your focus. I have no knowledge of music files (gee I’m sure no one else in all of Katy has ever done that) and some of your other comments can be considered opinion or fact – depending on your point of view and arguing those subjective points is not worth my time and I’ve already spent more time than I should have on this issue, but I will no longer sit by and watch the comments made by you and others go unchallenged in these blogs. As you have seen by other posters here, they too are tired of it and it also appears others are “FED UP” with all this back and forth. To steal part of someone’s call sign, I’m “finally done” with this exchange.

stunning says:

August 27, 2008 at 6:39 am

Right on, Steve-O, right on!! IT IS hard to feel sorry for them when this and lots of other things could have been done in a more open, honest and transparent way. I have no problem with people doing an honest days work and getting an honest days pay, but for a while in this District, there have been, were and are some employees who were getting the shaft while “consultants” got a far nicer “MCDEAL”. To me that’s just not “MCRIGHT.” HMM, could that be why “they” are living in “McMansions” and now installing audio visual and security systems instead of now working for this McDistrict??? I certainly do bet that the cafeteria, janitorial, bus and maintenance staffs would love to earn $50.00 or so an hour, but I guarantee they would love getting an “extra” $1.57 or so in their paychecks each two weeks. I’m positive the teachers wouldn’t have gone running and screaming to payroll to turn it in. Might not buy a cup of Starbucks or a gallon of gas, but a just as good cup of coffee at McDonalds or a bottle of water/bag of chips. (Why gold when copper would do???) It’s very easy to give away “free office and parking spaces” down at the McMerrell Center. There’s plenty to be had. Does anyone know if the Katy Area Economic Council pays a “user fee” or “rents space” from the District? Aren’t they hosed there?

No, tam, lots of them DO NOT “Park” out in the “back 40” because they have an assigned/designated parking spot. But since you’re “FED UP” and “finally done” with your tirade, you probably won’t be reading this anyways. I, for one, want to know more about the IT Department at KISD and how we and Mr. Frailey and Company are going to fix this problem.

Katy Taxes says:

August 27, 2008 at 7:26 am


Thank you for proving my pointm which is we are debating numbers that we can’t verify without the invoices. We don’t really know if it’s 17 or 12, just like the 40 wouldn’t have been a consistent number during the period of your first math spin.

There was FAR more than 30% profit involved.. Try 50%. More fuzzy math…

You are right though.. saying at least $10K profit per person would also include $100K profit per person. Way to spin! Very clever!

The music files story was covered in the papers. Guess you missed it. 1,700 illegal copyrighted (and very well organized, I might add) music files posed over a billion dollars worth of potential fines for KISD (aka taxpayers). I still have screen shots from the hidden share if you’d like to see them.

Xpediant and KISD turned a blind eye and did not follow up to insure they were removed once expiosed. IT services worth their metal use scheduled jobs to remove these kinds of files. But I guess not the “people you know”, huh?

As you can also see, there are people on here who are equally fed up with the continuing abuse of power that has gone on for years. This blog gives us an opportunity to vent back at the condescending KISD spin machine. Some of us are totally amused at the lap-dog mentality and defense in the face of facts.

The fact some of KISD, Inc.’s insiders / benefactors get so riled up on here simply confirms that we are on target. Maybe you know how we feel, huh?

Katy Taxes says:

August 27, 2008 at 7:58 am


HP was brought in at first, with their established processes and deliverables based on KISD’s short 1yr contract terms. Leonard Merrell’s ineffective management of that contract bore little results.

They were replaced by Xpediant and the no-bid open-ended “contract” (under the guise of a professional services agreement with no SLA’s of financial penalties to the bidder for non-conformance.

Besides lining certain pockets, this gave Lenny Schad the small company flexibility he was used from his previous (144 employee) company as he got his on the job training on a large network.

wink1111 says:

August 27, 2008 at 9:35 am

Katy Taxes wrote: “Education, which is something the teachers in KISD do a good job at… ”

Amen to that!!! That’s the most informed statement you’ve ever put on here.

Katy Taxes says:

August 27, 2008 at 9:56 am



fool says:

August 27, 2008 at 10:39 am

Education, which is something the teachers in KISD do a good job at…WHEN they are allowed to do so (speaking as the husband of an eleven-year veteran KISD elementary teacher).The emphasis has gone from education to “making the grade” as far as the campus TAKS scores. Everything has shifted to feeding this system of “brownie points” for campus administrators, and so of course the burden has fallen on the teachers to make them brass “look good.”For instance, my wife is now expected to attend all sorts of training and “team-building” sessions during the summer, on her own time and while providing her own transportation. This may or may not be a hardship for some teachers, but we have young children and must provide paid childcare for them when she is expected to “be a team player” in this way.I would estimate that about three weeks of her summer vacation was taken up with these activities.The KISD admins don’t have a problem asking this of the teachers, because it’s a “buyer’s market” for teachers in the district: if my wife leaves, they’ll easily hire a younger teacher with no children to take her place.Those are just the facts. I’m just relating that the KISD teachers have their row to hoe, the difficulty of which might surprise some of you.…just like they did at my little run-down school. –Posted by: Katy Taxes at August 26, 2008 04:13 PMI grew up in a mid-size Southern city. Our elementary school, grades 1-8 (no kindergarten at that time and place) had been built in the 1920s, and so was over forty years old. No A/C, of course, just really large windows that some of us were assigned to open at the beginning of each day.I learned my three Rs there, and probably a bit more. I remember memorizing and reciting a poem by Lord Byron for my seventh grade speech class, for example.It’s the quality of education, not the quantity of dollars involved, that counts. That’s why the school district with the highest per capita spending – the District of Columbia – is a complete failure and has been for years, while the state of North Dakota, with spending down near the bottom of the chart, graduates more than 95% of its high schoolers – even though they have a great many “native American” students there who historically are low-performing.

Katy Taxes says:

August 27, 2008 at 10:56 am


Agreed, and the intrusion on personal/family time just seems to be getting worse.

I can’t imagine how a single parent could possibly be a teacher with all of the after-hours demands on time these days…

Mary McGarr says:

August 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm

“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”

George Bernard Shaw

Lelo says:

August 27, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Who was it that said, “a Fool and his money are soon parted.” and ” A wise man speaks because he has something to say and a Fool speaks because he has to say something!”

What’s the name of that site that tells you, who said what quote? I can never remember. Must be early onset memory loss ;).

Just A Taxpayer says:

August 27, 2008 at 10:21 pm

It is about time someone has exposed the fleecing of our tax dollars in Katy ISD. I’ve personally saw this thru a friend of mine that is an ITF – Instructional Technology Facilitator in Katy ISD. As for my credibility, I too work in technology and have for many years.

As for my friends school that they work at, you should have seen the stock pile of extra cables and other items that were ordered from CDW for this school. BTW, the joke at the Texas Computer Educators Association was “Do you [KISD] have any more bond money to spend?” I was amazed when I personally saw the waste that was going on with my tax dollars. As for my friend, they loved it! They are living in a “Gold” mine!!

Some people have written about Lenny Schad and his wonderful past experience. Folks, take a look and you will see he was only a CIO at a company of only 144 people. In my world, that job does not require much knowledge of IT, just good management skills.

If Mr. Schad worked at my company and managed our IT needs on a “no bid” contract, he would be fired immediately. We negotiate contracts every couple of years with our outside contractors. While it is beneficial and cost-effective for companies to have their own in-house IT staff, sometimes it is just not feasible.

While it was a smart idea for Mr. Schad to hire out and straightened out the IT mess in Katy ISD that was caused due to neglect, it was not a good business decision to around a contract on a “no bid” contract. Well, I guess if you are the company like Xpediant that was awarded the contract than it is a gold mine.

I guess what I don’t understand is that all teachers are required to go out for bid when buying items that are over a certain amount. Required? So why was the IT department not required to go out for bids on retrofitting our technology? Sounds to me that this reminds me of when my father used to say “Don’t do what I do, do what I say!”.

Yes, I could go and on ranting about this poor decision that was made in the past and continued. I apologize for ranting! My personal take on this whole matter is it started at the top. BTW, I went to the board meeting the other night after the Xpediant announcement and Lenny Schad was “sick”.

The person at the top was responsible for the spending all this money. Chances are that he will do this again in the future. We need change and I’d like to see a new head of IT for KISD.

stunned says:

August 28, 2008 at 2:20 am


That’s interesting because when I asked about where was Mr. Shad, I was told he was in a “meeting.”

You remember that popular grade school book, “Where’s Waldo?” Maybe we should see if we can find Lenny as well as a few others who have just “magically disappeared” without explanation down there! I’d like to know what happened to Dr. Jetton, I didn’t see any announcement of his departure. Was it just me that missed it? I sure would have liked it if a few of the old holdover Merrellite SBOT’s had “disappeared” during the last SBOT Election. Seems that there is now some “discrepancy/discussion” going on from the voters over at Wolfe Elementary. Guess they “got it” too little, too late. Maybe next election time or bond election time.

lelo says:

August 28, 2008 at 7:13 am

I wonder if there are any other “contracts” or “contracted companies” that are in “business relationships” with this District that we should examine, as well. Doesn’t the District use Ikon Office Solutions for something? How did they come to work in our District and how long is their contract for? Did we bid that contract out? Helen, got any 411 on any other District contracts that we might want to look at?

Katy Taxes says:

August 28, 2008 at 8:35 am


Nobody would have been fired at my company for using a no-bid “contract” because it would not have been allowed. Ineffective managers do get repalced, however.

Even with all the controls and senior exec oversight in my company, there is still a lot of waste. But nothing even close to what I saw in my 20 years in working for government agencies. There is always room for improvement no matter where you go, but it’s hard for the decision makers ego’s to admit they screwed up.

I know many KISD employees via family associations.. teachers, admins and even a couple of the ITF’s. And you are spot-on.

For some that benefit, they enjoy using the system without regard (see Mary’s excellent and timely quote above). Like kids in a candy store.

It has generally taken some BS happening to them to open their eyes and allow themselves to admit what is really going on. It’s hard for them to admit they were wrong.

Is it the end of the world? Hardly. But when my taxes keep taking a bigger percentage of my budget and then I see a facility re-wired twice within a few years, well… that kind of mismanagement just gets under my skin. Someone WOULD have lost their job at my company over that.

Lelo says:

August 28, 2008 at 1:44 pm

Interesting, Katy Taxes and I agree with quite a lot of what you stated. It IS hard for them to admit when they are wrong. Take how they (KISD) treated that lady they arrested for walking her special needs child to the back gate and then trashed her and her family on a blog. Oh no, the Principal of that Elem. School wasn’t “wrong” she was the “victim”. It’s always so easy to point fingers at everyone else and not use such simple words, “I was wrong, I’m sorry, please, thank you, you’re welcome, I made a mistake, please forgive us, yes, no, ma’am, sir.” Just remember KISD when you’re pointing the finger at a taxpayer, you have three fingers facing back at you. As someone else said in a previous post, it’s sure hard to have any tea and sympathy for something they brought on themselves. While I hate for the pain that losing a job and/or getting fired from one brings to a family, sometimes it’s hard to have any empathy when it was self imposed because of greed and mismanagement. Guess I will go pray for all of these people and hope God brings us all the wisdom and strength to find solutions, resolutions, endurance to withstand and the ability to move on. Don’t know about forgiveness, that’ll have to be asked for by KISD first.

A.D. Muller says:

August 28, 2008 at 11:19 pm

The “Watchdogs” have additional concerns with the KISD technology dept. In a recent public meetings in Austin, KISD, Administrator Lenny Shad, made remarks warning school districts about the influence of Taxpayer organizations such as ours. We pay his salary, and he attacks us? (Plus we pay for his trip with tax dollars) Is this a mirror of Frailey’s attack of open records? We will post Shad’s comments soon.

jamie says:

August 30, 2008 at 9:44 pm

A.D. and all,

The fact remains that KISD paid Xpediant for a job well done and no one has offered any evidence whatsoever that Xpediant was paid too much despite all the anecdotes, hand-wringing, rumor and innuendo that we have seen on this blog. You don’t go out for bids when your technology function has crashed and you have to get report cards out and make sure the “bells ring on time” so to speak.

Some have complained that the district paid too much. Others like Tam have offered reasonable counterarguments to some wild assertions only to see more anecdotes and the sorry argument that there is no way to know anything without looking at the invoices. Well, then request the invoices rather than making unsupported accusations.

I am a taxpayer and while I appreciate my fellow taxpayers who have paid for my public education and are helping to pay for the public education of my children, I sometimes grow tired of some of my fellow taxpayers who fail to appreciate that the system benefits all of us. If we as a society do not make an effort to educate each and every one of our citizens, then we are not going to do very well in the future. It is preposterous to suggest that we are “robbing Peter to pay Paul” when we are all “Paul”. Please find a better argument to promote your agenda of dismantling public education.

Here is some of what Lenny Schad said.

“Americans for Prosperity–watch out for this group. They are very astute, funded. Your approach to marketing your school district needs to be very aggressive. Get involved or they will scare their community. We knew they were here but underestimated their impact. They convinced folks that bond elections are about building Taj Majals, poor fiscal management of schools. Technology is not a luxury anymore.”

All of this is true considering what we have seen from the Watchdogs, a group in our own community that has a relationship with Americans for Prosperity, who have tried their best to fail bonds and defeat incumbent board candidates by misinforming the public on various occasions. As a taxpayer, I am glad that Mr. Schad is educating others about the threats to needed public education funding. We need more leaders like him.

Steve-O says:

September 1, 2008 at 4:20 pm


As someone who also enjoyed public schools (not KISD) and DOES have (and had) children educated in KISD, I also appreciate everyone who pays taxes to the district. But as I have said, and others have asserted (albeit a bit extremely at times as you have mentioned), it is poor, poor financial policy to skip bidding processes for major system overhauls of any type. This especially is essential for publicly-financed projects constructed for publicly-funded entities such as a school district.

School districts cannot be run like a business no matter how much we would like them to. However, school districts CAN adopt many business-like strategies, from adopting similarly-constructed buildings (which KISD has smartly done to save some design/construction costs during its growth) to open bidding processes for important projects (which KISD clearly skipped on the technology end).

You’re right, we’ll never know for sure how much we saved or wasted with this no-bid, open-ended contract. But taxpayers have every right to voice their concerns repeatedly about these situations, if only to encourage the district to do them properly in the future. As I mentioned previously, it appears KISD was paying for a “learn-as-you-go” system for this brand-new company. Maybe it was the cheapest way to go, but I highly I doubt it, if only because there HAD to be other more experienced, knowledgeable companies out there to compete against for the bid. There was no fiscal responsibility shown there at all. Period. No argument has been made to convince me otherwise, not even the “progress reports” emergency.

One quick question about Mr. Schad’s speech in Austin: where did you discover the speech? I’d love to read it in its entirety so I can have the whole context of it before drawing a conclusion on the merits of his leadership abilities.

A.D. Muller says:

September 2, 2008 at 11:49 pm


Your knowledge of Mr. Schad’s diatribe is enlightening. Your awareness of the closely guarded on-line notes makes me wonder if you are not Lenny or an employee of KISD. Can you share with us the whole context? Frailey told me personally he was not aware of Schad’s attack of AFP and the “Katy Citizens Watchdogs”. Let me be clear, we (watchdogs) have never received one dime from American’s for Prosperity. AFP is a great American organization that supports Tax payers see (http://www.americansforprosperity.org/) Can you disagree with any of their causes? WHO ELSE IS ON THE SHAD ‘s enemy list. Is Frailey going to allow patrons to be attacked? Is this what Frailey is calling evil political motives? Mr. Schad and Mr. Frailey will not shut down parents and taxpayers rights. Katy, we have a problem. We have to be very concerned.

Just A Taxpayer says:

September 3, 2008 at 1:06 pm


I would also love to see the entire speech and the context in which you pulled Mr. Schad’s comments.

Steve-O, I don’t think these people will ever understand that an “Open-Ended” contract is NOT the right way of doing busines. This just shows poor management of funds and provides a “gravy train” of money to a company like Xpediant.

This was a poor decision that was made and Katy ISD taxpayers had to foot the bill!

tam says:

September 3, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Mr. Muller, with a little investigative research you too can find the information that jamie mentions regarding Mr. Schad. It doesn’t take an insider to be informed, though with what appears to be your regular contact with Mr. Frailey one might consider you to be an “insider”. There’s this really neat technology thing called the internet and Google and when you search out information, it is amazing what you can find out. There’s no “closely guarded on-line notes”, just a lot of public information out there waiting for your discovery. Happy hunting – I think you will find some exciting stuff, especially how much Mr. Schad thinks our next bond might approach – it’s a shocking number that will make the hair on your neck stand up. Hurry up, start your search.

Yes Katy, we do have a problem and that problem is not Katy and KISD, it is Mr. Muller and his attack doggies. It is time we stand strong in defense of our community and our schools.

People live, work and go to school to this community for a reason, because they like what it has to offer them. It is time for all those happy and excited about living in Katy to stand up for what they believe in show their support for this community and this school district. Those who choose call signs such as “Finally Done with KISD”, “Katy Taxes”, “Just A Taxpayer” show their true attitude (distaste) about this community in which they live. Given how they choose to identify themselves, they will never be happy with this community or the district.

If you’re happy and you know it, then show it! We are all busy in our daily lives and when we’re happy and content we sometimes tend not to get involved for that very same reason. The vocal minority in this community has had too much to say for far too long. Many of us here in Katy have come here relatively recently (10-20 years in the grand scheme of things) and in some cases have left and have come back. Whatever the case may be, most all of us are here for a key reason and that is the schools and a community that shows strong support for its schools. This is not to say there is no room for improvement as there always is, but it is not even close to as bad and broken as many in this group want everyone to believe.

stunning says:

September 4, 2008 at 8:40 am

tam and Jamie,

Your personal attacks on Mr. Muller and “his doggies” are rude. As is attacking people “who choose call signs such as “Finally Done with KISD,” “Katy Taxes,” and “Just A Taxpayer”, to name a few. How they feel and choose to express their personal opinions (“show their true attitude (distate)”) is free speech and that’s protected under the Constitution of the United States. Your a little telling yourself in and of your name. Is your blog name short for your personal name or are you showing support for Texas A & M? People choose their names for various reasons and for you to attack someone whether they use their own name, as brave Mr. A.D. Muller or Mary McGarr does, or using a pseudonym of their choice, tells us quite a bit about yourself. Putting someone down for expressing themselves is so typical of some of the “relatively” new people in Katy. Being ugly and stating things like, “there’s this really neat technology thing called the internet and Google and when you search out information, it’s amazing what you can find” debases statements made from you Jamie.It cheapens your argument and debate, and diatribe. You and he sure do get mad when the “dogs are called out” and a different side is presented from yours, and then you get defensive and go for the easy and cheap shot. It’s obvious that there will always be a pro versus con argument about anything, and in healhy honest dialogue, debate, or discord that’s what the educated would want and expect. We can agree to disagree, period. There’s just absolutely no reason to get really ugly and defensive and downright mean about it. As you stated, “this is not to say there is no room for improvement.” To state that “people live, work and go to school to this community for a reason, because they like what it has to offer them,” is a bit of a misstatement. One of the top reasons why people live out here, or anywhere for that matter, is that it’s affordable and has affordable housing.

A.D. Muller says:

September 4, 2008 at 9:54 am

Thank you for your advice on the internet. We monitored Mr. Schad’s statements on real time the day he attacked us. We will post those comments later. KISD needs to stay out of politics of personal destruction. We would have the same problem with paid government employees on our clock attacking one of your liberal organizations.

Why is it that all you “happy People” refuse to use your real name? You “happy People” seem to hide and slither in shades and shadows. Show your happiness and come out of the woods, come out of the dark, come out of the night. Step into the light. KISD is not really the land of OZ.

Just A Taxpayer says:

September 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Thank you stunning! Very well put!!

E.Scott says:

September 4, 2008 at 4:35 pm


So its ok for A D Muller to insult and make personal attacks on those with a blog handle, but when tam addresses the Watchdogs with a collective name of doggies, you consider that rude?

A D Muller is the worst offender in this regard.

Perhaps stunning you could be his next target.

A.D. Muller says:

September 6, 2008 at 10:56 am


How can one attack an unknown? Blogg handles allow the bullies to go unchecked. I do not like bullies. We encourage public debate and salute those who have the courage to do so. We have asked for town hall meetings for years. We praise those in education whose real motives are to educate. We are suspicious of those who hide under pseudonyms and practice politics of personal destruction. We have a greater concern when Mr. Frailey carry’s water for those who want to limit openness and transparency in government. We have a greater concern when government uses our tax dollars to create enemies list. Did Schad cross this line? Who are those who Frailey calls “evil”? See our Web Site http://www.katycitizens.org

E.Scott says:

September 7, 2008 at 12:38 am

Mr. Muller

Come, come now – you have a history with me and others stretching back several months whereby you insult, make snide comments and insist on juvenile play-on-words of peoples names – irrespective of their signatures. You continue these insults even when asked not to.

You refer to being suspicious of those who practice “politics of personal destruction” yet the manner in which you adress others on these blogs is exactly that.

I have always addressed you correctly and respectfully yet you often resorted to name calling. Thank you for resisting the urge in this exchange so far.

You insist on using the phrase “public debate” as if to insinuate discussions like these are held with one party (those that disagree with the doggies tactics) whipsering from a dark alley, instead of the open forum that the newspaper of the fourth largest city in the country provides.

How much more public can this conversation get? You and I are currently conversing in full view of anyone in the world with a computer and those from anywhere in the world are free to join in.

It is of course necessary to remind you and the others reading these posts that the most significant “public debates” that have been conducted over the past three or so years on this subject has resulted in the Watchdogs platforms and candidates being defeated at every turn.

Lisa says:

September 8, 2008 at 10:28 am

Mr. Muller, I, like many others, don’t use my full name because I don’t feel a need to. I’m not a politician or an activist so I don’t need to take credit for every thought that I have (or don’t have). The last thing I want to do is put my full name out there so the Watchdogs and other groups can look me up in the phonebook and call me. I am John Q. Public. I speak for myself, but I know that many Katy residents and voters agree with me. Unlike your assertions, I am not a Liberal. I am a thinking Conservative. I find it rude of you to assert that anyone who doesn’t agree with you on education is a Liberal. I am Conservative enough to be extremely unhappy with my choices in the upcoming presidential election, although I do believe that Sarah Palin is a step in the right direction.

As a Conservative, I want to choose where my money is spent. I choose to have my money spent on schools, including buildings, teachers, students, technology, recreational facilities, etc. I think the youth of today have enough barriers in this mixed up society and the more we can get them involved in great schools, the better we are. If I could choose, I would choose to have very little of my money spent on welfare, illegal aliens, free healthcare, etc. Unfortunately (or some might say fortunately), I don’t run the world.

Just A Taxpayer says:

September 9, 2008 at 8:43 am


I have to say I agree with you! Thank you for posting. While I know we may have not agreed on many things in this blog, I too want to remain John/Jane Q. Public.

Freedom of Speech…ain’t it GREAT!

tam says:

September 9, 2008 at 10:06 am

A new day has dawned. Just A Taxpayer agrees with Lisa and I agree with what Just A Taxpayer has just written! And who says miracles can’t happen. 🙂

Lisa – Thanks for a great post. I too am a conservative who enjoys choosing where I spend my money and I, like you, have chosen education as one of those things I am willing to spend my money on and I too echo your thoughts of where we do NOT want our money spent. Mr. Muller tries in vain to rally all the conservatives in Katy by branding those who support public education in Katy ISD as liberals. He knows I’m not, I’ve made in clear in many posts, but he continues to play that old broken record as well as the one chastising those supporters of KISD who prefer to remain anonymous as they (we) are not seeking attention as he and his dogs are.

And oh yes, Sara Palin is definitely a step in the right direction. Just to make it clear to Mr. Muller, come November 4th I will cast my vote for John McCain and Sara Palin as I’m sure he will too. Oh wait; two miracles in one post – I and Mr. Muller might actually agree on something as well.

hisbiggestfan says:

September 10, 2008 at 6:36 am

I just have to say that I don’t find Mr. Muller to be rude. I just find him to be as passionate as any other tax payer. Maybe he comes across as gruff but underneath it all is a very caring person. I like him and I don’t care if I agree with everything he says or if he agree with everything I say. Understand, too, he no longer has children in the school system, so one should ask this question, if things about the school system bother him enough to dialogue and ask questions, shouldn’t he be viewed as “just another taxpayer” who is concerned about where his money is spent? Thanks A.D. for bringing your voice and thoughts to the forefront for us to hear and ponder.

E. Scott says:

September 10, 2008 at 10:46 am


Well . . . I dont think anyone on this discussion thread – whether they be Watchdog-minded or KISD support-minded – has any problem in discussing things where opposing viewpoints are aired in a respectful, courteous and polite manner.

Reviews of discussion threads on this Blog will bear out that some (A.D. Muller included) are very open and proud of the intentional disrespect in which they address others who have a differing viewpoint to theirs.

Indeed, I commented several threads ago that perhaps were the Watchdogs less prone to refer to those who did not share their viewpoint as dumb, blind, uneducated or courting personal favors of KISD administrators unknown to them, the Watchdogs may get a larger “buy in” from the community of Watchdog goals and viewpoints.

I also thank A.D. Muller for his thoughts and viewpoints and welcome polite, respectful dialog conducted with decorum.

A.D. Muller says:

September 10, 2008 at 7:39 pm


There you go again. Your misinformation is what the liberal’s feed off of. You say that those who disagree with us, we call “dumb, blind, uneducated or courting personal favors of KISD administrators unknown to them” NOT

We do believe in equal rights, equal justice,…We believe that the strength of our nation lies with the individual and each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored. We believe government must practice fiscal responsibility.

I do have fun with those who hide their blogg handles, get a grip. The “watchdogs” defend those who are intimated by government, and expose government abuses. We stimulate discussions and hope people investigate all sides. We call for openness and transparency. Please beware of those who want to shut down open communications and close records, please raise suspicion when government officials attack private citizens and the press. We expose the elected officials who send out right lies to get re-elected.

We continue to expose the oligarchy of local and state politics. We were first to begin the discussions of the technology issues of KISD. We will continue to side with the taxpayer who pay the bills.

stunning says:

September 11, 2008 at 7:47 am

Thank you, A.D. Very well said.

I and many others appreciate the Watchdogs and citizens like yourself who stand up for people like me who have been abused, intimidated and bullied from KISD. They frighten me and my children with their perceived power and the abuses thereof. I wish more people in this District would stand up and demand that they be respected by KISD.

Instead we have people like Mr. Shad who PUBLICLY STATED in Austin, essentially that citizens who band together in groups to ask questions about THEIR money are to be feared and viewed as a threat to the School District. He should be held accountable for his actions and FIRED. How DARE he use his KISD position to politic and advocate against the citizen taxpayers who pay the bills. And he wasn’t just “warning or threatening” us here in little old KISD, but “advising” others in other school Districts in this State to “beware” of a group called Americans for Prosperity. Perhaps if he HAD been present in the District, DOING THE JOB HE WAS HIRED TO DO AND PAID FOR, and not practicing PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL POLITICS OF DESTRUCTION, the IT Department might not be in the bad shape it is currently in??? One has to wonder if his lack of presence while touring the nation with his “friend and co-worker” Mr. Caskey in an attempt to “sell Xpediant” is not one of the root causes of this situation. A prime example of abuse of power, priviledge and taxpayer money, right there.

Thanks again, A.D Muller, Watchdogs and Americans for Prosperity for ALL YOU DO to help defend the freedoms GUARANTEED to all by the Constitution of the United States of America.

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Author unknown….

God bless all of us today and please remember those innocent citizens who died on 09/11!!!

jamie says:

September 11, 2008 at 9:47 pm


I feel the need to point out again that no one has shown any wrongdoing whatsoever in the relationship between Xpediant and KISD. It is all rumor and innuendo. It is stunning for “stunning” to “wonder if (Mr. Schad’s) lack of presence while touring the nation with his “friend and co-worker” Mr. Caskey in an attempt to “sell Xpediant” is not one of the root causes of this situation.” There is no “situation” that has been brought to light. Xpediant was hired by KISD to do a very important and expensive job, Xpediant did a great job, there was a contractual dispute and KISD terminated the relationship with Xpediant this year.

You can find the Lenny Schad AFP quote that I referenced and much more at this link:


Citizen groups whose main goal appears to be to deny public funding for public schools at any cost should be a concern for all of us who care about our freedom. Thank you Lenny Schad for warning people about this danger.

I believe that people are free to use whatever blog handle they want. I do not care who you are, but I do care that you support your opinions with facts as opposed to spreading misinformation about people who are trying to do their best by the students and taxpayers of KISD. Whenever the Watchdogs chastise those who may not use their real name here, the Watchdogs are only exposing the weakness of their arguments. Please find a better and more relevant argument for dismantling our public school system.

A.D., Do you support using taxes to fund public schools?

sg says:

September 12, 2008 at 7:20 am


In the context of a discussion about a local school board and its policies, I would like to nominate you for a “Get Over Yourself” award for the following comment

“Thanks again, A.D Muller, Watchdogs and Americans for Prosperity for ALL YOU DO to help defend the freedoms GUARANTEED to all by the Constitution of the United States of America”

As a Watchdog himself once commented (paraphrasing) “the world will not come to an end as a result of a KISDF matter”

Get a grip

stunned says:

September 12, 2008 at 11:25 am

So you

admit that you are “intentionally disrespectful” when you address

others who have a differing viewpoint to yours, E.Scott? Do you

honestly think that the Watchdogs care about a “larger “buy in” from

the community?” Wait, I’m not sure I understand you here, in one post

you are stating that A.D. Muller has a “history with me and others

stretching back several months whereby you insult, etc, etc.” In your

latest post, you are “thanking him for his thoughts and viewpoints.” Do

you even know how you really feel about him? Are you sure? One has to

wonder when you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth. Hmmm??

Allow me to suggest this. If you do not like him, then leave him alone.

Quit reading him when he posts and stop allowing what he says to bother

you. If he wasn’t speaking the truth then it wouldn’t bother you so


stunning says:

September 12, 2008 at 11:41 am

Terrific and thank you, sg. I’ll take that award. I suppose you have a ceremony all lined up at the overpriced, underused and running at a deficit Merrell Center? You’ll let me know the day, date and time of the ceremony, won’t you? You are absolutely right, I’ve got a real good “grip” on the 411 and the situation. Always have and always will. It’s my tax money, my childrens education and my freedom of speech. If you don’t like it and don’t want to listen to it, then allow me to suggest this – continue to close your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears, open your mouth and utter the following, “la, la, la, I’m not listening to you, la, la, la.” Now, do you feel better that you belong to a vast majority of the group of sheep that just go along to get along or the group of ostrich’s that just stick their necks in the sand? To you and any others, I may just be the cow with a “big udder” out standing alone in the field, but remember this, I am an OUTSTANDING COW in MY FIELD with a great set of “mammary glands” and I’m certainly not afraid to “chew on my cud for a while” and “spit it out and spray it” when it is not to my liking or taste. Have you even READ or studied the Constitution of the United States of America? Get over, yourself!!!

Lisa says:

September 12, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Stunning (LB), I’m not sure what you are talking about, but my grandmama taught me “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” I’m not sure that your string of animal metaphors or reference to your large chest really gets your point across.

E. Scott says:

September 12, 2008 at 6:14 pm


Huh ? Never did

Please try again without your anger – it may translate better on the screen

sg says:

September 12, 2008 at 6:28 pm


Sorry – only one “get over yerself” award a year – so you kinda wasted everything after “terrific and thank you sg” – as comical and self-inflated as it was.

But seriously I dont have an issue if you have an issue with KISD, and if you want to support A.D. Muller for banging up on KISD on every decision they make – that’s cool.

But tying Mr. Muller’s actions to saving this nation’s freedoms is a bit hero-worship-ish. You’re not related to him by any chance – are you?

stunning2also says:

September 12, 2008 at 9:54 pm


Who is LB? No one cares what your Granny said. Vinegar is one of the best holistic medicines around and does an especially good job of getting rid of flies. Sounds like you are envious of stunning and her chest. Envy and greed are a few of the deadliest sins.

Lisa says:

September 12, 2008 at 11:56 pm


I had to reread your post directed to EScott. I don’t think he/she admitted to any of those things. I’m pretty sure his/her statement thanking A.D. was meant as sarcasm, but I could be wrong. Again, calm down, type what you mean without meaningless metaphors, let others know what you are truly thinking. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you and people might listen.

A.D. Muller says:

September 16, 2008 at 5:02 pm


“A.D., Do you support using taxes to fund public schools?”

Answer: YES