MY LETTER TO THE EDITOR ABOUT THE TACTICS OF THE SUPPORTERS OF THE FALL 2006 BOND REFERENDUM:

 

Below is a letter I sent to the Katy Courier during the second 2006 bond election (the District had lost the first 2006 bond election):

Subject: My letter that was printed in the Katy Courier today

 

I know most of you don't get the Courier, and I wanted you to see the letter that I wrote.

 

Just so you know if you haven't been following this matter, 20 of the 62 Bond Committee members are people who will make lots of money if this bond passes either from being owners of construction companies that build KISD schools, real estate agents, or owners of restaurants that will benefit from all the people that will move here if we keep building new schools before they are needed. Of interest too is the fact that according to the districtís own statistics there are six (6) existing schools with occupancy rates below seventy-five (75%) percent. Only six (6) of our forty-four (44) schools are currently at capacity. Don't I recall that OUR kids were bused around to fill up existing schools before they built US a new school? What happened to that idea?

 

 

Dear Editor:

 

Apparently Katy ISD parents and taxpayers can look forward to hearing daily from the members of the Bond Committee who wish to serve as mouthpieces for the superintendent and the School Board. Vilifying the members of the Watchdog$, rather than addressing honestly the issues of the bond initiative, seems to be the order of their day.

 

I resent very much the comments made by Susan Handley and Anne Marie Barrios about A. D. Muller on the opinion page of the Katy Courier. Mr. Muller is an honorable man and a distinguished member of the Fort Bend and Texas State Republican Party. He serves as a Precinct Chairman, and recruits others to fulfill similar duties within the Party. A. D. plays a leadership role within those organizations working to assure the election of conservative Republican candidates. Mr. Muller is his own man, and he represents his views on our school district by writing letters to the editor and appearing before the school board to question it's activities. That is his right as a citizen.

 

For Susan Handley and Anne Marie Barrios to make fun of him says more about them than it does about Mr. Muller.

 

Everyone seems to be curious about the membership of the Watchdog$....

 

Chris Cottrell and Kevin Tatum are the two dads who founded the organization. Four of us joined with them when we heard about their plans and met to see what they were about. Chris Cottrell and Jon Lange, another member who keeps the KCW web site, graduated from Katy High School. Jon's father was a Katy ISD School Board member.

 

Fred Hink became active in our school district when he was a member of the Katy Zero Tolerance group. He ran for the school board two years ago and lost, and then moved on to spend his time with KZT trying to obtain due process for students through legislation. He met with considerable success in that area in the legislative session last spring. The legislation that he initiated was passed unanimously by both Houses. Such an accomplishment is remarkable. Fred had already ceased his leadership role in KZT before he joined up with the Watchdog$ last summer. For the record, all of us believe that the efforts of KZT were supportive of students and their rights under the Constitution.

 

Our group sought out Tom Law to help us as we heard him speak when parents of Fielder students were alarmed by their school's declining TAKS test scores. He is the kind of citizen and father who stands up for conservative principles.

 

I was a Katy ISD School Board member in the 1990's, a teacher for twelve years, and a mother of two children who graduated from Taylor High School and from Rice University with electrical engineering degrees. I started the first Katy ISD secondary school parent organization (at MPJH) and served as its first president.  I was the first "vice-president" of the Parents of Katy Gifted and Talented Students when that group organized. I served a year on the Katy PTA Council. My husband was the president of the Taylor Athletic Booster Club, and I wrote the by laws for that organization.

 We have volunteered in many capacities in this school district.

 

All of the Watchdog$ had or have children in this school district. We live all over the district. We range in age from 36 to 66. Our common bond is our interest in seeing a strong academic program returned to this school district so that students can exit their high school with the knowledge to become anything for which they find themselves capable.

 

The seven of us constitute the "Watchdog$," but many since our founding have joined with us when they read our opinions and agree with us. We serve them through regular newsletters and by posting our opinions and articles to public web sites.

 

We have tried to inform taxpayers about the issues and have offered solutions to problems that we see. Our efforts emphasize positive change. We believe that most residents in the Katy school district believe pretty much like we do--in sound fiscal responsibility underscoring a quality academic education.

 

I think Katy ISD voters need to stop and think about who is trying to pull a fast one here: six dads and a mom who have been very open about their beliefs and intentions or 62 members of the Bond Committee which include most of the people who are going to make a lot of money if the bond initiative is passed.

 

Doesn't take a genius to figure it out.

Mary McGarr