EDITORS NOTE: This opinion article is about a tiny group of anti-bond leaders. We respect and understand those who are upset with the process by which Legacy Stadium was approved and funded. Covering Katy has always maintained that a second stadium was needed but that it should have been at least $30 million less expensive than its final price tag. Our position has not changed.
The big secret of this year’s Katy ISD bond election is that two key individuals responsible for giving us Legacy Stadium are now using the stadium’s price as a reason you should vote against this year’s bond. Their anti-bond website says “You lost me at $70 million,” but they are the ones who helped stick you with the tab in the first place. (The price was $72 million, but to these folks, $2 million is just a rounding error.)
You could believe that they’ve had a change of heart, or you could look at their history and see what they’re really doing.
First of all, they don’t have their names on their website. It’s always a red flag when people won’t sign their name to their claims. Covering Katy knows who they are, but because they won’t sign their names we’ll just call them “the secret group.”
The secret group’s ‘spokesman’ is the guy who ran a failed, sleazy and publicly repudiated school board re-election campaign last year. Covering Katy refused to take part in his pleas for help in his rotten scheme. Now he apparently wants to use his bitterness to try to get even with a community who cares about its public schools and rejected his vindictive leadership in a failed campaign.
This secret group is not only responsible for passing the stadium bond and sitting quietly by as the price jumped from $58 million to $72 million, but they’re also responsible for getting the majority of the school board elected. They are proud to tell you that they’ve never lost an election!
They clearly feel entitled to control the superintendent and the board because they have come to view themselves as kingmakers, and they apparently can’t stand that a new superintendent and an increasingly effective school board have higher priorities on behalf of the community.
Dr. Lance Hindt’s approach is far different than that of former superintendent Mr. Alton Frailey so the self-proclaimed kingmakers have lost some power. Hindt’s message to the board was that he needs them to be strong, to provide their input, and to use their unique skill sets to make the board effective.
Perhaps the most drastic change in leadership style is that Hindt allows, and even encourages heated debate at the board table. There was no tolerance for such free-thinking under the previous administration.
The board has been thinking for itself, and that does not sit well with the secret group that was important in their elections. Board members have been doing things that are in the best interest of the district, regardless of what the kingmakers think. We finally have a board that’s working in our best interest because they’ve come to understand that’s what the superintendent needs and what the community deserves.
The final straw came when the secret group could not control the results of the 2017 bond committee. They attempted to get the school board to alter what the bond committee had recommended. The school board said no!
So, now these political operators either have to adapt to these new set of circumstances or flex their muscle and teach these free-thinkers a lesson. They’ve chosen the latter. They are opposing this bond in an attempt to prove that nothing happens at Katy ISD without their approval.
That is why this secret group of stadium supporters is attempting to have it both ways.
This bond is not just about overcrowded schools; it’s about who will run the school board for the next decade. It’s also about sending a message to Dr. Hindt that he better get in line too.
Hindt does not have the personality that would allow him to bow-down to such pressure, but if the politics of this community control his board why would he want to stay? He’s unique, honest and he’s got guts. The people he has already stood up to in defense of the school district is mind-blowing, and he’s just getting started.
There is a certain sad and pathetic component that this secret group and its frontman are trying to make this bond issue about reclaiming their ego rather than what’s in the best interests of the families and children and classroom teachers for whom public education is so much more important.
Voters are absolutely justified to feel anger over Legacy Stadium, but there is no denying that a vote against this year’s bond is a vote to empower those who gave us Frailey’s Folly in the first place.