Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer
PBK Architects’ conduct of Conroe Independent School District’s $807 million bond referendum, which failed to win on May 4, 2019, reveals a pattern and practice of corruption which PBK Architects has led but which literally dozens of school districts have followed for two decades since the architecture firm began to include political consulting – and manipulation – services to promote their lucrative architecture business. PBK Architects and its political consulting division, “The Educated Vote,” seek to control and usurp citizen direction of their school districts by creating a false “transparency” which is actually backroom manipulation of policy decision making and false citizen oversight. Please see “Corruption Consumes Conroe ISD, As Voters Dodged PBK Architects’ Political Manipulations; ‘Shallow Larynx’ Emerges,” The Golden Hammer, May 12, 2019 (https://thegoldenhammer.net/corruption-consumes-conroe-isd-as-voters-dodged-pbk-architects-political-manipulations-shallow-larynx-emerges/).
PBK Architects and its political consulting division, “The Educated Vote,” seek to control and usurp citizen direction of their school districts by creating a false “transparency” which is actually backroom manipulation of policy decision making and false citizen oversight.
PBK’s marketing (lying) materials on its website state the purpose of its political consulting company: “The Educated Vote is a specialized division that assists clients in properly achieving process transparency and educating community constituents about the specifics of bond processes and construction objectives.” In the guise of “transparency,” PBK has engendered a corrupt process where school districts’ bureaucrats create a false process, which includes:
- Creating a so-called facilities planning committee of citizens actually chosen to serve on a political action committee to fight for the bond, which the school district’s administration wants, the committee will recommend, the Board of Trustees will blindly approve, for submission to the voters whom PBK’s political consultants will manipulate into voting in favor of the bond.
- PBK and school district bureaucrats choose architects and construction contractors for bond project before the bond even passes and completely bypass any sort of competitive bidding on the construction projects to save taxpayers money.
- After voters approve the bond, PBK’s architects then step in supposedly to design, manage, and inspect construction jobs, when, in fact, PBK is little more than a “super vendor” which has a established a system for school district vendors to control and manage the most lucrative policy decisions the governmental entities make.
- If a school district client wants to create a false impression of citizen “oversight” of bond construction projects as they proceed, PBK will work closely with the school district to select the committee and then control their exercise of “oversight” especially since PBK, more than any other person or entity, is precisely whom a fully-independent citizens committee should oversee.
PBK and school districts who take no action whatsoever to control construction spending have allowed the cost of capital projects to skyrocket largely because PBK and its group of favored contractors have pushed their profit margins as wide as possible resulting from their control of the largest taxing authorities in every locality in Texas.
If the citizens want real property tax reform, then the first way to bring property taxes under control is to defenestrate PBK and embargo that firm and any which have engaged in similar procedures from any government contracts for school districts. Similarly, school districts must bar any government contractor, such as Durotech, Ellisor Contractors, or the like, who have contributed political funds to school bond campaigns, from participating in any of the construction projects for the bond projects in those referendums.
PBK doesn’t create transparency, unless in this Orwellian world “transparency” means opacity and manipulation.
It’s time for the citizens to end this jig. A client list of PBK’s political consulting clients follows: