Sweetwater Athletics Hall of Fame scrutinized

How much spent? Who chose Ed Brand’s name for award?

Most people were expelled from the October 23 Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting. So, public comment allowed prior to specific agenda items was not so public.

To several trustees and apparently superintendent Ed Brand’s surprise — a speaker announced that the district’s L Street property housed a new sports hall of fame with Brand’s name mounted on the wall.

Sweetwater parent Stewart Payne told the trustees at the October meeting that when he went to the Compliance Office on L Street to file some paperwork, he noticed Brand’s name on the wall and beneath it the words “Sweetwater Athletics Hall of Fame.” Payne questioned the board about the naming rights and about any monies that might have been spent.

On October 28 this reporter went to tour the site. As you walk through the Sweetwater Compliance Office doors on L Street and look to your right, you see a long wall with signage that says in lower case “dr. edward m. brand.” Beneath the superintendent’s name are the words “SWEETWATER ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME.”

Down the long corridor, there are rooms with sliding doors and sports equipment mounted on the wall outside rooms. Inside the rooms, memorabilia from various Sweetwater schools is displayed.

As the board of trustees did not authorize this use of district land, the hall of fame, or the Ed Brand signage — where did it come from?

An October interview with Sweetwater’s chief compliance officer/athletics coordinator, Bill McLaughlin, shed some light on the purpose, albeit not the origins of the project. McLaughlin said the signage had been put up within the past month and explained, “This is a work in progress.”

McLaughlin stressed that the building itself was not named after Brand, rather an award has been created in his name and will be given to individual athletes, teams, or people who support athletics.

He said an independent committee of newspaper and sports writers will select the award recipient or recipients. “We haven’t quite determined what our procedure is because we’re in the process; our hope is to induct our first class this school year.”

Regarding any monies spent, McLaughlin said, “I want to make it perfectly clear there hasn’t been, that I know of, from public funds or district monies, a thousand dollars spent on this building. I would be surprised that the dollar amount is in the hundreds at most because most of what you see here is sweat equity by volunteers and that there is no intention of having this becoming a funded item for the district.”

When asked if the hall of fame would pay the district rent, McLaughlin said, “No.”

However, the previous tenant, the district’s Compact for Success, did pay rent from district funds. Board documents show that the building was remodeled using $300,000 from district capital funds in 2008.

Board documents from 2007 show the district approved a renewal lease for post-secondary initiatives, including Compact for Success, to the tune of $65,548.

Asked about the origin of the idea, McLaughlin answered: “The genesis of the idea is that the Metro Conference is in its 80th year of participation in the CIF, and we have had a long and storied history with some great athletes that have come through this program and we just thought it was time to tell that story.”

When asked who “we” is, Mclaughlin said, “Ideas come from many, many places; it’s an idea that’s been talked about by many people. Generally, in the world of sports you want to recognize people for their achievements.”

When asked if there was a committee or a way for the public to have had input, McLaughlin stated, “You want a name, you want five names, you [this reporter] want to go out and harass five other people. It’s not that process and I don’t know if you can get your head around that. It’s a process of talking to coaches, athletic departments. 'We' is that collective spirit of the Sweetwater Union High School District that want to do good things for kids. You’re [this reporter] not going to be able to isolate one or two people and harass them into saying we’re doing bad things.”

The ambiguity of who authorized the project (as well as who decided the award would be named for the superintendent) is further complicated by an email exchange between Brand and Sweetwater parent Bernardo Vasquez.

Vasquez wrote an email to Brand and Sweetwater trustees expressing his dismay about the district’s recent purchase of property for new district headquarters. (L Street, where the hall of fame is located, was also purchased for district headquarters.)

In his reply to Vasquez, Brand wrote: “Regarding the Metro Hall of fame. Bill McLaughlin set it up. He did it volunteering his time, cleaning vacuuming etc. Bill has spent $5,000 of his own money because he believes in student and staff recognition. The building is not named after me — the award is. I was unaware of this until Mr. Payne brought it up and I asked Bill about it, The naming of the award was his and some coaches ideas and does not fall under naming rights as a policy in our district. Bill explained this to Mr. Payne.

“Regarding the cost — It was a vacant building before Bill’s arrival — It was previously used by compact for success offices and was abandoned when the district downsized several years ago — No monies were used to build any of the offices. Bill indicates $500 has been spent on the space since his arrival. This was all explained by Bill when Mr. Payne came by (Please check for yourself). Sadly, Mr. Payne choose [sic] to make up facts and figures and spew the poison he is known for.”

Contacted for a comment on November 4, Payne said, “I am supportive of a hall of fame. In fact, my daughter is in it. But there are issues that should have been considered. What funds were spent? The district just spent a million dollars toward entitlements for the L Street property so they can sell it. Why put the hall of fame on property you’re trying to sell? And where was the community input? And when it comes to naming the award, there are more fitting coaches and athletes that should have been considered.”

Comments

So he bought a building to put his name up - go figure - egomaniacal doesn't begin to explain this. Everything else can wait while Ed thinks he can paint his legacy. Fool.

And lying about where money comes from - he didn't pay - taxpayers did - but any time they want documentation they are poison??? He must be exposed for who he really is and have that name taken down because of it.

Oh my....what a miracle! A 'work in progress' that has no champion (pun intended) and apparently sprang out of nowhere! What a 'seat of the pants' project, that is quite typical of the District's way of doing business.

To whom does McLaughlin report? He seems to be annoyed with answering questions about such a wonderful project, one that that magically embodies the 'collective spirit of the SUHSD' and has no genesis It just "is".

One wonders why the District's PR/Media person wasn't on hand to help him with the courtesies and decorum of dealing with the media! He has a lot to learn, and the first lesson is to be patient with reporter's questions, and not to get bent out of shape if you don't like the questions.

If one penny of the District's (Taypayer) funds are involved (did he craft the signage and the letters that appear on the wall in his own woodshop on his own time?) there should be a report of the money that has been spent and wasted on a project in a building that is scheduled to be sold. Do not count those expenditures toward 'upgrades' to make the building more marketable...who wants to buy a building with Ed Brand's name on the wall?

Memo to McLaughlin: Just because a legitimate reporter asks questions about your pet project, does not mean anyone is not for Sweetwater spirit or doing good things for kids -- and don't try to imply otherwise. Rather, it's all about authorization and process, and transparency..... 'seat of the pants' management does not put you, or anyone else, in a good light. You come off as a tad too defensive, and without any of your ducks in any sort of row.

Whatever happened to the SUHSD Hall of Fame that was started a decade or so ago? There were two or three years where the district held a big banquet to honor graduates from many disciplines but now it seems to have been forgotten.

In 2005 Gordon Siu, a much-acclaimed high school journalist, reported on another Sweetwater Hall of Fame. Here is a link from Siu's website:

http://www.gordonsiu.org/articles/Leo_Laurence_article.pdf

Who does this Mr. McLaughlin think he is? Doesn't he realize he works for me/us, the public? When a reporter asks a question, the public is asking the question. Evidently, to him, being asked logical, legitimate questions is a form of harassment. Well, to me, that means that he either has something to hide, or he simply has no business representing a public school district in any capacity, let alone as their chief compliance officer.

This is another example of the mismanagement, lies, deceit and outright fraud being perpetuated by Ed Brand. His inconsistencies in his email to me about whether $500 or $5000 were spent is an example of his deceit. A knowledgeable member of our community with extensive construction background saw the hall and thought each door alone cost approximately $1000. Bill McGloughlin is an active participant in this deceit as was evidenced by his responses to Susan's questions.

I find it hard to believe that a superintendent that hires a private investigator to bully community members, calls the bosses of community members, asks employees to log into the district website from their personal computers so he can monitor their usage, and who bully's and tries to intimidate teachers, had no idea of this hall of fame. Ed Brand has no credibility with all of the past lies he has told and the embarrassments he has caused the district.

I doubt that any coaches, teachers or community members would want his name associated with any sort of athletic hall of fame. What has he done for district athletics, other than try to create a separate sports section as he does not believe we can compete, increase bus charges to schools for extra curricular activities, and embarrass the district with his actions.

I would say a more deserving person to name the hall after would be someone like Gail Devers - a respected, accomplished graduate of our district who has achieved incredible things, not a buffoon like Ed Brand!!

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/nov/04/55765/

I do like the idea of young scholars or athletes being honored. But would they be honored by a Gandara award? Or maybe this sports thing has to do with Burt Grossman?

Really -- let's honor the students not bury them in district turmoil.

Thank You Mr. Mc Laughlin for going on record to prove the pure absurdity of Ed Brand and yourself.

Mc Laughlin who touts all of this concern for SUHSD athletes, he, the same man who led the fight to keep the girls Eastlake Girls Basketball Team from competing in the CIF finals. The PI firm he used, the same one Ed Brand is now using at the cost of close to 200k. How exactly is that money being spent? Yes, Mc Laughlin and Ed Brand go way back, way, way, way back.

What is going to happen to the letters 'dr. edward m. brand' when Brand is let go? Are they going to be auctioned off at a surplus sale - well we know there will be THE one bidder, good old Ed will be there himself - most likely he will store them away in a box somewhere at home, pull them out every now and then to stroke and remind himself of how important HE THOUGHT HE WAS TO THE SOUTH BAY COMMUNITY.

"THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS", based on whose authorization? Surely not the Board - at last months board meeting it was clear that Quinones and Lopez were not aware of this Hall, McCann - blank stare, Cartmill/Ricasa - normal poker faces, and then there was Brand sitting there with his red infuriated face looking like he was going to pop a blood vessel - 'how dare they question MY authority my legacy'?

We remember the old Hall of Fame venture as reported by Gordon Siu - a money grab in my opinion.

It is quite interesting Mc Laughlin directly contradicts what Brand stated in his letter to Mr. Vasquez - according to Brand Mc Laughlin paid $500 out of Mc Laughlins own pocket. Perhaps, next time, they might to meet and get their stories straight. Brand never mentioned any volunteers, could it be that they were invisible to the naked eye?

Just who are the "we" Mc Laughlin refers to? Might it be Mc Laughlin, Hassey, the friend of Brands who denies being a friend of Brands, and Brand himself - any bets?

Harass the unnamed 'community' members? IF this was a community project where is the notification to the public? I rest my case.

Regarding Mc Laughlin toiling away with a vacuum cleaner - Mc Laughlin would be hard pressed to explain the difference between a Swiffer wet and a Swiffer dry.

I too am supportive of HALLS OF FAME - I am just wondering why Mc Laughlin and Brand believe that only athletes are deserving - what about the academic students that have an inspiring story and achieved great feats? I believe such HALLS belong IN THE HOME SCHOOL for students to see and be inspired, not at L street, the property whose paper we do not own, and the property that is being looked at to sell. But what the hey, IT IS ONLY OUR MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm changing my vote on the identity of the famous "TimTim" to Mr. Mc Laughlin.

anniej, has anyone at the district ever explained why it is that we who paid for L street are not able to know who owns L street? Could it be because oh, maybe Ed Brand owns L street...? Just another little bonus, perhaps? Isn't Arlie Ricasa's husband in real estate? Is he arranging all these deals? How do we find out who is making all the commissions on these things? And isn't there a licensing board for realtors---because none of this has ever sounded on the up-and-up to me. But then, what do I know, I just pay taxes. And pay more every year.

One more thing--interesting how they used only lower case letters for this...makes me wonder if they were thinking about repurposing the letters all along. Perhaps we should work out some anagrams!

Ms. Luzzaro: Would it possible for you to clarify a concern that some in the community have. Does The READER release IP addresses of those who comment? Would they, and if so, under what circumstances?

La Lucha: Mr. Siu is an inspiration to both old and young. I have shared his story and the difference he made with more students than I can even count, and will continue to do so.

Thank You for reminding us!!!!

Fast Eddy must be very proud of the Sweetwater Hall of Fame, it is just the sort of thing to make a building look good.

Because of course you want to sink money in a building you are interested in selling--I guess this is Fast Eddy's version of staging, with a healthy helping of self-aggrandizement thrown in for good measure.

I hope the public is properly outraged by this, as this is the sort of throw-away project that wastes time, money and human effort when Sweetwater has many real problems to deal with.

Let us think about this: Ed Brand is publicly labeled a bully. He runs a school district, bullying his way through. It is very sad to bring this up, but a young man, a student at one of the Sweetwater high schools, recently committed suicide. Some reports indicate that bullying played into this situation.

How believable is it when Sweetwater says that the district is against bullying.

Of course, it is not at all believable.

Going back a week or so, a bomb scare was called in to Sweetwater High School, and a nearby elementary school in National City. The only information I could find was a short article stating that the Sweetwater students were locked in for 6 hours while a search was done...and comments from some parents were that this made absolutely no sense. Why would you lock in all the students if a bomb might be found on the premises? Wouldn't it make more sense to evacuate? Shouldn't there be actual procedures in place for handling this type of situation?

So can anyone tell me why Ed Brand, who is supposedly in charge of Sweetwater School district, should be in charge?

I am beginning to think that Fast Eddy is trying hard to prove his incompetence so that he can leave his position and still get paid his outrageous salary...because you know that the majority board will give everything away anyway.

Unless we manage to obtain an injunction and call a halt to the insanity that is Sweetwater.

Let us think about how much damage Fast Eddy and the triumvirate of bad judgment can still do. I am sure they could find more property to buy somewhere...nothing seems to have stopped them yet. Really, what haven't they come up with. The list of insanity is insanely long. The Sweetwater Pawn Shoppe, where students can turn in their iPADS, there's something Eddy hasn't thought of, has he?...we've already had the food service scandal. The missing Mello-Roos funds of $50 million or so. Property purchased by the district that mysteriously is no longer owned by the district...and the public can't find out what happened?

How can this be?

We do live in a democracy, and a democracy is predicated on a few things, among them that we the people have a voice.

(Continued)

I think they should have open the Sweetwater Hall of Shame and use the letters to name it dr edward m brand.

We need to raise that voice, we need to shout out and make sure we are heard!

We need to stop Fast Eddy and his manufacturing plant of fraud, waste and abuse--which has almost removed education from this school district, replacing it with ridiculous schemes.

If we leave Fast Eddy and the three stooges in place any longer, there will be nothing left except the red ink on the bottom line.

A pox on Ed Brand and all who assist him in his wrong-doing. These miserable excuses for human beings should not be sitting in authority over anyone or anything. They long ago sold out the students of Sweetwater, as well as any integrity they may have had.

McLaughlin isn't he the attorney that was hired as a consultant and then became a permanent employee with no notice to anyone including the board. Brand's good friend.I thought he was retired. It appears someone needs to contact STRS or PERS to see if we have another problem. Funny business exposed again by the Reader. The constant lies exposed after numerous questions that could have been answered up front. This will also not be addressed by a board that has not learned from there mistakes. I hope the judge is reading the numerous articles so she can sentence these remiss board members appropriately.

anniej

I just asked your question about IP addresses and this is the answer I got:

We would never release an i.p. address unless requested by the FBI or some other law agency--which has never happened.

McLaughlin used to be an AP at one of the high schools. I think he may have ran the ASB. Then he moved on to being director of food services. He left the district to work for San Diego CIF section. He left that job to be an consultant for SUHSD and now I think is in charge of athletics. I do not think he ever retired. Not sure.

Ms. Luzzaro - thank you, there was a concern raised by employees, teachers and Administrators.

Mc Laughlin's checkered past and present inability to even converse politely and professionally with the reporter (or a member of the public) do not seem to comprise a skill set necessary for any administrator to succeed. It appears that Ed has housed his buddy and fellow bully McLaughlin as a caretaker of an empty building and left him alone to make work up as he goes.....Viola...the Sweetwater Athletic Hall of Fame springs out of nowhere from an employee who was never officially hired by the District.

Eastlaker is correct: Our not so trustworthy 'trustees' and their CEO Fast Eddy Brand have sold out, sold the students down the river, and left the parents, taxpayers, and community holding the bag.

Yesterday, I was contacted by Champion Research and asked about some issues in Chula Vista and about name recognition of several possible candidates for City or other positions. I answered that I felt the biggest issue in Chula Vista and the South Bay Area in General was the out of control Sweetwater Union High School District, which goes without saying in this forum.

When asked about name recognition a couple of names came up, John McCann and Bert Grossman along with Elizabeth Cox and a couple of sitting Council People. I gave a complete description of my distain for John McCann and Mr. Grossman as being inept, self-serving, self-aggrandizing Neo-politicians. As for others that have been mentioned anyone that has the name of Cox would be low on my personal choices list, sorry Elizabeth but career politicians or their relatives need not apply.

As for everyone else on the list your name recognition now goes in my mind as related to McCann and Grossman, weather you are or not. If the sponsoring organization of this survey is anti-McCann or Grossman, putting your candidate in the same category as McCann and Grossman is not a good strategy.

Ladies and Gentlemen running for political office, it’s time you stand out, state what you believe in and be honest with regards to the corruption rampant in our region.

Being a Friend of Ed Brand, is not a good thing!

By the way I would categorize myself as a moderate conservative, put that in your book republicans…

BBQ

BullyEd has been getting away free hiring his friends or friends wives since his first run as untouchable douchebag - I saved that U-T article and did show a judge in my case - was it Hassey's wife, somebody. His actions were suspect back then before "leaving" or dodging off to San Marcos for a bit.

bbq,

That sounds like an interesting survey by Champion Research. Did they say who was paying them to do it? You're the first one I've heard that's gotten the survey, but we are inching into campaign season.

I had heard a rumor a month ago that one of the Cox's daughters, and I couldn't remember if it was the one that works for SANDAG or the one who works with the Olympic Training Center, but one of them was going to run for city council. When you say several possible candidates for city or other positions--so this was just for the city of Chula Vista, not the Sweetwater district?

Just want to add: if Tri-City can get rid of Larry Anderson, anything can happen...but of course that happened because one of the attorneys filed suit for bullying and more, and so the whole mess was exposed.

Gives one hope, doesn't it?

bbq - regarding McCann, I still remember those who believed he would 'clean up' and bring fiscal responsibility back to SUHSD - he FAILED on both issues. Let us remember it was he who brought Brand back, with Cartmill and Ricasa's help no doubt. It is my opinion that McCann failed when he was a City Councilman, so why on earth would they want him back in ANY position of authority in C.V. Remember, it was McCann who made the promise NOT to take contractors campaign contributions. I will save you the time of looking, HE DID.

Regarding Grossman, again, my opinion, but he defined himself in the book he authored. His words say it all - a multi national community that is inhabited by, amongst other things women, would NOT be served well by a man with Mr. Grossman's documented beliefs. There is an old saying 'open mouth, insert foot' - in his case - he inserted his whole leg. Any party even considering him as a candidate had better read his book.

Regarding Ms. Cox, I will have to do my research. I have heard good things about her. I have found the Mrs. to be quite impressive and the Mr. Is to be heralded for his efforts on amongst other things, the Otay River Valley trails. In an effort to be transparent, my home does overlook these trails and I have seen the benefit it has brought all surrounding communities - families, daily walking and biking - building memories that will last a lifetime.

anniej, Thanks for your info on the Cox Family, however good or bad, they have not stood up and spoken out about the SUHSD issues, nor have many people "In powerful" political positions, and until they do I will have to paint them with the same brush as the accused felons on the board of trustees.

As you said many times about at least a couple of people "if your riding on the run-away bus and not doing anything to stop it you are a part of the problem"

I again plead to the "Real" leaders of our community to get involved with the issue of our children's education, you cannot have a solid community that is divided by a failed High School System and a government of takers.

Our current situation seems to be made up of Politicians that seem to think they are smarter than their constituants and of course they know what's best for us (New Adminstration Buildings, Open Borders and questionable alliances with "For Profit" ie expensive Universities)

As for who is sponsoring the Survey, they would not tell me, but the summation of the overall survey was "Name Recognition" not anything to do with "Issue Recognition", I think that in and of itself sums up the Political Situation in the South Bay Region.

I for one would like a clear view of where our candidates stand on the local, state and national issues so I can make an educated choice, not what "Name" I recognize. This whole dumbing down of the political/election process in the region is discouraging and to be frank demeaning to the people of the District, City and Region.

Best to you, BBQ

bbq - your posts are always interesting, leaving the reader with much to think about.

On the issue of us being left out here flailing in the wind - there is no denying that fact. I have personally called and written emails to so called leaders. I will share that I had reached out to David Alvarez, my City Council person when Brand attempted to change the time of the Board meeting to much earlier in the day. Imagine my surprise when, in the mail, I received a copy of a letter Mr. Alvarez had sent to Mr. Brand. The only other public figure of any status would be Ms. Donna Frye who valiantly stood before the Board and tutored them on a Brown Act issue, respectfully submitted of course - oh what a moment that was!

I add my voice to your plea, but alas I doubt if we will see much. The trials and the ballot box are our only options as I see it. I am gearing up, taking my vitamins, preparing to do what the candidateS of my choice need me to do - three seat, three choices - I know who mine will be at this point - just hope that nothing changes and they still step forward to run. The last election had the vote split - we need to prepare this time and ALL join forces.

The current situation, we the voters, allowed. I will state publicly that I fell asleep at the wheel, believed candidates I had voted for, like Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa, for so many years were honorable and would represent our students best interests while protecting my purse. Little did I realize they were using their seats for personal gain. Live and learn right. For the record I did NOT blacken in the dot of John McCann, I had researched him and found him to be a little, no ALOT full of himself and far to melodramatic - boy did I call that one right!

Tom Calhoun and Ed brand are going around town and Las Vegas telling man that the District is going to push a new Bind issue, Am I in the twilight zone? NO THEY ARE!!!!!!

Broken political system, you betcha!

Anniej, could not agree more. The judicial and election systems will create a unique opportunity to make sweeping and bold changes. Who will stand that can meet the challenges? Anniej, many of us want to know the names of the people you think can lead us out of this mess. It is time !

Whatever happened to candidates for office that carried themselves proudly. Love of God, family and country? When are we going to get back to what our mothers and fathers taught us your word is your bond?

Bbq, thanks for reminding us that most of our elected officials have failed to take a public position FOR our students and against the current superintendent and board. I have not heard of any CV Council members or the Mayor either publicly or privately doing anything. Same with elected officals in the other cities that SUHSD serves. The County Board of Education refuses to provide any form of oversight. The only public committees or groups that have taken a position against the superintendent and board are the SUHSD Bond Oversight Committee and the National City Planning Commission.

I personally attended a community meeting held by State Senator Ben Hueso and asked if he would at least ask the State Board of Ed to investigate, and he said no.

I have personally spoken to State Assemblymember Shirley Weber twice about the fiasco that is our district. I know she sent a staffer to one board meeting, but has done nothing more.

Lorena Gonzalez has supported term limits for Trustees, and has sent staffers to the board meetings. One was kicked out with the rest of us at Octobers meeting. I have faith that her office will take a public position aoon as she is very outspoken about wrongs done in her district.

Folks, we are on our own to make change in our district! We cant rely on our elected representatives or the courts. We need to identify and recruit new leaders, and support and elect them as Trustees. Then district leadership can be cleaned out.

For those of you who think that maybe, just maybe, Lorena will come out on the right side of this controversy, keep hoping. Personally, my take is that she will be silent, or will go to the dark side and support the crooks. Let's see how this plays out.

Thanks for the support,

I have had conversations with Dr. Brand, Dr. Alt, attempted conversations with Mr. McCann, sent E-mails to Lyn Neylon at the County Board of Education, attended numerous School Board meetings and other School meetings. Sat as a community rep on a Budget review board a couple of years ago with Ms Russo (Waste of time).

Thinking that I am getting somewhere it all falls down to no one seems to care about the problem. People like Ms. Neylon who is supposed to be our representative and the go to person doe not return an e-mail.

I realize it's not that good to lump all of the existing Pols together but with no information or actions to separate them, they must all be in on the great Dr. Brand's Educational Experiment and fleecing of the Public.

So again I ask where/who is the grassroots group which is needed to clean up the South San Diego Region's government entities. I am willing to interact with any of the Groups, Candidates and existing Politicians to define their vision.

It's time to find the right people to move forward and clean up our region. BBQ

It is very disappointing that Ms. Leylon has not responded to your emails.

Has anyone been able to speak with her?

If she is supposed to represent this part of the county, one would think she would at the very least pretend to have a glancing interest in what her constituents have to say.

Makes me think that everyone is acting like the unprepared student in class: head down, not making eye contact, hoping they won't be called on.

However, IT IS THEIR JOB TO BE CALLED ON!

So I guess, sad to say, we have one more nauseatingly deficient educational "representative" in south San Diego county.

Exactly what we do not need.

Sorry, got her name wrong, Ms. Neylon, that is.

My take is that the county board is just wishing all this will go away. Oh, they know that they have some duty to provide oversight, but since the board hasn't had to do anything like that in decades, or ever, they have no idea of what to do, how to do it, or how to pay for it. There's still the matter of just how much authority the SDCOE has over any school district and its elected board. For the county to attempt to step in would provoke a rash of lawsuits that could take a decade to sort out. The best and cleanest resolution is to stop electing these crooks and clowns.

BBQ - the 'sponsor' of the telephone survey that contacted you is likely one or more potential candidate for office. It sounds like a typical 'name recognition' survey that is one tool potential candidates use to gauge their approaches and test the waters. It might also be conducted at the behest of a political party (this one sounds like it is Republican sponsored, given that the names of no Democratic types were included). If the pollster refused to tell you the name of the sponsor, that is a clue that it is not being conducted by any apolitical group...clearly it is someone or a group with money to invest in the upcoming processes. I tried to find 'Champion Research' on the internet to no avail, but my guess is that they are not conducting the telephone polling out of the goodness of their hearts.

I agree that it will be up to the stakeholders (citizens, parents, and grass roots entities) to take back the District. Perhaps there should be a planning group of those who have been active in the protests who would develop some criteria to use to evaluate candidates, and to recommend a slate of candidates for endorsement and possible support when the time is right. It is apparent that no one in elected office is willing to risk the wrath of other elected officials by taking up the charge to clean out the SUHSD rats' nest.

By the way, I did check out the process to fill a majority of seats/multiple vacancies on the school board (should the trials result in a majority of vacancies at once.) In a document published by the California School Boards Association, state Education Code section 5094 is cited: it would be up to the president of the County Board of Education who 'may appoint MEMBERS OF THE CBOE TO THE DISTRICT BOARD UNTIL NEW MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNING BOARD ARE ELECTED OR APPOINTED. However, there is no guarantee that the CBOE would act at all, given their inertia so far.

There is also some interesting language regarding removal from office (section 3072).

7 FIRE ALARM WATCHES!!!!!!

At a BOC meeting today Tom Calhoun referenced Fire WatcheS - when asked how many Fire Watches SUHSD currently had his reply "7"!!!!!!!!!!!!

Folks, until Channel 10 aired their first story we, the community did not know we had a serious problem. Tom Calhoun accused Channel 10 of 'yellow journalism' and told the BOC last month that the schools fire alarms were in working order and no students were in harms way (I have paraphrased here). The District went so far as to put up a narrative on its site putting the communities worries aside.

A couple weeks later the second Channel 10 story aired - National City's Fire Marshall had mandated a fire watch. But I thought all of the fire alarms were in working order?

Now, we hear there are 7 Fire Watches.

Allow me to cut to the chase - IF everything is in working order then WHY do we have 7 Fire Watches???????

These are your children, your grandchildren we are talking about. It is obvious the District can not be trusted to tell us the truth.

While some will say, 'lets move forward, we believe Tom Calhoun' - I am not one of the 'some'. When I am told that the alarms are working and then learn that 7 schools have FIRE WATCHES - well, let me ask you what would you call that? The Fire Marshall obviously does not agree with SUHSD's assessment that the fire alarms are working, so why should we?

Allow me to interject that I do not want the standard District double talk about compliance vs. working. I know the difference.

jibaro - my Grandmother Annie, use to tell me "never discuss politics or religion". However, with all due respect I believe she would want me to voice my opinion - recognizing we all know what they say about opinions, ha ha

Candidates:

Karen Janney - I have known Ms. Janney since her principle days. I was experiencing an issue with one of the children I raised - a simple call she stepped in. She left my community school and went to the District office. She made a difference, she gained the respect of many there. She was sent packing by 'the gandara'. Ms. Janney knows education - she is highly educated on issues of Public Education - balancing a financial ledger, in the classroom, in the Counselors office, in Administration, and I would be willing to bet even behind the steering wheel of a bus. She knows the importance of extra curricular activities. She sees each students as an individual and will do WHATEVER it takes to help students succeed. She is a tough negotiator. She is fair, she is approachable. She has integrity and SHE CAN NOT BE BOUGHT. She represents all demographics fairly and is dearly loved.

George Cameron - I do not know Mr. Cameron. I have met him but once, at a Board meeting. I have however done my research. He has experience as he led the National School District, and to this day is remembered fondly by all. He knows what it takes to run a District - he understands the various funds, he understands student/teacher ratios. He is NOT a bully and believes in working together to find solutions. He leads by example. He has integrity and CAN NOT BE BOUGHT!

Kevin O'Neill - I have come to know Mr. O'Neill during his service as a Bond Oversight Committee member. He is a staunch believer in Vocational Training and ROP. When it comes to spending the communities tax dollars he is vigilant. He expects those who spend our money to do so as if it were coming out of their wallets. He is intelligent and has his own mind. He and I have not always agreed, but is a person that I respect. He is a self made man and wants the best for the next generation. HE CAN NOT BE BOUGHT!!!!

Jaime Mercado - While I have been told he will not run, I wanted to add this name to the list. It is a matter or record (read the Grand Jury transcripts) that this man is a man who CAN NOT BE BOUGHT!!!! When he was on the Board and I began to get involved he was the ONLY BOARD MEMBER WHO WOULD SPEAK TO ME. If one were to research him on Board Docs it is easy to see why he and Brand were as different as night and day. This man cared/cares!!!!!

I intend on supporting Janney, Cameron and O'Neill

I would encourage ALL to do their homework on candidates. Next year is our time - it is up to us to bring about the much needed change in 2014. While Brand is at the top of the list that MUST GO, there are others as well. One thing, we have long memories and we remember each and every time a disservice was done or we were fibbed to. We must all decide on the candidates we will support - but not just support - we must demand and insure that each and every one of them thoroughly understand what we expect as Board Members who SERVE with integrity, not USE - at the end of the day we are entrusting to them our most valuable gift -

THE FUTURE LEADERS OF THIS GREAT NATION

Annie I know of O'Neill and I agree. He is a smart business man who is known to be trustworthy.

bbq talks about a grassroots group - that's us! A friend and I had an idea: We may all have been contacting various representatives individually, but I suggest that we contact all the representatives together in the same week and let them know we are vocal and we vote.
If I get 20 "likes", I'll post the names, phone numbers, emails, twitter and Facebook accounts of our local reps. (Cheryl Cox, Ron Morrison, David Alvarez, Bonnie Dumanis, Tony Atkins, Lorena Gonzalez, Sherly Weber, Ben Hueso, Randolph Ward, Lyn Neylon, and anyone else you can think of) You could also forward your emails and have your spouse/partner/friends email the representatives or post your "open letter" on their Facebook page.
By clicking the thumbs up icon you pledge to make at least 5 contacts in one week. Are you in?

Is this the same Bill McLaughlin or William McLaughlin who was an English teacher at Bonita Vista High School in the 1980's?

bvagency - No, Grossman is not a person I could endorse for any political position.

I am a woman and per Grossman he is of the mind to recommend having a dog as a companion vs. a wife - you see according to Grossman a dog is preferable as you 'can take the dog to the pound when you tire of it and don't have to split your assets'. While not an absolute quote, pretty darn close.

Minorities, his opinions on that subject, quite troubling as well.

Friend of Brands - not according to him, yet for same strange reason it was alleged that Brand told a BOC candidate he would like to find Grossman a position in the District. What they hey, join the Brand 'consultant' club - just a bunch of good old boys, sitting around doing what they do - spend our money (there are a couple of Brands consultants who actually are GOOD at what they do)

Don't forget another inconsistency in Grossman's statement that he is no friend of Brand - he is Brand's choice on the recent committee established to review district properties and what to do with them. Great choice, considering Grossman is a real estate expert! Of course Brand chose him for his expertise and not because of a friendly relationship they might have!

bvagency - Ah yes the new committee - well, at least we have Kevin O'Neill on that committee. I trust him - he will bring expertise to the conversation and look out for the best interests of property owners paying the taxes that run the District engine. Grossman, well I guess if the meetings are on Mondays he can do some Monday Night quarterbacking on Sundays games. No doubt he will have his marching orders from Brand scribbled down in his notebook as a reference, and with the invention of text messaging he can be in constant communication - "Hey, Ed - O'Neill is recommending -------, what should I say?". Grossman belongs on that committee like I belong on that committee, even though my knowledge of real estate most likely supersedes his.

Then Ed was there teaching too Cheridan, I believe.

Now with McLaughlin, Grossman and Brand, we have a trio of former jocks calling the plays...or so they think! One wonders if they hold their strategy sessions in McLaughlin's '19th Hole' offices. (See sign in photo)

Why in Hell's name does Ed get to set-up any oversite, decision making committee? That's like the fox overseeing/setting up the the henhouse's security committee...

Our district is sooooo... disfunctional and based on "good ol'boys (ol' gals?), and YES men, I really would like to know what Ed puts in the Kool-aid over there. The only other possibility is everyone is so punch-drunk from the insane decisions that they've forgotten how to say NO.

My theory is called "Chaos Management" meaning: The leader (Ed Brand) keeps everything at the district in such disarray and so confused ie in "Chaos", everyone and everything is disfunctional and nobody can identify that the Leader (Ed Brand) does not know what he's doing.

Again the Board of Trustees not holding the reigns very tight and their continued drinking of the Ed Kool-aid! (appologies to the makers of a fine product for the use of their trademark). BBQ

He knows what he's after - where's the millions nobody can Brown Act out to the open?

In re: next Monday's agenda --- contracts totaling $247,000 MORE to be awarded to South Bay Community Services? The total is divided into 7 individual contracts ranging from $11,000 - $90,000. No indication what services SBSC is to provide for these princely sums.

Looks like various tutoring programs and after-school activities at various schools.

There are various amounts approved back in June, where the documents show an amount and the services starting June 2013 ending at end of school year 2014. Now, more amounts being added without stating why they are being added. More details of reasons for the added costs, such as more students taking advantage of services, would be greatly appreciated.

How do you get chairs and places that allow involvement to sit till it's your turn to speak? Can you invite Donna to witness the discrimination? It is blatant. What news station films without bias? Susan - can you call on someone to film?

At my school site South Bay Community Services provides individual and group counseling services which are well-used and in my opinion, essential for the students who are receiving them. That said, it should be clearly stated what the $ is for in the board docs!

Whether or not SBCS does good work or not, are these contracts up for bid? I am getting a suspicion that the organization enjoys a peculiarly cozy relationship with the Board and Brand. Is this a way to finance friends who have found places in that organization?

I agree with Wabbitsd. A total of $247,000 this agenda alone....a quarter of a million dollars in addition to the sums previously contracted with SBCS. Check their tax filings that are posted on their own website...the CEO and Assistant each make sky high salaries, at or near $200,000. Former Mayor Shirley Horton came in about $122,000 alone. You bet it is a cozy situation between Fast Eddy, the Board, and the SBCS board of directors. Don't forget, SBSC also receives money from the Cities of Chula Vista and National City as part of the community development block grant process. In addition, I am guessing that the SUHSD and the cities also each purchase sponsorships that include one or more tables at the annual 'Change their Lives' gala where the so-called trustees attend and rub elbows at no personal cost.

I think it is time for Fast Eddy and the district to provide an annual chart of the contracts with SBSC, the total cost and scope and purpose of each. Additionally, how are the services evaluated? Do the contracts automatically renew each year? Lots of questions here.

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