Some of the latest numbers we have received from the State show that the State Matching Fund (County School FF Fund 35) has received approximately $61+ million from the State. Yet, there has been $152 million transferred out of that Fund between Jan. '11 and Feb. "12. There has also been transfers into the Fund of $170 million. If the State has only contributed $61 million, then the rest of the $170 million is because SUHSD is paying back money it has borrowed. That sum looks to be about $110 million. Yes, they are paying it back, but they aren't suppose to be borrowing it in the first place.
Looks like money is also continuing to be borrowed from the Prop. O Fund, as well as Mello-Roos Fund. Guess using one credit card to pay the payment on another is alive and well in the South Bay.
climbing OUT? of the muck and mire - that would be a NO! perhaps the boards compass works differently, maybe that is why they have turned in their 'the gandara' shovels and replaced them with 'brandara' shovels.
here are the facts, which can be verified by the san diego registrar of voters, as well as going to the sweetwater board docs and listening for yourselves.
Barnhardt Balfour Beatty: john mccann allegedly received $2,500 x 2 - total $5,000. arlie ricasa $2,500, jim cartmill $2,500 X2 - total $5,000. YET THERE THEY WERE VOTING TO GIVE THIS VERY COMPANY A CONTRACT. one of the speakers went so far as to warn them that if they also received gifts from said company (Barnhardt Balfour Beatty) that they would indeed breaking the law. now it is important to note that the campaign contributions are not illegal, HOWEVER, even a blind man can see what is happening here.
then there is the issue of BCA architects, you know the firm whose owner just plead guilty - well another speaker advised the audience that this very firm donated monies to JOHN MCCANN's campaign on 10-31-2011 (a year after mccann had won the election) to HELP PAY OFF HIS CAMPAIGN DEBT. as the speaker noted 'HOW DID BCA EVEN KNOW THAT JOHN MCCANN STILL CARRIES A DEBT FROM HIS 2010 CAMPAIGN?' but more importantly WHY, why would an architectural firm use their hard earned dollars to assist a politician in paying off his debt? how many of your company owners would authorize such a contribution, all of those other than those dealing with sweetwater please answer.
johnny boy has aspirations of the mayoral seat of chula vista, OH MY!!!! can you imagine what that campaign is going to look like? all of the ghosts of sweetwater coming out of the closet to haunt him.
regarding the president of the board, pearl quinones - she was MIA for a short time i am told and jim cartmill stepped in and what do you know the business of the evening ran smoothly under his gavel - but alas, all too soon she was back up there, every move being directed by the brandara. the audio clearly indicates that she interrupted nearly every speaker chastising if 'she perceived' the speaker was straying off topic.
no, brandara was NOT having it, the speakers every word would be dissected and if the words did not meet his approval he would lean over and instruct quinones to reprimand the speaker. "observing brandara was like watching krushev - all that was missing was the shoe" one of the attendees told me.
no, not much has changed at sweetwater, perhaps brandara might want to attend one of the Chula Vista Elementary School Board meetings to find out exactly how a meeting should be held. the Superintendent at Chula prides himself, values the taxpayer, and honors his staff by providing truly transparent information, encourages open discussion of all board members, and what do you know listens to the taxpaying public (you know those who pay the bills).
Susan, was that headline rhetorical? Sure seems that way in that your report didn't give the reader much reason to think anything had changed. The fact that Pearl, under indictment, is still presiding over the board meetings and voting is the biggest indication that they are still sloshing around in the muck and mire. Does anyone disagree?
I read in the U-T that John McCann was going to explore the possibility of getting a restraining order against Stewart Payne. Go for it John. Just don't get lost in the woods when you go exploring.
Just remember this John, the two women you were intimidating in the parking lot have told me they felt threatened by you. It's just not a good idea to harass women, especially in front of a camera.
Look at the face of Ms. Adato. Does that not look like a woman in distress? What did you do to her to make her cry like that?
"the District cannot do it Business"? what business? pay to play, alleged corruption as indicated in the recent felony indictments?
"cause major interruptions"? what interruptions? if you call advising the Board what the agenda items are all about then you Sir are a minion (with all due respect)
now let me see who might RicardoMay really be????????????????? surely not a taxpaying community member who cares about the education of our youth - for if he were, he would then be considered the 6th man of the team.
those 5 you speak of - they were the ones who led the fight to get rid of 'the gandara' - please do not tell me you supported him?????????????
"get out of the way"????????????????? are you kidding me?
it is a sad day in the South Bay when a person such as Ms. Adato is disrespected in such a manner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
he is this upset simply because Ms. Adato is trying to bring campaign contribution limitations and no gift policies before the board? WHY??????????????? is Ms. Adato simply trying to prevent a replay of the last elections?, and this is what she gets???????????????
it is a rare occasion indeed when i am at a loss for words, this is one of those rare occasions.
I recently noticed that the minutes to the board meetings are no longer available. Where have they gone? An item on a recent board agenda asked for $1.5 million to fix an observatory at EHS. No one even teaches astronomy there...why do we need an observatory? Did the item get approved? How can the public know if the minutes aren't there. Talk about a waste of my expensive Mello-Roos dollars!
I want to thank the dedicated members of the community who attend every board meeting and represent the interests of the public.
Please join us, we could use people like you that care.
I ask myself, what made me start wondering what was going on with Sweetwater--and when I started to get that feeling that things were not right, it was several years ago in perhaps the second iteration of the budget reduction. The district website's comment section for sugggestions from the public was so carefully and closely screened that essentially nothing of substance was ever made public.
If you are not hiding something, there is no need for secrets. If you are telling the truth, all the information can easily be forthcoming. It is only when you are trying to keep the public from knowing what they should rightfully know that it is necessary to act the way this Board of Trustees and the Superintendent(s) and all the administrative lackeys have acted, and still continue to act.
What a crew, brewing the festering stew of misappropriations, lies, pay-offs, bribes, threats (to those who attempt to let the truth be known) and assorted sordid goings-on too numerous to mention.
We aren't afraid of you and your threats. I think you know why.
At last night’s school board meeting, Public Communication was moved to the end of the agenda. At 10:02 p.m., the school board meeting recessed with only one remaining item left: Public Communication.
I suppose the school board will reconvene someday to hear Public Communication so that the June 11 school board meeting can end.
I had two issues that I wanted to share in the Public Communications part of the agenda. I wanted to discuss how school master schedules are shaping up for the upcoming school year since I have reviewed most of them. They look bad. As they are shaping-up, students will have more program changes than ever before, hundreds of classes will start without a teacher of record, and many teachers will need to be transferred to new schools with little time to prepare for the 2012-13 school year.
The master schedules are not standardized. For example, Eastlake High School’s schedule included the names of some teachers, but not most. Some listed teacher A, B, C,…, others included the names of teachers that have lost their jobs. What a mess. I am pretty sure that the district has not reviewed the master schedules. All-in-all, they are the worst master schedules that I have ever seen. They need to be fixed. School starts next month.
The other thing that I wanted to discuss was that the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) will not allow exemptions to the earning limit ($31,020) for the upcoming school year. (http://www.calstrs.com/Help/forms_publications/printed/MemberHandbook/after_you_retire.pdf) That requires immediate attention since we will need a new superintendent one and a half months into the new school year. There is another option. Our superintendent can work for free.
Our HR department failed to file an exemption for our superintendent and his wife. I understand that they are scrambling to do so since the exemptions must be approved by June 30, 2012. If it is not approved, STRS will require reimbursement for monies received beyond the earning limit.
I sincerely hope that our district does not waste student resources to attempt a legal maneuver to circumvent the law. We have a situation that needs to be addressed quickly.
Why hasn't the county, state or federal government taken over this district? Dr. Brand you are a scam you always have been and you always will be. All of your comments that you love this district and you are back to help is a bunch of crap! The love came with a $20,000 a month price tag and let me tell you that is not love that is greed. You fit in very well with the greedy board you attempt to lead, they are just as bad as you. Shame on you and shame on them for keeping you. But as a friend who was at the meeting last night told me the only people with any sort of brains and/or common sense are the people that speak at every board meeting. They are the ones that care for the students and the staff they do this for FREE and all they get from this board and you are smirks, and a lack of attention to the logical things they are saying. Maybe if you all would put aside the ego's and listen you would find truth and logic into their questions and remarks. This district is a definite hell hole and is drowning in their own lies and ineptitude's. Ms. Luzzaro keep up the good work and thank your editor for now cowering to the idiotic bulling tactics that Brand tried to pose on you because we all know the UT cowered!
I would love to see those reports everyone is referring to that Brand decided not to give to the board, not that they would understand anything or ask questions. Could the reader get a copy of those reports to post them if possible?
Well, the Bertha-bashing has begun!
If you weren't so laughably wrong in targeting Ms. Lopez, I might worry. However, she is the one member of the board who has consistently had a conscience and has represented the students, brought up the points that the other members and Brand would rather sweep under the rug--in short, she is the only functional member of the board. The rest are lackeys to whatever Brand tells them to do. Or maybe, what Brand his friends tell them to do.
Bertha is a gentle, kind soul, and what you say against her is nothing but a vicious pack of lies. But one expects that from those that align themselves with Brand and his ilk. It is still sad to see in print, however.
GOYAoya, I wish you enlightenment and peace.
Thanks again Reader for putting the truth out there for all of your readers. This is another tactic used by Brand to intimidate the BOC. He's afraid of these men. They are asking the right questions and this is making Brand nervous. He will attempt to get rid of them as he will not be challenged. The problem is the BOC are volunteers that work for the public not Brand. They are representing me and my tax dollars. Keep up the good work guys.
joepublic: while i agree that this was bullying we must understand IF they boc would have voted not to subject to the will of dictator brand, he would have disbanded them and tried to paint his actions as looking out for the community - i.e. protecting us from the crookedness of corruption.
so now the ball is in brand's court - he said he wanted the 700's turned in because that is what the best practices of the states boc advisory committee represents.
WELL BRAND, BY GOD THE COMMUNITY IS GOING TO HOLD YOU TO THAT MANDATE - AND YOU HAD PREPARE YOURSELF TO ADHERE TO ALL OF THE BEST PRACTICES OF THE STATE'S BOC ADVISORY PANEL. WE WANT FULL DISCLOSURE, WE WANT OUR BOC GIVEN THE RESPECT THEY DESERVE - WE WANT OUR REPRESENTATIVES TO HAVE OPEN FULL ACCESS. - are you hearing me????????????????
thank you erupting for stating the obvious. brand would have much preferred boc days of old when members were basically hand selected i.e. arlie ricasa's husband was a member of the boc under prop bb - you all remember that was the bond issue that landed sweetwater UNDER THE THEN SUPERINTENDENT ED BRAND 1st TENURE the topic of a grand jury investigation. why john mccann would have brought brand back after brand left under the cloud of a grand jury investigation is a major source of speculation in the south bay even now.
the CURRENT BOC is being recognized state wide as the type of boc that all district tax payers should have representing them - yet here we have brand with his bullying tactics attempting to disban the group. what message is that sending? what does brand not want found?
why has john mccann, jim cartmill and arlie ricasa bowed and kissed the ring of the dictator brand? what is in it for them? they have turned the district over to brand - they show up once a month, vote in all of his pet projects, leave and go home till the next month. the three of them enjoy being introduced as sweetwater board members, they believe it adds to their credibility - surely they know, surely they wonder - this person shaking my hand is this one of those who is laughing at me behind my back?
this community has lost all confidence in three 'muskacheaters' - all of the promises to meet with concerned citizens broken, all of the promises to focus on the students fallen by the side of road as if the issue of education were simple minutia.
three new schools added to the Program Improvement list this week - Montgomery High (who was just taken off of the list right before john mccann brought brand back), SAILS (prior to brand's return one of the highest functioning schools in the district), and finally Olympian High ( prior to brand's return it was the seen as one of the best schools in the district). WHY?, HOW - well, perhaps if brand would have sat his booty in his office chair and performed as a superintendent we would not be spiraling down the drain education wise. but oh no, brand is far too busy out and about - meeting with persons he sees will help him in his endeavor to build 'brand university' - you see it is all about his super ego - he wants his name carved into stone down here in the south bay, and by gosh he doesn't care what the price. what i see is a different picture, it is a black and white picture with a background of a height chart and there will be identification markers, but they will be numbers vs letters. now Visduh, brace yourself but i am told i must add this, this is just my opinion.
megalomania, n. 1. a highly exaggerated or delusional concept of one's own importance. 2. an obsession with doing extravagant or grand things.
So, if Brand manages to squelch all opposition from the BOC, can we start referring to that as a "Putsch"?
What would be the next step? Spending hours with an Albert Speer-equivalent, going over architectural plans for all his schemes?
The voice of the public has already been undermined and disregarded. The "majority Board" members are inextricably snagged by Brand's machinations, so they must want to align themselves with Sweetwater's own master of disaster and doer of malice!
anniej, systematic denial of civil rights is occurring in Sweetwater under the malicious statecraft of Ed Brand; this denial of civil rights is growing, having started with the reduction of public input during board meetings, continued with the switching of times for public input, the cancellation of meetings and the obfuscation of important information regarding our funds.
Who gave Ed Brand the powers of a dictator?
When will our leaders start speaking out in favor of the public's right for information and a voice in the direction of our schools?
What should the public do?
Sjtorres: perhaps you might want to attend a BOC meeting before you comment. there are NO union reps on the BOC - interesting that you do not comment on the hand picked BOC's of old - back when spouses (with different last names), sorority sisters, and board members of others districts pretended to look out for the best interests of the taxpaying citizens.
IF you pay taxes you should be complimenting the efforts of the BOC rather than chiding them. you sound like john mccann, everything wrong with the district is all due to the unions - HA! funny, he didn't seem to mind those union folks when he was taking their money as campaign donations -
brand fears the integrity of 99.9% of those who sit on the boc, plain and simple. he is not use to dealing with persons whose ONLY interest is the responsibility of the position they hold. he can't bully these guys, no way, no how - now THESE are men that respected, THESE are men who are professional, THESE are men who have expertise.
Sjtorres, i take absolute exception to your comment. I encourage to contact me immediately to provide your proof. I am the longest tenured Prop O committee member (3.5 years), and was the chair of the committee from april 2011 to June 2012. If you have the courage and proof to speak with me contact me. I would be interested in hearing and seeing your proof! Or are you like The Rostra who likes to throw flaming spears with no regard for the truth?! In my time on the committee, i have never once been asked by any teacher or union member to support anything on their behalf, nor take a public or private position on their behalf! I have never even been approached by the Union! As Chair of the committee, i was approached by Ed Brand to support the districts use of prop o funds for district operating expenses. He even provided me legal opinions that he said supported his position and asked me to take a public position that i supported this! He and Diane Russo took me to lunch for a coke and a smile to convince me to support this. He called me on numerous occassions to convince me to support this. When i refused, he told me the district would just have to use Mello Roos money for this - which they are now doing! So sjtorres, who is the real hack trying to run the committee? Again, expose your facts and be man (or woman) enough to contact me to support your blatently false statement!