What The Heck is Going On at the Sweetwater Union High School District?

We are in the twilight zone here in the SouthBay. The sweetwater Union High School District Trustees called a special meeting on Monday night to discuss some employee issue. Which employee? Was it the interim Superintendent Ed Brand, who did not even have the courtesy to attend the meeting to hear what the community has to say? By the way, he's not an employee but a consultant earning $20,000 per month and 5 weeks vacation. Maybe the Trustee(s) that called this meeting forgot that. At least the community was able to express their extreme dissatisfaction at the thought of Ed Brand being offered a permanent contract for $280,000 per year for 2 years. The Trustees were there, but did they hear the community? Not really sure because they went into closed session for 2 hours to not discuss Ed Brands contract because legally they could not, but to discuss an employee issue and ultimately take no action!?!? Then today we find out a certain Trustee (the same one who sent an armed security guard to kick out a community member who mentioned his wife) sent 40 seconds of audio from the meeting to 10news alleging the community disrespected the Pledge of Allegiance and 911 victims?! And the knuckleheads at 10News bought it hook, line and sinker. They were not even there! I keep saying that we need a camera crew to follow EdBrand and his merry crew of Trustees and record them. It will be the best reality show on TV.


John McCann cherry-picked the audio. While the Pledge was being recited no one did anything except to say the pledge. The issue was that the community had to remind the board that the pledge was overlooked during the opening of the meeting. If anything, it was Pearl Quinonez who "disrespected" the flag. Pearl had already gaveled the meeting closed when John made his request. The public laughed at the awkwardness of the situation. If he was going to be upset, he ought to have directed his "attitude" towards her. Instead, John, played his patriotism card, turned it against the community, cherry-picks the audio, and goes running to the nearest television camera so he can get his face in front of the public. Too bad John McCann doesn't take his responsibilities to the community more seriously. He ought to be disgusted and appalled about that.

As to the issue of John and Pearl and the pledge... Here's one for you. Bertha Lopez is the only board member who has consistantly and faithfully fought for the publics right to know what the board is doing. She is a champion for the students and staff of the district. I have been attending these board meeting for almost 2.5 years, and not once has the president of the board asked her to lead the pledge. NOT ONCE! John McCann was president for an entire year and he ignored her for the entire year. Pearl has now been board president for nine months and has never once asked for Bertha to lead. Arlie Ricasa was president for a full year before John and she too never asked Bertha to lead the pledge. NEVER!!!!!!!! The three of them use the leading of the Pledge as a tool to promote each other in the public's eye. If anyone is violating the very meaning of the Pledge it's John McCann, Pearl Quinonez and Arlie Ricasa. John's behavior last monday night was just another reminder of that.

My question is why didn't this reporter check out the actual tape to know the truth. Did he just assume McCann was correct? To say that we the community were disrespectful of the flag,compounded by the date of 911 on Tues. is a bit much for me to swallow. I sent a letter in,but I'm still walking around in shock,and anger. I watched the interview and didn't understand why the reporter did not find out the truth,before choosing McCann's version. The next board mtg.will really be filled with angry people. Shame on Channel 10. Thanks Reader for bothering yet again to get it right. Whoever your editor is, tell him thanks.

Mr Brinkley Do you have any life outside of these message boards?

Why didn't you run for any of the two open seats?I guess its easier to sit home all day and and post 10,000 posts a month about the people actually out there trying.

and why do you give Bertha a pass on everything? we all saw the watchdog documents . Ghandara hand picked her and solicited all her money from contractors? to run against mercadoher house was raided ,she is ratting on everyone so for now is not being charged.

try offering some solutions ,or better yet get off your computer and actually doing something about it

Wow simpleton I find most of his posts on the money. If Ms. Lopez is given a pass on everything could it be she is the only one who is finally listening and the other 4 members are sitting there like monkeys with their eyes over their mouth, eyes, ears and hands in the air. That is the picture I have in my mind, you should have been at this meeting it was epic with the stupidity of this board.

wow... I will let you pretend you don't have 5 id's and are posting and replying to yourselves,I've been to a meeting and have seen you're crew of 20 losers.. too bad you cant use fake message board id's as recall signatures maybe you would have gotten more than the whopping 700..

Thanks for the update on the signatures! More progress!

So good to know you are helping us keep track.

Aspersions that you erroneously cast only reflect (not that well) on yourself.

Wishing you enlightenment.

simpleton: 20 losers? hmmmmmm, let us see what the january trials bring. at the meeting on the 24th come up, introduce yourself, we would love to give you accolades for all you are doing to help drive out the alleged corruption.

Gosh. A personal attack. What does that tell us.

Mr. Brinkley has offered several suggestions and solutions, as have many of us. We have repeatedly been ignored and treated with contempt by the majority board of trustees and Ed Brand. We will continue to speak up for what is right.

You claim Mr. Brinkley is giving Bertha Lopez a pass--possibly because Bertha Lopez is the lone member of the Board of Trustees who has endeavored to listen to the public and treats us with the respect we deserve. She has not been charged--others have.

(Those who have been charged might have been better off had they recused themselves from sitting on the board until all the legal matters have been taken care of--or perhaps had started to take a bit more seriously what they owe the taxpayers, students and teachers of this district).

Here's to honesty and transparency in government, from the ground up.

simpleton: with regards to mr. brickley doing something about he did - HE TALKED TO THE FBI AND DA. did you not see his name in the ut pdf's (da's request for search warrants).

i thank you for your efforts - however you have failed to state what those efforts were.

yes, lopez did take the contributions, however once she became a member of the board and saw the cost of those contributions - well, it appears the cost was too high and she too went to da.

regarding brickley running, what a great idea, thank you for that!

Bertha went to the DA? are you people serious? they went to her they raided her home.and she will be charged when gandara flips on her like she did to everyone else,as far as mr>brinkley ,he couldn't even make it as a teacher

simpleton: your question is indicative of someone who did not read the da pdf's that were provided in the ut. please do not comment on what you do not have knowledge of.

regarding john b - again, simpleton - your lack of facts speak for themselves. did you know that john b went to fbi and da as well? oh that is right i forgot you did not read the da's paperwork.

please be sure to come back and comment after the trials. 'the gandara' flipping - hmmmm, yes persons are wondering about that - they are waiting to hear all about the two 'gentlemen' on the board - my opinion t the two will not like what come out. also, remember two of the contractors have plead guilty, both of the 'gentlemen' received quite a bit of money from them cartmill rcvd approximately 30k from one.

you know what happens when you lie down with a dirty dog, you wake up with all kinds of bad habits -----------

the truth will come out in the trials.

News 10 completely got this story wrong - I sent this to the reporter and his bosses at the station.

Mr. Little,

I am deeply disturbed and disappointed by your reporting and the lack of research or fact checking that you applied to your recent story on a school board meeting at the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) office in Chula Vista on September 10th.

Having attended the entire meeting as a concerned parent and not part of any Occupy Sweetwater group, I was there to help police the elected officials who are supposed to be looking out for the best interests of our children.

What you failed to report is that the meeting at already been adjourned by the board president prior to Mr. McCann's request for the pledge.

You also failed to report that every person in that room promptly stood and placed their hands over their hearts and proudly pledged allegiance to the flag.

The same attendees,who having listened attentively for well over an hour to members of the community, teachers, parents, students, and taxpayers commenting for two minutes each on the ambiguous agenda item and recent decisions made by the board that have negatively impacted students and schools in the SUHSD but received no responses from the board.

There is a REAL story here that you completely ignored - perhaps because you based this story on a small clip that was chosen by Mr. McCann. That is not journalism. Perhaps you can learn from this and try and get the whole story next time and not just what one person wants you to hear

Nikkivs, the REAL story that everyone is ignoring or forgetting, and that is affecting more in the community is in my post below. Thanks.

There still dozens of dozens if not hundreds of teachers still layed off or not working full time in SUHSD. Talking to other people in school districts around the county, this is not happening in any other district I know of. Blame Brand and the teachers union. Yes, Gandara might have committed unlawful acts, but the district wasn't as much of a disaster then as it is now.

greatness83: i am hearing of some 'teachers' teaching at some of the high schools even though they are not suppose to be there. these teachers, i am told, are not aware that their time is not being credited to their service. know anything about that?

No I don't know anything about this. I do know that layed off teachers aren't all back. Also, administrators are upset that they're getting set up with bad teachers that the union protects, several of them from the learning centers. Third and foremost, that the teachers union can care less about the teachers with less senority and just care about their own group that simpleton is referring to.

greatness83 - ah the learning centers, under 'the gandara' the dream job. i know about 'some' of those who 'taught' there.

for the record, while i believe in unions, i also believe that work needs to be done to strengthen their credibility i.e. bad teachers need to be shown the door, i do not care how long they have been there. if they are bad, then be gone. that does not mean to say that i am in favor of teachers ability being based on test results. lets cut to the chase, we all know and have heard of teachers who walk in a classroom give kids an assignment, open up the ipads and sit there not doing one iota of teaching. the purpose of the unions should not be to protect educators such as these.

we have far too many fine teachers, eager and ready to go, educators that care about doing a great job, making a difference, helping - so why waste energy protecting the bad?

if i believed that brand was fair that would be one thing - but i do not.

I wouldn't say the learning center is a dream job for all. It's a dream job for people who are unmotivated, lack passion, and are mentally weaker than most teachers.

Anniej, the teachers union in south bay has backed teachers who have committed some very unethical acts that have been reported and are documented. These teachers are protected by the union, while the majority of the layed off teachers are or were more protected by their principals than the union itself. This is a fact. Like I said before, both parties are largely responsible for the mess that has effected education in south bay.

Simpleton, your name says it all. When the trials start we will see who plea bargains out and who went to the DA to report what was happening and when. Please remember the when then be man or woman enough to apologize for your ignorance toward John and Ms Lopez.

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