The L Street property — future location of soccer fields?
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The Sweetwater school district owns several properties that it is trying to flip into condo/apartment developments. The properties, located in western Chula Vista, are on L Street, Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue (district headquarters), and Moss Avenue.

The Reader reported last month that in March 2012, then–interim superintendent Brand asked the board to approve the use of funds — $347,500 — from the district’s special reserve for a vaguely worded resolution involving the “hiring of E2 ManageTech to begin the process of re-entitling the district non school properties for future development of L Street.”

The L Street property was originally purchased in 2004, intended for the relocation of district headquarters.

Brand encouraged the board to support the resolution by stating that the district’s L Street property was “underwater” and that their options were “bad, awful, and worse.”

Trustee Pearl Quiñones expressed concern about the repetitious use of monies for consultants and market studies and requested that the board be updated soon.

A year has gone by without a public update.

An excerpt from the E2 ManageTech report, dated May 2012, shows that while the deals run apace, the administration dallies about telling the public:

“Dianne [Russo former interim chief financial officer] felt that at this time, our group need not make a periodic formal Board presentation. (She will recommend when it will be appropriate for our group to make said presentation.)” Russo is now retired.

E2 ManageTech, according to the records request, subcontracted to several companies, which are working toward making all four of the district properties “shovel-ready” for development.

The project closest to shovel-ready is 435 Third Avenue. According to Janet Kluth, the City of Chula Vista’s program manager for the Third Avenue project, it includes 162 apartment/condo units, 2800 square feet of commercial space, and enclosed parking.

In a February 28 email, Kluth said project plans are due to be resubmitted next week and a community meeting about the project will soon follow. Because the project includes a rezone, it will have to go before both the planning commission and the city council.

The Sweetwater school district’s representative for negotiations with the city is Chuck Diamond, of HTI Property. I contacted him with a set of questions about the project. Diamond said he would have to clear his response with the district.

I wanted to know: Is there a developer interested in the project? If a developer does not pick it up, what then? Will your company receive a percentage of any project that is developed? Is there a precedent in California for a district developing residential/commercial property?

On March 4, Diamond responded:

“I spoke to [the Sweetwater Union High School] District about your desire to interview me for your paper. I must respectfully turn-down the opportunity to be interviewed, by you, for your paper.”

The Sweetwater school district has also submitted a pre-application request to the City of Chula Vista on January 14 to build 800 residential units on L Street.

There are several peculiar things about this request. Sweetwater used bond money to buy this land — ostensibly for district headquarters. Then, the district put the property into the hands of California Trust/Nine Partners, LLC.

Marc Litchman of Nine Partners publicly asserts he is the owner of the land. Litchman has met with the Southwest Community Group and individual community members. In California Trust's mission statement, it says Litchman will develop property and do outreach.

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Comments

anniej March 5, 2013 @ 4:53 p.m.

Why is Ed Brand SO SECRETIVE? What is he trying to hide?

No doubt Ms. Luzzaro did not receive answers to her questions for one simple reason - she has provided factual stories on Sweetwater, and as we all know Brand does not like negative press - he would prefer to keep all of the buried skeletons buried.

In his world WE the taxpayers, the BILL PAYORS, have no business knowing what HE IS DOING WITH OUR MONEY.

Regarding L street, perhaps Brand might want to explain WHY Marc Lichtman advanced HIMSELF over 30k from the 'non profit organization' under which L street falls under. According to Mr. Lichman himself, "I thought my insurance was being paid for, I HAD to take the advance to pay for back ?" This comment was only made after he had the nerve to become indignant "I don't appreciate my personal business being looked into ". At which point he was reminded this is a non profit, and as such public record.

Non profits - it appears that there are some entities tend to use 'non profits' as a shelter to hide ill deeds (according to the IRS).

While Brand is attempting to HIDE the facts from us, the above 'advance' and other potential irregularities regarding L street and its non profit will be opening the door for more questions from a higher authority. Brand and a few members of the board have a long history in the world of Sweetwaters non profits.

Refusing to answer questions from the press, is that sort of like TAKING THE FIFTH?

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oskidoll March 5, 2013 @ 5:02 p.m.

Actually, any member of the public may submit a written public records request (CA government Code Section 6250-6270) for any information about public resources and actions taken by a public body, even in closed session. The intro states, "...the Legislature, mindful of the right of individuals to privacy, finds and declares that access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state."

It is just more 'convenient' for Brand and co to refuse to answer outright and to force the issue, isn't it?

I do not know what the law says about specifically about expenditure of bond funds on such schemes. However, I do believe that the law (Prop 39 passed in 2000 to enable facilities bond passage with a mere 55 % of the vote) does require that the money is actually spent for the purposes outlined in the the proposal the voters acted on. If any of these properties were purchased with bond funds, one would think and hope that any money realized from their sale would revert back to the bond purposes and not into the general fund or any vendor's pocket. At a minimum, the information about the district's action with regard to these properties is public and the public has a right to know.

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erupting March 5, 2013 @ 6:07 p.m.

The long and short of it is School Districts should not be using Bond monies or tax dollars to be speculating in property. We are in trouble with this property. Why not include the public in the decisions,it's our money. Could we have sold it at a big loss to get out from under it? Are we going to throw good money at this? Anniej you are correct about the secrecy surrounding all Brand's decisions. Maybe he should follow San Diego School Unified District's example and sell property to avoid pink slips. But knowing Brand he probably wants to buy property, so he can repeat his prior mistakes. Isn't there a balloon payment due in 2014, because the district is only paying on the interest on the original loan? Why was Lichtman getting over 100,000 a year from the district? Who really owns the property?

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anniej March 5, 2013 @ 6:44 p.m.

The monies used to purchase L street - hmmmmmm. The evidence against Brand and his co conspirators is mounting, this issue is BIG I MEAN REALLY BIG!!!!!!!!!

The pins are being set up - and guess what/who bowling ball will be that rolls a strike?

Brand, no doubt used certain board members in the purchase of this land - they listened to this get rich scheme - just like they have listened since he has been back. Those clouds that are hovering might just end up making the current indictments seem like a shower compared to the tornado headed our way. Hope they remember to say Thank YOU to Brand.

I have no doubt that Brand is attempting to poo poo this issue, believing that he will be able to control this, keep a lid on this - I seem to remember "the gandara" told certain board members the same thing -

AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED and where "the gandara" is now - not to mention 4 out of 5 of our board members.

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WTFEd March 5, 2013 @ 9:36 p.m.

Really. Why did I not hear all this stuff? Don't know who read these blogs but just wonder why doesn't this stuff get out to the main stream daily media outlets. You know somebody ought to clue in law enforcement because something does not seem right with the secrecy. I have heard that word secrecy frequently along with intimidation and bully.

I get so discouraged because my focus is on education. It's a core value and our mission. We got limited resources. We should focus our resources on education not real estate deals. How much time did Russo spend of this stuff. It is time for me to hunker down and hide. I just do not know who I can trust any more. Running scared.

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eastlaker March 6, 2013 @ 7:36 a.m.

"Mission creep" to the nth degree...but Ed Brand has never considered himself to be bound by simple regulations and rules. Those must be for the little people!

One would think that the County Board of Education would chime in right about now and at least proclaim that responsible Boards do not behave in this way...but that would necessarily entail that the County Board of Education was paying attention, or actually conscious...and I guess that is too much to hope for.

The city of Chula Vista has known that the Sweetwater Board and Brand/Gandara/Brand were working on these things, because they had to be involved in some of the planning and permits, one would think. On a previous but related story here at the Reader someone with inside knowledge said that the city of Chula Vista was never going to partner with the Sweetwater Board on the L street development, but the city obviously knew what was going on, by virtue of saying they would not partner with Sweetwater.

And all that was kept under wraps? For how long? And why is there nothing further being reported about this (that I know of at this time)? Because--I guess--there is a great deal of pretending going on. Pretending things didn't happen, are not happening, will not happen...?

Isn't it a criminal offense to misappropriate funds? Because that is, at the very least, what has happened. Now some guy (Lichtman) says he owns the property...but Sweetwater paid for it? With our tax and bond funds, when they were not doing what they were mandated to do with those funds.

Can I say it is time to hold people's feet to the fire? If only to find out the rest of the story...

And yes, I am angry.

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Visduh March 6, 2013 @ 10:06 a.m.

Geez, eastlaker, none of us would have EVER thought you were angry! You have reason to be angry, and if there were a few thousand So County voters and blog commenters like you, there might be hope that this corruption could be ended. The school district should not be playing property developer at all, and espcially when it is not doing a decent job of educating, as evidenced by the number of schools with test results that are below minimum. Maybe if it were doing a stellar job, it could be allowed to engage in speculation. For now it needs to do nothing but mind the store.

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Susan Luzzaro March 6, 2013 @ 8:45 a.m.

Below is an excerpt from a 2004 UT article called "Complex plan may yield school HQ"

It explains, (though the deal is not something that could be clarified), how the deal was supposed to go down. As you can read, the deal is missing quite a few elements now--redevelopment $$ for one.

Sweetwater builds its new headquarters, adult school and corporate yard at L Street. Meanwhile, developers lease the three plots of land that the district owns and build homes on them. Sweetwater moves into the L Street property owned by the trust. Then there's a swap: The trust gives the L Street property to the school district in exchange for the three pieces of now-developed land. The trust then sells the three pieces of land to the developer for $77 million, gets an additional $25 million in homes sales profits and uses it to help pay off the mortgage and construction bills for the L Street complex. This, combined with the negotiated tax-increment money and money the district already gets from the city redevelopment agency, leaves Sweetwater without any net costs.

Husson estimates the deal will generate $847 million in new taxes and property value. That figure is based on the value of the new district headquarters ($122 million), the value of the 1,002 homes ($451 million) he projects will be built and the property taxes paid over 42 years ($274 million) that would not be generated without the project.

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eastlaker March 6, 2013 @ 8:56 a.m.

Thanks, Susan, because this supplies a bit more context to the mess.

It doesn't look like Sweetwater did much of any reporting on the status of this project since 2004...but as this project is so very speculative by nature, only a very honest board headed by a very honest president and accompanied by a very honest superintendent would have the courage of their convictions to give all the bad news.

And we know honesty and that sort of courage are in very short supply amid the board and Brand/Gandara/Brand.

What are the options left to those of us who will end up paying for all the messes, picking up the pieces and trying to ensure that the young people of this district get the education they are entitled to? Anyone? Bueller?

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cvres March 6, 2013 @ 1:32 p.m.

I believe that Third Ave address is down there by St Rose of Lima. Didn't the city just narrow the streets down there--that will be fun with 162 units coming out of there.

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oskidoll March 6, 2013 @ 2:17 p.m.

Anyone know who owned the Third Ave parcel before? That is in the same neighborhood as David (yep, the one and only) Malcolm's old SunCoast offices.

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anniej March 6, 2013 @ 3:23 p.m.

Cvres: you are correct, the land used to be the old, and I mean OLD Safeway - many moons ago - it is next to the Kentucky Fried Chicken.

It has been sitting there for years with weeds growing up thru the cement.

So lets take a look at this situation,

We need a district office - sooooooooo we buy Third Avenue, we buy L street and then we freakin spend money doing drive by (I kid you not) appraisals of property on the Mile of Cars.

AND YET - Brand is preparing to issue pink slips yet again - B E C A U S E we have no money! And why don't we have money - because these shisters have been spending it all on BAD LAND DEALS!!!!!!!!!

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eastlaker March 6, 2013 @ 4:33 p.m.

anniej, I am actually surprised that Sweetwater didn't end up purchasing that lot on the Mile of Cars that had been a dump, and had all sorts of toxic layers...At one time it was paved and used as a car lot, but then it was declared too toxic for parked cars.

Makes me wonder if that was what Sweetwater was considering. Because...

If a person would set out with the express purpose of finding a passive bunch of lunkheads (with the exception of Ms. Lopez) who would then do exactly whatever a person with delusions of grandeur would tell them to do, the Sweetwater board and Brand/Gandara/Brand would still outdo whoever could be found. Such poor excuses for community leaders really should have just never 'favored' us with showing up.

Last fall I attended one of the board meetings, and was very favorably impressed with the student board member whose name I do not have at hand to note. She was, however, much more 'present' than the adult board members. She asked questions and gave opinions that would have been a credit to a far older and more experienced individual. She showed everyone there what intelligent leadership we could have, if only the current board and their completely out-of-control superintendent Ed Brand would, oh, I don't know--be exchanged for their good twin as opposed to the evil twins that are in place.

Because all that is necessary for evil to win is for good men and women to do nothing.

Do we really want that to happen in Sweetwater?

These tales of land deals, schemes for Sweetwater U., and all the hidden funds among the non-profit organizations along with the continued lament from Brand and the board that there isn't enough money, teachers need to be pink-slipped, class size needs to increase...maybe all the students should just stay home--go on strike--until Brand and this miserable board are driven out they way they should be driven out--for fraud, waste, abuse, non-performance, malfeasance, dereliction of duty and a few more violations.

Without students, Sweetwater gets no funding. Wouldn't that be interesting. It might even get the attention of the U-T.

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anniej March 8, 2013 @ 1:56 p.m.

Montana: Mr. Cartmill is self made business man. McCann, works for an IT firm, so I have been told.

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oskidoll March 8, 2013 @ 3:23 p.m.

Not so much self-made as the son-in-law or so it has been said, of someone now behind bars for concocting dubious supplements and peddling them as something beneficial and making tons of money in the process. He has also morphed his former 'Campus for Christ" affiliation into a motivational speaking career. McCann's literature describes himself as a type of technology 'consultant' and am not so sure he is actually an employee. Have never heard the name of an actual employer. In both cases, make sure their hands are above the table at all times and not in your pocket. In both cases, they deal in snake oil.

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oskidoll March 8, 2013 @ 3:46 p.m.

FYI...the following is from McCann's website when he ran for the SUHSD seat he now occupies: "After college John McCann worked in the Banking Industry for almost three years. As a Banker, John learned how to serve his community’s financial needs and worked closely with individuals and small businesses. During this time, John finished his Master’s Degree in Economics, attending classes at night.

John McCann then changed his career focus and moved into the technology industry. John served in several supervisory and management positions for technology companies and continues to work as a businessman in the technology field."

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anniej March 7, 2013 @ 7:11 p.m.

bvagency - I am MOST troubled by your comments. HOW DARE ED BRAND call ANYONE'S employer!!!!!!!

I have no doubt that all board members and Brand read these blogs. Jim Cartmill, as president of the board, we are calling on you to reign in Ed Brand. Brand is a reflection of this board, and while I would not expect you to call him out publicly, surely you see what he is doing - remaining silent will indicate that you condone such tactics.

Back when Dianne Russo did her presentation on L street months and months ago she stated that she would bring back more information - Russo is gone and we are STILL waiting.

THIS SITUATION IS INDICATIVE OF ED BRAND and he uses his position to attempt to enter into these money making shenanigans.

Ed Brand, as a superintendent, is an embarrassment to ALL SUPERINTENDENTS.

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montana64 March 7, 2013 @ 9:19 p.m.

Up north in a not so distant land-- Is a school board that would never hire Brand. In fact it chose a principal far removed, From the Id that is the district office groove. The willy-nilly spend and buy and bleat--- iPads, charters, upside down land feats. We vote, we take our two minutes of time--- They gloat, and ride into horizons on our dime.

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WTFEd March 7, 2013 @ 9:52 p.m.

Does this take the cake!! You know I supported Ed Brand but no more. I have found Jesus and it is not Jesus Gandara!! You would not believe what I heard today quietly. A chorus of what next and do we really need this "L" Street stuff in light of all the other indictments. bvaagency I think I know you. We should talk. I can go through a third party who knows a friend of yours. I have to be real careful like changing my writing style to fool them. I know what is going on and it is not good. It is real bad. The more I read in the media about "L" Street the more I say what? This was under Brand's watch. Another let's make a deal. He was probably one of those guys saying when has real estate ever loss money? I want to do the right thing but my ass is on the line as slick Eddy is on the prowl. Should be an interesting Board meeting. Got to keep my poker face if I am there. Maybe I will get sick like Jim Cartmill. Respectfully submitted a disgruntled employee.

2

jibaro March 8, 2013 @ 5:05 a.m.

O.K. , I get it. The " L St. " is a mess on so many levels. My question, what now ? Anyone with ideas? It appears as if some Board members are requesting more information, a good first step. Hopefully this information will be shared with the public. I would like to know more about the options for this property, both short and long term.

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Jmbrickley March 8, 2013 @ 7:27 p.m.

"It appears as if some Board members are requesting more information, a good first step."

In a resonable world yours' would be a meaningful statement. However, it requires people of a higher caliber than our current board members to make positive use of this information.

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mko March 8, 2013 @ 8:39 a.m.

There are no good options. There is only the question of how much the District will lose on the land deals. The expectations of profit indicated in the above excerpt from the UT article were wildly optomistic even then, at the height of the Real Estate bubble.There are three youtube segments that record the CV Redevelopment Agency discussing the merits of the third or fourth proposal from the District. The earlier ones had been turned down as unworkable by the Agency. I recommend that you take the time to find them and listen as it is shocking to hear their third party assessment. By the way, as far back as Oct 12, 2004 the then City Manager of CV sent a letter to Bruce Husson, COO and Dr, Ed Brand Superintendant that in pertinent part states,"...I belive it is important that your Board understand that they may be committing to expend $28M on a piece of property before they have reached agreement with the City. There are obvious risks involved in such a decesion; however, your Board can choose to assume such risk with full disclosure of our position."

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jibaro March 8, 2013 @ 4:03 p.m.

mko, please note that I stated "options " , NOT "good options ".

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cvres March 8, 2013 @ 10:06 a.m.

I can't believe a public official would call someone's work. That just seems improbable.

I do remember reading, however, that Dr. Brand had called the Union Tribune on the carpet.

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bbq March 8, 2013 @ 11 a.m.

So all of this comes out from when as I mentioned to former CFO Russo a couple of years ago, the District was "Fat, Dumb and Happy" with more money than they knew what to do with, we had vice principals running ASB ... free flowing programs like "Huck Finn" multiple Honors Programs and greedy speculators oh I mean superintendants running the show with little supervision.
I've likened the situation to the US Auto Industry where the Management was so afraid to rock the boat in the good times thay gave away the goose so now when the sh.... stuff hits the fan they can't get it back in control and we the people have to bail them out.
These people have lost sight of what their job is, that's to educate our children, not build edifices and monuments to themselves. Between the Cities, Southwestern Community College, San Ysidro and Sweetwater Union High School Districts we look like a bunch of bumbling idiots down here. Fiscal mismanagement can you say South Bay San Diego County? Ego can you say South Bay San Diego County? Ethics or Lack there of can you say South Bay San Diego County? I'd keep going but I'm getting depressed as is the price of my House due to all of our elected so called Leaders ineptitude.
What is the answer, go back to basics do the jobs you were hired or elected to do. Work with each other to develop common practices that feed one another. Dr Brand come clean, SUHSD Trustees come clean, Dr Nish come clean, Southwestern Trustees come clean, all the rest come clean, only then can we move forward productively as a community. Thanks for the chance to vent. BBQ

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eastlaker March 8, 2013 @ 1:12 p.m.

Yes, indeed, the majority board and Brand have "lost sight of what their job is".

They are far too busy scheming and scamming to even think about the students.

This is called the destruction of public education, and if we let this happen, you can kiss goodbye any chance subsequent generations will be able to work their way up through the educational system.

Just watch and see: for-profit educational entities (I really hesitate to call them colleges and universities) have sprung up to grasp at the well-meaning and well-deserved funding in the new G.I.Bill and other programs.

They will take all that from the students, give them not much in return, and keep them going until the students' loan totals are maxed out. Then they will go after the students for non-payment, while these students haven't really benefited from an education that will put them in a better place as far as a job or career is concerned.

This is the future of "Big Business Education" if we let it happen.

Ed Brand is a terrific fan of this process, as he is jumping in feet first with all his schemes. Anyone who would promote this kind of thing, taking advantage of young people in this way while pretending to be pro-education is a fraud of the highest order. And that isn't a compliment.

3

joepublic March 8, 2013 @ 12:39 p.m.

cvres: Improbable, no. It sounds like something Brand would do. I think you're right about the Union Tribune. There might even be a Reader article about that. This merits an investigation. I'm no lawyer, but this sure seems illegal. Doesn't the Brown Act protect a person's right to free speech? The US constitution? If the school board doesn't question this, then they are all guilty and liable. I hope this person seeks legal advice. If this is allowed to happen to one person, then we are all victimized.

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eastlaker March 8, 2013 @ 12:55 p.m.

Right in line with all the other bullying tactics I have heard about...

As I have heard that Brand isn't the only one who has gone to the U-T--apparently there is a board member who has been known go to the U-T so that comments that are deemed unflattering or unwelcome are deleted.

Additionally, the person who has made those comments finds they are blocked, no longer able to comment on the U-T articles--visibly, to others--AND even access to other news comment sites can be negatively affected!

Doesn't being that defensive demonstrate there is something extremely wrong here?!

It is a denial of civil rights, just so majority Sweetwater Board members and Ed Brand can continue their merry pilfering and fraud. Once again, sickening.

3

anniej March 8, 2013 @ 1:35 p.m.

eastlaker - ah yes that would be me, anniej. A certain board member allegedly called in a favor from a buddy and had anniej's pseudo name IP address researched. I received a telecon and advised that their research with the registrar of voters showed no such person. Oh my what trouble this board member went to to silence me. Not only was I prevented from commenting on the UT but also Facebook, and there was a time limit attached - over a year.

When I contacted management of the UT they did try to remove the techno ban, but alas whatever had been done could NOT be removed, in the end I did need to serve my sentence. The employee that banned me no longer worked for them.

At a subsequent meeting i looked said board member directly in the eye, and called him out for doing so, he looked to his fellow board members, shook his head, shrugged his shoulders and mouthed not me. YES YOU!!!!!

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anniej March 8, 2013 @ 1:54 p.m.

Eastlaker: it appears to be 'how some are attempting to silence those with different opinions'.

I have no doubt some of the same measures were attempted with The READER - but from what I have been told The READER is a news agency that believes in factual reporting and freedom of speech.

1

Jmbrickley March 8, 2013 @ 7:34 p.m.

anniej... why do we all feel so strong not to memtion the name(s) of these thugs and bullies?

0

anniej March 8, 2013 @ 7:45 p.m.

JmBrickley - in my case it was not Lopez, or Quinones, Cartmill (not in his DNA), nor Ricasa, and Brand was not here at the time - ding ding ding that would leave -------------

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oskidoll March 8, 2013 @ 4:37 p.m.

The Brown Act requires that the public be given the opportunity to address the elected board on matters pertinent to the public agency in general and specifically on matters that appear on the agency's agenda. The agency has the right to limit the time individuals may have to address the agency officials, and that can become a way for the board to limit the discussion, especially if it is critical. The board may also limit the total amount of time given to any one topic, regardless of the number of people who wish to address the board on that topic.

Our individual First Amendment Rights under the constitution are somewhat different.

A newspaper or electronic medium such as TV is protected by the First Amendment, but is not obligated to give its space to any and all who would wish to be heard in that forum. Unfortunately, the media's obligation to 'fair and balanced' reporting is now not taken too seriously by local press. It is their call on what they cover and how, they report the 'news'.

As individuals, we have the First Amendment right to say and/or print whatever we wish in whatever forums we can access. If we own a newspaper, for example, we can print our opinions. Of course, if what we print or say is not truthful, we may be subject to prosecution for libel or slander if another's reputation is damaged in the process.

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anniej March 8, 2013 @ 12:53 p.m.

ALL - it is time for the community to call on Jim Cartmill to do what needs to be done. No more excuses, no more time to be given to 'right the ship'.

Many believed "Jim will do what is right", this is meeting three into his presidency, the public is now questioning WHEN! When will Cartmill live up to the faith so many had in him? Surely he realizes what is at stake, his reputation for doing what is right for the students and taxpayers - surely he wil not stand by while Brand drags this district down any further.

The alleged corruption at Sweetwater has soiled the integrity of many, will Jim Cartmill allow the ill deeds of Brand to define Cartmills legacy -

Board meeting number 3 on Monday - the proof is in the votes, in the comments - my fellow neighbors pay attention to both - A MAN IS DEFINED BY HIS DEEDS, I still hold out hope that Cartmill will begin marching to the beat of a different drum - his own. Brand will soon be gone, he will be living in his community up North - he will not have to look into the faces of the community and explain HOW and WHY he failed our students and us - Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa though will remain living here as our neighbors - how do they intend on explaining what was done to Sweetwater, to us?

I did not ask the question of John Mccann or Pearl Quinones, because, in my opinion neither has a saving grace. Lopez, she is admired by the public - her votes speak for themselves. Lopez appears to be odd man out - the votes 4 - 1. When Quinones was running for reelection she seemed to be casting credible votes, but alas now, she has rejoined the pack.

I am aware that Lopez has been indicted - I also have seen first hand her votes in action - they, and they alone have been in favor of the students and taxpayers.

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anniej March 8, 2013 @ 7:13 p.m.

BAD INVESTMENT ED appears to be at it again.

The last item on the closed session has to do with REAL ESTATE. Hold onto your hats folks, it appears that ED Brand the captain of the ship back when we purchased L St is at it again - based on what I am seeing he is looking to buy an office building WHICH IS FOR SALE at 2300 Boswell RD Chula Vista, Ca. Also up for discission BEHIND CLOSED DOORS is another piece of property off of Main Street - 2387 Faivre Street Chula Vista, Ca.

So lets ponder this for a minute - what would they be doing with an office building - well it does not take a mental giant to figure this out - it surely isn't to house 7th - 12th graders, so what could it be well by golly my money is on a new District office - and the property off of Main Street, how about transportation housing - BIG YELLOW BUSES would go there based on the description of the property is my guess.

AND, pray tell how are we going to pay for this land? What funds will he use? It won't be Prop O, we put a stop to that borrowing so what other fund has enough money in it?

We are getting ready to issue pink slips, we have a middle school in its 10th year of Program Improvement, our east side schools are bursting at the seams due to Brands mandate of no borders. And we have this man spending his time not focused on the education of our students but apparently playing real estate mogul.

We are currently sitting on several pieces of land, you know land that we are paying mortgages on - but silly anniej, they are on the west side. The suits deserve to be on the east side NO MATTER WHAT THE COST, or so Brand would have the board believe. The students best interest be darned - this all about Ed Brand.

Might I remind all reading, it was this same Ed Brand that lost investors millions in his failed bank deal. It is this same Ed Brand who has lost we taxpayers millions on L street. Are we prepared to take more losses?

How is Jim Cartmill and the rest of the board going to justify our tax dollars being spent on ANY PROPERTY???????????? Have they forgotten what his last big land deal resulted in - a FREAKIN FINANCIAL NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa, you followed Brands bad advice first time around and are now being made to answer for your vote, hopefully you learned your lesson about Brands bad land deals. With our district in the current financial state it finds itself in, and based on Brands failed land deals - surely you will not ENRAGE the taxpayers with yet another financial land our base we can ill afford.

4

eastlaker March 8, 2013 @ 7:52 p.m.

Can we take all of our Mello-Roos funds (and other bond amounts that are collected with property taxes) and put them in an escrow account until Brand is gone? That way he couldn't get his grimy paws on it, and it might be available for the intended purposes.

Financial genius he is not, real estate mogul he is not--can't someone get Ed Brand to recognize his limitations? Oh, but that is impossible for a narcissist with delusions of grandeur...

Question: who would sell to Sweetwater knowing what a mess the finances are? If Sweetwater would declare bankruptcy, which I have heard is a distinct possibility, what would happen with the properties that are not schools or school-related? Auctioned off? So would the current owners be at risk, or would the bank assume the risk (or insurance/reinsurance)?

I can't imagine that informed real estate people would be that interested in setting up a deal that might go very south in a few months--unless they are only interested in their commission.

Which begs the question, which of Ed Brand's friends is brokering the deal?

3

oskidoll March 9, 2013 @ 6:02 p.m.

Well, eastlaker, there is civil disobedience to consider. What would happen if legions of SUHSD taxpayers withheld their annual property tax payment portions that deal with MelloRoos and Bond payments? They are broken out on the tax bill. Put the money into a separate escrow account as a 'statement' of civil disobedience in protest of the possible illegal uses to which the District is putting them. It takes awhile for the county to bring foreclosure...the worst you might suffer would be fines and penalties on the amounts withheld. Just a thought.

0

eastlaker March 8, 2013 @ 11:16 p.m.

I looked up the two properties--pretty sure I have been in 2300 Boswell before. It's a shiny building--lots of reflective glass. In relative proximity to Eastlake High School and Eastlake Middle School.

IMO Faivre Street might not be the best or safest place to store anything. But I guess some massive fencing could be installed.

As has been said before by others here, IF Sweetwater had everything else taken care of, was financially solvent, had leadership that was responsive to the community and could be trusted, THEN maybe something like this would be in order.

But that is definitely not the case.

The financial risk, on top of all the other reasons would stop all but the most hypomanic of personalities. This is bad news from start to finish, and Sweetwater doesn't need any more bad news.

2

montana64 March 8, 2013 @ 8:17 p.m.

District offices should be located on school sites--just a hunch! Where staff, too, could vibrate with the pulse & rhythm of the learning hubbub. As students change classes, sling iPads, line up for lunch... Such suits could re-examine the reason they exist: our kids! Duh Bub!

4

WTFEd March 8, 2013 @ 8:30 p.m.

Dreary day in the office. I was getting up the courage to knock on Ed's door this morning so to speak up but he was out at some site thing in the morning. I just can't live with myself anymore with all this stuff. Ed how can you live with yourself? I am losing sleep over this. What do I do? Been around long enough. District does not respond to the story about "L"Street? Weird stuff going on in my head.

I can tell you the way the District has handled "L" is not good. Why the secrets? We continue to suffer from stupidity by not just fessing up. We all make mistakes. The problem is the it was a big one that was self inflicted and dishonest with the public. How shameful. I need to contact those activists now and if they won't blow my cover. Who can vouch that anniej eastlaker erupting are legit? Could the District have set these up and then use them as bait to catch "insubornidates". I would put nothing pass them.

Can somebody vouch for these people? Help me. I need them to talk to me. How do we do this? I need to share in confidence sensitive material I have uncovered.

3

bvagency March 9, 2013 @ 7:30 a.m.

Wtfed, i can vouch for anniej. She is legit! I have had the pleasure of speaking with anniej on many occassions.

2

anniej March 8, 2013 @ 8:44 p.m.

How many have you have ever been to the San Diego City Schools District office? I have, while it is not pretty, it functions - a district office is there to support the students education to support the educators and to house those who oversee the financial expenditures of our tax dollars.

The primary focus of school districts is to ensure that our children are receiving a quality education that will serve as a foundation for their future career endeavors. Our tax dollars are NOT AN OPEN CHECK BOOK FOR REAL ESTATE prognosticators. If Brand fancies himself as a real estate speculator let him go home to the North County, study for his real estate license and then speculate on his OWN DIME!!!!!!!

If this board passes this item, I have no doubt those who value their tax dollars will be coming out of the wood work. Remember the last time certain members wanted to spend our hard earned monies on their defenses, our neighbors turned out in mass. Now that The READER and Channel 7/39 have educated us on Brands past bad real estate deals - ALL ARE PAYING ATTENTION?

Hopefully Mr. Cartmill and the others will stop this endeavor by Brand, stay tuned. The proof will be in their vote -

4

anniej March 8, 2013 @ 8:58 p.m.

WTFEd - many employees are in the same boat you are in - hating doing what they are told to do, wanting to help bring about positive change, yet not knowing who to trust.

I have always maintained it would be easy for me to advise that you go public, but I AM NOT YOU - and I understand the pressure of a mortgage and family responsibilities.

I would suggest that you listen to past board meetings, those persons that continually show up and speak up for our students, employees and tax payers - they can be trusted.

Contacting the authorities, whether it be the District Attorney or the FBI - is yet another option.

But again it is a decision that only you can make.

4

Susan Luzzaro March 8, 2013 @ 10:05 p.m.

Not every school district is as unfortunate and as fortunate as Sweetwater. I don't need to explain why the district is unfortunate--but the district is actually extraordinarily fortunate to have so many astute people investigating and following its actions, as well as so many people who do the basic and important work of the district.

The L Street transaction is by no means simple--but stripped down to its simplest components -- it is revealing.

5

bbq March 9, 2013 @ 7:31 a.m.

First a couple of questions, if the district decides to move the offices to the "Eastside" can they justify using Mello-Roos funds to pay for the property in larger than the percentage use equation? ie. 30% of the students live in Mello-Roos special zones so 30% of the new building funds can be taken from said funds before general funds are used or can 100% of the property be purchased with Mello-Roos funds since its in the Mello-Roos Zone? I Smell SCAM!!!! It's not what I pay Mello-Roos for!!! This is not a facility that improves the value of my property by giving my kids or kids in my area a better learning environment.
Trustees until you are forth comming with the true state of the district all you can expect is derision (sp) and contempt at any of your financial ideas much less decisions.

Where is the long term plan for the development of the district? We deserve an overall view of eastside-westside- all around the town.

This should be included with the overall education plan for the future of our children, how do all of the pieces fit together. How does the great and powerful SUHSD connect with all of the other programs available in the county and state? I don't think you "Administrators" even know about half of the programs our kids are involved with.

Do you SUHSD and the Citizens of this area get the picture, there is no accountability, the district is a monopoly that is unregulated since we do not ask it to justify itself, we do not hold it accountable for anything. It's a sad state of affairs.....

4

eastlaker March 9, 2013 @ 9:06 a.m.

Well said.

We need that forensic audit going back about 20 years--and we need some honesty from the trustees. I doubt if Brand is able to distinguish truth from fiction by now...too many years of too many untruths to be able to sort it all out.

But this bizarre and crazed journey must come to an end so that Sweetwater's students get a CHANCE at a reasonable education.

Does Brand have four out of the five trustees mesmerized somehow? Just what is his hold over them?

My advice to the four trustees: break free and tell the truth. Don't cover for Brand, as he would never cover for you. He is in it for Ed Brand.

3

erupting March 9, 2013 @ 9:01 a.m.

WTFE, my name is Fran Brinkman my blogging name is Erupting. I'm one of the activists. Please read the the indictments and you will see my name as proof. I know that Brand thinks he has a strangle hold on staff In truth he has had some effect on our gathering activities, but we still have many sources and a few returnees. Fear of losing your job is a serious threat. If you want to contact us feel free,but a better choice for your protection at this time would be to talk with Vince Giami the lead investigator for the DA's office. I'm sure you will be afforded the respect and privacy you deserve, we were. Please be careful.

4

anniej March 9, 2013 @ 9:51 a.m.

EASTLAKE FOLKS:

MELLO ROOS BEING USED TO PURCHASE PROPERTY THAT WIL HOUSE DISTRICT PERSONNEL WHILE PINK SLIPS ARE BEING PREPARED?

MELLO ROOS TAX DOLLARS BEING BORROWED FOR A PROPERTY WHEN WE ARE TOLD MONTHLY BE OUR SUPERINTENDENT THAT WE ARE BROKE?

THESE ARE YOUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS!

4

eastlaker March 9, 2013 @ 10:34 a.m.

Exactly--Ed Brand's entitlement mentality leads him to think he can do anything he wants.

Four out of the five trustees do nothing to rein him in.

I have been calling out about Mello-Roos abuses for a couple of years now, and am glad that there is finally getting to be some traction on the issue--if only we could get more people to realize what this means.

We also NEED to know all of what Ed Brand is doing with the financials.

This is a monstrously out of control school district, and even though many people are under indictment, there is an atmosphere of unreality and denial in the way Brand and the board operate that is mind-boggling.

Part of it is that we do get limited news coverage, due to Brand's web of complicity. (If I overstate, someone, anyone, please jump in and correct me, with all the pertinent details).

Part of it is that many in the general populous would rather think of their community as 'voted the best in San Diego the past 12 years' and really don't want to acknowledge any problems that may exist.

Sad to say...if Ed Brand continues in the way he has been, he will be responsible for bankrupting the school district and creating all sorts of chaos. We will lose teachers, programs of all descriptions and students will suffer.

Yes, these are our hard earned dollars, and Ed Brand is making off with them for his own ego gratification.

We need to stop feeding the monster.

3

bbq March 9, 2013 @ 10:05 a.m.

anniej, it's the old shell game being played fast a loose, I am prepared to start a lawsuit against the district for their interpretation of the use of Mello-Roos Funds with the ability to suppliment the general fund funded projects by the 30% ish factor of Mello Roos Kids, we all pay into the General Funds too.... Also with open Boundaries there is no incentive to purchase a house in the Melo-Roos Zones to have better facilities, by the way Olympian High School has some of the worst facilities in the district considering it's in the Mello-Roos Zones as is the overall condition of Eastlake when I've visited there.

I agreed to pay into a facility improvement fund when I purchased my property on a promise that the funds would benefit our local communities and the value of my property.

I've not seen one 'Improvement Plan" on the Eastside in the last 6 years or property purchased with a plan for development into a school site. Lot's of talk about a new Middle School, something we could use, no plan, now lot's of talk about a k-12 Charter School, not a good plan... take care of immediate needs first... overcrowding .. sub par test scores... etc.

Wake up world....

5

eastlaker March 9, 2013 @ 10:56 a.m.

I would like to make a proposal, in partial response to the subtitle of this article. (Should The Troubled District Change Their Name?)

As long as Ed Brand is Superintendent, and the four sock puppets are at his beck and call, I submit that Sweetwater should be changed to Swampgas, as that is about the caliber of leadership we are getting from those five.

3

anniej March 9, 2013 @ 12:23 p.m.

bbq I have heard that the district is going to be building a new middle school, and it is definitely warranted.

I do NOT pay Mello however my tax dollars were used to purchase L street, the Third Ave property that has sat vacant FOR YEARS. I also paid for the drive by appraisals of land on the Mile of Cars that was being considered as a new district office site.

While San Diego City Schools is selling off land to SAVE teachers jobs, we are planning to buy land with borrowed Mello monies AND HAND OUT PINK SLIPS - in a fiduciary responsible world how does this happen?

It is happening because our superintendent is NOT INVESTED in our community - he only invests in Ed Brand. He lives North of here and his tax dollars will NOT be used.

I have hope that Jim Cartmill will clearly see this is a powder keg that is destined to implode on any and all board members who vote for it. These Mello dollars are Cartmills neighbors monies. Mello monies are suppose to be used for school facilities not district personnel facilities.

Mr. Cartmill would serve the community well if he were to sit Ed Brand down and chart a new course. A course void of phone calls to employers of citizens in an attempt to silence public opinion, void of get rich quick deals, void of the undermining historically long relationships with entities such as CV Elementary and Southwestern, and void of the disrespect he shows to our educators.

Now is the time to stop Cartmill in Von's - ask the question HOW ARE YOU GOING TO VOTE?

Let us know if we can help with the legal fight, many are willing to contribute.

4

montana64 March 9, 2013 @ 12:30 p.m.

Swampgas by the sea-- Our children jump ship for charters. True but negative publicity--- Six years of turbid waters. Meanwhile 40 students stacked in classrooms, Packed in as API bean counting looms.. Our 7th graders lord-of-the-flies like... Erase iPad IDs, virtual textbooks and such Spend their days playing angry birds --no psyche! Mello Roos you ain't bought much!

2

anniej March 9, 2013 @ 6:52 p.m.

CIVILITY CONCERNS: I KID YOU NOT!!!!!!!!!!

Agenda item B lists the above. Please tell me this is a joke!

Perhaps The board should sit down with a neutral party and have the facts explained to them - YOU ARE/HAVE FAILED YOUR CONSTITUENTS - you have tried every trick in the book -

Limited their public comment Refused public comment Taken chairs out of the board room to limit access Paid a board members legal fees when he filed a TRO against a well respected community member Attempted to change the time of the board meeting to limit turn out Watched while a board member filmed CERTAIN public speakers Manipulated the audio of certain board members Forced the public to seek legal counsel in order to limit campaign contributions Overpaid by thousands for dirt to be hauled to Tim Buck Two Refused to release requested documents on L street Called community speakers bosses in an effort to silence them

AND,,,,,,,, - YOU WONDER WHY THEY ARE A TAD TORKED??????

CIVILITY YOU SAY? WHAT IS CIVIL ABOUT CORRUPTION - or did you forget about the indictments?

3

eastlaker March 9, 2013 @ 7:55 p.m.

Brand and the majority board wanting the public to behave in a more civil fashion is just another attempt at smothering public opinion.

If I were to say that Brand is a hypomanic, and say that during the 1 or 2 or 3 minutes allowed for individual public speech during the meeting, and if I were to say this with a smile on my face, would that be civil enough?

How about, if I were to say that Brand, due to all the times he has failed to deliver information to the public that the public deserves and is completely entitled to, is a colossal lowlife, but if this was said in a polite, well-modulated voice, would that be civil enough?

What about this: if I were to say that Brand, by "virtue" of all his lies has completely thumbed his nose at this entire community, and that if he thinks we should treat him with respect, he is even more deluded than I had previously suspected...but if I managed to say this without an edge to my voice, would that attain a level of civility that would be acceptable to Fast Eddy, Superintendent of Swampgas UHSD?

The man who can't contain his greed wants to lecture us on civility? The man who conspires to steal the futures from the students of this district thinks he is in a position to teach us about good behavior?

Fast Eddy, the epitome of living slime, is in no position to lecture, advise or suggest anything to the members of this community. He should crawl on his knees, apologising for what he has done--except he is too blind to his own ethical lapses, apparently, to realize all his faults.

Ed Brand, we do not respect you, or your sock puppet board members. Get used to it. You have done nothing to earn our respect, and you have done everything to make us feel nothing but disrespect and contempt for your miserable self.

The truth is what you need to hear, what you need to get used to hearing, and the truth is what we are telling you. If you think that is lacking in civility, then you have a problem with truth and reality, not manners.

3

anniej March 10, 2013 @ 8:47 a.m.

Truth be told - Brand is the boards front man - however,

No matter how many times Brand steps out in front, - we the voters are fully aware that we VOTED for Jim Cartmill, John Mccann, Arlie Ricasa, and Pearl Quinones to serve our children and to be the financial watchdogs over our taxes

AND THEY -

have failed us!!!!!!!!!!

3

bvagency March 10, 2013 @ 12:58 p.m.

Its very frustrating that Jim, John, Pearl, Arlie and Bertha dont hear the community. You are going to let Ed Brand look at buying property in Eastlake, yet his track record of buying land is horrendous. You are even considering buying when L St and 3rd Ave have dark clouds over them and are losing the district money! You are thinking of buying when you are going to give out pink slips to teachers! You are thinking of buying when Pearls baby, the CTE Program, which was touted in 2012 Community Forum at Sweetwater High School, is cutting classes and laying off teachers!

You have given Ed Brand too much control, yet you do nothing to provide oversight or control. You dont discuss anything in the open, you dont demand details. You dont engage the community to get feedback or ideas.

Jim, John, Arlie, Pearl and Bertha you are ultimately responsible for what you have allowed to occur in this district!

For there to be an Agenda item in closed session to discuss more land purchases is disgusting! You need to nip this in the bud, and definately dont consider the use of Mello Roos money to study, drive by, hire experts, or engage in any activities in the purchase of an office building in Eastlake. Your core business is education.

Heres an idea - once the schools' facilities are improved accross the district, and the schools are off Program Improvement, then you can think of looking for a new district headquarters.

As far as the use of our Mello Roos money, John and Jim, you should know better. You live in Eastlake and undestand how that money should be spent. How about making sure the toilets work, the HVAC is functioning, the infrastructure, flooring, windows, gym, lockers, etc of Eastlake High get taken care of. How about making sure we have decent student to teacher ratios so World History classes dont have 47 students, Biology 44, PE 78.

How about making sure there is enough money for the sports programs so we dont get asked as parents to pay $150 for our children to participate on a sports team!!

Cmon Trustees, lets get the community back, have open dialogue, have open office hours a few weeks a month. A few of you at the District offices, a few of you in the Eastlake/Otay Ranch area. How do you know or get the community's pulse if you dont listen to the community? And no your close friends dont count! And no those of us bloggers are not the minority.

Only then will you realize the frustration we are feeling, and then maybe you will rethink the carte blanche you have given Ed Brand to make decisions!

3

anniej March 10, 2013 @ 1:36 p.m.

bvagency: i have no doubt that the majority of the board members are sick and tired of US - when I say US I am referring to all of the concerned citizens who have been forced into positions of overseeing our tax dollars.

Truth be told, we too are sick and tired - tired of doing what they were voted into office to do. But where are they, they are in essence MIA - I can appreciate that they are attempting to prepare their legal cases, however, they have responsibilities to the students and tax payers - if they, for whatever reason are not able to serve, then they should step down. NO HARM - NO FOUL. They would be far better respected for moving on vs. turning all things over to Ed Brand, as they have done now - there is no integrity in copping out.

Brand has a track record when it comes to spending our tax dollars and it is not good. Brand has a track record when it comes to purchasing property on our dime and it is not good.

They (Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa) were there back when HE decided to purchase L Street. The City of Chula Vista, actually wrote them a letter advising it was not a good idea - did Brand or Cartmill or Ricasa listen, NO.

While Jim Cartmill or Arlie Ricasa can not unspill the milk of Third Avenue or L Street they can out of sight of us say NO - "ED, OUR REPUTATIONS ARE ON THE LINE - we listened to you back then and we lost MILLIONS. We simply can not do this now".

bvagency, your paragraph outlining the what is NEEDED at this time says it ALL.

Mr. Cartmill surely reads these blogs - hopefully he will honor his commitment to us - and JUST SAY NO TO ED BRAND - now is not the time - PERHAPS LATER WHEN ALL bvagency has outlined has been fixed - but NOT NOW.

3

oskidoll March 10, 2013 @ 1:59 p.m.

The public has a right to know what public officials are doing with their money and other resources. The public has a right to know what decisions the public officials are making on their behalf. The ONLY items that the Brown Act allow in closed session are personnel matters, directions for collective bargaining, and legal conversations that if made public AT THAT TIME would jeopardize the agency's position. The Brown Act specifies that the public has a right to make official comment on the items on the board's agenda and other matters related to the agency that might not be on the agenda. The Board may not squelch public comment, even if it considers it 'uncivil', and especially if it is not what the Board may wish to hear. The Board cannot make us like them, or their actions. They should get over that expectation, just as I have gotten over any expectation that they will suddenly 'get it' and do right by us. Ain't gonna happen until the law shuts them down, and there is a more responsive and focused board majority in place.

3

bbq March 10, 2013 @ 5:03 p.m.

To my fellow Blogees, I plan to be at the Board meeting tomorrow night and speak during the open comment time, I am not sure if I can state my case in the limited time available but the jixst of what I will be saying is with the current state of the Board and the Adminstration I have no Confidence that they have a clue where the district needs to go in the next few years. We have issues with previous real estate investments, a new CFO who cannot possibly know the real status of the district financials, Trustees under indictment, spending monies that may very well be still influenced by their alleged misdeeds. A definition of where Mello-Roos Funds may be spent that is subject to interpretation. Schools which not only continue to operate under Program Improvement requirements, but good schools falling into program improvement due to "Open Boundary" Adminstration/Trustee Rulings. Discrepencies in spending with regards to Bond Issues, etc. I will be saying that I for one have absolutely "NO CONFIDENCE" in our current situation. Unfortunately business has to continue so I will have to trust them to be able to maintain an operating school district and an operating budget, but at this point NOTHING MORE. By the way unless you are dense you will know who BBQ is.

3

oskidoll March 10, 2013 @ 5:15 p.m.

I suggest that everyone pay close attention to what is reported out after closed session. If the board took ANY action, they are obligated to report that action. Then, it can become the subject of public comment. If they decline to report any action from closed session, but had importnat and substantial items on the closed session agenda, we can ask why they took no action on imporant matters and when the public might expect a report from closed session actions as required by the Brown Act. Keep their feet to the fire. The 'presentation' on civility is an indication that they are feeling a bit toasty and are trying to intimidate us from exercising our right to public comment.

3

bbq March 10, 2013 @ 5:36 p.m.

I read the agenda for tomorrow's meeting, it's interesting that the closed agenda has potential negotiations for 2300 Boswell and the other site. What goes on behind closed doors. I stll plan to address my "NO CONFIDENCE" issue, however I would really like to know where the district thinks it is getting the $$$$ Money $$$$ to purchase Boswell from. Will someone please ask... I am sure that Ed has some answer but will fumble allong. By the way does his name go on all of the building commeration plates? I wonder if he gets a kick back per letter, oh not civil enough....

2

anniej March 10, 2013 @ 8:39 p.m.

bbq - the only fund with any money in it is MELLO ROOS - they will say 'LEGALLY WE CAN BORROW IT'.

What about the millions they lost on L Street? Do those millions not matter? Of course they do, but why would we add to the mess of real estate when the teacher/student ratio is climbing each year and we have schools that have been in Program Improvement SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LONG that we are closing it and then turning around and reopening it.

Bottom line this is NOT the time to buying any real estate for the purpose of a new District office. Why are we, the taxpayers seeing it and yet Brand and the board is not? Does the board not realize that we scrutinize the board agendas with a fine tooth comb? We have to, as it appears they are not.

2

bbq March 12, 2013 @ 9:05 a.m.

After an incredabily uninformative School Board Meeting, nothing substantive was accomplished except that Trustee Quiniones actually stood up to the Men on the board!! of coarse the vote to not protect the Adult programs went two for, two against, and one abstaining which means it passed as the president voted not to protect them.
The building purchasing issue was cautiously covered and little or no discussion about it in open session happening so it will be interesting what the Trustees decide. If they go for a purchase at this time they are just confirming that they are Ed's (Sorry too disrespectful Dr. "Can't look anyone in the eye" Brand) puppets and haven't a clue or a care about the real operations of the school system.
I am appalled at the lack of interest in the real issues in the district by our board and staff. I will say a brief encounter with CFO Alt was a bit of a surprise, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now. People of the South Bay Community it's time to tell the SUHSD what you want and quit taking the BS they keep shovelling to us, there is plenty of capital if it's used correctly and efficiently, but it will take a top-down and bottom-up review including the forensic audit everyone has been asking for. "Lean Programs and Efficient Belt Tightening" is how any Business survives these times. BBQ

4

anniej March 12, 2013 @ 11:47 a.m.

Board came back - Cartmill reported " Board took no action". Not understanding what that means. Did they vote? Are they going to bring it back? Hopefully the action will be made clear.

Quinones did a GREAT job, I have to give it to her. She stood up for the students enrolled in Adult Ed and ROP. She had facts, figures - she simply would not back down. It was good to hear real debate, open discussion on such an important issue.

Here is the question, what is happening that Brand would think for one minute that this community would even CONSIDER buying more property? I am very interested in knowing which of the board members are aligned with Brand - it will prove to define them in a most transparent way.

I have no doubt something is a miss when it comes to the history of L Street - remember Mr. Cartmill, Ms. Ricasa and Brand were apart of that - hopefully neither of these two members are in favor of ANY land deal at this time - not simply because Brand is brokering it, but for the simple fact we have more important issues at hand - THE EDUCATION OF OUR STUDENTS WHO ARE TRAPPED IN PROGRAM IMPROVEMENT SCHOOLS, GETTING BACK TO BLACK AND OUT OF RED, BETTER RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN OUR SUPER and THE EMPLOYEES OF SUHSD.

Food for thought - simply saying "I did it because my boss told me to - does not cut it in a court of law".

4

erupting March 12, 2013 @ 6:48 p.m.

Interesting meeting last night. I was totally shocked with Pearls performance as you were anniej. I've never seen her so right on and totally prepared. I just wish she and Bertha would have made a motion and the other seconded it. It would have publicly shown who was who. Alot of lip service from Arlie and McCann,but the bottom line is we will wait to see if the money comes to us from the county. They were not going to commit. I heard a rather interesting scenario from staff as Brand calls those invisible folks. Anyway people are concerned that Brand wants to use some of the classes from ROP (two) and borrow one from the Adult Ed.program to use in his vacant Sweetwater University program. Supposedly (meaning rumor) is that most of the board already is aware of this. I might be wrong but it appears Pearl isn't one of them,or she gave an award winning performance. As usual time will tell.

3

eastlaker March 13, 2013 @ 1:24 p.m.

What you say makes a great deal of sense. Fast Eddy is always scheming, and this would be a few more bricks for his non-brick-and-mortar Sweetwater U...

Which really is a mechanism to take public education dollars and shunt them to his friends in the education "big business".

If he isn't stopped, he will do his utmost to bleed this district dry of our students' futures. This is wrong.

1

oskidoll March 13, 2013 @ 3:07 p.m.

WHAT money from the County? The San Diego County Office of Education that denies the responsibility for any fiscal oversight of the SUHDS? THAT County?
Sounds like the organ grinder is tuning up for another flim-flam parade, and perhaps more sleight-of-hand shell games, perhaps even 'laundring' our own Mello Roos or Bond Money to underwrite the CTE programs?

Bring on the Motrin, and make it a heavy dose. It's getting even more like a rabbit-hole we are tumbling down into. Guess who continues to grin like the Cheshire Cat?

2

eastlaker March 14, 2013 @ 12:28 p.m.

I hadn't really wanted to say this, but I will say this. As this article isn't being as actively read, maybe this is the same thing as writing a letter to myself, but here goes.

So much of what goes on in Sweetwater has no rhyme or reason. It is as if Ed Brand and his non-thinking lackeys do whatever they feel like doing, without keeping in mind what it is they are supposed to do, which is educate students from the 7th through the 12th grades. Through the years, the community-benefitting programs have been added, as Sweetwater has many young adults and older adults who need to re-tool themselves, learn English, whatever...and that has become an important part of what Sweetwater has accomplished.

But that is now going away.

Why? Because Fast Eddy recognized an opportunity when Gov. Brown left out the adult programs in the budget for the coming year. Bonus for Brand! He gets to take that money and put it into one of his new pet projects!

Which possibly could be connected to some sort of friendly reward down the road, as Fast Eddy worms his way in with the 'big business' education crowd.

Meanwhile, we have the communities of Sweetwater being sold down the river. No joke.

Ed Brand must have massive contempt for all of us who sit here, paying our Mello-Roos and other bonds and our property taxes year in and year out.

He must have massive contempt for all the students as well, because he is undermining their education every minute of every day with one scheme after another.

He does not have any respect for the teachers.

He forces administrators to turn on each other in some sort of sick 'survival of the fittest' mode.

For the life of me, can someone please explain why Jim Cartmill still jumps to Brand's tune? Why McCann appears the willing henchman at every meeting? Why Ricasa can't find a reason to support the very programs that have benefited many of the people she has called her friends?

The sickness is way too pervasive.

1

bbq March 28, 2013 @ 8:40 a.m.

All, I am posting on all of the recient SUHSD Comments, I have been in contact with Dr. Brand and Dr. Alt. They are planning some Financial Townhall meetings for April, I have volunteered to help compile a series of questions you would like answered by Dr. Alt. I will forward and review these with him and probe for meaningful answers as best I can working as a community liason. Read some of my other comments and you will understand my frustration with the district, but without dialog we are stuck where we are. Please send answerable questions ie minimal political inuendo, just to make it easier to get a reasonable answer. The sooner the better, I would like to have a formal list to Dr. Alt on Monday April 1, what better day than that, so please post by midday Sunday March 31, 2013. BBQ

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