E2ManageTech consultants presenting
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New information obtained by the Reader confirms critics’ worst fears about the Sweetwater real estate deals. E2ManageTech, hired by the district to make several pieces of Chula Vista shovel-ready for high-density housing has reiterated to the district several times that they intend to take — in addition to their salary — one-third of the profit from the sale of the properties.

A July 23 Reader article contains E2TManageTech’s October 7, 2011 participation agreement proposal in which the consultants first lay claim to the one-third. The subsequent agreement, dated July 18, 2012, states: “…the Developer is entitled to one third of the Savings [read: profits] for each of the Sites [district properties] or from related transactions after a particular aforementioned site is Entitled and Sold.”

Diane Russo, Sweetwater’s former chief financial officer, signed both documents. Her title at the time of signing — both the proposal and the subsequent agreement — was “Interim Deputy Superintendent of Operations.”

Tom Calhoun, executive facilities director for Sweetwater, has become the district face for the real-estate deals since former superintendent Ed Brand was put on leave.

Calhoun asserts the contract is not in effect because Russo was not empowered to sign for Sweetwater.

However, E2ManageTech consultants argue in an April 17 letter that Russo assured them that a September 2011 board action “provided her the authority to sign the PA [participation agreement] as a duly authorized representative of the District.”

E2ManageTech argues in the same letter that former trustee Jim Cartmill was aware of the contents of the contract when he voted for it at the September 2011 meeting. The letter states: “With respect to the one-third sharing…Member Jim Cartmill, as evidenced in the recorded minutes…clearly acknowledges his understanding of the compensation plan as outlined in our Proposal and PA.”

It appears from all the new documents that the district, belatedly, tried to renegotiate the one-third agreement with the consultants in March and April of this year.

On March 20, 2014, E2ManageTech sent Brand a restatement of what transpired in a March 17 meeting with Brand and Calhoun: “your position is that the District does not want to honor the one-third of the net cash savings of each of the Asset Properties…. You have instructed Thomas Calhoun to develop an alternate compensation plan on behalf of the District that would be acceptable to E2 and its partners….”

But the document continues, “After further consideration, E2 and its partners have decided to continue to operate in accordance with the Participation Agreement….”

In other words, E2ManageTech expects to receive the one-third.

On March 21, Calhoun sent an email to E2ManageTech principal Daryl Hernandez, saying, “Thanks Daryl and I am pleased that you and the E2TechManageTech team will be continuing your work under the existing Project Management Agreement while we discuss the status and efficacy of the Participation Agreement.”

The group doing the work for the district under the aegis of E2ManageTech is comprised of representatives from more than one consultant group: Daryl Hernandez is the vice president of E2ManageTech, Charles J. Diamond is a principal in HTI Property Group, and Vince Scarpati is a principal in C & V Consulting.

It is important to note that E2ManageTech’s agreement was never put out to bid by Sweetwater. At a March 2012 board meeting, then-trustee Bertha Lopez asked then-superintendent Brand if the district had ever sought bids. Brand stated no other consultants were interested and that this group of consultants “came highly recommended from the City of Chula Vista, which is a key component in our ability to move forward.”

How did these consultants get their foot in the door?

In response to a Reader query about the city’s recommendation, a Chula Vista project manager said the connection came when E2ManageTech partner Chuck Diamond contacted Chula Vista’s assistant development director, Eric Crockett, in 2010. Diamond was representing Unisolar at that time. Crockett told Diamond the city already had a solar-panel arrangement but referred him to Sweetwater.

Aside from selling solar panels, Diamond has an interesting history.

A LinkedIn profile lists Charles Diamond of HTI as having previously worked for Kenneth Leventhal & Co. from 1968–1976.

In 1995, the Los Angeles Times ran an extensive article about a Chuck Diamond who worked for Kenneth Leventhal during the same time period. The subject of the article was Diamond’s bankruptcy and the fact that he had borrowed extensively from friends and invested in residential real estate projects. At the time of the article, the real-estate firms were $4 million in debt.

Despite the murkiness, Sweetwater’s real-estate deals keep advancing. Bids closed today (July 31) for the district’s Third Avenue property.

A number of residents — including several Sweetwater trustee candidates — say it’s time to call a halt to these deals and wait until the district has a newly elected board in November.

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Comments

shirleyberan July 31, 2014 @ 7:20 p.m.

Susan - thank you for writing about the many creative PLANNED DIVERSIONS of SCHOOL FUNDS within the district. Superintendent Brand (two questionable stints) and criminal acts of school board have greatly harmed school operations and safety. So far no acknowledgment for, in the least, a lack of insight. Attention to all improper illegal fraudulent contracts is required as it is obviously criminal intent for unjust enrichment of E2ManagementTech. Feduciary duties of board are still being ignored.

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anniej July 31, 2014 @ 7:20 p.m.

So, it would appear that Mr. Calhoun was less than forthright with the community the night of the meeting when the community asked 'will E2 ManageTech be expecting SUHSD to honor the Participation Agreement signed by Ms. Russo' - surprised by NO, NOT ME!

Transparency and this District do NOT go hand in hand!

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anniej July 31, 2014 @ 7:44 p.m.

Please review PDF provided above - is that not Tom Calhoun's name that was copied in?

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eastlaker July 31, 2014 @ 8:09 p.m.

So, let's be perfectly clear--Sweetwater, under Ed Brand, but without Brand's signature, decided to give 1/3 of profits to E2ManageTech.

Excuse me, that is public money!! This is not the way things should be done, especially with this district still in a massive mess: class sizes too high, all sorts of questionable physical plant situations, eliminating bus routes so that 12 year-olds will need to walk to school in the dark, funding numerous charter schools when the regular Sweetwater schools are going begging???

Who operates in this manner--people without conscience, that's who.

This cannot go on.

Yes, this is what Dr. Glover inherited, and it is no picnic, but it is definitely time to shut down all the Brand schemes. No more housing projects...no more charter schools! Bring back safe and sensible bus routes!! Give us the forensic audit we have been requesting for years now, and let the tracing of funds begin!

I suspect Ed Brand will have some explaining to do. Great stars in the sky! Now would be a pretty good time for Cartmill to start telling us everything he knows. It won't be pretty, but it might save all sorts of grief. What will we find out regarding complicity. Looks like there is plenty of that to go around.

What kind of money are we talking about with that 1/3 of "savings"--don't you just love the doublespeak--what's a few million between friends? Oh--maybe the difference between a school district that functions and one that is a fiasco.

We definitely have the fiasco right here. The Ed Brand created, and Cartmill, Ricasa and McCann seconded and voted through FIASCO!

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oskidoll July 31, 2014 @ 8:34 p.m.

It seems that there have been no requisite public hearings to declare the property, or properties, surplus. According to the law, without such public hearings, they cannot be sold. Ergo, any agreement to sell said properties must be null and void.

Fast Eddy's shell games have been exposed. No public hearings to get the PUBLIC's INPUT as to the fate of the properties.......no way they can be sold!

It's time to petition the court for an injunction to stop the illegal sale of the District's (public) properties without legal process.

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oldchulares July 31, 2014 @ 8:44 p.m.

Looks to me like Jim may be headed back to Court, Ed and Jim go way back but I would have thought Jim was smarter than this. Tom has history with controversy when is the guy going to learn. Let's see how Glover deals with this one. If he keeps Tom both he and the county folks are doomed. At this point Tom is a hot potato that no one will want to touch.

8

oneoftheteachers Aug. 1, 2014 @ 5:51 a.m.

More legal fees.....and my classes number in the forties,,,,without air conditioning ....sigh....

8

bbq Aug. 1, 2014 @ 6:37 a.m.

Ed and Ms. Russo out-smarted themselves on this one.... They backed themselves (and Us, the taxpayer) right into the corner with the Balloon payment due on "L" St and the desire to have the Ed Brand Executive Adminstration Campus of Sweetwater at Eastlake, (New Admin Campus).

They were in such a hurry to cover their Butts in 2011 (When the board brought Ed back) that they would have agreed to anything to keep the shellgame quiet!!!! Now however we all know about the real estate shellgame and how much it has cost the district, not only in money and prestige, but also distraction from the business of education, so no more hiding.

They proably thought there was little chance of "Profit" depending on how you account for it with the "L" St deal $15 Million in the red, the future accounting of this if it continues will be very interesting.

As they say hindsight is usually 20/20, the recent and current Board Members did not and do not have a clue as to what their roles are and were in the fiasco. Where were/are the Lawyers who should have approved any contract like this, where is/was the open accountability and public review, where is/was the facility review that we have been paying $2.4 million for over the last three years? I suspect all of those things were behind closed Doors in Ed's Office or more likely at a Steak Lunch in a Dark Resturant we paid for...

It's time to review the past, control the present and plan the future, keep watching closely and vet your candidates for the Nov. election.

BBQ, CAVE

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Ensenadamaria Aug. 1, 2014 @ 7:18 a.m.

Dr. Glover needs to take control and clean house. Those commenting here have simply scratched the surface of what is really going on. Hard to respect those in control when you know the truth about what is really going on.

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Bvavsvavev Aug. 1, 2014 @ 7:34 a.m.

As I read these comments about more money being squandered by current and prior district leadership and Trustees, I get more angry of the following facts at Eastlake High:

  1. Enrollment is over 3000 again, or about600 more than the campus maximum
  2. Not enough textbooks - my son's AP History class is about 25 textbooks short. He does not have one and will have to wait 2-4 weeks to get his.
  3. Ipads for 9th graders - Eastlake expected 717 freshman but 840 enrolled so they are short. They are scrambling to find additional ones but no ETA.
  4. 9th graders are interspersed with 10th and 11th graders, so those with Ipads wont use them in those classes.
  5. About 5 new portables on campus are still not ready. They were moved from Mar Vista and still need final upgrades and repairs. ETA 2-4 weeks.
  6. Variuos construction projects still going on in and around campus.
  7. The new left turn lane coming out of the front of school is still not ready.
  8. Traffic is horrendous and the school is jammed tight. Its like Times Square or Champs Elysess on a Friday night.
  9. Not enough chairs in some classes. My sons photography class has folding and lawn chairs that students are using. And Im hearing similar things from Olympian, Otay Ranch and Bonita.

Does any district leadership or Trustee care about what is happening at schools? Or is it just about property deals and the money?!

I would love to see a story of the end result of years of corruption and mismanagement at this district. It is happening at Eastalke and others schools. How has it directly impacted the foundation of our schoosl - teaching and learning! Eastlake High is what has happened!!

6

eastlaker Aug. 1, 2014 @ 11:28 a.m.

We know better than to ask for a straight answer from McCann.

We know that temporary Sweetwater Board member Neylon is conspicuous by her absence more often than not...we know that we are not getting the answers we deserve from anyone.

You are not alone in wanting to see all the corruption in Sweetwater come to an end. Rot and decay are removing the underpinnings of this school district at a frighteningly rapid pace. Good people have been thrown aside while bad actors remain in place, continuing to steal from all the children of this district.

This simply cannot go on.

Will Dr. Glover be given enough real information to ensure prompt and intelligent action? Or will he be fed a bill of goods, and then end up being the fall guy for everything that was going on decades before?

6

erupting Aug. 1, 2014 @ 7:54 a.m.

I attended the mtg.with other community members where Mr. Diamond refused to address the issue of receiving 33% of the profits,stating that the district told him not to talk about that issue. When Tom Calhoun was asked if he knew he stated, I'm not a mind reader. Well I guess his nose grew a foot on that lie. Instead of saying I can't talk about that, he lies. Great character reference.

7

eastlaker Aug. 1, 2014 @ 8:19 a.m.

Susan, focusing in on your last sentence, what does it take to call a halt to all of this? How can we get an injunction?

Anyone?

4

Susan Luzzaro Aug. 1, 2014 @ 8:55 a.m.

Bvavsvavev,

First a disclaimer, I am not at all opposed to technology, appropriate technology. The iPad is a very useful tool and helps me with my work.

With Sweetwater, it's hard to sort out the rollout from the potential and which students have them, and which books can be loaded etc is, I am told, is a logistic nightmare.

You enumerate other issues, hopefully some will sort out after the first few weeks, but with all the building that is coming on line I see more trailers in east side's future for a while.

I think more bus drivers and decrease the miles (is it 3 miles or more for a student to get a bus?)--is one possible way to protect kids and decrease traffic.

Anyway, here is an article on iPads:

http://www.wnyc.org/story/why-hoboken-throwing-away-all-its-student-laptops/

5

Susan Luzzaro Aug. 1, 2014 @ 9:05 a.m.

eastlaker,

My thought would be the first line of defense, before an injunction, would be the interim superintendent ,who seems to be absent from the process at this time, and the interim board members.

It's facile response to put this link up for injunction, but here goes:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/cms/rules/index.cfm?title=three&linkid=rule3_1150

6

oskidoll Aug. 1, 2014 @ 11:28 a.m.

It seems to me that if the interim superintendent and the interim board do not stop the sale of public properties, they are complicit in the breaking of the law that is supposed to govern the sale of so-called 'surplus' public properties.

7

eastlaker Aug. 1, 2014 @ 11:31 a.m.

Good point. How can we get Sweetwater to start abiding by the Ed Code with regard to surplus public properties?

7

oskidoll Aug. 1, 2014 @ 12:01 p.m.

A group of parents and other stakeholders could begin by informing Dr. Glover that he is expected to abide by the Ed Code and should also inform the board that they are on the hook for whatever transpires on their watch. I would hope that would get their attention.

4

joepublic Aug. 1, 2014 @ 9:10 a.m.

As it gets closer to decision time, the voters must know where those running stand on the important questions.  Transparency, integrity, truth, justice and the American way may sound great and form a wonderful word cloud, but what we don't need is hollow campaign rhetoric. We must insist each candidate state their positions on issues like those raised by eastlaker and others:  Are they in favor of or opposed to charter schools?  Will they advocate for safe and sensible bus routes?  How do they propose to fix our real estate mess?  Will their first priority for spending be in the classroom?  Will they push for a forensic audit?  Integrity, honesty, etc. should be a given. It's time to talk issues.

6

Chris_Shilling Aug. 1, 2014 @ 11:25 a.m.

JoePublic, I agree. I am opposed to the school district spending money and resources to form charter schools. Every community deserves access to a high quality public school. The district should be focused on ensuring that every public school provides the same opportunity for a high quality education to students.

I think we need to reevaluate the bus situation and make the necessary changes to ensure the maximum number of students have access to transportation, so that they can safely get to and from school.

I want to immediately halt all real estate deals so that we can assess the current situation and work together with the public to develop a strategy that makes financial sense for the district, and is also beneficial to stakeholders and communities. The decisions will not be easy or ideal because of the position we have been put in, but we need to work collaboratively to make the best of it in accordance with the law, which I do not believe has been followed.

As a parent my first priority will be spending that directly benefits students. I will ensure that we have a student focused budget. We need to stop making decisions based on adults with personal agendas, and instead make decisions based on the best interest of the students.

One of my first priorities will be ensuring that we have a complete forensic audit of the district. To date I believe I am the only one publicly advocating for this. I will take the lead in making sure it happens.

I am happy to talk about my integrity, honesty, and transparency as well as give you the answers to what I will do about the current issues before the district. My campaign is not based rhetoric but on clearly, honestly, and publicly outlining who I am and what you can expect from me as a board member.

I am also always available to speak directly with anyone, listen to their concerns and suggestions, and answer any questions they may have. I will be at the Lemon Festival this Sunday, if anyone plans on being there please say hi.

5

eastlaker Aug. 1, 2014 @ 12:05 p.m.

Here is the link for SD County Grand Jury Complaint Forms:

http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/grandjury/forms/complaint_form.html

I will double check to see if it works.

3

oldchulares Aug. 1, 2014 @ 1:27 p.m.

ChrisShilling those called the antagonists have been asking for a forensic audit for years and Kevin O'Neill told the old group of board members that a forensic audit by an independent auditor was the only way to stop the suspicion that we are broke.

7

Chris_Shilling Aug. 1, 2014 @ 1:55 p.m.

I meant I was the only candidate advocating publicly for the forensic audit. I know that community members have brought it up frequently. I hadn't heard Mr. O'Neill calling for it as well. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I did say "I believe" and not that I was 100% certain, so I stand corrected. I still plan to take the lead in making sure it happens.

5

oldchulares Aug. 1, 2014 @ 2:52 p.m.

Chris Shilling thanks I have been keeping an eye on this Sweetwater mess for awhile now. Even been to a few of the board meetings. Many people in this town respect O'Neill he wants what is right and as a businessman knows good finance. From what I understand a lot of audits have been done but no one has really opened the books.

5

VigilantinCV Aug. 1, 2014 @ 3:37 p.m.

In the last election, I was persuaded that Lyn Neylon would be a better County Board member for us than Jerry Rindone. It is obvious that that was wrong. She seems to care little about South County. I feel very misled by her campaign and would never vote for her again.

7

Ensenadamaria Aug. 1, 2014 @ 4:03 p.m.

Lyn Neylon fails to see her board seat as priority either at the county or here. Remember that next elections. Those reading this in other areas of San Diego take notice that your representatives are doing nothing but complaining about how much of their time the SUHSD board seat responsibility takes. They want to silence the community in hopes they will simply go away.

6

oskidoll Aug. 1, 2014 @ 4:15 p.m.

Those who complain about the investment of time required by their public office ought not to be in public office!.....any public office for which they have raised their had and sworn the oath of office. If malfeasance occurs on their watch, they are to be held responsible.

Those like Cartmill and McCann think they can smile and nod and vote as puppets and take the stipends, benefits and techy toys.

We need REAL stakeholders to serve, those who will do their due diligence and hold the feet of those like Fast Eddy and his leeches to the fire. It is OUR money, these are OUR schools, and this is OUR community. We expect better than we are getting!

6

eastlaker Aug. 1, 2014 @ 7:12 p.m.

All of us certainly deserve better than we are getting!

4

shirleyberan Aug. 1, 2014 @ 7:19 p.m.

Is it too late too get that Superintendent Ed Brand work review he never had?

3

shirleyberan Aug. 1, 2014 @ 7:23 p.m.

I'm still having trouble thinking and typing. E2ManageTech money manager mayhem misinformation...

3

DinDinMagee Aug. 1, 2014 @ 8:46 p.m.

According to page 4 of 9 (first bullet) the Transportation & FO Departments will be relocated. "It is anticipated that a Brownsfield site will be used to accommodate this segment of the Scope of Work." HMMMMMM, let me guess.....for free, or will this be another agreement to help the debt?

6

eastlaker Aug. 1, 2014 @ 10:56 p.m.

At the meeting it was asked what would be happening to all the buses, and it was said that as the project wouldn't start for a couple of years, they had at least two years to figure out where the buses would go. The question was then rephrased to make it very clear, "So you don't know where the buses will go once the 5th Avenue property is being redeveloped?" The answer again was "No, but there was plenty of time to work on it."

5

DinDinMagee Aug. 2, 2014 @ 6:47 a.m.

Sooooo, when the two existing properties sell, where the FO Dept. And Transportation Dept. Are currently located, are they saying they will be selling the properties and the buyer/s will allow them to stay there free for two years as a contingency for the sale while they search for new sites? Let me look into the crystal ball.....I wonder if Brownsfield would be willing to purchase the properties and OH OH OH lease it back to the District for 2 years to "help" them out? The Ed Code was trumped, not by "selling excess properties", but by poor business decisions and get out of debt schemes. Wonder if there will be a school with low ADA they will be selling next, or move these 2 departments to? Here we go again with more creative financing and help from those who care. What a mess.

6

anniej Aug. 2, 2014 @ 8:46 a.m.

Just want to be sure we all understand the 'Brownsfield' entity we are talking about - THAT IS Chuck Diamond, Daryl Hernandez and the others.

What DinDinMagee brings to our attention is akin to adding nitro to a freakin' time bomb.

Thinking out loud here - it appears we have been TAKEN, BIG TIME! Perhaps 'another' avenue to be considered would be an attempt to get our monies back out of Ed Brands personal back pocket as well as ANY Board member or District employee who is/was involved.

Go back to the previous story that has a copy of the Participation Agreement - look at it, I mean really look at it - does it in ANY way, shape or form look like ANY legal document you have ever seen on a multimillion dollar deal for a entity that is State or Federally funded, let alone one of the largest school Districts in the nation?

To add insult to injury - we tried to tell the new Board didn't we? We stood up there and did all but get down on our knees and begged them to NOT authorize ANY large expenditures ESPECIALLY ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH THE PROPERTY - so, and. I am still thinking out loud here, DO THEY KNOW SOMETHING WE DON'T?

6

eastlaker Aug. 2, 2014 @ 10:15 a.m.

"End around" plays that result in school districts getting rid of/selling off/developing district properties must be in violation of Ed Code. The Ed Code doesn't state "districts are not required to bring to the public for vote or discussion if there is a deal with developers giving developers I/3 of the proceeds"!!

Murky Deeds Among Friends, or How a Cabal Tried to Bleed Dry a School District

We just can't let them succeed.

5

oskidoll Aug. 2, 2014 @ 10:20 a.m.

The new 'interim' Board, comprised of 4 members from the County Board of Education, ought not to feign lack of information about any of this. Several times, SuHSD stakeholders addressed the CBOE and pleaded for their intervention but their pleas fell on deaf ears. After all, the CBOE IS CHARGED with oversight of the school districts, especially fiscal oversight, in their jurisdiction.

Now the chickens come home to roost, it seems, and lo and behold, we have four members of CBOE sitting as 'interim' board members making decisions about what goes on here in SUHSD. Did someone say they are complaining about the amount of work involved in this new gig? Tsk Tsk...should have paid better attention to those South County folks who took the time and energy to ASK for their intervention almost two, or more years ago.

What in the world has County Superintendent Randall Ward been doing to earn his fine salary? Certainly not doing due diligence with regard to oversight of at least this huge school district in the jurisdiction he is supposed to supervise.

And while we're at it, let's make it clear that every inch and every voter in San Diego County is involved, and partially to blame for what has happened at Suhsd because it is their tax money that has funded the County Board of Education's avoidance of any responsibility for oversight of SUHSD, easily one of the largest districts in their jurisdiction. It is not just a "South County" issue any longer and should not be ignored by officials in such a dismissive way.

Let's hope the County Grand Jury is paying attention here. There is more than enough blame to go around.

6

eastlaker Aug. 2, 2014 @ 11:27 a.m.

I just need to ask: why is it so impossible for this district to work in ways that are honest, reasonable, law-abiding and forthright?

4

oskidoll Aug. 2, 2014 @ 12:11 p.m.

eastlaker -- you pose a terrific question. Possible answers include the fact that the elected officials who were supposed to make sure that things worked were corrupted by greedy contractors and administrators. This corruption has been going on for a long time, since as far back as the Trujillo admin in the mid 1980's.
The tentacles of the corruption filled ( and may still fill) every area and area crack, with employees not loyal to the educational good of their charges but to whomever they owed their jobs. The last three guys at the top (Brand twice, Gandara) were part and parcel of the morass, but they had to have the board in their pockets in order for it to work.

The present real estate scheme, and I do mean scheme in the most evil way, is a multi-headed hydra that will be difficult to identify and take out. I surmise that Brand is at the center of it, but leaving others to be the public face of the deal. I appreciate the work of so many stakeholders to bring this ugly picture into some focus.

However, none of this could have happened if watchdogs had been more vigilant and the public more engaged in the governance of the district.

We are still not out of the woods, and need more intervention by those officials who are supposed to provide oversight when things go awry.... such as the County Board of Education, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the FBI, etc.etc. You name it, there is a piece of malfeasance for every public agency to pursue. We must also insist on a higher level of justice from our courts....Judge Espana's rulings are little more than a joke.

I do not believe it is the manifest destiny of South County to become a Tammany Hall -type community wherein everything is for sale and up for a scam, but it will take diligent leadership and stakeholder engagement to identify current weaknesses, to solve them, and to go forward into a better time.

The coming elections will provide an opportunity to begin structuring that better time. As others have stated, it is time to thoroughly vet the candidates and not to elect those whose interests are self-serving and tainted.

4

eastlaker Aug. 2, 2014 @ 1:43 p.m.

Oskidoll, what you write certainly rings true.

The all-pervasive corruption might be why no one pressed charges against the head of food services who was running her business on district time, selling products to the district, charging the district for her travel expenses as she went to product fairs, hiring relatives, etc., etc., etc.

Those charged were the underlings who had been selling district provisions at flea markets--no wonder as my daughter said when she was in middle school--"There's never any food, even when you are there at the early lunch break!"

Yes, in a corrupt environment, people seem to figure out where they can get their cut. Except the honest people...who sometimes are punished simply because they will not be dishonest.

What a place. What a mess.

What a much-needed forensic audit would do to peel away the layers of corruption and deceit.

Meanwhile, let's all be unrelenting, and let all areas of law enforcement and government know that we will not tolerate this insidious and malevolent situation.

4

shirleyberan Aug. 2, 2014 @ 12:19 p.m.

The only answer, eastlaker, is that con jobs need to be steamrolled past pesky public perception, as it has been. What happened to CBOA intelligence is a crap-shoot.

2

shirleyberan Aug. 2, 2014 @ 12:24 p.m.

CBOEducation. Oops. And everybody oskidoll said.

2

Jmbrickley Aug. 3, 2014 @ 2:11 p.m.

http://boarddocs.suhsd.k12.ca.us/Board.nsf/files/8LWTC5762025/$file/25.%20Item%20K-8%20-%2009%2019%2011.MP3

Follow this link to hear Diane Russo explain why Plan9Partners was brought in when SUHSD first purchased the L St. property.

You maybe able to follow the link to her audio, or you can try opening it in iTunes.

6

anniej Aug. 3, 2014 @ 2:48 p.m.

JMBrickley: Thank You for posting this.

I was there that evening - hearing it, upset me as much today as it did that night.

A few comments of Ms. Russo's pop out at me

1- they, them - Plan Nine Partners is Marc Lichtman - uno, one solitary person. So,,,, does Ms. Russo know of another 'person/persons' that was part of the deal that we, the taxpaying public were not made aware of.

2- Russo's very last words - listen carefully 'paying them for nothing'

So I guess now is as good a time as any to remind you all of something I found - Mr. Lichman ADVANCED himself a pretty hefty sum. You see, we, those of us that pay the bills, were paying his health insurance premiums, that was also part of the deal. Well, the payments were stopped and when he found out he simply dipped Into the till and advanced himself the money to pay the back premiums.

UNLEASH THE LAWYERS - oh, that is right lawyers are only used to send cease and desist letters to community members and news organizations that happen to offend a certain Board member.

6

oskidoll Aug. 3, 2014 @ 4:03 p.m.

So, by listening to Russo's recap of the district's rationale (in September, 2011 per the link provided above) for joining with Plan 9 Partners, I am able to understand that the District's intent was to 'protect the property and avoid having another district take it'. She admits the the district transferred the property to Plan 9 Partners. to avoid the possibility that some other district might opt for it. That, folks, is what happens when a public entity obeys the law and holds public hearings to see if the property should be declared 'surplus'..... First in line for properties declared surplus are other public entities. Surely Ms. Russo knew the legal requirements and she admits the scheme to circumvent the law with regard to the sale of public properties.

So, we see one of the early steps in the shell game. Cover the pea (the property) with a shell (blanket of jargon and gobbledook) to keep it hidden while you jockey your way to scamming your victim (in this case, the district's taxpayers) out of his or her property.

It is of interest that the words 'public hearing' or 'declaration of surplus' are not uttered. This tape seems to be prima facie evidence of intent to deceive.

6

Ensenadamaria Aug. 3, 2014 @ 4:41 p.m.

Then and now two key players; Ed Brand and Dianne Russo.

6

eastlaker Aug. 3, 2014 @ 6:05 p.m.

The layers of deceit begin to be peeled away.

How many more layers until we reach the substance of the thing, the truth?

Where does the complicity start, and where does it end?

Is this why it has been so difficult to get anywhere with all the problems in Sweetwater? Too many people are tied into the "deals", so they would rather the public be ignored and stuck paying all the bills, like the suckers they intended us to be?

While the school children are being robbed of their right to a reasonable education?

These appalling examples of breathing, walking creatures of deceit. What has it gained them? Why go to such lengths? Surely it isn't just so that Sweetwater gains a new administrative building?

Surely all these careful levels of trickery involve something of benefit for someone?

I do hope we find out, and that this time the judge at work will be someone who actually has some judicial integrity--unlike Espana.

6

oldchulares Aug. 3, 2014 @ 6:47 p.m.

Ensenadamaria while I was taught to never correct a lady Jim and Arlie Ricasa were there then and now. Sorta now any ways they have only been gone a few months as the crow flies.

6

Bvavsvavev Aug. 3, 2014 @ 6:50 p.m.

So I keep reading about the corrupt nature of the property deals in Sweetwater. And there is little doubt that corruption has occurred. My question is - why will no attorney, elected official, investigator, grand jury, district attorny, government agency, or anyone else in a position of authority or expertise, step up and take a lead on this?

Where are Donna Frye or Cory Briggs? What about Lorena Gonzalez, ben Hueso or Shirey Weber? Maybe even Juan Vargas? Bonnie Dumanis what about you? Randall Ward or Lynn Neyland? Ca Dept of Ed? FBI? SDCounty Grand Jury?

Hello! Can anyone hear us? I feel like we are the little community in Horton Hears A Who! We need to keep hollering as loud as we can until our Horton hears us!

As a resident and voter of the South County I feel like most elected officials in our area have let us down. Mayor Cox has done the most with her public meetings and attendance at board meetings. The rest have done little to nothing and clearly are not concerned. They would rather attend the Lemon Festival and glad hand, take pictures and post how hunky dory all is!

3

eastlaker Aug. 3, 2014 @ 7 p.m.

Precisely. Here are some more names:

Juan Vargas?

Shirley Weber?

Marty Block?

Apparently there are allegiances hidden.

Does anyone out there give a rip that our schoolchildren have been systematically robbed for decades?

4

Susan Luzzaro Aug. 3, 2014 @ 8:31 p.m.

Bvavsvavev, Were all 12 of the Sweetwater candidates at the Lemon Festival?

3

Chris_Shilling Aug. 3, 2014 @ 8:50 p.m.

Susan, I was there from 10:00 AM to about 3:30 PM. I only saw one other candidate who I noticed later in the day. He was very low key from what I saw. I barely noticed him.

2

Susan Luzzaro Aug. 3, 2014 @ 10:03 p.m.

Well, always the silver lining, I'm so happy to hear that people go to the Lemon Festival or Third Avenue activities. This is the first year I have had to miss in several years.

4

anniej Aug. 3, 2014 @ 10:06 p.m.

Bvavev - the South Bay is being represented POORLY for the most part. I have an additional 'group' to add to your list THE TAXPAYERS - when we fail to show up and speak up we are sending the message 'it really doesn't matter'

When Eastlake folks showed up to last months Board Meeting regarding the bus issue - the Board listened and caved. As soon as that agenda item had been moved OUTSIDE and evidently resolved the parents LEFT.

APATHY, not only amongst our elected bodies, but we the taxpayers as well, and we are just as guilty

Here is another controversial topic - where have all of these candidates been? With the exception of Kevin O'Neill, Frank Tarantino, Paula Hall and recently Chris Shilling I have not seen the candidates at the Board meetings. So, I guess my question is why are they running? What is their motivation? What are their concerns, if any. Do they know the issues? There are a couple of names I am seeing that when I compare them to the areas they live in, well, they are not running in that area. Have they sold their Eastlake residences? Have they rented an apartment, and if so for how long? One received a FPPC letter when they ran for a previous office. My point, WE NEED TO VET THOSE WE VOTE FOR!

6

eastlaker Aug. 4, 2014 @ 6:40 a.m.

So true, anniej.

We absolutely need to ensure that everything adds up: candidates must live in the area in which they are running. But--what if someone rents an apartment, maybe using it for an office--and declares that to be a residence for the purposes of running? We will need all this checked out!

Time for all local people to work together--we need to change the 'business as usual' to what benefits the students--and what is a responsible usage of tax and bond funds.

Down with the Ed Brand Pet Projects--Up with Clean Dealing!

We cannot afford to give away public funds to Ed Brand's friends--why were he and Russo being so generous, anyway? Were there any kickbacks involved?

Who can order a forensic audit? Can Interim Superintendent Glover order one--who would select the person or persons in charge of the audit? Because it would need to be someone outside of the Russo-Brand circle.

Which is to say, someone trustworthy.

5

oskidoll Aug. 4, 2014 @ 10:15 a.m.

I think the board of trustees would be the most logical to order up a forensic audit. The present 'interim' board, however, might be hesitant to put that much of themselves into the SUHSD oversight as they are all short-timers. I think the most promising entity to get a forensic audit would be the FBI...after all, that's how they got Capone, was thru the books.
Lastly, we may have to wait until a new board is seated in December to get any real action on a real audit.

5

anniej Aug. 4, 2014 @ 7:37 a.m.

EXTRA, EXTRA -

Looking for a candidate in the Castle Park area to run for the Board. ''''''''YOUR''''''' community needs you.

6

TINO_MartinezSchoolBoardZone4 Aug. 6, 2014 @ 10:10 a.m.

I hear you loud and clear! Seems OUR board has not listened to its community and teachers for a long time. I have lived in the Castle Park neighborhood for over 35 years. I literally went to CP from K-12! I love MY CITY. I've been sadden by OUR district's shady way of "doing business" too long! YA BASTA/NO MORE.....I am putting my team together from members of OUR community to take OUR school board back this November.

3

Visduh Aug. 4, 2014 @ 4:47 p.m.

So County needs its own Mike Aguirre. He's, on his own, taking on the CPUC, and is looking very closely at the railroad deal being pushed by the MTS management. He files suits on his own, and at his own expense. If there were someone in the area like Mike, meaning knowledgeable and wise and honest, who happened to be an attorney, these concerns you have could be turned into lawsuits. And lawsuits would mean "discovery", where records have to be opened up, people have to give testimony, and a host of other neat things. Oh, and while the suits were being litigated, the deals would be stopped dead in their tracks.

Too bad there's nobody like him to take up the causes.

6

eastlaker Aug. 4, 2014 @ 10:07 p.m.

Isn't that the truth!

There is certainly work here for someone like him.

3

Susan Luzzaro Aug. 6, 2014 @ 4:02 p.m.

Welcome to the site Tino. I appreciate the fact that several candidates have found Reader articles a worthwhile place to comment.

It looks like there are 4 in your district--but then I don't see that all have committees. Friday is the last day to file, right?

3

anniej Aug. 6, 2014 @ 7:19 p.m.

Mr. Tino Martinez: Hope to see you at monthly Board meetings. I would also encourage all candidates to attend the Bond Oversight Committee meetings which are also held monthly.

2

shirleyberan Aug. 7, 2014 @ 12:30 p.m.

Didn't flag. People who know how this massive waist of district money should talk to someone about it so the truth comes out loud and clear.

0

shirleyberan Aug. 7, 2014 @ 12:58 p.m.

How - it happened. Who - is accountable won't be that surprising.

0

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