Comments by bbq

Sweetwater trustees to vote on property sale

I am once again agahst at the "Fine Line" walking of this district, For a Big Guy, Ed has great balance (Satire!), it matters not who at the upper levels of adminstration and the board you look towards, they keep following the same path, just like dairy cows, around the outside fences of the pasture... It is so obvious that the meeting needed to be canceled, the agenda had a chance of having a real discussion and possibly not passing without the stacked deck of Jim and John, who knows? Ms. Quniones might have not be as controllable as she once was and not followed the company (Ed's) line. With all of the "Important" stuff, Adminstration Buildings, Property Sales, Evaluations to be decided it was not worth the risk. And with the ease of using the nearly 18 month old Labor dispute, as an excuse, why not? This district and dare I say region, after looking at the same-old, same-old City Council Candidates is pathetic, where are the real leaders, when will the constituents of the district stand up to this "Bully Pulpit", what will show the District we are mad as hell and will not take it anymore? The only thing is to keep our kids out of school one day per week and watch what happens money in, I guess you'll need to cutback on expenses, ie new Adminstration Buildings, by the way does Mr Cartmill require a Doctors note??? I wonder if we could get Doctors note for all of our kids, I would suggest "Student Stress Leave" caused by the tension and attitudes of the teachers caused by the District Adminstration's appearent strategy (Is there one?) for negotiations. I do not propose this as support for the teachers, I propose this as a way wake up the district to the desires and needs of the community, kinda like an organized "Ditch Day" To all please watch and follow up on these situations.... BBQ CAVE
— March 18, 2014 6:03 a.m.

Sweetwater district meeting marked by chaos

As I reread my last comment about Managing the district as a Business, I question Mr. Brand's favorite accomplishment/program "Compact for Success". Let's look at ROI (Return On Investment). Out of 45,000 Students approx. 1000 apply or recieve recognition (Accceptance) into SDSU, a little over 2%, Oh we have 19 students at Alliant (0.04%) we have equalivant of at least one adminstration person working full time on this, ($140,000/ year with benefits), we have counselors, adminstrators, projects in schools that push this program. The district spends an a lot of time and effort to promote college, yet we still have schools in Program Improvement, one in its 12th year, 3 generations of high school students, and 16 years of effected students. The district does not interface well with the primary post high school education sources, the community college districts, where a majority of our students go weather its because of financials or grades or lack of preparation in the Sweetwater Schools I have yet to hear of any information about the local trade schools from the district, unless you consider Alliant University a "Trade School". Our district, the board and Mr. Ed Brand certainly do not know who their customer is and what the output product should be. To use a portion of a Quote from former principal Bliesch, many people in charge of the district are: "...Elite Extreamists..." who only see the world as they want to, or feel their path is the only or best path... College bound... Why have they lost the goal of Education, the joy of learning, and the openness/desire to explore the world outside the realitively small world of Accademia? My answer is that's all they know, little or no real world experience, staying inside their North County Walled Houses, keeping the doors shut on 5th St., adding additional security at the new adminstration building. "Let them eat cake" seems to be the attitude around there, remember what happened to Marie Antoinette.... So rather than being a first adopter (i-pads) we should be using proven techniques, use Continous improvement rather than Radical Change (CPM Charter), and a revised "Lean" management system to maximise level and output of our "Product", educated students with a desire and ability to accomplish their goals and achieve/create Great things. Please to the public and the District, a little soul searching for what the Districts real goals are and should be, a little reflection on what works and what does not, remember a bad policy or program is only truely bad if you don't learn something from it. Use these things as criteria for selecting replacements to the Board of Trustees in November, use some of this as idea and discussion starters for yourself and with friends, take back the District from the "...elite extreamists.." who are in control now. BBQ, CAVE
— February 20, 2014 6:54 a.m.

Sweetwater district meeting marked by chaos

johndewey, While I agree with your premise, I cannot agree that Ed runs the district as CEO. Modern corporations adapt, yes even General Motors and Chrysler, to the demands of the customer and the economy(Bailout and all)! Ed has always seen the world as only he can, in his best interest. This district has yet to adapt to the fact that the US economy and especially that of Chula Vista is just coming out of a severe depression (approx. 6 years). Ed of all people should recognize this ie. the L st. debacle. 4 years ago I accused Ms. Russo and the adminstration of being Fat, Dumb and Happy.. with regards to the budget. They never saw the slowdown of the Real Estate bubble, leaving a District with blotted/overblown programs such as the current ASB issues, Vice principal level advisors and nearly $500,000 budgets, managed by educators and students, to be exploited by unscruplious (sp) adminstrators (CPM?). I do believe that the district is a business, it's tools are the teachers and it's product is the students. The public are both the investors and the customers. Ed has never realized this situation and embraced the public and openness as a good policy for success, as he fights the interested public, he fights his customers and investors (Good policy?) . As I stated above, Ed really is not much of a Businessman, Mechanic or an Educator, as he does not really know his customer/investor, tools or products. Ready to debate with Ed, FoEd & Ms. Russo. BBQ, CAVE
— February 19, 2014 9:44 p.m.

Sweetwater district meeting marked by chaos

Susan, Just to not be accused of never criticizing your normally factual articles, the amount for the consultant was only $20,000. Please do not take that wrong, the fact we already have the Counselors who do that job everyday, it's another fabulous waste but what's another $20 Grand of Taxpayers money to Ed and the Board. On another note, as I reviewed the February Financials (Item K5 Back-up) I found a couple of very interesting things: From May of 2013 The district has been borrowing up to $48 Million at a time from Fund 49 (MelloRoos, CFD). When reviewing this I found a couple of very disturbing things 1. We are currently receiving **0.0779%** interest – Ms. Michel says that is the rate the County Board of Education would lend the district money. 2. Repayment and reborrowing: for example **repayments totaling $18 M on 8/27/13 & A new Loan of $25M on 8/28/13**, question is this to bilk the mello fund out of the meager interest it’s due? 3. Total interest paid to the mello fund for various amounts over 7 months was **$43,108**. **By my simple math $48M at 1% interest for 7 months in a Bank would have earned $280,000 (vs. $43,108 paid by district)** Again **Dr. Brand, & Ms. Russo** have been telling us this is **Free/Cheap money** available for use by the district at its disgression. **I counter that that each bond issue the mello funds should be paying off are sitting at 3-5% interest.** This makes **every dollar** not reinvested back into paying off the Mello Debts or reinvested back into CFD Infrastructure **really costing us the Taxpayer, 4-6% annually.** (To float the district) This translates back to **$1.92M - 2.88M per year of costs or lost income to the Mello Funds.** A second issue arises in The Planning and Facilities Budget (Item M1 Back/up). Not to mention the mistakes in math etc. in the Plan, which I told the board about. **Review Page 2, Prop O active projects, note the number of prop O projects that have CFD listed under Other Funding,** **Bonita Vista High ( a non-CFD Facility) 25%** of the HVAC & Track upgrades, an unknown Percentage of other upgrades. **63% of the Technology upgrades are going against CFD Funds**, $2.6M of $4.1M, I thought the CFD Schools had the highest level of Tech available? **If the District wants to play percentages by enrollment shouldn’t general funds or Prop O dollars pay the 30% plus of the general upkeep, expansion and wear/tear on CFD Schools by non-CFD Students.** Just a couple of observations for the districts own documentation. By the way, I brought this to the attention of the two ladies on the Board and Ms. Quniones said "What am I supposed to do about it?" I answered her, "It's your job to protect the financials of the District as a Trustee, do your job!" Best to all, BBQ, CAVE
— February 19, 2014 1:49 p.m.