Comments by bbq

Ed Brand’s time at Sweetwater is over

As the changes occur at SUHSD, we need to be sure all of the current issues are documented and remain open. Throughouit this ordeal of mis-management, corruption and lack of vision within the district I have always advocated open dialog with the Board, staff, teachers and public. I hope this is the chance to move forward. The real question that by working with the Interium Board, Dr. Glover, Mayor Cox's Initiave and candidates for the Board of Trustees is a creation of a "Road map to the future of the SUHSD". This "Plan" must include all of the current known internal business failures such as: Real Estate Speculation, Financial Audits wrt Mello Roos, Internal Loans and transfers, Prop "O" spending, Review of the facility usage and class overcrowding, Open Boundrary, Facility Projects and Maintenance, these allong with the Academic Failures within the district, Poor ESL results, 2/3 schools on Academic Probation, Less than well rounded students and curriculum. I am sure that there are other issues that members of the SUHSD Team can easily come up with to add to this list. So where is the start of the list and what is the priority? I assume that the next few weeks will be critical for Dr. Glover and the continuation of the Mayor's meetings will assist but from all I have seen the readers and commentators to the reports in the Reader have to continue to lead the charge. CAVE (Citizens Active for Value in Education) is alive and is still needed to monitor the future actions of the SUHSD BBQ, CAVE
— July 8, 2014 11:51 a.m.

New Sweetwater boardmembers pitch in to money pit

Interesting discussions going on, in my first statement I was trying to combine the issues and methods of the SUHSD Adminstration with some tongue-in-cheek humor about Ed being humbled by this bad deal. I go back to a statement from Ms. Michel about arbitrage, (the use of government funds solely to invest it to make money with it). How is the "L" St. real estate scam not arbitrage? Ed himself said that they only bought it because they could not see the value **ever** going down.... What were the original intentions/plans for the three properties bundled together with a behind closed doors discussions with the city to modify the zoning? The information that has come out about this is as many of you think only a scratch on the surface. I too believe that this runs much deeper than is evident at this time and the Friends of Ed will regret their participation. So as we continue to track this issue what of the undiscovered issues, and the known issues that affect the district that are not being pushed and followed? I call the current and recent past Adminstration and Board management style, "Crisis Management" which by my experience is if management keep enough things in turmoil no one will ever know what they are doing or that they don't know what they are doing. We can only hope that the temporary Board can cool the jets of the outgoing Superintendant, keep the district from overspending it's budget and place some temporary restraints to only act on items to keep the district running. BBQ
— June 11, 2014 6 a.m.

New Sweetwater boardmembers pitch in to money pit

Thoughts of a Meeting Contrite, a word meaning “sorry, remorseful, ashamed…”, something I never thought I would say about Ed Brand, however on May 28, 2014 at the Sweetwater Union High School District Board Meeting during a statement by Dr. Brand, he almost got there. Item K-1 on the Sweetwater agenda involved a part of the twisted Real Estate Mess that is “L” St. The item was for Board approval to join (Pay for) legal defense against an active IRS audit of the Bond Issue used to fund the “L”St Property. We would be joining Plan Nine Partners, PNP, to defend the Tax exempt status of the bonds, (This is a big issue if you are an investor, and a creditability issue for the District). During the discussion Dr. Brand finally said that this would be the first step (of about 20) in resolution of the Mess created in 2005 when He and the sitting Board (including Mr. Cartmill) decided that Real Estate speculation was in their Job description. As reported before in other articles a failed joint venture with regards to zoning and development with the city along with an ill-advised Buy-Lease back deal with PNP, left the district holding the bag and paying excessive fees to PNP, ownership of the property is still a bit of a question. At the meeting, Dr. Brand actually admitted that with hind-sight it was not a great thing to have done, wow where did that come from? Perhaps the House of cards finally shook enough to make realize the mistake, or that the new Board members might really ask some harder questions, but it really doesn’t matter. Dr. Brand you finally did what many of us have been asking you to do since the “L” St. debacle started about 3 ½ years ago, admit you made a mistake in 2005 with the purchase, be open to the public about the plans to market 3rd St, 5th St, and ‘L” St. properties in order to finally buy the new Administration Complex in Eastlake. I for one might have been upset but at least with understanding of the overall goal. Dr. Brand, I am hoping that your final few months prior to retirement will find you taking time to: - Repair the holes in the public’s trust in the Sweetwater Union High School District. - Push for completion of the Facilities use Studies, - Explain the 2014-2015 Budget Spending vs. Revenue, - Lay some ground work to beef up the academic programs at the ¾ of our Schools in academic crisis. - Explain the uses and disbursement of funds. - Develop a schedule and plan to put to rest deferred maintenance issues, especially those at the Mello Roos School Facilities (the funding is there, fix the properties). Please, leave the district in a condition, that it can rise again for all of the schools and all of the Students. BBQ
— June 10, 2014 12:45 p.m.

Sweetwater chaos reaches Judge España’s court

I have a couple of comments about the May 28 Board Meeting; First it's the contrite behavior of Ed Brand! The definition of contrite is remorseful, or sorry, Ed was sorry for the issue of "L" St. He said if he knew then what he knows now he would not have entered into the Real Estate speculation that was "L" St, 3rd St and 5th St. My question as the district is not allowed to invest Bond or reserve funds in risky schemes, called arbitrage is not the scheme to purchase, manipulate the zoning in partnership with the City to raise the value of the property originally planned to build new administration facilities not arbitrage. All involved in that scheme should be held to public review, Dr Brand, the sitting board at the time of the purchase (Mr. Cartmill was on that board) and the members of the city council (John McCann) and zoning board? Perhaps we are starting the resolution of this issue, who knows, I think we will find more skeletons in the closet, it is interesting that we now have the permanent "Ed Brand Sweetwater Sports Hall of Fame in the "L" St Building, perhaps it was needed to ensure the minimum District occupancy of 60% to keep the Lease/Buy agreement active, I must be too suspicious. Second comment is the perception of behind doors conversations with the new board members when before any comments by the public were heard it was moved and seconded by John McCann that he be the Board President, it was voted on and here we go..... Third, I will apologize for my personal behavior to the new board members but the actions with poorly laid out District documents and the redaction of other "normal" District documents like the fund borrowing documents usually supplied by Ms. Michels were back to hiding information from the public, raising the frustration of the outspoken members of the community. More of the same ol'Sweetwater. I have sent a personal letter to the three Board Members present at the meeting and hope they are open to meeting outside the contentious Board meeting atmosphere. BBQ, CAVE
— June 1, 2014 11:56 a.m.

Sweetwater chaos reaches Judge España’s court

Ladies and Gentlemen, I for one am skeptical of our good Mayor Cox, she is stepping into the SUHSD issues at a critical time, "when all is a mess it is time to Reward the non-participants".... I say this as it has been rumoured that she is interested in the Superintendents job....I say, sorry Ms. Cox, but "No more inbred Southbay Politicians..." too much nepotism and favors... Two, I have to think that the County Board of Education Members will not be likely to rubber stamp anything out of this district, I think it will be approve what is needed to operate the business of educating our kids, not comforting our adminstrative staff. Ed will hang on for as long as he can in hopes that another weak board is elected and "Brings him back or saves him again". Allong with the "Ed Brand Sports Hall of Fame", he must want to have the "Ed Brand Adminstration Centre (sp, intentional) of Sweetwater" to be remembered by not the L & C St. Money pits.... The best solution here is offer Ed a short term contract ie less than a year with proper release clauses with reasonable compensation, the worst thing would be to have Ed think He is in the drivers seat here, if he threatens to leave, take him up on it. The best and only thing we can do for the District is attend meetings, review documents and be sure we the people are heard. Protecting the district falls back to our diligency to review budget reports and Prop O expenses for shoddy mistakes and double dealing. Again way to much floating in the pool, we need to keep on the Board as ever, and start preparing our November candidates.... BBQ CAVE
— May 20, 2014 12:26 p.m.

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