Comments by bbq

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.

Sweetwater chaos reaches Judge España’s court

As a normally upbeat individual, this situation is just "onward and downward" The latest in the U-T, that fine bird cage liner of breaking news. Our friend, Judge Espana says nothing by saying everything about 1770.2. Today it is reported that she believes that Ms. Lopez and Mr. Cartmill should be suspended from the SUHSD Board until at least sentencing. However 1770.2 does not give her the authority to force the situation one way or another. It is up to the district to enforce 1770.2 or their own bylaws, (it could also be enacted by a Lawsuit by a member of the community.) It is also reported that the County Board of Ed, will not assign temporary Board Members until after the situation is resolved by either resignations of Lopez and Cartmill or after sentencing where they are removed from their seats. Finally Attorney Randy Winet, asked Judge Espana to move up the sentencing to assist in resolution and getting the County to move on replacement of the Trustees, she refused leaving the sentencing until June. What a bunch of Cat Herders, is there no one with any integrity in the South Bay anymore? Lopez and Cartmill your grandstanding and attempted facesaving is ridiculous, it only goes on to the detriment of the district and what is left of your reputations. Resign together, let the County step in and let's finish off this horrible episode of Sweetwater History. John and Ed, it's sad that you guys are have become the last men standing and exploiting yourselves as exemplary board members, this due only through the failings of your contemporaries. If this is what's left after herding the cats, I am glad I have not stepped in it. Voters of Sweetwater Union High School District, we have a great opportunity ahead of us in the Fall. For the first time since the origination of the District, we have the potential for a clean slate and the chance to build a new district out of the ashes of the current situation. BBQ CAVE
— May 14, 2014 6:21 a.m.

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