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On October 17, the Sweetwater Union High School District board voted 3-2 to move forward on electing trustees by area. Over the protest of teachers, parents, and ex-students, the board chose to seek from the state board of education a waiver that might allow for public meetings in lieu of a public vote.

Sweetwater trustees are elected as at-large members. However, following legal consultation, interim superintendent Ed Brand expressed concern that under the current at-large election process, the district might be exposed to litigation.

Though many speakers during the public communication segment of the meeting favored the concept of redistricting, all of them opposed the motion to divide up the district for the 2012 election. Speakers called the action “political” and urged the board to put it on the scheduled ballot and “let the people decide.”

The board has rejected calls for district elections in the past. Speakers pointed out that drawing up districts now would impact two outspoken boardmembers — Bertha López and Pearl Quiñones, who are up for reelection in 2012.

Stewart Payne, a parent and one of the activists who was instrumental in ousting former superintendent Jesus Gandara, said, “I’m for it [redistricting], but not for the way you’re doing it. The public needs to vote on this. You’re telling the people that you want to get rid of Ms. Quiñones and Ms. López.”

Pictured: Bertha López, Pearl Quiñones

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anniej Oct. 20, 2011 @ 11:48 a.m.

the board was voted in to follow the wishes of the taxpayers of the south bay. yet when the community asked for the issue to be put to a vote of the community the board stated it would be too expensive.

what one might find interesting though is the following, that same evening the board voted to hire a research person to 'feel out the community' as to the likeliness of them voting for yet another bond issue to improve schools. now this bond issue they are willing to pay money to put on the ballot.

as one of the community members stated "my grandchildren will be going to school is a tp before i ever vote for another bond issue for sweetwater". i agree, this district squandered away millions on prop o, they were under investigation by the grand jury for prop bb - and now they want yet more bond money?????

last months meeting they were looking to vote on BORROWING prop o funds, and now we learn that due to their mismanagement all of the work promised to be done on our schools can not be completed because they are running out of money. $644 million dollars is alot of money folks, that was the price tag of prop o.

well lets see, IF the management company would not have contributed $22,500.00 to jim cartmills recent campaign, or $10,00.00 to arlie ricasas recent campaign, or *$16,000.00 to john mccanns recent campaign perhaps some of those monumentally expensive change orders might not be so high. or perhaps several of the contractors hired for the projects would not have needed to be fired before their projects were complete. the shoddy work that put students at risk, would never have been an issue. all at the hands of a management company that 'the gandara' and bonny garcia fought so hard for.

*(see registrar of voters website for confirmation)

you see down here in sweetwater land, it is all about 'whats in it for me' - not what is in it for the students.

truth be told the majority of these board members see their board member positions as a rung on their ladder to success in the political world. ricasa ran for the assembly, quinones ran for the assembly, mccann had aspirations of mayor of chula and assembly.

they have failed to lead, and they have failed to act in the best interest of our students and tax dollars. it is time for them to go.

oh, if only bertha lopez would have been named president of the board - every fiber of my being tells me we would not be in the mess we are in today.

that ladies and gentlemen is what this board is attempting to do by failing to listen to the public AND PUT IT TO A VOTE - they are in fact looking to add one more member, the final member, to their club named 'WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME'. they want the ONLY REAL BOARD MEMBER BERTHA LOPEZ------------- OUTTA THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Visduh Oct. 20, 2011 @ 3:49 p.m.

Annie, your comments show that you have been closely following the follies of the board and its administrative henchmen for a long time. I am going to suggest that if you really want to have your writing taken seriously, you chuck off the new age belief that capital letters and conventional punctuation are no longer necessary. I'm far more likely to actually read a blog post and believe what it says if it is as literate as the writer can make it.


anniej Oct. 20, 2011 @ 6:36 p.m.


point well taken.

HOWEVER, i am posting in an effort to share my opinions, not really interested in my writing style taken seriously. my small case letters are synonymous with my name, annie j.

at least this way, next time you see a blog all in small case, you can simply skip down, rather than waste your time.

often times posters will go to extremes to hide their identity - many well educated persons who know my identity, find it amusing.

please know, NO OFFENSE MEANT.


cvres Oct. 21, 2011 @ 6:27 p.m.

Regarding Quinones she supported firing the district's general counsel and several other votes. Is there no hope for her?


Founder Oct. 23, 2011 @ 4:18 p.m.

It is so sad that the voters are being "played" by the Board in a lame attempt to "Do the right thing", when in reality it will only do the wrong thing for the Students!

Consider this Fix: (Congress is mentioned but the concept would work in South County also).

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

     "I could  end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just
     pass a  law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more
     than 3% of  GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible
     for  re-election

     The 26th amendment (granting the  right to vote for 18
     year-olds) took only

     3 months & 8 days  to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people
     demanded it. That was in  1971...before computers, e-mail, cell
     phones, etc.

     Of  the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year
     or  less to become the law of the land...all because of public

     Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email  to
     a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
      each of those to do likewise.

     In three days, most  people in The United States of America will
     have the message.  This is one idea that really should be passed

Founder Oct. 23, 2011 @ 4:19 p.m.

The rest of the above post: Congressional Reform Act of 2011

     1. No  Tenure / No Pension.

     A Congressman collects a salary while in  office and receives no
     pay when they are out of office.

     2.  Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social

     All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move  to the
     Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow  into
     the Social Security system, and Congress participates with  the
     American people. It may not be used for any other  purpose.

     3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan,  just as all
     Americans do.

     4. Congress will no longer vote  themselves a pay raise.
     Congressional pay will rise by the lower  of CPI or 3%.

     5. Congress loses their current health care  system and
     participates in the same health care system as the  American people.

     6. Congress must equally abide by all laws  they impose on the
     American people.

     7. All contracts with  past and present Congressmen are void
     effective 1/1/12. The  American people did not make this
     contract with Congressmen.

     Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
      Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
      envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their
      term(s), then go home and back to work.

     If each person  contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will
     only take three  days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive
     the message. Maybe  it is time.


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