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Sweetwater School Board Awards 2-Year Contract to Ed Brand

The audience, dazed by the time and the generous contract, was given 20 minutes to review the document.
The audience, dazed by the time and the generous contract, was given 20 minutes to review the document.

At 3:06 on the morning of September 25, the Sweetwater Union High School District board of trustees voted 3-2 to award Ed Brand a two-year contract with a compensation package higher than the superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District.

Like many meetings in the past year, there was an overflow crowd — out the door and down the outside ramp. Students, parents, teachers, and activists by turns reasoned with, yelled at, or begged the board not to hire Brand, but trustees John McCann, Arlie Ricasa, and Jim Cartmill voted for Brand’s contract and had nothing but praise for his recent tenure in the district.

Jim Cartmill voted for Brand’s contract.

The board deliberated in closed session from 5:30 p.m. until approximately 2:00 a.m. When the audience had dissipated significantly, copies of the proposed contract were distributed. The audience, dazed by the time and the generous contract, was given 20 minutes to review it before they were allowed to share their perceptions with the board.

While McCann, Ricasa, and Cartmill emphasized Brand’s success and the need for stability, trustees Bertha Lopez and Pearl Quiñones both said that the generous concessions in the contract came off the backs of all the other employees in the district. The classified employees, the teachers, and the students have endured a number of furlough days to balance the budget.

Specifically referring to the buyout in the contract, Lopez said, “Hey, you become the superintendent, you win the lottery.”

If the board decides to terminate Brand in year one “without alleging cause…the District shall pay the Superintendent a maximum cash settlement, concurrently with the termination of the Superintendent’s contract, in an amount equal to twelve (12) months' compensation.” If the Board seeks to terminate in the second year, the golden parachute is “a maximum cash settlement, concurrently with the termination…in an amount equal to the remaining months left under the two-year agreement.”

“The compensation package is not just $252,000 [annual salary]," Bertha Lopez told the audience.

Lopez helped the audience cut to the core of the contract because the audience had such limited time to view it: “The compensation package is not just $252,000 [annual salary], it’s actually $295,000 after everything — the health plan, the monthly allowance, the disability insurance, the life insurance, and to top things off, 28 days' vacation versus 24 that management usually gets — these additional vacation days could have paid for another bus driver for our kids. We are paying for his health benefits until the age of 65, a nice little perk.”

Then Lopez made the point that every teacher or classified employee has to have a health exam prior to being employed: “I want to make this point to all of you — we are only requiring Dr. Brand to take a tuberculosis test.”

Prior to the contract award, public comment, which was held at about 2:30 a.m., captured the state of the district:

Students told the board they had no texts.

Advanced-placement students told the board they had no texts for their Spanish-literature class. A parent complained that his son’s eyes were burned in a chemistry lab and he hasn’t been able to get the district, or the superintendent, to respond to him. Another parent said his son was “lost in the system,” counted absent when he was not, suspended, and then the records regarding the suspension were lost. An Eastlake chemistry teacher addressed the overcrowding in classrooms due to “open boundaries” and said that her school had seven chemistry teachers, four classrooms, and two sets of lab equipment.

By the time the board recessed at 3:06, they had dealt with one item of the lengthy agenda.

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The audience, dazed by the time and the generous contract, was given 20 minutes to review the document.
The audience, dazed by the time and the generous contract, was given 20 minutes to review the document.

At 3:06 on the morning of September 25, the Sweetwater Union High School District board of trustees voted 3-2 to award Ed Brand a two-year contract with a compensation package higher than the superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District.

Like many meetings in the past year, there was an overflow crowd — out the door and down the outside ramp. Students, parents, teachers, and activists by turns reasoned with, yelled at, or begged the board not to hire Brand, but trustees John McCann, Arlie Ricasa, and Jim Cartmill voted for Brand’s contract and had nothing but praise for his recent tenure in the district.

Jim Cartmill voted for Brand’s contract.

The board deliberated in closed session from 5:30 p.m. until approximately 2:00 a.m. When the audience had dissipated significantly, copies of the proposed contract were distributed. The audience, dazed by the time and the generous contract, was given 20 minutes to review it before they were allowed to share their perceptions with the board.

While McCann, Ricasa, and Cartmill emphasized Brand’s success and the need for stability, trustees Bertha Lopez and Pearl Quiñones both said that the generous concessions in the contract came off the backs of all the other employees in the district. The classified employees, the teachers, and the students have endured a number of furlough days to balance the budget.

Specifically referring to the buyout in the contract, Lopez said, “Hey, you become the superintendent, you win the lottery.”

If the board decides to terminate Brand in year one “without alleging cause…the District shall pay the Superintendent a maximum cash settlement, concurrently with the termination of the Superintendent’s contract, in an amount equal to twelve (12) months' compensation.” If the Board seeks to terminate in the second year, the golden parachute is “a maximum cash settlement, concurrently with the termination…in an amount equal to the remaining months left under the two-year agreement.”

“The compensation package is not just $252,000 [annual salary]," Bertha Lopez told the audience.

Lopez helped the audience cut to the core of the contract because the audience had such limited time to view it: “The compensation package is not just $252,000 [annual salary], it’s actually $295,000 after everything — the health plan, the monthly allowance, the disability insurance, the life insurance, and to top things off, 28 days' vacation versus 24 that management usually gets — these additional vacation days could have paid for another bus driver for our kids. We are paying for his health benefits until the age of 65, a nice little perk.”

Then Lopez made the point that every teacher or classified employee has to have a health exam prior to being employed: “I want to make this point to all of you — we are only requiring Dr. Brand to take a tuberculosis test.”

Prior to the contract award, public comment, which was held at about 2:30 a.m., captured the state of the district:

Students told the board they had no texts.

Advanced-placement students told the board they had no texts for their Spanish-literature class. A parent complained that his son’s eyes were burned in a chemistry lab and he hasn’t been able to get the district, or the superintendent, to respond to him. Another parent said his son was “lost in the system,” counted absent when he was not, suspended, and then the records regarding the suspension were lost. An Eastlake chemistry teacher addressed the overcrowding in classrooms due to “open boundaries” and said that her school had seven chemistry teachers, four classrooms, and two sets of lab equipment.

By the time the board recessed at 3:06, they had dealt with one item of the lengthy agenda.

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Comments
56

There you have it. The fete accompli was delivered after the ranks were reduced.

Ever the slick tacticians, the Majority Board of Cartmill, McCann and Ricasa, managed cleverly by Duty Officer Castillajas, attempted to defend their decision by calling for a fresh beginning, and stumbling through other weak rationalizations for their perfidy.

This gives Brand, beyond the personal remuneration, the power to spend up to $250,000 without the need for discussion, explaination or any sort of logic? Repeatedly? Until there is no more money?

Then what? It was already brought up that the district needs to cut another $33,000,000 from next year's budget. But, I guess that figure will grow, as Brand now has carte blanche to spend, spend, spend.

If those responsible for this most egregious of decisions spend the rest of their lives trying to make up for it, maybe something good will come of this.

That might require a 'road to Damascus' type of experience, which under the circumstances, might even be beneficial.

Sept. 25, 2012

RE: "fete accompli"

The term is fait accompli.

Sept. 26, 2012

Thanks, it is never too late to learn something!

But I hope everyone understands the meaning, even if I misspelled the phrase.

Sept. 26, 2012

postmortem would be to run a cost analysis or impact review on FAST EDDY's true cost over time or you will end up with a Zimmerman Flew and Tyler Knew aka (Tom Hassey).

Aug. 21, 2013

Why did the public have to wait until the wee hours of the morning for this? What was the need for negotiating through dinner, and a half a normal night's sleep? Couldn't the board have passed out the proposed contract to the public, recessed, and returned another day to receive input as well as give themselves a fresher look at the proposal? The answer is this school board has absolutely no respect for the public, and the deal was probably done from the start. It is really a shame that these three board members -Cartmill-Ricasa-McCann- are not up for re-election in November. If they were, they certainly wouldn't have so boldly shown their contempt for the people they are supposed to represent.

Sept. 25, 2012

And contempt it is--all the extraordinary measures are for effect, and to wear down the public. I am sure they were very surprised by the number of people who were still there.

I know they were surprised by the parents who had very concrete examples of mistreatment of their children at the hands of the schools--yes, they were surprised at the number of people who were there and spoke out, even if they didn't listen to the speakers.

Failure to listen to the public was their choice and they will have to reap the consequences.

Sept. 25, 2012

joepublic: regarding cartmill ricasa and mccann not being so bold. well,,,,,,,,,,,,,, you see joepublic it is all about the money - brand promising them the money.

did you all happen to notice the potential legal package he was given? i am wondering who is on the other end of that package?

Sept. 25, 2012

funny bertha lopez is sounding more like a fiscal conservative than mccann and cartmill PUT TOGETHER!

lets see john mccann great pretender supports a fiscally conservative government - then what does he AND jim cartmill do - they give brand a 2 years contract - brand is 58 so in two years he will be 60 - but here is the corker, included in brands contract is a clause that even after he leaves - well by golly good old suhsd (YES DISTRICT - that is us folks) we will continue to pay his health, dental and vision benefits!!!!

don't you just love pretenders, persons who speak out of both sides of their mouths, i think a synonym would be lie.

it is all about the money folks, it is all about the money - john mccann and jim cartmill are allowing ed brand to pillage this district. why?????????

bertha lopez stood up to the little man who wants to be king. the wanna b who has no ability. yes folks, the rumor is correct he began his assault on the little latina with the words bertha lopez who had her home searched. AND................................ has she been indicted? NO he then brought up 'the gandara' and how lopez had voted for his contract - which she did 7 months after she was voted in - but alas the little man who knows not the truth forgot to mention that not only had jim cartmill and arlie ricasa brought 'the gandara' here BUT THEY HAD BEEN ON THE BOARD FOR YEARS AND VOTED TO RENEW HIS CONTRACT as well.

lets just say bertha lopez handed john mccann his head on a platter and rightfully so.

now according to jim cartmill his peeps seem to love brand - well i have a suggestion, perhaps cartmill should extend his ring of contacts - outside of brand, ricasa and mccann.

the financial information shared last night by mr brickley and another ....................... tip of the iceburg,

Sept. 25, 2012

The fact that our student representative on the board was able to rally her fellow ASB presidents to come and speak out against Brand (although many had to leave well before they were given a chance to speak due to curfew), the fact that many of the long adn well respected members of our district who have now retired (J. Mercado, S. Canaris, j. Rindone, K. Janney) came out to speak against Brand (and again went home to bed before given the chance), the fact that the board was presented with no confidence votes from teachers, parents, the bond oversight committee, and on and on and on, AND YET Brand walked away with not only a contract but a simply obscene contract is simply disgusting.

Listening to each board member explain why they were voting for him it was like we lived in two completely different universes. They see a Brand who is competent and a team-player, yet most of the many of his most horrendous decisions were made unilaterally (open boundaries) and others were made with board approval but no real thought out long-term plan. They say they want stability and consistency. Neither of those are worth anything if the person who is supposed to provide those is completely unethical and untrustworthy. I can't think of a single thing that Brand has said that he has followed through on or that has been matched by his actions.

Obviously, and unfortunately there is now no going back. One can only count the months until the election and the trial and HOPE that we have the community enlightened enough to give us some fresh blood. Unfortunately after tonight it will cost us gravely and many will at that point in time say that we just can't afford it. Well, guess what, we couldn't afford it at 3 am this morning either. We couldn't afford anything for ANY other employee in the entire district in the spring when we all agreed to take pay cuts due to the fact that "there simply was no money". And now, badda bing badda boom, money has appeared for Brand following his strike.

Maybe we should thank you Brand. You have taught us a valuable lesson. Do not sit around and negotiate. Walk out - STRIKE - and then you will get exactly what you want and more. Remember, when you are in a position of power, you are a role model and you have modeled the power of striking for us perfectly. I cannot WAIT until our next bargaining to follow in your footsteps.

Sept. 25, 2012

justateacher: it is going to take all of us to get the truth out - VOTE LOPEZ AND CAMERON!

mccann and cartmill had their speeches already written as did ricasa. i nearly choked on her words of praise for the students, the very students that she is robbing. does she care? NO, as i said before it is all about the money. she is facing a very expensive defense - no doubt she will take a plea to save herself from prison - no bother to me - i just want her exposed for exactly who she is and i want her gone. while quinones voted NO for the contract she looked like the most angry person on the planet last night - perhaps that is because she too has a mounting debt and she too realizes it would be better to take a plea and expose herself for what she allowed herself to become. either way they are both GONE, then, no doubt, we will hear mccann some how some way take credit for it all - when in truth it was, in fact, those darned antagonists that started it all.

funny thing, mccann appears to despise them all - because they are everything he is not.

next time you see jim cartmill or john mccann - ask them why they weren't the ones who went to the DA or FBI. i mean surely they were aware of what was going on - i mean they are board members right?

Sept. 25, 2012

i can still remember the times in my young life when i was down - feeling as though i had been stomped by a wild stallion - well this morning was one of those days. i spent most of the day doing what anniej does - but i must admit the future looked gloomy. my son could see my mood clearly written all over my face - he reminded my of grandmothers saying "it is always darkest before the dawn". we laughed at our role reversals and i did what i often do - i wrote my goal down on a piece of paper and placed it in a sacred place.

low and behold a short time ago i received a phone call - the phone call reminded me that it is important to follow grandmothers advice - "it is ALWAYS darkest before the dawn" and "those who are willing to fight the good fight - ending up catching the big fish" ah yes!!!!!

Sept. 25, 2012

This why this state and every muni/school district in it is so screwed up. WHY would the give a buy out clause AT ALL-in THIS ECONOMY?????????? Why $250K cash salary in THIS ECONOMY???????????/ The dorks who voted for this clown should be RECALLED.

Sept. 25, 2012

Yes, that was tried for three of them, but the attempt fell short. Part of the reason is that supposedly McCann kept phoning in, I guess to the police, to say people were being "harrassed" by those trying to collect signatures. When, of course, it was simple discussion. Anything to press your advantage, right Mr. McCann?

Sept. 25, 2012

BTW-Is Brand still collecting a CalSTRS PENSION???????????????

Sept. 25, 2012

I think that the pension has to stop once he again has a contract as an employee and not a consultant, but that pension will then be recalculated when he leaves the position of superintendent and will be increased, of course. I am not an expert, just trying to figure things out as I go along.

I am sure that if there were a way to collect both the pension and the employee paycheck, Brand would be first in line!

Sept. 25, 2012

Brand is a piece of work.......... the fact he is running sweetwater again shows how screwed up the district is.

Sept. 26, 2012

True enough, Brand is a large package of mess. But, I'd just like to point out that he has been given votes of "No Confidence" from the teachers, from the community and from the Bond Oversight Committee. His only supporters appear to be the three people who hired him. And I suppose those within his administration who have some sort of understanding. And probably some of the companies on the receiving end of Sweetwater business.

The truth-seekers are by no means done yet.

Sept. 27, 2012

Brand has to unretire in order to accept his contract. So, he will not be continuing to collect his pension. However, Eastlaker is correct in that adding two more years to his service will ultimately increase his overall retirement.

Sept. 25, 2012

unbelievable

Sept. 25, 2012

Pancho, unbelieveable. I just got a glimpse of the contract. Brand got $750.00 travel allowance. Must be he lives so far away from the district.

Sept. 25, 2012

cvres: what about the medical, dental, vision benefits that we will pay for for 6 years after he leaves? up until the time he is eligible for medicare.

again i ask, WHO WROTE THIS CONTRACT?

Sept. 26, 2012

I wouldn't be surprised if Brand is KICKING BACK $$$$ (aka laundering money) to the school board that wrote his contract.

Sept. 26, 2012

Well, there is that $50,000 that Brand gave Cartmill--mentioned somewhere previously--for his business. There might be other arrangements. It has been suggested that coverage of legal fees may have been promised. And possibly large enough donations to future campaigns. There are three reasons right there.

The salary is rich enough to pave the way for all sorts of things.

Sept. 27, 2012

Not to mention the board's authorization for Fast Eddy to spend up to $250,000 of public funds without board approval for ANYTHING....smacks of subsidy for Ricassa and Quinones' approaching legal bills, and perhaps other kickbacks to Board members.

Quinones probably voted against the contract because she knew it would pass anyway, and probably worked it out ahead of time with Cartmill, McCann and Ricasa. She needs votes come November.

However, I do think there are some state requirements about expenditures over a certain level, but then.....this is corrupt-ville after all and who pays attention to state requirements, the District's own bylaws, or even state law? We know the Brown Act doesn't apply to Sweetwater, and the accounting shell games continue.

Sept. 27, 2012

What a sad night. We all knew what was going to happen yet that tiny glimmer of hope somehow is still there. Arrogance at it's best. The students even saw through these phonies and told them so. I felt like a parent when these kids told the board how they felt. Very touching listening to them. They took the bitter taste out of the awful event.

Sept. 25, 2012

Yes, it was GREAT to see the high school kids speak up and speak out repeatedly, giving the board the full force of their dissatisfaction. Gives me hope for the future, especially with the promise that more students and parents will attend subsequent meetings.

If the reproofs from the adults don't get through to Ricasa, McCann and Cartmill, maybe the words of the young people will.

And then to listen to the comments from the board members, such as when Cartmill wants us to improve the level of discourse, or some such...the level of discourse can be improved when the board's decisions have been improved upon, when the board members themselves act in ways that are not corrupt, insulting and contemptuous of the public!

Nothing like blaming the victims! Just another attempt at manipulating the public, trying to take away the public's right to comment, respond and demand responsible, ethical and responsible decisions.

Try doing the right thing, then perhaps the criticisms won't come at you so fast and furiously! Accept the responsibility of your position, don't palm it all off so easily the way you just did.

Cartmill, Ricasa and McCann, you have earned every bit of the public's wrath.

Sept. 25, 2012

So much has been said already that there is little to add. But to cut through the underbrush, there are two related but distinct issues here. The first is Brand's suitability for the position and the other is the price. After his "retirement" from the San Marcos district, he should have forfeit any further chance to serve in any sort of senior position in public education. The morning "rag" keeps referring his departure from there as him retiring. He didn't retire from that district, he was "bought out", "forced out", or "fired". He may have subsequently decided to begin taking his STRS pension, and that might be called retirement, but not in the sense the rag refers to it. He is/was unsuitable for this position, especially in light of the way the vacancy occurred, that is, by the force out or buyout of Gandara.

The second issue if the price. He's now, unless I'm quite mistaken, the highest paid "supe" in the entire county, with his salary exceeding that of "colorless Bill" Kowba, who heads the San Diego City schools, a district many times larger than SUHSD.

This board majority has shown its utter contempt for the public and the cure is going to be the removal of all of them, along with Pearl, from the board. But be careful of whom you decide to elect: those who replace them could be--yes, it is possible--even worse.

Sept. 26, 2012

Visduh: ah, but we must remember the ridiculous words of john mccann, according to mccann brand's contract is not as rich as 'the gandara's'. and to this i say "your point mr. mccann, what is your freakin point?"

who wrote this contract? does anyone know?

mr. not conservative john mccann, can you explain why a 'conservative overseer of our tax dollars' like you PRETEND TO BE would not only approve such a contract but defend it as well.

how do you defend the fact that the taxpayers of the south bay will be paying brands monthly medical, dental, and vision premiums for 6 years AFTER HE IS GONE? who does this mr. mccann? YOU DID IT! and you will be help accountable.............................................. you, and mr. cartmill - we would hold ms. ricasa accountable but she will be most likely be spending her time writing letters from a state pen - and rightfully so!

Sept. 26, 2012

All the money these types get because of their position, they should work for free.

Sept. 26, 2012

I didn't get a chance to attend, but was hoping to listen to the audio on the website. But, currently, they are not up yet. Did somebody get lazy and not post them, or are the being censored so the public doesn't get to hear just how badly the board flopped on this decision?

Sept. 26, 2012

dbdriver - you saved yourself much frustration. audio of board docs is a concern, it appears that 'controversial' comments are either being eliminated or all of a sudden the audio goes significantly fuzzy.

ah, too bad some of that gold could not be used on such things vs. filling brands pockets.

angry you ask?, no anniej does not get angry - anniej gets - - - -.

anniej and others are on a mission, that mission is to expose and excise all alleged corruption in the suhsd - the first step the board and superintendent - expose what is really going on - and we are off to a bang up start - stay tuned...........................................

Sept. 26, 2012

The only board member worth her salt is Bertha Lopez. She has been a true and consistant supporter of the public's right to have district's business transparent, as well as being in full support of the student's rights to a full academic program.

If you are going to attend Bonitafest this saturday, be sure to stop by Ms. Lopez's booth and show your support. Fran Brinkman and I will be manning the booth between 9:15 and 11:15 AM. Come vent your outrage over the board's decision to give Brand a contract and help us re-elect the only board member with any integrity.

See you there.

Sept. 26, 2012

She was also voted in by teachers who are union extremists. Don't get me wrong. I think Bertha Lopez is an enthusiastic educator who is an asset to Sweetwater and wants the best for the community. At the same time, the bad teachers in the district who are still employed because the union protects them support her more than any other board member or other person in the district that makes decisions.

Sept. 26, 2012

greatness83 - "the bad teachers in the district who are still employed because the union protects them suport her more than ANY other board member".

what do you base that statement on?

perhaps 'they' back her more because ALL TEACHERS BACK HER MORE. the teachers union just gave the board a vote on no confidence in reference to brand - that no confidence vote did not state that they were the bad teachers. just saying.

bad teachers are an issue all in itself, and has nothing to do with board member lopez. not to say there aren't any bad teachers.

Sept. 26, 2012

I have as much confidence in what the district has done as I do in that teachers union. Let's see who can earn more confidence from the public in the future, especially if Prop 30 and 38 pass. It will be interesting.

Also, I do like and respect Lopez and the majority of the board members, the one's that have an extensive track record of success in the district. Hopefully, things can change.

Sept. 26, 2012

Prop 30 is DOA- and 38 is so far behind it is not credible threat of actually passing.

Sept. 26, 2012

Ms. Bertha Lopez and George Cameron have my vote.

I will not be voting for indicted board member quinones for obvious reasons, and have chosen not to endorse Mr. Grossman due to his close friendship and several meetings (as seen on his calendar) with brand.

while i do not know her, Ms. Grossman is an administrator with the district - a total conflict of interest.

Sept. 26, 2012

I think this might've already been asked, but does anyone know who wrote this contract, and did the taxpayers pay for Brand's representative's services?

Sept. 26, 2012

Brand wrote it himself and told the Board to approve it. There is even a note that he can hire who he wants, place them where he wants, whenever he wants (without limitation). This was a point of contention in San Marcos fiasco-- he gave a teaching position to political crony's wife. I am sure this is about hiring teachers for his charter school. Teacher's union Pres. Should be crying "foul" but said nothing. And what the heck--Barry Dragon is coming back? He helped Brand play "Move the Money" his last round and quickly exited when Brand left. Foxes watching the hen house--they need to be monitored CLOSELY!

Sept. 26, 2012

That's why Brand got CANNED in San Marcos, trying to pull strings, and that is why San Marcos is a much better run district than Sweetwater-who i will always regard as being the best kids in the County........

Sept. 26, 2012

Exactly--the kids of Sweetwater do NOT deserve this shabby treatment. They are being robbed, and why Ricasa, McCann and Cartmill don't stand up for their own constituency is beyond me. Guess they don't care about this district and these kids, guess their sights have already been set elsewhere.

Sept. 27, 2012

eastlaker: no, the students do NOT deserve what they are NOT getting. however this board has under estimated those in the community that are committed to changing things. stay tuned, all is not lost!

Sept. 27, 2012

anniej and all of you: The Star-News has an article on the return of Ed Brand, as well as a poll on whether the board was correct to give Brand the contract. Right now the poll is running 77% in favor of Brand's contract, but I would hope all of you would vote and get your friends to vote so that the community's true opinion will be reflected.

Let's not give Brand any ammunition to claim that he is wanted and respected when we know he is not wanted, and is clearly not respected.

Sept. 29, 2012

Regarding the poll--it continues to trend showing support for Brand. Not good.

Sept. 29, 2012

Ok, Interested Parties, while it looks like some of you and your friends have voted in the Star-News poll, we need some more votes. The poll is running roughly 57% in favor of the contract given to Brand and 42% opposed.

I think we can do better than that. In fact, I think we need to do better than that, or Brand, McCann, Cartmill and Ricasa might start thinking that people agree with them.

We are operating with the understanding that those who care about education and the public trust are going to show they care by giving Brand and the SUHS board of trustees evidence of what the public wants: a district without Brand and a district where the board of trustees actually listens to their constituency and works for the greater good.

Remember that phrase: "greater good"--we need to be able to employ it free of sarcasm.

We need the Greater Good.

We have the opportunity to vote down Brand's contract, at least online, in this poll. Let us do this!

Sept. 30, 2012

Sadly, these poll results would indicate that many voters are just utterly unaware of the corruption and abuses in that district, and like what they hear from the current power structure. One might think that if anyone had kids in the local schools, they would know better, and that may not be the case. What has the "Red Star" been saying about the SUHSD and Brand anyway? There was a time when that paper was influential, and it may still be.

Sept. 30, 2012

The tide has turned--and I hope the votes will keep on demonstrating that the public does not want Brand or this contract.

My guess is that all the early votes were affected by early knowledge of the poll, and that perhaps some district employees were instructed to vote in favor of the contract. Whatever.

Ultimately, these attempts to manipulate information and the public will backfire when enough of the public realize they are being taken for a ride.

We are almost there, and will not give up.

Brand, McCann, Cartmill, and Ricasa have underestimated the people of this community, and have only themselves to blame.

Sept. 30, 2012

Regarding the type of coverage this issue has been getting from the Star-News...sporatic coverage. At times it seems to really soft-pedal the situation. A few weeks ago when the recall effort did not pan out, the headline was something like "No Support for Recall" when in fact there was support, just not quite enough. Personally I feel that the ties the paper has to the real estate community mean that they don't dare alienate that segment of their revenue, so they downplay the mess of Sweetwater. Very unhealthy in my book.

Oct. 1, 2012

Thanks, Susan and everyone at the Reader for giving the Sweetwater community this opportunity to exchange thoughts and information. In this time of media proliferation--in some ways--it is odd that it is so difficult to get the truth out into the open sometimes.

We are deeply grateful that we have this place to marshal ideas and knowledge of this problematic situation.

Sept. 30, 2012

Some good news: the poll is now running 78% against Brand and his contract, and only 22% (or so) in favor--so the numbers have "flipped".

I hope there is more where that came from.

Let us send a clear message that Ed Brand is unwelcome, unwanted and under surveillance!

Oct. 1, 2012

Ok friends, numbers are creeping back up in favor of the contract. Do we really want that to happen?

Oct. 2, 2012

eastlaker: not quite sure what happened with the star news poll, last evening it showed that the the NO's were way ahead, then this morning all of a sudden it shows the YES's were the majority and the poll is now closed. hmmm???????

Oct. 5, 2012

Yes, I just saw this. Looks like another fix was in!! (Or another manipulation of the system, take your pick).

So we shouldn't be surprised by any number of dirty tricks...because, as we know, this bunch just does not play by the rules. And sooner or later, that will trip them up. They will break one too many rules, their own greed will provide the means for their collective downfall.

Let's keep working.

Oct. 5, 2012

eastlaker: they have allowed themselves to become arrogant and greedy and have underestimated the resolve of the community. they are the captains of their own ships - and soon will be asking themselves why they did not quit while the quitting was good. arrogance and greed are a prescription for disaster - they think of themselves collectively as a modern day titanic, well the ice burg is straight away.

i seem to remember typing similar words back in may of 2011, funny they didn't listen then either - one would think that those left standing would have chosen to take a new path - perhaps they never heard that saying - there but for the grace of God go me.

as grandmother always said "GOD DON'T LIKE UGLY"!!!!!

as mother always said "payback is a ??????"

as anniej always says - goodness knows you know what anniej always says.

Oct. 5, 2012

Did you see that someone in Texas has been sentenced to several years in prison for interfering with school testing? A school official from the El Paso school district (it was reported)"blackmailed" low-performing students so that they would stay home and not participate in testing. Complicating matters, it was also reported that many of those low performing students were not actually residents of the El Paso district, but lived in Mexico and crossed the border for school.

Truly messy all around.

However, if the schools want the income from the students who live outside the district, then they had better include them in all facets of the school.

Of course, this official was motivated by a $50,000 bonus if a certain standard was reached in testing--so it wasn't simply the reputation of the school he wanted to artificially enhance. He wanted to enhance his own pocket, taking funds away from more deserving schools.

Are there any lessons we can draw from this?

Oct. 6, 2012

eastlaker: money as a motivation, why i never - hell, money is what drives brand - do i hear an amen!!!!! and then we have the two board members following so close behind brand that if brand tripped they would fall over themselves - cartmill and mccann.

the financial interaction involvement of some that are NOT suppose to be- - allowing conflict of interest has perked the interest of .

brand, it is rumored, has been seen at certain affairs with Grossman. good old "ed" and Grossman. mc cann and cartmill promoting Grossman is one thing - but brand ???????????? now i realize that birds of a feather fly together, however.................................. as commented to me yesterday "anniej, they have done us a service - they have exposed themselves". oh, if they only knew what the powers at be were truly saying about them. reminds me of grandmothers old saying "digging their own graves - and not realizing that their 'friends' are helping".

lets see who do we want to take quinones' place - 'the Rush Limbaugh of the NFL' or a man of the highest integrity whose only focus is the students Mr. George Cameron? well folks as they say 'that is a no brainer'.

Oct. 7, 2012

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