Ed Brand before planning commission.
  • Ed Brand before planning commission.
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Many people were surprised to see Sweetwater superintendent Ed Brand appear at the August 19 National City Planning Commission. Brand left a regularly scheduled Sweetwater board meeting shortly after it convened to attend the meeting and promote his pet project – Alliant International [email protected] (as the joint venture has been dubbed.)

Earlier this month, on August 6, Sweetwater/Alliant came before the commission to ask for a conditional use permit, which would have allowed the National City Adult School Facility to be partially used for Alliant classes. At that time, the planning commission tabled a decision on the permit until September 16 to provide the community and the proponents time to delve into the proposal.

Recently, at the behest of Brand and National City Chamber of Commerce CEO Jacqueline Reynoso, the planning commission was obliged to take up the question of calling an emergency meeting so that Alliant’s conditional use permit could be put on a faster track.

Brand told the commissioners August 19 that if the emergency meeting did not take place, it would be a hardship for students who wished to attend Alliant. He said the district had done its part—had ascertained that the adult facility would not be negatively impacted, and had made certain there was adequate parking.

A question presented by several speakers at the August 19 planning commission was: Why doesn’t Alliant go out and rent their own property and solicit their own students like other private universities located in the South Bay, why is a private institution being supported and promoted by public monies?

Some worried that Alliant will ultimately expand its campus requirements on Sweetwater campuses and drain district’s resources.

Only two years ago, in August 2012, Alliant International attempted to sell their 60-acre Scripps Ranch campus to Kaiser Permanente. The deal ultimately fell through; however, a Union Tribune article from that time states: “ At one time USIU had more than 3,500 students before encountering financial and accreditation problems. It merged with the California School of Professional Psychology in 2001 to become Alliant.”

None of the commissioners agreed with Brand and chamber of commerce head Reynoso; they found no compelling reason to hold an emergency meeting and voted unanimously to stick with the September 16 date.

The UT reported August 20 that Sweetwater/Alliant students will be transported on a university shuttle to Alliant’s main campus in Scripps Ranch for the fall semester.

A query sent by the Reader early August 20 to Manny Rubio, director of Sweetwater’s grants and communications director, asked how many student would be bused and who would pay for the busing. The query has remained unanswered.

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anniej Aug. 21, 2013 @ 6:17 p.m.

The National City Planning Commission should be congratulated and celebrated for operating in a truly transparent manner. It appears to go without saying that Brand and 'OTHERS' believed they could just slide this thru without proper/legal procedures. Typical Ed Brand.

The question that remains unanswered is WHY, Ed Brand under the guidance of the SUHSD board would ever consider offering Alliant FREE rent and FREE staff? While Bertha Lppez and Pearl Quinines did vote no, board president Jim Cartmill, John McCann and Arlie Ricasa for some unknown reason believe it made good sense to give our assets away for free.

Daily alleged reports are coming in regarding SUHSD and staff steering its students to Alliant U, why? What is in it for Brand? He is not doing this for the students and he is not doing this for National City - so what is his incentive?


shirleyberan Aug. 21, 2013 @ 6:47 p.m.

He's probably has age- related mental illness of some kind. The way he sticks to an outdated program is a good sign.


oldchulares Aug. 21, 2013 @ 7:54 p.m.

I thought the people who were elected were suppose to secure a quality education for kids and to be sure that the money was spent wisely. I was sent a twitter and attached to it was a letter from an attorney that was sent to the Star News to clarify that John McCann was not brain injured in the accident that he was in and he caused. Is he allowed to do that is he allowed to use school money for that? How do I find out if these knuckleheads authorized my taxes to be spent on a letter. All the news reports that said he was severely hurt came from his wife and a reporter named Little. Who is watching my tax money?


oskidoll Aug. 21, 2013 @ 8:09 p.m.

Hooray for the NC Planning Commission for sticking to its guns. Hooray for the citieznry for 'dissuading' the officials from going down Ed Brand's path to nowhere with Alliant. Hooray for us all that we are able to hold the line with this guy and take back our school district. Hooray!


montana64 Aug. 21, 2013 @ 8:19 p.m.

Not compliant --about Alliant. Hooray--touché. Our young scholars--spared loss of dollars..and dolor-- at becoming poor. Thank you oh mighty meeting attenders--you are our great equalizer defenders. Battling with words--in this theatre of the absurd. Alliant: pay your rent, like the rest of us!


erupting Aug. 21, 2013 @ 9:29 p.m.

Montana, I wish it were over but you can't trust Brand,he will probably open the Alliant at one of the high schools. The kids will tire of a shuttle bus to Scripts Ranch and he can't let that happen. So here we go again. We did find out that he will have to charge rent if he does that according to board docs.


WTFEd Aug. 21, 2013 @ 9:43 p.m.

Okay when Ed does not get his way he will try and get even. You watch. Our priorities are askew or is that screwed. Mind the store. We had problems with Canvas and log ins. The Ipad situation is still not running that smoothly. Are we prepared for Commion Core? Do we care some times I wonder. For us long time employees who care about the students why do I spend time on this Alliant stuff ! Ed this go round you are a "has been" who is a "never was" except for being a bully and controlling. The true detractors are not the people in the audience on Monday at National City it is you the detractor from what should be our real Mission at SUHSD.


eastlaker Aug. 22, 2013 @ 2:33 a.m.

So why is Brand so adamant about Alliant? And again, why are Ricasa, Cartmill and McCann always so willing to do his bidding? Ricasa, Cartmill and McCann must know something that the rest of us do not know.

Asking why, I will answer: they probably have the inside track on what Brand's plans really are. In total. Beginning, middle and end.

The Big Unknown that we taxpayers will pay for--unless Ed Brand can be stopped before he hatches yet another bizarrely grandiose scheme.

Maybe there are comfortable offices with nice titles and sweet salaries that have been promised as rewards for good behavior? More pay to play?

It is obvious that Fast Eddy's thoughts aren't really with Sweetwater, because he left the school board meeting to try and finagle his way with National City. What more do we need to know? We already know that he will give away our tax dollars to Alliant, and just about any other group.

It looks like Fast Eddy is deluded into thinking that our tax dollars are his to bestow as so much largesse...he needs to learn otherwise.


cvres Aug. 22, 2013 @ 6:46 a.m.

Brand's desire for a legacy is almost pathetic. I wonder how much time or thought or resources are being put into rebuilding the adult school program. That center in National City could be a vital community asset and a great stepping stone for National City residents. Do some advertising, reduce the cost, imagine some new offerings, build it back up.


bankalchemist Aug. 22, 2013 @ 6:47 a.m.

When the BIG BRAND moves this fast you can be certain he is covering his tracks and working to ensure his personal interest are protected. Never forget he is certified SAOS (slick as owl shit) professionally. Its been said he has joined the mayors group of spin doctors (Bob Filner) as a financial adviser.


anniej Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:53 a.m.

Oldchulares - Ah yes, I too received a copy of that tweet. I simply could not believe my eyes, once again, John McCann using tax payer monies to fund his political campaigning. That is what it is all about after all, McCann going to any lengths to get his name out there. The word 'miracle' being tossed around as flagrantly as our tax dollars.

Adding insult to injury - here we have a failed politician who caused an accident, inflicting injury on the other driver, YET choosing to play the victim and sympathy card and going to incredulous lengths to do so. On camera interviews detailing puckers, memory loss, need for rehab and then the MIRACLE and his publicity finder kicks into gear - and there he is at the community gathering to watch our 'winning wonderful Eastlake Little Leaguers'. Back in the 70's there use to be a saying 'gag me with a spoon' -

Someone in the Republican Party needs to find a back bone and give McCann the 411 - 'your cover has been blown'. You have lost your fair haired status never to be regained. You blew it, you had your chance to do something with your board seat that would have guaranteed a secure political future but instead chose to 'join 'em rather than fight 'em'. As I sit here I am reminded of the story of Jessica, our singing sensation- when she came home and the city welcomed her rumor had it McCann was clamoring to get on stage - allegedly telling a Chula Vista Police Officer 'I was a CV councilman' officers alleged response, 'key word - was'.

So,,,,, who approved that legal expense? Is this what is being done behind doors during Closed Session? Was this use of our tax dollars legal?

Let us not forget who was at the Alliant signing - none other than John McCann. He saw nothing wrong with this????? And the hole McCann is digging continues to grow deeper, and DeEpEr, and DEEPER!!!!!!!!!


erupting Aug. 22, 2013 @ 8:15 a.m.

anniej how come Mc Cann was able to sit in the tavern in Eastlake with the community and celebrate the kids but not attend a board meeting? Oh, excuse me political exposure! Sorry I forgot. We may as well get use to it between channel 10 news and Joe Little we are doomed. It's funny how we all seemed concerned and wished him well a couple of weeks ago,and now he's turned it into a McCann film festival.


joepublic Aug. 22, 2013 @ 8:41 a.m.

Souhtwestern Community College trustee Humberto Peraza's quote in another Reader article perhaps says it all:

“No public institution should use taxpayer money to push students to a private university that charges the outrageous sum of $620 a unit when they have a better economical and educational alternative with Southwestern at $46 a unit —and SDSU and UCSD sitting next door."


anniej Aug. 22, 2013 @ 9:10 a.m.

Joepublic - Mr. Humberto Peraza is on target - AGAIN!!!!!!


angrybirds Aug. 22, 2013 @ 9:47 a.m.

Good job National City! You peeps know how to do the right thing over there in my home town. Dudes you at least ask questions not like the 3 stooges sitting on Sweetwaters board. Yeah yeah everyone must know them 3 stooges are Arlie, Jim and John. Looking at this picture of the Brand I was cracking up just having a picture the top of his head exploding when they didnt give him his way.

Hey AnnieJ, thanks for the 411 on the tweet. So I got a copy of this tweet and the only thing I can say holy mother s---. The nerve of that McCann having districts money go to his personal crap. Doesnt anyone ask any questions about this kind of crap. Hey Jimbo why arent you doing your job? Fast Eddy tisk tisk you trying to buy this guys vote or what? I guess time will tell hmmmmm inquiring minds want to know.


oskidoll Aug. 22, 2013 @ 10:05 a.m.

My guess is that Brand is so enamored of the Alliant proposal because it is one of his building blocks for 'Sweetwater University'...perhaps he envisions himself as "Chancellor for Life" at such an 'institution' down the road.

He really does not care about the educational value students might receive for their many $$$$ at these private 'wannabe' so-called universities...he only cares that Ed gets his way and can land on his feet. His buddies in the banking biz can get rich on the student loans, which you and I taxpayers subsidize.

Kudos to the everyone who played a part in calling Ed out on this one, and for making sure National City folks get the information they needed to make a responsible decision.

It is unlikely that Ed is going to throw in the towel on this one. I agree that he may look to the high school campuses to 'host' Alliant next. By the way, I see that the Hilltop High bulletin includes information about two 'adult' classes for students who have failed math or 'everything but math'...wonder if any member of the public can attend, I also wonder if these 'adult' classes have been publicized in the community?


joepublic Aug. 22, 2013 @ 11:37 a.m.

So, Brand tells the commissioners that they would be causing hardship to students wishing to attend Alliant by not calling an emergency meeting. Well, it sounds to me that Alliant wasn't so concerned about their students when they put their Scripps Ranch campus up for sale two years ago! Oh yeah, it's all about the kids.


oldchulares Aug. 22, 2013 @ 12:07 p.m.

So McCann spends my tax money on a letter telling press he has no brain injury and nothing can be done about it. He is making us look as bad as the democrats guess he thinks my retirement monies are his.


anniej Aug. 22, 2013 @ 3:47 p.m.

Let us not loose sight of the fact that Brand can go forward and have the Alliant housing placed on the Planning Commissions September agenda. While this round - ding, ding, ding goes to the students and taxpayers there may be one, possibly two more rounds.


oskidoll Aug. 22, 2013 @ 6:28 p.m.

You are so right anniej. Keep his (and their) feet to the fire.

I am thinking that one scenario in Brand/McCannville is that Brand does not get in the way of , and perhaps assists McCann's mayoral aspirations.

Once enconsed on that throne, McCann can 'partner' with Brand and these private high cost so-called universities to facilitate Sweetwater U on the property gifted to the City of CV by the developer(s) as part of the Western Parcel Otay Ranch land use plan.

Brand gets annointed as Chancellor for Life of this sorry cluster of wannabe 'colleges' and eventually hires McCann for a cushy position when he is termed out of his Mayorship. That is what Brand and toadies would probably call 'visionary'. The students lose, the taxpayers lose, the City of Chula Vista will be giving prime real estate away, but hey, it's Brand behind the curtain in OZ.


anniej Aug. 22, 2013 @ 7:21 p.m.

oskidoll - I have got to say John McCann is nothing short (no pun intended, well,,,, maybe a little bit) of embarrassing. Here we have a grown man chasing after the television camera like fleas chase after dogs - looking to suck the life out of them.

It is interesting that he was too ill to attend the board meeting yet not to ill to attend the rally for our winning Eastlake team. Fortunately the reporters and cameras have this guys number - no interview for him.

So, when McCann makes up his mind to run again for another office I have no doubt the saga of McCann will have grown old.

Business cards - 10,000 of them, cost, about $20, a few lines itemizing how SUHSD is wasting taxpayers dollars.

Item 1 - legal correspondence on behalf of John McCann sent to news organizationS stating he has no brain injury and will be at next months meeting - WE PAID FOR IT

Item 2 - PRO against a respected member of the community by John Mcann thrown out of court - WE PAID FOR IT

Item 3 - allegations of petty theft filed against a second respected member of the community by John McCann placed on city property, signs that were close to 4 years old - WE PAID FOR THE POLICE INVESTIGATION, which was thrown out.

Oh my, it appears John McCann has NO respect for fiduciary responsibility and is using our tax dollars like his own personal slush fund.

WHO IS AUTHORIZING THESE EXPENSES? Ed Brand or board president Jim Cartmill.

How might one be able to fit all of this on a business card? One way or another the truth about McCann will be shared with the South Bay community.


dbdriver Aug. 22, 2013 @ 8:10 p.m.

Wasn't it McCann who had the auto-dialer message sent out before a board meeting saying he was going to vote no on district paying legal for fellow board members?


anniej Aug. 22, 2013 @ 8:33 p.m.

dbdriver - ah yes, there have been soooo many incidents with 'opportunistic' McCann it is indeed hard for one to keep up.

Evidently channel 10 aired a very short story stating SUHSD is setting the record straight - no brain injury - which is indeed a good thing but here are my questions -

So what was all of the melodrama we were subjected to? You know, McCann was not able to go directly home he was being transferred to a facility then batta boom batta bang the campaign fairy realized 'you know John this brain injury, sympathy card might just back fire on our plans to run next year'. 'No problem we will just have the taxpayers pay for an expensive letter to be sent to the news agencies, written by a Sweetwater attorney - turn it around and blame the reporters, make it look like they exaggerated.'

I am wondering how quick channel 10 will be to send a news crew next time Jo Little try's to sell a McCann fiasco as news?

Looks like melodrama is leaving the Mayor of San Diego's office - how about we get rid of our own next year and vote John McCann out of SUHSD and NOT into any other office EVER. We need true fiscal conservatives, politicians who treat our tax dollars as they do their own. John McCann is NOT that candidate as HIS actions have proven.

McCann, next time you want an attorney, PAY FOR IT YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!


oldchulares Aug. 23, 2013 @ 9:37 a.m.

Lad McCann seems to have been caught with his fingers in our wallets. This is not something many of us retired guys take kindly to. Anybody got a name for us for the next election? We need a guy who has respect for how taxes are used.


eastlaker Aug. 23, 2013 @ 9:39 a.m.

anniej, I share your frustration. McCann must be getting very bad political advice if this is how he chooses to portray himself: distracted driver (possibly, as the cell phone was reportedly picked up off the street) merges into oncoming traffic, thereby causing an accident...press release(s) regarding his condition, reported as such. Hyped-up stories perhaps, but then, whose fault was that???

Then the letter from the attorney to the Star-News merely to state what McCann's physical wellness is at this time, and what it is projected to be in the near and reasonably near future?

Very odd choice. It is almost as if he had tried to get the medical establishment to go on record with something, but they wouldn't quite go along with it.

So what is the meaning of all this, aside from McCann yet again attempting to garner as much attention as possible? Can't be much.

How about if we agree to count McCann out, as he is nearly as reliable, dependable and reasonable as a superball shot from a cannon.


oskidoll Aug. 23, 2013 @ 10:14 a.m.

It's the old 'bob 'n weave' strategy. Now he is brain-injured....oops, now he is just peachy keen and eager to get out and press the flesh with LittleLeague fans.

It just might be intended to distract attention from the cause of the accident, and fault of a certain driver who was possibly using a cell phone at the time. Perhaps he was brain-injured BEFORE the accident?

Meanwhile, Rome, er, SUHSD burns. Over crowding at non-improvement schools as a result of influx of students from all those schools on improvement needed status. Missing $$80Million from Mello Roos funds that are supposed to pay for new schools in the MR taxed areas (coincidentially, those seem to be where the over crowding is occuring.)

Fast Eddy continues the shell game with Alliant and District properties and real estate schemes. Schools that need bussing to help facilitate after-school activities are being charged premium rates for the busses, while Ed proposes bussing students to some distant Alliant campus to take the high-cost so-called college classes he is touting.

Do NOT look for logic in any of this folks, because there is none to be found!


angrybirds Aug. 23, 2013 @ 10:19 a.m.

oh my my you people had my juices flowing on this mccann crap so i looked up the news stories cause i like to check things out first. lets see one article quotes his wife; "I came to the hospital entirely thinking that there was a huge chance that my husband was not going to be alive," Myssie McCann told 10News reporter Joe Little outside of the hospital. She said there is some brain trauma but it didn't get worse overnight."

then there is this other article: 10News Reporter Rachel Bianco spoke with McCann's wife, Myssie, who said her husband is at an Intensive Care Unit at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest. She said he suffered some brain trauma and a number of other serious injuries.

McCann is responding and doctor's are hopeful, she said, but it is still too early to have a prognosis".

and yet another one: Now, in an update to NBC 7, a close family friend said McCann's recovery will likely last about a year.

It will be an uphill battle but doctors expect him to eventually fully recover from crash the friend said.




oskidoll Aug. 23, 2013 @ 10:42 a.m.

No can do Angry Birds...there is no explanation because it is twilight zone stuff. I'm looking for Rod S. behind the curtain with Ed B.


eastlaker Aug. 24, 2013 @ 12:07 p.m.

Yes, here we are on a beautiful summer's day, waiting to watch the local Little League team play as part of the championship series. This tells us we have great kids, students, families, a community that supports the good things!

This is how we want to spend our time!

Enjoying healthy competition, watching kids do their best.

Yet more reasons why the Ed Brands of this world need to be stopped--they may mouth slogans to get people to donate to their personal, private "foundations", but really, how much of the money ever got/gets to the kids? Ed and the non-profit world--a vast sink-hole of deception and self-service.

Let's enjoy the Little League run but not forget that Fearless Leader, "Fast Eddy" is still out there, endeavoring to leverage Sweetwater UHSD into his own personal fiefdom.

What could this community/school district accomplish if we were all on the same team, the truthful team, the team that really wants to have a workable school system for all students, the team that ensures tax and bond funds aren't being given away to Ed's pals?


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