Sweetwater superintendent Ed Brand will propose changing board meeting hours to mid-afternoon.
  • Sweetwater superintendent Ed Brand will propose changing board meeting hours to mid-afternoon.
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The official Sweetwater Union High School District calendar says the next board meeting will be held on January 28 at 6:00, the usual time board meetings are held. However, over the January 19–20 weekend, an enthusiastic blogger on the Reader website informed the community that the meeting would be changed to much earlier — 1 p.m.

Shortly after that, Star News reporter Allison Sampite tweeted that Sweetwater’s public spokesman, Manny Rubio, said it was his understanding that the Monday closed session of the board meeting would begin at 1:00 and the regular session at 2:30.

Indignation rippled through the South Bay at this seemingly arbitrary change in meeting time. Community members began to call the district and the Chula Vista mayor’s office to complain.

Then, on January 23, the Sweetwater Education Association put out a communiqué that contained a letter from member Helen Farias. The letter announced Brand’s intention to change the start time of the board meetings henceforth.

Farias responds: “This move is clearly intended to prevent district stakeholders from scrutinizing Board decisions, and will, in essence, silence students, parents, and community members. Not only will they be unable to personally speak to the board regarding school and student issues, teachers will not be able to represent [the Sweetwater Education Association] in large numbers regarding critical board actions.”

Finally, late Friday evening, January 25, the agenda for Monday’s board meeting was posted. Though the meeting will commence at the regular time, the agenda verifies that Brand has proposed changing the bylaws so that regular board meeting closed session will begin at 2:00, open session at 3:30, and “public communication will be held immediately following the open session or at 6:00, whichever comes first.”

Changing the time to earlier in the day (as the City of Chula Vista did last year) creates a host of problems: it changes the pool of candidates for elected seats; a person who has a full-time day job that requires his or her consistent presence would be excluded.

Sweetwater trustee Bertha Lopez is a kindergarten teacher. Lopez said in a January 25 interview that kindergarteners rely on consistency and that it will be disruptive for her classes if she attends all board-related functions.

After the agenda was released, Farias made additional comments via email: “Consider that during closed session critical items are decided: superintendent's evaluation, employee discipline matters, teacher releases (non-rehires), student expulsions, and LITIGATION issues. A 2 pm start time for closed session completely silences us [classified and certificated employees] in these matters. Imagine what would have happened if we had not been able to voice our concerns about [former, now-indicted, superintendent Jesus] Gandara, if we had not been able to completely fill Southwest High and demand board action.”

Another email is circulating from a group of parents that organized around overcrowding and Mello-Roos issues. The memo, addressed to “concerned neighbors and taxpayers,” notes that “Most of the general public won’t be able to attend the meeting at 3:30 to speak about the agenda items…if the district wants to be more transparent, why would they move their meetings to a time when most of us can’t attend?”

Board president Jim Cartmill did not return multiple phone calls.

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anniej Jan. 26, 2013 @ 2:28 p.m.

San Diego Unified. 5:00 Cajon Valley. 5:30 Chula Vista. 6:00 Carlsbad. 6:00 Grossmont. 6:00 San Dieguito. 6:30 Poway. 6:00 Oceanside. 6:00 Santee. 7:00

SUHSD. Maybe 1, maybe 2. - whatever it takes to keep the business secret.

TRANSPARENCY - this bunch does not know the meaning of the word


Visduh Jan. 26, 2013 @ 3:04 p.m.

Just when you think that maybe, just maybe, Brand is trying to do an honest job and be open in his dealings, he clears up any doubt. That is, doubt that he's just hoping to run the district his way, on his timetable, without any scrutiny from the public. Sure, have the meetings in the afternoon and they will be almost sedate, sort of like meetings of a corporate board. No pickets with signs outside, few angry residents wanting to speak, and few there to witness the double-dealing. Oh, and the meetings can end sometime before midnight. But democracy is messy at times, and in some places. One of those times in now, and one of those places is in So San Diego County.

Vote the bums out, all the bums out!


Sjtorres Jan. 26, 2013 @ 10:45 p.m.

Brand is an employee of the Board of Trustees. They can set whatever meeting time the board wants. Brand is a staff member.


anniej Jan. 27, 2013 @ 9:43 a.m.

Stores: perhaps you have not heard, Brand makes all decisions, financial and otherwise. The only one who has not relinquished to his demands is Lopez - for verification listen to the audits on board docs.


montana64 Jan. 26, 2013 @ 4:10 p.m.

Ripples? How about tsunamis? Indignation? How about fury? The whole county thinks we're balmy. How many favors have been curried? When will this END?


montana64 Jan. 26, 2013 @ 3:42 p.m.

The sands of time shift. Our students get short shrift. Will they ever catch the drift?


anniej Jan. 26, 2013 @ 4:30 p.m.

We filled Southwest, we filled Hilltop - THAT IS THE PROBLEM!!!!!!

They do not want us knowing how they are wasting what little money they have left, they do not want to share with the tax paying community all of their back room deals.

SECRECY, it is all about SECRECY - but hey why should we be kept informed, WE ARE ONLY THE ONES PAYING THE BILLS.

And let us not forget Brand needs his rest - I mean he has to drive all the way home to the Norrth County; but not to worry the gas bill is not his to worry about - IT IS ALL ON US!!!!!


oneoftheteachers Jan. 26, 2013 @ 6:22 p.m.

Do you think they are getting their ducks in a row in order to vote on paying the legal bills for those indicted by the grand jury? The Hilltop gym full of angry stakeholders forced them to back off the issue last year. Not many of those people who attended then would be able to attend in the middle of the afternoon .


outsider Jan. 26, 2013 @ 5:46 p.m.

These people have no shame. Brand is nothing short of a carpetbagger.


oneoftheteachers Jan. 26, 2013 @ 6:12 p.m.

First, they moved closed session from after the regular open meeting to before so that the public would have to arrive early to get a seat and then wait hours (at times until 2 or 3 AM) before parents, teachers and students could speak to the board. Then they cut speaking time from 3 minutes to 1 or 2 so that it was nearly impossible to present a coherent argument. All of the district reports and presentations were scheduled before the public speaking section of the agenda so that people had to wait until 7:30 or later to begin to share their concerns with the board. Once at least, the public speaking session of the meeting was moved to the end and when the meeting went past 10:00 the rest of it, including the public speaking section was just postponed. Agendas are posted at the last minute and meeting locations are changed. Administrators are ordered to attend and fill the seats while the public waits outside. Chairs are removed from the board room so that fewer people can attend. Now, they want to change the meeting time to early afternoon so that students, teachers and working parents are shut out of the process. WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE??????? ALL of south county needs to show up at the meeting at 6PM on Monday and loudly voice our outrage.


anniej Jan. 26, 2013 @ 6:54 p.m.

Oneoftheteachers: closed session continues to list litigationS, the numbers of litigationS, listed as potential or upcoming varies.

Think about it IF they are indeed meeting in closed session and discussing and/or voting to pay for their defenses HOW WOULD WE KNOW???????????????

Theses cases are costing upwards to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ricasa has set up her own defense fund - family and others are lending her money, but the rest, what of them??????

Are we going to wait until they bankrupt us? Are we going to wait until Brand gets into his big white truck and simply tells Siri " home, Siri, take me home - my pockets are full, my retirement has been increased, and these SUCKERS are paying my benefits until I am Medicare eligible. Glad to have teamed up with you Johnny boy McCann"


joepublic Jan. 26, 2013 @ 7:32 p.m.

What is Brand carrying in his left hand? Check out the photo.


Pancho Jan. 26, 2013 @ 8 p.m.

Isn't it required for the board to have a discussion if they plan to change the next meeting time?


anniej Jan. 26, 2013 @ 8:37 p.m.

Poncho: words like 'required' 'legal' not a part of Brands/Cartmills vernacular.

The district is being run by a dictating board president, and dictating superintendent.


WTFEd Jan. 26, 2013 @ 8:03 p.m.

The Sweetwater Union High School District values the input from its citizens, taxpayers, and students. One of the most important vehicles for robust public discourse is the monthly regular meeting of the Board of Trustees. While we have always had an open and transparent process with the public, the District also has ongoing responsibility to act like a business and adequately review and discuss matters regarding policy, finance, education/curriculum, and our school construction and maintenance efforts. Like a family that must juggle soccer practice with studying for an exam tomorrow, so we must as a District make hard decisions on what is best for the education of our kids. Too often because of the heavy regular agenda schedule and our attempt to find a balance between public input and doing the business of the District, we short chained both..not giving enough time for the public to speak on general issues and not spending sufficient time discussing policy and business.

In fact because we wish to fully hear your concerns, you will now have a time to speak much earlier in the evening. We heard your concerns and put together this revised Board meeting time. It is your desire for a more inclusive District is why we are recommending this schedule change.

While we know it may cause an inconvenience to some who wish to speak on a specific agenda item now heard in the mid afternoon, the District feels this is a small price to pay for an open government where you will actually have more time to speak and we can assure continued efficient management of the fiduciary responsibilities of the District. As you are probably aware, large governments like City Councils and Boards of Supervisors have for years conducted meetings during normal business hours.

To all our constituents, thank you for your understanding. We wish you a Happy and safe New Year. Respectfully submitted for the wonderful kids of the Sweetwater Union High School District!!


eastlaker Jan. 26, 2013 @ 11:22 p.m.


District DoubleSpeak - the new language of Sweetwater. I wonder if you can get class credit for fluency?


jibaro Jan. 27, 2013 @ 3:37 a.m.

WTFEd: Well written, Tom. The Board can run from the public, but can not hide. One wonders if this move will help or only make matters worse.


outsider Jan. 27, 2013 @ 9:54 a.m.

Apparently they do not understand, or they understand too well. This board has lost the trust of the public. Exactly who does the time change benefit?


anniej Jan. 26, 2013 @ 8:26 p.m.

WTFEd: I believe you have just provided us with the bs press release Brand and Cartmill will attempt to present as justification for the new board meeting. The only problem with your scenario - Brand believes that highly endowed intellectuals brains shut down after 4 hours of use- so no doubt he will be announcing that all board meetings will end no later than 6:00. Just in time to give the traffic heading north time to lessen giving Brand a smooth ride all of the way home to the North County.

Next week the legal proceedings will resume. Next week the grand jury testimonies released - giving the public lots of reading material. Went out today and loaded up on microwave theatre style (extra butter) popcorn and Coca Cola.


anniej Jan. 26, 2013 @ 8:32 p.m.

Joepublic: A SHOE !!!!! Remember Kruschev? He too hated public comment!


WTFEd Jan. 26, 2013 @ 8:36 p.m.

anniej...There you go again not thinking about the kids. You know Anniej I have my problems too..you know the other day I forgot my passcode to my gated community..it was hell waiting for ten minutes until another called pulled up. Worse yet my vodka on ice got a bit warm but my servant....errrr assistant got a fresh cube until I arrived.


anniej Jan. 26, 2013 @ 8:42 p.m.

WTFed: that servant, that vodka - was that put on the district credit card? Oh, what the hell, why not, the taxpayers will pay for it; after all, there are still millions in the Mello Roos account - all for the takin'.


WTFEd Jan. 26, 2013 @ 8:52 p.m.

If you must know the servant is Tom Hassey.....and he cuts the lawn as well. He will be one of the on line teachers at the new Sweetwater U....God bless him. A good man like me...always thinking of the kids.


eastlaker Jan. 26, 2013 @ 11:20 p.m.

Tom Hassey, AKA General Dogsbody. Guess Brand's ego requires one of these.


Sweethellcat Jan. 26, 2013 @ 9:16 p.m.

Does anyone know anything about the closed session agenda item San Diegans for Open Gov't vs. SUHSD?

Case Number: 37-2012-00091137-CU-MC-CTL Date Filed: 01/24/2012 Case Title: San Diegans For Open Government vs. Sweetwater Union High School District [IMAGED] Case Status: Pending Case Category: Civil - Unlimited Location: Central Case Type: Misc Complaints - Other Judicial Officer: William S. Dato Case Age: 368 days


eastlaker Jan. 26, 2013 @ 11:24 p.m.

I don't know anything about it, but I am tending to look upon it as a positive.


anniej Jan. 26, 2013 @ 9:28 p.m.

WTFEd: My my he is busy. The servants job must be part time, as Cartmill blessed the idea of him being named Chief of Staff. But then no surprise since Brand and he did allegedly bail Cartmill out of a bankruptcy, about 50 k worth. Dont you just love how all of these guys/gals are there for each other -



Sjtorres Jan. 26, 2013 @ 10:37 p.m.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.


anniej Jan. 27, 2013 @ 9:46 a.m.

Eastlaker: yep, we have the big wanna be and the little wanna be


Visduh Jan. 27, 2013 @ 9 a.m.

Perfect! Yes, King Edward works for the board, but the initiative for many of these moves is coming from him, and this is just one more example.


erupting Jan. 27, 2013 @ 9:04 a.m.

WTFD I'm so glad that the district is doing this for the kids the public and to better serve the process and ensure that the board can complete their duties. We know what the real purpose of this change is all about and it has nothing to do with anything your trying to sell on behave of the district. It's about secrecy and hiding, and it won't work. Been there and done that.


anniej Jan. 27, 2013 @ 9:47 a.m.

Erupting: WTFEd - no doubt he is mocking Brands greed.


anniej Jan. 27, 2013 @ 10:07 a.m.

Counting down, those Grand Jury transcripts will be out soon - contractors and insiders telling what they know. Ed Brand spoke, now that will be an interesting read. John McCann spike as well wonder if they were able to "tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth"

what is that saying "ITS NOT OVER TIL THE FAT LADY SINGS". I don't hear any singing!!!!!!!!!


dbdriver Jan. 27, 2013 @ 11:18 a.m.

WTFEd- no doubt we would get some sort of explanation like that. It's to OUR benefit, so that we can have our allotted public speaking time. Of course, we must remember that the board can not legally discuss or take action on subjects not on the agenda that are brought up during that period.

If the board feels that they are unable to manage district issues AND listen to public comments, maybe they could suggest meeting twice a month instead of once. Or possibly cutting out frivolous agenda items like taking time to designate the month of February as National African-American History Month. Isn't February already designated as such? Nationally?


WTFEd Jan. 27, 2013 @ 4:40 p.m.

Dbdriver your comments trouble me. I entered this Reader dialogue a few days ago to hopefully elevate the conversation about this District and yes add a bit of humor as well. However you raise a very serious issue for which I feel you are simply wrong. This is a 42,000 or so student district and thus we are regional leaders as well. That is why we have taken the bull by the horns and got such things as the Compact for Success.

In fact Board Policy 6141.6 on Multicultural Education states: “The district's comprehensive multicultural education program shall recognize the contributions of different groups of people to the history, life and culture of the local community, California, the United States and other nations. It may include but not be limited to instruction about the languages, cultural characteristics, significant events and individuals, and social, political and economic conditions of various ethnic groups.” In short the National African History Month is very appropriate, especially in light of this Policiy.

Just as I am sure for those who have students or are just concerned citizens who read these comments, they all must wish for themselves a well rounded and robust life. Therefore we have such things as Awards and Proclamations in public. Honoring our African American Community is oh so importnat.

Some things in this land of liberty are worth formalizing in a public setting. Can you imagine having the Board of Trustees saying the Pledge of Allegiance in private before the meeting to “save time”.

I ask you to reflect and think…we must move forward and embrace change for the good. Think back in your life on things you resisted and once you understood it all then it made sense. We must move forward for the betterment of our kids and give them the respect they deserve no matter what their race. Also dbriver and others we must move forward and not divert our energy to things like agenda times. With Social Media your word gets to the Board members whether you are there in person or not...believer it or not staff does listen..I know this first hand.


oskidoll Jan. 27, 2013 @ 5:14 p.m.

WTFEd..... YOUR comments are more than troubling, and I suspect others will be troubled also. We are not going to follow your yellow brick road, smokescreen, or try to figure out what the hell you mean with your meaningless drivel.

The Brown Act guarantees the public the right to participate in the public governance process and is law that assures the public's business is done in public. The pesky issue of 'agenda times' is one such indication of an attempt to subvert the process and is righfully in our sights as an important matter .... and certainly trumps any "Regional leadership issues"....you or your cronies may come up with to try an divert our focus.

Again I remind folks to watch the pea under the shell in the shell games going on.

WE THE PEOPLE are entitled to participate. Watch us now!


anniej Jan. 27, 2013 @ 5:21 p.m.

Oskidoll: you and WTFEd - I have read your comments. You are both on the same team - the team we are all on - INTEGRITY FOR SWEETWATER.

IF it is true that Tim Tim is part of the STOP TRANSPARENCY team, then his recent comments regarding a well respected member of the community and "black nikes" should serve as justification to celebrate all in our melting pot. Just my opinion


oskidoll Jan. 27, 2013 @ 5:56 p.m.

The HUGE annyoance of WTHFEd's drivel is that he makes a specious argument (he can look it up) that Social Media should take the place of official public comment at public meetings, or at least hopes that we will buy that instread of having access to meetings that are scheduled when the public can comment. Social Media comments are in the realm of letters to the editor, or street corner gossip...they do not substitute for official comment.

Any Facebook postings or tweets or whatever do not replace the public record that is made when citizens make official PUBLIC comments at official meetings.

Again, watch the pea in the shells in the shell game. It's all about the public's right to know and to participate, and therein lies the rub for those who would have it be otherwise.


Susan Luzzaro Jan. 27, 2013 @ 6:08 p.m.

I think oskidoll and wtf contribute to an important dialogue and I am personally gratetful. I suspect both consider public comment supremely important.


oskidoll Jan. 27, 2013 @ 6:09 p.m.

And further, WTFEd.....so where's the line forming for reps from those other districts who want to learn how to emulate the leadership shown at Sweetwater? Don't they wish they had 4 out of five trustees indicted, and join in the 'extortion' club?

Such regional leadership matters are yet to be plundered, I suppose.


anniej Jan. 27, 2013 @ 6:13 p.m.

oskidoll: regarding your comment - "do not replace the public record that is made when citizens make official PUBLIC comments at official meetings"

Are you aware of the fact that the audio of board meetings is allegedly somewhat "cleansed" - case in point - the meeting at Sweetwater High back in March when Brand went off on a tangent "when you stopped us from borrowing from prop o we were then forced to borrow from Mello Roos" (paraphrase, but pretty darn close) - well, apparently that segment was not included in the audio of the board meeting BECAUSE, Brand did not think some his comments were necessary. Hmmmmm

The audio of the board meetings, yet another source of concern.


eastlaker Jan. 28, 2013 @ 8:49 a.m.

Great point, anniej. One that the authorities should be interested in, and take very seriously.


oskidoll Jan. 27, 2013 @ 6:27 p.m.

NEVERTHELESS, the public record is the public record and made ONLY at the public meetings. Those of us who are there and heard it know and can testify. We should be making our own tapes of the meetings if there is a concern about a Rose Mary Woods in the mix. Anything on social media is just that, and never, ever, can be used as official record. That suggestion is just another smoke screen set up to divert us from the task at hand...have public meetings when and where the public is able to attend.


anniej Jan. 27, 2013 @ 8 p.m.

Oskidoll: you are absolutely right on every point and I Thank You for making tham


dbdriver Jan. 27, 2013 @ 7:07 p.m.

WTFEd- I believe you may have misinterpreted my meaning, but that may have been due to an item that I chose at random that may itself be improperly worded. At least, in my mind. The agenda item I referred to states the district is "designating" the month of February in that way, rather than "recognizing" the month of February as National African-American History Month. It is already nationally known as such. I do thank you for the reminder about Awards and Proclamations.

As I did mention, if there is not enough time during the meetings to cover the agenda items and receive public comments, why not suggest changing the by laws to have meetings twice a month, or more.that way, there would be more than enough time to complete business, while hearing from the public, whom the board is supposed to be representing.

The board would have more time having comprehensive discussions about topics, such as campaign contribution limitations in its ethics policy. (Did that ever get properly voted on? I didn't hear on the audio files where it was, unless it was inadvertently "edited out",)

Yes, we should grab the bull by the horns, and get such things as All of our schools off Program Improvement, before we venture out to try to teach pre-schoolers.

And we shouldn't divert our energy to such things as the agenda...except where someone is proposing to change the schedule to a time where it is more difficult for a schedule juggling family to attend. Then we focus our attention.

And while I have no problems in emailing any concerns to any on the board or staff, I don't recall hearing comments spoken at the meetings like, "and Mrs. Such and such has this to say about this topic via twitter..." Social media only goes so far in broadcasting to and from a meeting. And even in this time of technology advances, there is still a Digital Divide where many do not have access to email, Internet, or any social media.


WTFEd Jan. 27, 2013 @ 7:19 p.m.

You may not think so but this dialogue is good...it shows our students that adults can actually act civil whether it be in such a Reader Dialogue or hopefully at our Board meetings. We should all remind ourselves that we as citizen's have the responsibility to set good examples for our kids. They are our future. Seeing grown adults hissing and speaking in broad allegations and innuendos at Board meetings serves as bad example for our impressionable youth.

I think as we proceed through this year that all "chill out" and give it time for the new agenda time to work. I am sure under the collective bargaining agreement that teachers could be given release time to appear at a meeting. I have seen first hand how the District really does care about its teachers and workers. We can achieve more if we all work together positively rather than looking for conspiracies or some kind of bureacratic skullduggery.

Frankly I think we would all be better along if we just trusted the Administration and give them time. Our negative energy needs to now focus on the many postive District Iniatives.


eastlaker Jan. 28, 2013 @ 8:26 a.m.

Wow. And here I had thought that your previous posts were sarcasm.

"New agenda"? Just what is this "new agenda"? I would so like to see the "new agenda", as opposed to the "old agenda"--because they differ so much?

As far as I can tell, Ed Brand is on some sort of "campaign high" to spend money the district doesn't have on programs the district doesn't want, AND expand the district far beyond its sphere. Furthermore, the arrogance and arm-twisting that Ed Brand and his "administration" show have reached levels unseen unless you want to include third world countries. Which tells me that Ed Brand--and cronies, toadies, supplicating underlings, crooked pals and all need to make a swift departure, back to where ever they came from.

Ed Brand, corpulent embodiment of high-test greed and arrogance, ever gorging at the public trough, ever trying to sucker the citizens into falling for his latest scheme, which somehow doesn't really serve the public, but serves himself and his "partners in crime".

Ed Brand--I do not know of one single individual who thinks he is doing a good job. And I am pretty sure that includes many of those who bow and scrape to him on a daily basis.

Why fear the beast? Why not face the beast and send him packing?


oskidoll Jan. 27, 2013 @ 8:02 p.m.

"Trust the Administration"....oh yeah.

Then, when the collective bargaining agreement 'allows' the teachers time to come to board meetings. So what about the 'rank and file' of other public members...those who work in other daytime jobs? They cannot get dispensation to come voice their public opinion.

No sir...no more 'trust' for the administration because they (he) have already trashed that trust. This administration has run aground.

The public has a right to be heard, and just not on the administration's time calendar. The Brown Act trumps the administration's convenience. Think about it! And as far as the 'many positive Districting Initiatives'...like the Ipads, the Sweetwater University, the toxic dirt and other failed projects that lead to nowhere except lots of OUR money down the proverbial drain....that's exactly WHY we need the public input at public meetings.


anniej Jan. 27, 2013 @ 8:08 p.m.

WTFEd: You Mr. Mayor are hilarious!!!!!, but please remember this ain't Chicago and we don't take kindly to the attempt of wind being blown up our Levi's.

The chance of teachers being given time off to attend - about as much chance as me waking up and being 21 again.

OK I will bite educate me, exactly what are a few of those positive initiatives? To narrow the list, lets say in the past year and a half, since Brand returned.


eastlaker Jan. 28, 2013 @ 9:06 a.m.

I'm wondering if this is wishful thinking branching out into the delusional on the part of WTFEd, or something worse.

We all know that Brand's "record" of bumbling, stumbling, grasping, flailing and possibly throwing many under the bus IS NOT an example of stellar leadership. In fact, if the scales of justice weigh fairly, Brand may end up with a different kind of "record" altogether.

I do not think there is anyone out there, no matter how much of a neophyte they may be, who would honestly think that Ed Brand should be making decisions: a) using public funds; b) affecting the future of our community; c) affecting the education of our young people.

I have said it before. The man is a menace and should not be tolerated.


anniej Jan. 28, 2013 @ 10:07 a.m.

Eastlaker: the board will long rue the day they brought him back - he will be exposed soon and they will be left with egg on their faces.

We the people have spoken out against the power the board has given to brand, all but Lopez. When he is exposed we will not accept "we had no idea" or "if only we would have known". Those who have been brought here "temporarily", they too will be called to answer for their silence. Those who have conspired to hide the truth and deceive -


joepublic Jan. 27, 2013 @ 8:09 p.m.

WTFEd: Please define the "Administration" that you say we should trust. Ed Brand ?


eastlaker Jan. 28, 2013 @ 8:57 a.m.

It's as if WTFEd really DOES want all of us to drink the koolaid.

Gotta love disinformation attempts--as if Sweetwater wasn't already wallowing in the mire, this one comes along and tries to muddy the water even more!!!

Misdirection, misinformation, disinformation--who does that sound like?

Fast Eddy and his merry band of thieves are at it again. Better check to make sure all billfolds and wallets are in place!


anniej Jan. 28, 2013 @ 9:48 a.m.

Eastlaker: I am reading his comments differently, I am reading them as pure sarcasm aimed at the district. I base my opinion on his first comment on the previous story regarding GCU.


eastlaker Jan. 28, 2013 @ 10:03 a.m.

Maybe. Reeks a bit too much of high satire that plays those of us who really want change in Sweetwater, however.

Lulling the public--that is Ed Brand's game. Which is why I am hoping for an outbreak of honesty in Sweetwater.


anniej Jan. 28, 2013 @ 10:09 a.m.

Eastlaker: outbreak of honesty - what a refreshing thought.


eastlaker Jan. 28, 2013 @ 2:18 p.m.

Outbreak of honesty from those who will no longer tolerate the massive arrogance of Fast Eddy and pals.


oskidoll Jan. 28, 2013 @ 10:48 a.m.

Remember the old adage about 'expecting sober behavior from a drunk'...or somethng about a tiger and stripes....etc.


eastlaker Jan. 28, 2013 @ 2:42 p.m.

But we can hope that others, realizing they no longer need to exist under the stench of Ed Brand and cronies, may opt for fresh air and honesty.


bvagency Jan. 28, 2013 @ 3:41 p.m.

I hope every one of you on this thread that disagree with the time change contacted the Trustees to voice your displeasure with this attempt. Please dont assume they wont listen (although they probably will not!). Still, they need to hear directly from us via emails, phone calls, attendance at the meeting tonight, on community blogs and social media - from all sides. Maybe, like the speck of dust in Horton Hears a Who, our collective voices will ultimately be heard by the Trustees and they will make the right decision!!


eastlaker Jan. 28, 2013 @ 4:23 p.m.

Any thoughts about the change in venue for the upcoming trials? From the city of San Diego to Chula Vista?


anniej Jan. 28, 2013 @ 5:40 p.m.


SHE CHOSE TO NOT COME TO THE BOARD MEETING. SOOOOOOOO, basically she, thru her absence, is voting to STOP TAXPAYER INPUT by changing board meeting times to the afternoon.



eastlaker Jan. 28, 2013 @ 8:36 p.m.

"has spoke"? "in trusted"?

Just what do you claim to know about education, anyway?


What decade do you think you are living in?

And if you are going to use the term, please at least capitalize Christian.

I can't begin to comment on your punctuation lapses.

And as far as the depth of your "wisdom" goes, the kindest thing I can say is "unimpressive".

For one who tries so hard, it must be difficult to realize that you fall so short.


eastlaker Feb. 1, 2013 @ 11:01 a.m.

Not that I would expect you to understand, but it is called literary style, and is a deliberate means of emphasizing a point. You, on the other hand, simply make mistakes.


anniej Jan. 28, 2013 @ 11:49 p.m.

It is interesting, Stuart Payne asked board president if texting/cell phone internet usage was allowed by board members. It appeared that John McCann was doing just that. Then low and behold McCann was gone from his seat - now we see why, it appears he was in the back posting the above. McCann has outed himself.

Thanks to the public voicing their concers the board meetings will begin 1/2 hr earlier.

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO TOOK TIME TO ATTEND. We can make a positive difference for our students when/if we are willing to show up, stand up and speak up.

Ms. Lopez spoke up early AGAINST the proposed change, the student representative did as well. Thank You to the both of them.


Sjtorres Jan. 29, 2013 @ 6:46 a.m.

Brand is an employee of the elected board of trustees.

Brand is a staff member hired by the elected board members.

The elected board members (Ricasa, Lopez, Quinones, etc) are the bosses of Ed Brand.

Brand can be overruled by the elected board members (his bosses).

All board policies are board policies set by the elected board members (not staff members like Brand).


eastlaker Jan. 30, 2013 @ 7:19 a.m.

Yes, indeed. So why does everyone except Bertha Lopez do Brand's bidding? Are they gutless and mindless toadies?

Or have they been promised all sorts of good things if they continue doing what Brand wants?

Why would a group of adults of sound mind act the way this board has been acting?

The only conclusion I can come to is that they: a) feel comfortable with the status quo; b) are locked into the status quo due to some kind of hold Brand has over them; c) have thought they were untouchable and that the public was too stupid to notice everything that has been going on; d) do not deserve to be on the board, as they do not uphold the responsibilities "entrusted" (get it Mr. McCann?) to them.


erupting Jan. 29, 2013 @ 7:44 a.m.

Tim Tim,thanks so much for outing the mtg. Setting yourself up as the hero was a brilliant stroke last night. Too bad it was after Bertha stated her position and informed the board and public about Brand calling her boss to try and force her to toe the line. Tim Tim did your second favorite person out you so to speak about texting during the meeting ( Mr. Payne) so you left to finish your blog. Oh, you silly boy not very clever. After reading the TRO and court transcript last night it's no wonder you hate Alex for showing you for what you are. I'm glad Jimmy has a friend in you and Pearl.


DinDinMagee Jan. 29, 2013 @ 6:54 p.m.

Erupting, say it's not so! Timtim is really John McCann? I can't believe he would trash the good citizens with equipment supplied by the taxpayers during a Board meeting, while getting paid by the very taxpayers and voters that put him there. Erupting, if you blogged and demeaned folks during work hours, what would your employer have done? Certainly Mr. McCann would not have done this during "working hours"? This would be a very sad day in Chula Vista, I thought he was a decent upstanding citizen and war vet. Please say he wasn't demeaning Mr. Payne, who is a war vet and had his back on the front lines thus enabling Mr. McCann to do his job as a supply officer, please say he didn't demean the baby boomers who paid their taxes and educated him, I can't imagine he would demean the gay community, what did these folks ever do to him? Why would someone call themselves Charles Manson, then refer to the poor souls involved with the Hale Bop (or whatever) comet. Then blame "the union" for all the ills of public education. I am sure if it was John McCann, he would man up to his actions. Please Erupting "say it ain't so!"


anniej Jan. 29, 2013 @ 8:45 a.m.

Sjtorres: in the real world your words are true. At SUHSD, BRAND RULES . If my words are not true, explain the power to hire Administratores without Board approval - as admitted to last evening by the board president. Explain the ridiculous amount Brand is able to spend without board approval? Explain how Brand was able to sign the contract with GCU WITHOUT BOARD APROVAL, even though Ms. Ricasa and Ms. Lopez had asked that the item me brought BACK to the board for clarification and discussion.

Explain Brand calling The Superintendent of National City schools in an effort to reprimand board member Lopez who is an elementary school teacher in that district. All because Lopez spoke out against the board meeting time change. Brand is NOT RESPECTED by other schools districts or their superintendents - his reputation is well known and his wheelin' and dealin' ridiculed and seen as self serving.


bvagency Jan. 29, 2013 @ 10:21 a.m.

Kudos to the Trustees for making the right decision last night on the time change. It was hilarious to see Brand outed in calling Lopez' boss - he turned red as a beet when Bertha brought that up.

It is a shame how Bertha is disrespected by her peers. She in essence made the same motion as McCann. I know she is not as polished as McCann, Cartmill and Ricasa, but her heart and mind is in the right place. Of course, the court proceedings will impact her fate.

I think Cartmill hears the community and its concerns, he does have a 9th grader in the district. I really believe the meetings should run better with him as Board President; they cant be any worse than they were under the prior Pres.


anniej Jan. 29, 2013 @ 11:15 a.m.

Bvagency: I can not speak to the charges filed against Lopez or Cartmill. I am waiting to read the legal documents and transcripts.

What I can speak about is the representation Bertha Lopez has given us in the past three years - HER VOTING RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. She has consistently stood as the lone vote when it came to the students and the taxpayers.

The opening statement by Mr. Cartmill, to me, served as a reflection of where we SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALL ALONG. Hopefully, the stormy Santa Ana winds of the board meetings will subside and they will be returned to balmy beach breezes. Cartmill WAS IN CONTROL of last nights meeting. He sat, listened, and LOOKED at each and every speaker. In over four years that has NEVER happened. My hopes are that Mr. Cartmill will realize that the board has lost control of the District, they have, in fact, been taken over by Brand. While Brand, no doubt, is whispering sweet nothing's in their ears BOARD MEMBERS HEAR ME CLEARLY:



cvres Jan. 29, 2013 @ 11:51 a.m.

The school board did the right thing? I assume with a little guidance from the parents, teachers and students.

p.s. does the fab 5 of the message board include tim tim?


Visduh Jan. 29, 2013 @ 11:54 a.m.

I noted that today's Manchester Mill, aka UT SanDiego, reports that the corruption cases are going to be heard in Chula Vista, not downtown SD. The way it was reported was, in addition to the usual superficiality, that one or more defense attorneys sees that as negative for his clients. I'd figured the exact opposite, in that the juries would be impaneled from local voters, the same brain-dead types who voted them into office in the first place. We shall see. If the defense can claim that they need a change of venue, that would further delay resolution. And the DA seemed surprised, too. One must wonder what's going on.


oskidoll Jan. 29, 2013 @ 12:20 p.m.

I am surprised at the change of venue only for Salcido (of Southwestern indicted group) because at one time she was actually employed at/by the South County Court. However, her reputation there is not particularly wonderful.

With regard to timtim's latest tantrum(s), he surely is cavalier -- if not downright snotty--- about the people he is supposed to serve. If he is indeed McCann, he should remember he is in service as a public SERVANT to all the people, not just those whose attire he approves, or the two or three family members who might agree with him.

The conversation about meeting times does make me wonder about the seeming ample daytime availability of some board members, however. We know that Bertha is employed as a teacher in the National School District. Ricasa is supposed to be working full time at Southwestern College as an administrator. Pearl may have her days free as a so-called retiree from San Ysidro District.

McCann and Cartmill...what in the world do they do for their so-called day jobs? My guess is that McCann has lots of time on his hands and might be pretty desperate just for the health/welfare benefits that come with board member status as he has a family of six; and Cartmill? Oh, I forgot, he is a 'national' speaker. What do their statements of economic interest say about sources of income? That would be California Form 700 and should be posted on the District's website. Are they?


anniej Jan. 29, 2013 @ 1:04 p.m.

Visduh: Well folks, like it or not, we, the community voted them in - they were voted in to serve the community, to provide the best education possible. It now looks as though, we will in fact, get the opportunity to serve as well - for we will be the jury of their peers.


johndewey Jan. 29, 2013 @ 2:51 p.m.

Was anything said about Grand Canyon University at last night's meeting? Did the board speak to the legality of a public school district recruiting students for a religious institution?


anniej Jan. 29, 2013 @ 5:36 p.m.

Johndewey. Yes much was said, by both the public and Ms. Lopez. She raised the fact that at the last board meeting when it was raised that she and Ms. Ricasa asked that it be brought back with more info.

Additionally, it appears that Maria C was instructed to contact counselors and instruct them to provide a certain amount of students/parents to enroll in GCU. Instructed, by whom? Whose idea is/was GCU? Exactly, Brands. I rest my case.

Brand, obviously had already brokered the deal, prior to The board being told. This concerns me, as it should the board. Roles appear to have been reversed by Brand - putting the board in harms way - hopefully the board will recognize what we see and reverse course.

It is important to read the contract - allegedly, we are providing GCU with a facility and other "support'? Additionally the contract states that GCU will be offering their courses at their 'standard" rate. Hmm that is contrary to the info spoken to the public. Is it only the first course offering that is being discounted? It is important that parents and their college bound students be told the truth.


DinDinMagee Jan. 29, 2013 @ 6:20 p.m.

If parents/students aren't interested, is the District going to offer them scholarships?


bbq Jan. 29, 2013 @ 6:53 p.m.

Thanks for the updates, etc. on the latest shenanigans at SWUHSD, while I agree they are all a bunch of schmucks, all of the E-mail, blog and twits sniping is a bit much. As for setting them straight where is the platform for reform of the district? Who is working on goals and objectives for the overall redirection of the district? Until there is referendum and a plan for change the district administration and current board can keep us fighting the little BS and doing whatever in closed session. Until there is a viable alternative choice clearly spelled out that new blood can sign up for we are stuck in the muck with the muckrakers on both sides of the argument.

Could we please work together to list the issues and potential solutions to the dysfunctions of the District not just Dr Brand and the Board. Then we need to inform the public outside of the current players. Look at the uninformed masses reelecting indicted persons that have no ethics and the posturing future politicians with big eyes towards the future. A coalition outside the current politics needs to be managed to set the guidelines and goals for the future Superintendent selection, a Rules of conduct for future board members that they need to endorse prior to election finally a series of improvement goals for the district that future candidates can comment on to even the playing field between the old guard and any newcomers trying to get on the board. Let’s get the candidates elected based on their responses to the same goals and minimize the need for a high budget to be elected to an Honorary position.


jibaro Jan. 29, 2013 @ 7:12 p.m.

GREAT POST. You have raised the conversation to a new level.


anniej Jan. 29, 2013 @ 9:49 p.m.

bbq. You are right on all points. Having said that I must ask the tough question - how long must we wait for change? The next election is not until next year. Our district is in financial turmoil NOW, our taxes are being spent on 'consultants' NOW, our Mello funds are being borrowed NOW, Brand is making all decisions without prior board approval NOW, more and more of our schools are being added to the program improvement list NOW, contracts that break the law (GCU) are being implemented NOW, we are lending money to charter schools NOW..............

How do we accomplish what you suggest? I am interested.


WTFEd Jan. 29, 2013 @ 10:02 p.m.

Well I sat quietly here and last night watching the scene...I do agree the meeting seemed to be more civil and upbeat. These will have to be baby steps to get us back on track under very difficult times...that is why the Board chose Dr. Brand to lead our kids forward into the 21st Century. Believe it or not he does listen. As you could see last night he has many balls in the air to assist the Board in conducting the meeting, acting as Clerk of Sorts..he is a man who is willing to do the menial work necessary to represent this District and yet lead us in a major initiatives like Compact for Success and Charter Schools. This nation need less vitrole and more working together in a robust manner towards a common goal. We could start right here at Sweetwater and turn over a new leaf this year..new President and an empowered Superintendent who really wants to do things right. I know so first hand. Please let us bury the hatchet and give him a chance. Energy must go to positive steps. That is what our kids deserve. For those of you who believe in a higher power..God Bless you.


eastlaker Jan. 29, 2013 @ 11:14 p.m.

Ok, so you sincerely think Ed Brand is concerned with anyone but himself? Are you his alter ego or perhaps best friend?

I am pretty sure that the majority of informed community members of Sweetwater would like few things more than to see Ed Brand sailing off into the sunset on a leaky boat while being circled by hungry sharks. The man enriches himself at the public's expense, keeps information from the public that they should be able to access, plays tricks on the public, lies and shows more arrogance than should be allowed by law.

Again, I am pretty sure Ed Brand has had more than enough opportunity to show what he is capable of, and the public isn't really pleased with the results.

If I were asked to characterize Mr. Brand--can't quite call him Dr., as I have real doubts regarding the actual degrees Mr. Brand has "earned"--I would characterize him as a large bag of self-aggrandizing wind, accompanied by a curious lack of recognizable ethics.

What chance has Ed Brand given the kids he has been stealing from all these years--stealing by way of giving educational funds away to his friends for very dubious projects--not giving students a well-organized district, because there is always so much chaos it is difficult for real planning to take place. People who intentionally create such chaotic environments time after time are NOT emotionally healthy. They thrive and feed off the messes that others have to struggle to clean up. How much more do you want to hear?

Ed Brand, be given another chance? Personally I'd say his many chances when tallied up indicate that he always chooses himself first.


eastlaker Jan. 30, 2013 @ 6:56 a.m.

Oh--and as you phrase it he "is willing to do the menial work necessary to represent this district".....really. Are those your words or his, or would it be one and the same. If you/he think the work is so menial, perhaps it is something you/he are not suited for.

Pray tell, what is "menial' about being a district superintendent? collecting the nearly $300,000 per year salary plus bennies? Going to lunch with pals? Playing the big shot with all the wheeling and dealing while you give teachers pink slips? Punish those who stand up to you by throwing them into the 'outer darkness'? Maybe it is attending the board meetings that you think is so menial--because that is where you are forced to see the people who are paying for all that you greedily take for yourself and your friends.

But I could be wrong on this.

Maybe you/Ed Brand are meant for better, less menial things. In which case I would quickly suggest that, by all means, go find something more suited to your elevated status...


anniej Jan. 29, 2013 @ 10:31 p.m.

WTFEd, Hmm just figured out your 'handle'. Too funny.

We need all the help we can get

Brand, change? Some people simply are who they are.


bbq Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:50 a.m.

AnnieJ, I do not advocate that the present objectives of the vocal few Like you, Mr. Payne and others back down from the frontal attack, it keeps the Board et.al. on their toes however the forum at the board meetings and other District outreach are so contrived and hostle that I admit I have been escalated to discust, bordering on anger. I have had direct meetings with Dr. Brand who asked me to help him with STEM Tutoring, when I approached an organization to help, he was nowhere to be found, I guess I am not connected or rich enough to warrant his favor. All of this said over the last few years I have watched this process, we've seen Gandara released on a sweetheart deal, Mello Roos misused, promises ignored, but still no move forward plan. Surely there are people who better understand the inner workings of a well run School District than I do, I doubt that they are local but something needs to be done. I will continue to follow the blog/comment threads and may try to set up a location to start some dialog for the future goals of OUR district. I am certainly concerned to find a way for the new blood candidates to recieve some media attention without having to borrow tens of thousands of dollars to fund a campaign.


eastlaker Jan. 30, 2013 @ 7:26 a.m.

I applaud what you say, but wish to point out that we are still trying to break the stranglehold that Brand and the mindless minions have over this district. It has taken a great deal to get them to this point, as they have tried all sorts of illegal maneuvers to shut down access by the public to information and input.

Yes, it is time to plan and build goals for the future that we all hope is close at hand.


anniej Jan. 30, 2013 @ 11:17 a.m.

bbq - it is indeed a shame that we find the need to even discuss corruption - let alone corruption in a school district.

New CFO, yes we have a new CFO , were we told by Brand at Mondays meeting? NO. Do the board members know? That is the 64 million dollar question.


The new CFO - a cursory search seems to indicate turmoil in his past. Votes of NO CONFIDENCE, alleged insurance fraud. This was found within 15 minutes of a google search, so if we found it why didn't Brand. Will our board stand for this? We will see.


bbq Jan. 30, 2013 @ 1:05 p.m.

AnnaJ, I did not even know about a new CFO, I do not know if it is possible but when we get a new Superentendent can the board change his ability to hire and fire top level personnel in the adminstration? It is so messed up the whole place. Again I repeat that I fully respect what you activist folks are doing, but it has been dismissed by the current power structure as a few malcontents. No offense but others need to step-up and start the course to the future. Maybe it's my turn, I am hopeing that a small group of people see some of this ad will step-up with me, outside to "occupy Sweetwater" group and the already active. My experience with two graduates of the district is we are not preparing our kids for the world. I have one more of my own but many that i touch on a yearly basis with after-school programs. It is discusting what has been going on....


anniej Jan. 30, 2013 @ 8:11 p.m.

bbq - while the current power struggle may ATTEMPT to dismiss us as a few malcontents, please know this, the DA and FBI were interested. Additionally there are MANY, MANY brave souls who have done as much, if not more than the antagonists - this community owes them a great deal.

Question for the readers, why wasn't the new CFO announced at the Monday board meeting?

The interim CFO did a bang up job at the December board meeting, his presentation was honest and forthright. Perhaps the fact that he was honest about the state of affairs is what did him in. Perhaps he stood up to Brand, showed him the rule book and when Brand wanted to throw it away he refused.

If one googles the new CFO one will find that he was part of an administration that the taxpayers fought hard to get rid of. Votes of no confidence from a previous community, this is the best we can do? Questions surrounding degrees. HOLY MOLY!!!!!!!!!

What is it about Brand - controversy has seemed to follow him - last time he was here we had the Grand Jury Investigation, he goes up North and all of a sudden he is gone, and now he is back and we have one controversy after another.

No doubt all involved would be better served if we were able to start fesh.

We will need to read the contract of the new CFO to see just how generous Brand was with our money. Too bad our board had NO say in the choice. Circumstances regarding his employment need to be investigated.


eastlaker Jan. 31, 2013 @ 12:28 a.m.

Brand self-selects for another chaos-maker, so that the maelstrom can grow--and confusion can reign. Just what we do not want or need, but why would Ed Brand ever do anything the right way. This just proves that Ed Brand has a will to chaos blended into his 'will to power'--do I need to point out what a bad combination that is?


eastlaker Feb. 1, 2013 @ 11:04 a.m.

Of course you are scared. You know it is only a matter of time before the truth is public record.


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