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Sweetwater board succumbs to public outcry

Still, meeting time to be slightly earlier

Standing room only at the January 28 board meeting
Standing room only at the January 28 board meeting

On Monday, January 28, concerned parents, teachers, and community members packed the Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting. One reason for the big draw was the district’s proposal to move evening board meetings to early afternoon.

Last week, it was learned that Sweetwater superintendent Ed Brand was going to propose changing the bylaws so that regular board meeting closed session would begin at 2:00 (instead of 5:00), open session at 3:30, and “public communication will be held immediately following the open session or at 6:00, whichever comes first.”

At Monday's meeting, parents and teachers reminded the board that the early start time would preclude many working people from participating and that it would be undemocratic to hear public comments after decisions had been made.

The board succumbed to the public outcry and voted to start closed sessions one half hour earlier — at 4:30. Open session will begin at 6:00.

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Standing room only at the January 28 board meeting
Standing room only at the January 28 board meeting

On Monday, January 28, concerned parents, teachers, and community members packed the Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting. One reason for the big draw was the district’s proposal to move evening board meetings to early afternoon.

Last week, it was learned that Sweetwater superintendent Ed Brand was going to propose changing the bylaws so that regular board meeting closed session would begin at 2:00 (instead of 5:00), open session at 3:30, and “public communication will be held immediately following the open session or at 6:00, whichever comes first.”

At Monday's meeting, parents and teachers reminded the board that the early start time would preclude many working people from participating and that it would be undemocratic to hear public comments after decisions had been made.

The board succumbed to the public outcry and voted to start closed sessions one half hour earlier — at 4:30. Open session will begin at 6:00.

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Comments
9

Will wonders never cease. The Sweetwater board actually acknowledged public input? That's a rare event, somewhat similar to John McCann's favorite comet streaking across the sky.

Does this indicate that the majority board is realizing how fed up the public is?

Do you think they are suddenly having an inkling that life as they know it might be changing?

Does anyone think they are "scared straight" or simply toeing the line while people are watching?

I guess this shows that even the most obdurate of entities can learn something--isn't it a crying shame that the Sweetwater majority board and Ed Brand are such poor students when it comes to their positions, jobs and tasks at hand?

Jan. 29, 2013

I have the feeling that Brand wants to be fired in order to receive the golden handshake. I want to believe that Cartmill is going to make the effort to settle Brand down and keep us from being the joke of Ca. Even Arlie actually responded to the public for a change. But never fear Brand will find a way to throw a wrench in and cause a problem. It's like he deliberately puts the board in harms way publicly and in my opinion with the DA's office. The DA's office has to eating all this discord up. The constant controversy only reinforces their case in the publics eyes. Now that the case is in CV they board would be wise to get Brand under control. But they are the ones that allow this to occur and back Brand on these ridiculous decisions. Sorry I got hopeful for a moment.

Jan. 30, 2013

Erupting, anything in his contract about taking a pay cut and going back into the classroom? That way he could become a union member, Alex could represent him, and timtim would hate him.

Feb. 1, 2013

From what I heard on the audio tapes, it was a collaborative compromise. Lopez couldn't start earlier than 4:30, and the student representative couldn't start before 5:30 or 6. Along with the public, it was a decent compromise to do the closed session work earlier, and either finish or break for the public session at 6. Nice to see communication working.

Jan. 30, 2013

i read all the other posts on the other article and boy TIM TIM you must be very afraid of Ms. Lopes because you keep bringing her into these blogs. Are you forgetting that 4 of your board mates will be at the same trial. You really need to stop showing your true colors because its getting old real quick.

Maybe this community will be in for a nice surprise with Mr. Cartmills leadership I guess time will tell. Honestly I hope so because man this community needs a break.

Jan. 30, 2013

erupting - I agree Brand is continuously rendering decisions that put the board in the cross hairs of the tax paying public - then he tells them "I will protect you". But here is the thing, they would not need protection if only they would use their good judgement and TAKE BACK THEIR POWER.

No doubt the baggage that the new CFO brings will do much to, once again, raise the dander of the community. The current CFO obviously was not willing to play ball according to Brands rules, and so he will be leaving. Interesting, last month we hear that the district is exhibiting warning signs of financial failure, and this month we hear the person who delivered the truth is leaving. Now in all fairness we did know that the current CFO was only an interim, BUT, was he offered the job? Doubt it, you see persons of integrity do not last long under the rule of Brand.

I too, am waiting to see how the board president handles this situation. He looked strong, coming out of the gate - lets hope Brand does not box him in and limit his plans.

Is there an IRS agent in the house????????? Time for a number 2 pencil with NO ERASER!

Jan. 30, 2013

Good thing we can track off-shore bank accounts these days...or do you think there are bank accounts in Mexico...

What is the name of the new CEO? Is he listed on the district website?

Interesting that we are hearing less and less from WTFed...because that individual has been becoming more and more simply an apologist for Brand and the board--so who might it be? Brand's factotum/dogsbody perhaps?

Jan. 31, 2013

Eastlaker: I see WTFEd differently, he is, in my opinion, laughing at Brand. Think about it, would someone who really was promoting Brand offer up these obviously infuriating talking points?

Look at his 'handle' WTF ed

Jan. 31, 2013

I am more of the thought that he initially wanted to establish credibility so gave rather standard opinions for this blog, but has gradually revealed himself as an apologist for Brand. Asking us to give Brand another chance...

Not someone you can trust, by any means.

Feb. 1, 2013

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