An overflow crowd waited to address the Sweetwater board on March 11.
  • An overflow crowd waited to address the Sweetwater board on March 11.
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The March 11 Sweetwater Union High School District meeting opened with a presentation “On Civility,” which was delivered by one of the district’s attorneys, Dan Shinoff.

While Shinoff discoursed on the Constitution, Frederick Douglass, the Civil War, and John F. Kennedy, scores of soon-to-be-displaced Regional Occupation Program/Career Technical Education teachers, students, and students’ children stood outside the boardroom or crowded the entryway, hoping for a chance to speak.

The agenda was freighted with issues and many people waited well into the night to address the board and explain the importance of the ROP/CTE program — which predominantly serves the west side of Chula Vista.

One speaker, Vanessa Elario, who is taking a phlebotomy course through the program, explained that she is one of those who has been hurt by the economic downturn. The class she is attending is enabling her to start a new career. Additionally, she told the board, her 17-year-old son is taking maritime studies through the Regional Occupation Program.

Trustee Pearl Quiñones and Sweetwater Education Association president Alex Anguiano made forceful arguments against the cutting of teachers — and in turn 7000 students — from the program.

Quiñones argued that the $3 million needed to keep the program running was “a drop in the bucket compared to the district’s overall budget.” Prior to the meeting, she had contacted several other districts — including Grossmont and Oceanside —and learned that these districts had found ways to maintain similar programs.

According to Quiñones, Grossmont had already recruited one of Sweetwater’s culinary arts teachers.

Anguiano suggested that Sweetwater’s human relations department had given the district bad advice on which program cuts would lead to legal problems. Many of the teachers in this program are temporary employees, and Anguiano stated that it was not necessary to give pink slips to temporary employees,

Trustee Arlie Ricasa stated that she understood the district’s financial situation but wanted to see the ROP/CTE program restored if the money came through from the County Department of Education.

Quiñones questioned superintendent Ed Brand about the restoration of the program. She asked if the director, who will also receive a March 15 notice, would be reappointed. Brand said that was “an option.”

Quiñones also pointed out that the district’s investment in classrooms and equipment would be lost if these classes were eliminated. Brand countered that a special deal might be struck with the County Department of Education.

Ultimately, the board voted to eliminate the program in its entirety.

Trustees John McCann and Jim Cartmill voted for the cuts; trustees Pearl Quiñones and Bertha Lopez voted in opposition, and trustee Arlie Ricasa abstained. (In the case of a tie, an abstention counts as a “yes” vote.)

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bbq March 13, 2013 @ 7:32 a.m.

I attended this meeting and was impressed with the support of the ROP/CTE Students, I once did not see the value in SUHSD having the role in the Adult Classes but I have changed my opinion as of Monday. Just this morning I wrote the following in response to the article on "Hands on High School" and it so fits in this situation:

As I am not sure I want to get into another running dialog on where we are screwing up in our educational system. As a Mechanical Engineer, I see a lot of Mechanically Illiterate People in our growing electronic world. I include my own three boys to a certain extent, which I take on myself, but like school and universities, have said for eons about General education we need well rounded individuals. Well we have gone to the extreme where our students never get to understand the feeling of having a tool in their hands, weather it’s a wrench or a spatula (sp), needle and thread, a musical instrument or knowledge and training in useful skills. The connection of hand to mind is a powerful teaching tool not only to learn a career but to foster a bond or desire to delve deeper into a subject or idea, really to create. Tools develop the ability to problem solve through logical progression, weather its bolt-washer- nut or flour-egg-water. We do ourselves and our students, a disservice by not providing, supporting and in some cases requiring basic classes in these skills in our Middle and High Schools. (and Adult Learning)

I have personally had this discussion with Dr. Brand in his office over a year ago, he said he had a "Group" discussing these issues that met regularly but I've never been formally invited, even after he asked me to set-up STEM programs for him, which I tried but he never followed up on that either. I guess I don't have enough political or financial power for him, just an engineer, dad, coach, volunteer, concerned citizen.

Please voice your concerns to the SUHSD Trustees, Southwestern CC Trustees, City Councils of the South Bay, we won't take this BS ANYMORE, we want fiscal management and programs that meet the needs of our community. BBQ


anniej March 13, 2013 @ 8:53 a.m.

Pearl Quinones inquired as well about the cost of Brands charter - she seemed to insinuate that perhaps the the monies the district was 'lending' the pre k thru 3rd grade charters might be better spent on those students they are currently charged with educating.

I believe it is only fair that I applaud Ms. Quinones - I mean really applaud her. She was a real board member in every sense of the word Monday evening. She was engaged and she was on fire - it was obvious she was going to take Custards last stand and fight for these Programs.

This community really needs to wake up to what Ed Brand is doing to our schools. Jim Cartmill and John Mccann have obviously stepped aside and allowed Brands law to become the new order. We are no longer being represented by elected officials who are acting independently. While Mr. Cartmill is running the meetings efficiently and he is doing EVERYTHING he can to allow public input there appears to be alliance that has been formed - historically Ms. Lopez Lopez has been odd woman out, on this issue Ms. Quinones joined forces with Lopez but alas Brands schemes won out.

The sensitivity training was typical Brand and it flopped terribly - the question is how much did we have to pay for it? Lets see the fee for the meeting to discuss Brands desire for it to be held - ding, ding, ding ------ Mr. Shinoff preparing his presentation - ding, ding, ding ----- then the presentation -ding, ding, ding - and the final cost ???????

Not staying on topic here I realize - but at this very same meeting where we were looking to cut very much needed programs Brand was looking for millions to buy some property off of Main Street for the buses and an office building in Eastlake - to serve as a district office. All the while we have already our based two other sites for that district office - Third Ave in Chula and the albatross (bad land deal) on L Street. But hey, it is only OUR money Brand has waisted why should he care?


eastlaker March 13, 2013 @ 1:16 p.m.

Here is my take on the Shinoff presentation: part of the Ed Brand school of intimidation.

Let me elaborate.

The history lesson--meant to make the public feel as if they are in the presence of their "betters", i.e., those who are already familiar with these genteel tidbits being shared.

To feel as though the public's understandable and completely justified anger, distrust and general displeasure at the antics of Brand and his majority board should be toned down, so that the public will be more well-behaved (and therefore, easier for Brand to "manage", manipulate and fool).

anniej, you asked how much this little display costs the district? Attorneys usually charge hourly rates that are quite steep. Sometimes they even charge for travel time, as Sweetwater's previous "representation" did.

I happen to think that Ed Brand is supporting his attorney friends while misusing Sweetwater funds, but I am sure Ed Brand feels fully justified in this little exercise. All part of the plan to keep the citizens of this school district feeling as though they are not entitled to have honest representation. Ed Brand likes to keep his adversaries at bay and off guard.

The shocking thing is that he must really think that all the concerned citizens, parents, students and educators are his adversaries. Why else would he continuously and continually go against them?

Additionally, for the record, why are Cartmill and McCann still unable to think for themselves? Is there a pact we should be aware of?


montana64 March 13, 2013 @ 11:26 p.m.

Civics from behind the gate, Where students in scrubs were forced to wait, Loudspeaker blared and a chain linked fence Shivering cold we listened to the 1%-- Teaching us history naming Heros, who-- If they were in Chula, would be outside, too! Please elaborate share explain-- The absurd audacious 45 minutes of disdain, This district has for the working folk. And students, commuters left out in the cold.


dbdriver March 14, 2013 @ 11:26 a.m.

Reminds me of an old Lawyer joke:

The lawyer explained to the client his scale of prices:

"I charge five dollars for advising you as to just what the law permits you to do.

For giving you advice as to the way you can safely do what the law forbids, my minimum fee is one hundred dollars."


oskidoll March 13, 2013 @ 1:53 p.m.

I quite agree with eastlaker. Any 'lecture' on civility by the District's own legal counsel (who we pay, by the way) should have been directed at those on the dais...those who are elected to serve the public, but who instead have been indicted with self-serving.

Shinoff's lecture should have included legal advice to the board about their resonsbility to abide by the letter and spirit of Brown Act requirements, and about their duties as elected PUBLIC officials to acknowledge legal public input --- now that would have been instructive. Shinoff knows better. He should have declined Brand's directive to lecture the public on civility with a cavalier attempt to dismiss our own very real legal interests in the public process. He knows who has legal 'standing' in these matters and that includes each and every member of the community.

Further, elected public officials are held to a higher standard of behavior and are therefore expected to be civil and obey the law while upholding their duties to SERVE the members of the public who have elected them to office and the youth of our community who must depend on the public schools for the basic right to education. SHAME on the board members for allowing such a sham, directing legal counsel to intimidate by attempting to turn the tables and silence a vocal electorate.

My guess is that it didn't work and was a huge waste of taxpayer money. Rome is burning while "Nero"Brand fiddles. That is the civil and plain unvarnished truth.


bvagency March 13, 2013 @ 1:57 p.m.

It is unfortunate that Jim, John, Arlie and Ed Brand do not value the work of this department, especially given the demographics of our district. This is such a valuable program that helps alot of people in our community.

Although Arlie abstained, she knew what the outcome would be. It was the cowards way out for her.

Its amazing that Ed Brand can find money for his pet projects, ie charters, land deals, etc., but he cant find it for such a good program.

All that Bond money spent at numerous schools to support this program now going to waste. Another example of poor planning, forecasting and a general lack of vision and leadership by Ed Brand!

To think he had the audicity to propose the purchase of new property at the same time he is cutting out a valuable program in this district!

We as a community need to keep the pressure on these trustees and hold them accountable for their choice of Brand. I know our opposition to the Faivre and Boswell St purchases is what prompted that to not pass. Had we the community not spoken up, the Trustees would have voted it through and another Brand shennaigan would have passed!

Its also unfortunate that we cant trust a majority of the board to take care of business for the community.

Lets make sure we continue to review agendas, ask for information, reach out to trustees, and attend meetings and express ourselves!!


bbq March 13, 2013 @ 1:57 p.m.

Hey eastlaker, it's becoming obvious to me that when McCann becomes Mayor of Chula Vista, Cartmill and Brand will be appointed to be on the Land use, zoning and development boards, as they already know all of the ins and outs of the Real Estate, and Development trade, that along with having cozy relationships with the major players including all of the Lawyers. They should be able to walk right in and start working, no training required. Hey guys live in a glass house remember to wear your clothes.... Sweetwater workers sooner or later someone will tell the King and his Jesters , they're wearing no clothes...


eastlaker March 13, 2013 @ 3:27 p.m.

What is cause for concern in my mind is that, while I am pleased that Chula Vista is moving forward with plans for an institution of higher learning here (recently earmarking 50 more acres for a campus), Ed Brand and friends might be eyeing all that with a great deal of covetousness.

Surely, if Ed Brand gets his Sweetwater U machinery going, he will say, look what is already nearly in place, let's join forces!?

Except, you know that with Ed Brand involved, it would be far from "plumb" at the start...

I really wish we could be told the truth about some of these plans, but then, might not the public be rightfully upset?


anniej March 13, 2013 @ 4:33 p.m.

bbq John Mccann will NOT become mayor,

Far tooooooo many voters remember him standing in their living rooms PROMISING to clean SUHSD up. He allegedly told those very same people he would not take contractor donations - well a quick view of the Registrar of Voters website will clearly expose that he took them, and big money from them.

The students and many of those loosing their jobs live in Chula - there goes their vote!!!!!

The taxpayers that paid for the L street debocal - Mccann consistently doing what he is ordered to do via Brand - there goes their vote.

The community members that Brand has attempted to/succeeded in intimidating - GOOD PEOPLE, there goes their vote.

All of those who have sat thru his self written, self promoting speeches about John Mccann - their votes, are LONG GONE - as our those administrators votes who were afraid to say "Mccann, are you out of your freakin mind?"

Those voters whose home school is Eastlake - their votes were lost about weeks 6 into this school year.

And all of us who watched while Mccann voted to give Brand one of the richest contracts around - even after Brand up and quit (and the board kept it secret from us) - those are long gone.

John Mccann showed us who he REALLY is and who he does NOT VALUE - US, the taxpayers, in all honesty, we should thank him for saving us from making a huge mistake - one that might have had devastating effects on our fine City.


eastlaker March 13, 2013 @ 5:04 p.m.

But they continue to act in ways that indicate they do not care one bit about the lives, livelihoods, and futures of the people in this district!!

What gives this bunch carte blanche to act this way?

And what about the musical chairs scenerio that supposedly will be taking place with Cheryl Cox becoming the superintendent when Brand leaves/retires/is otherwise indisposed? You see, it offends me greatly that the "ruling elite" of this community do and say little to effectively improve and encourage this community. They seem to congratulate themselves for all sorts of non-achievements, while taking all our tax and bond monies and misusing them.

Yet, they want to continue holding office or acting as a trustee or superintendent or some such position of authority while only looking out for themselves. All I can say is they must truly lack any insight into themselves and the community in which they find themselves existing...sort of like cyborgs...sometimes they act the part and they seem almost human...other times one can see they are without a shred of humanity.


Susan Luzzaro March 13, 2013 @ 5:51 p.m.

Every time I attend a Sweetwater board meeting, I come away with many possible things to write about. The students spoke so well on their own behalf -- any one would have been impressed--any one listening would want to see this program go forward.


fflintstone March 13, 2013 @ 7:19 p.m.

Thank you for mentioning Mr. Anguiano's comment that HR gave bad advice - he's correct - this did not need to happen in March. The real question is why Dr. Brand thought he needed this drama... what's being hidden?


eastlaker March 13, 2013 @ 10:55 p.m.

I've said before that I think Brand has some personality deficits. One of them may have to do with the need to create chaos. Another may have something to do with frenetic behavior that generates much noise but no substantive results. Yet another, some sort of compulsion to go off on a tangent, avoiding any sort of sensible behavior. I do not think he is a well man psychologically. Just my opinion, based on observation. So, to answer your question, what's being hidden?...

Probably more empire building schemes. Possibly he is trying to determine who his next "enemy" is...he seems to be happier when he can try and focus blame on someone outside of himself.

In short, Brand needs drama to hide the fact that he is doing nothing (good) for this district.


bbq March 13, 2013 @ 10:05 p.m.

anniej, I know McCann has his inlarged head firmly implanted within Dr. Brands posterior and I agree he will never be mayor.
My point is I think Brand, Cartmill and McCall seem to think that hitching their stars to each other is a way to keep moving up, but unless it's full of gas, most poop still sinks to the bottom of the toilet. Sorry to be so graphic with a lady like you but I figure if it smells bad, don't pretend it's roses. The previous Comment was complete scarcasm... McCann for Pope... More Scarcasm, maybe sacrelige (sp)....


oskidoll March 13, 2013 @ 10:05 p.m.

Look at the photo that accompanies this story. Those are not 'agitators'.... They represent the face of the community, serious, hard-working and taxpaying folk who care about the education their children receive, and opportunities for adult education to make our community strong. Those are committed parents and community members. Sweetwater Board, please LOOK and SEE and HEAR them, because you have sworn to serve them.


bbq March 13, 2013 @ 10:25 p.m.

oskidoll, I too am really not an agitator and can be found in that photo, I never realized how intimidating I could look standing glaring at the panel. Sorry I missed the casting call "Hasta La Vista Babe" if we can't laugh at some of this tragedy or travasty it would be a real bummer. BBQ


montana64 March 13, 2013 @ 10:48 p.m.

Cheryl Cox? Superintendent? ¿? Explain/explica porque? Rumor ? Nightmare? Chisme?


bbq March 14, 2013 @ 5:59 a.m.

It's so difficult to believe we live in such a large region when you look at all of the political incest. It's almost like some of these people are conjoined twins, ok joined at the hips, the business of politics, I wish some of them would get a real job!!!!!
The real bummer is as been pointed out the big fish keep on swimming while the guppies, SUHSD Trustees are the ones under indictment, don't take me wrong they deserve to have their time at trial but there are others who are in even deeper that no one is even looking at. My thoughts keep pulling me back to the penny ante antics of Gandara's and the Trustees allong with the Southwestern CC Crew and all I can think of is "Mayberry", very podunk.
Sorry first TV Generation. BBQ


bbq March 14, 2013 @ 6:18 a.m.

Eastlaker, somehow I missed your 10:55 comment, no joking or sarcasm here, I had a boss back east running an automobile assembly plant with about 800 people per shift 3 shifts per day building about 1200 vehicles, it was the oldest operating plant in the US. He ran the plant by what is best described as Chaos Management, there was always some pending disaster, everyone running all the time. One day we missed production due to some internal screw up that should have been prevented by upper management, this guy was able to cover for it due to a snow storm that hit corporate offices but did not touch us a bit. Luck of the Irish, which I think he was.....

Chaos management uses confusion and lack of focus like a magician uses diversion and slight of hand to keep the audience or workers in this case off balance so it is difficult to see that the boss really does not have a plan or a direction.

To me it's obvious we have that case here in the South Bay Region, not just SUHSD, if any of our other community leaders had a plan they would be commenting on the condition of the High School District as a strong Public School System is the foundation of a community, it's one of the top reasons people purchase homes where they do, That's why I link so many of our issues with SUHSD back to the South Bay Region as a whole. I do not want a bigger arguement, I want a bigger viewpoint. BBQ


joepublic March 14, 2013 @ 8:34 a.m.

Once again there's not enough room to seat the anticipated large crowd. Again, they let the public know what they think of them. By the way, does anyone know how the property purchase vote went in their secret session? Aren't they supposed to tell us what they did or didn't do, and if a vote was taken, who voted which way?


anniej March 14, 2013 @ 9:46 a.m.

Joepublic: regarding property issue, that is a little weird. Mr. Cartmill came out and said "no action was taken", which I believe means they did not vote on the item. So does this mean it will be brought back as an item only without the addresses in an attempt to hide what they are doing?

L street, one would think that that would have scared them off from aligning with Brand on any land/building speculation however it appears just the opposite is true. Now remember Ricasa and Cartmill were a part of that "speculation" back then. Hmmmmmmm. Who were ALL of the parties involved in that recommendation? What banks and what financial advisors, and did any of the SUHSD folks have any friends or "relatives" working at any of the 'unmentioned' banks? Please reread that last sentence.


eastlaker March 14, 2013 @ 4:59 p.m.

All good questions. How do we get the answers?


anniej March 14, 2013 @ 10:01 a.m.

Montana64 - the 45 minute 'takinen to the woodshed speech' on civility was aimed at 'the antagonists'. The majority of the board, Brand, and allegedly some District personnel believe this group is being too tough on them. When 'the antagonists' demand answers and point out irregularities they are viewed as uncivil and now have been labeled as such.

I would urge you and all of those in the picture to attend board meetings EVERY MONTH, it is only one night out of your monthly lives, and if the education of your children and selves is important then you too will have no problem with being referred to an uncivil.


UNCIVIL vs ALLEGEDLY """"""""CORRUPT"""""""". ------- which one would you prefer to be called?


bbq March 14, 2013 @ 10:47 a.m.

To the Giligan's Island Theme:

Just sit right back And you'll hear a tale A tale of a fateful trip, That started from this tropic port, In this tiny Room. The mate was a mighty fightin’ man, The Super broad and cocksure, Four others sat up front that day, For a Civility Lecture, Yes, A Civility Lecture.

The Meeting started getting rough, due to a civil informed crowd. If not for the courage of the fearless Board The truth might be found The truth might be found

The Meeting went off plan because we had the Facts But Adult Ed was still voted down 2-2-1 With McCann, The Super, too. The millionaire, called Cartmill Pearl, The star, Arlie and Bertha, too, Here on Sweetwater Isle.

So this is the tale of our Trustees They've been here for too long a time. They have had to make up a bunch of things, It's an uphill climb.

The first mate and his Super, too Will do their very best, To make the public comf'terble While they feather their nest.

Their phones, Their lights, their motor cars, All paid by you and me. Like Rock and/or Movie Stars How stupid can we be. How stupid can we be

So join us, to Hear what’s new citizens Are we broke or what? Is Boswell St Affordable? or Are Pink Slip Unavoidable?
Here on Sweetwater Isle!

Frustration, Reality, Comedy and TV what a better combination, BBQ


anniej March 14, 2013 @ 11:07 a.m.

i think that about sums it up - I especially like the verse:


I think you just nailed it, while they are reaching into our wallets pilfering our hard earned tax dollars, they are smiling and telling us how much they like us.


eastlaker March 14, 2013 @ 12:13 p.m.

Or telling us we need to learn how to behave and respect our betters, as they remove everything that isn't nailed down.


Visduh March 14, 2013 @ 9:06 p.m.

I look at that picture, and then I think of how those weasels on the board must react when looking at the grim faces of the voters, the parents, the taxpayers, and the general public. I've seen agitators at other meetings, and those have an aura of nonsense. These faces are the faces of a public that is fed up and demanding a change. Too bad that a few dozen of them is about all the real public interest in the area. After all, just last November good ol' Pearlie and good ol' Bertha were reelected. Then we have those who ascribe political motives to the prosecutions of these low lifes, these crooks, these venal politicians and career educator frauds, and claim that it is just persecution of Dem Hispanics in the southern reaches of the county. (Close, but not quite.) Well, if they are all Dems, that tells you something about those with that party alliance. And I'm not gonna go into the other area. If I ever saw the faces of rebellion, it was in that picture. Today the Bastille, tomorrow the world.


eastlaker March 14, 2013 @ 9:54 p.m.

Interesting analysis of the photo...those are some serious faces. Can we harness some of that discontent and continue educating ourselves regarding Sweetwater's fiscal condition, Ed Brand's schemes and just what McCann, Ricasa, Cartmill and Quinones are thinking when they fall into line?

Cutting programs that provide vital assistance in providing jobs for students and adults in the community should only be done if there is no other option. Then, effort should be made to coordinate with community colleges to provide a consistent and accessible pathway, so that people who are only trying to find their way in the work force do not have to encounter obstacles. Really, now! In this economic climate, won't these classes end up bringing more money into our community because people will use the skills to find jobs and support themselves? Pretty basic economics there, one would think.

And yet this concept was too advanced for Brand and board. No wonder people are angry. But--that is far from the only issue in Sweetwater. Those trials are getting closer. What more will we learn?

About that term, "agitator". It has been used throughout history to describe those who want to disturb the status quo. Rhetorically asking...can anyone name some communities and/or societies wherein those in power would lash out against "agitators"? Pre-civil rights south...tsarist Russia...all sorts of tyrannical governments...because those in power felt threatened by those who were challenging systems replete with entrenched inequality.

The entrenched inequality here in Sweetwater is something of an oddity, because it is not based upon wealth, or education, or ethnicity--it is based upon position. Position can be a very volatile thing. Position can be won or lost when the public either has faith or no longer has faith in an individual, or a political party.

Brand's attempt to castigate the "agitators" is yet another attempt at controlling everyone who is dissatisfied, even though all who are dissatisfied are not agitators. It is as if by labeling people who speak out, Brand is telling the entire community, "These are the people who are disturbing our lovely school district. If they would just quiet down, everything would be just fine."

Of course, we know he is as wrong as wrong can be. We are not a class of unruly middle school students throwing spitballs in homeroom. We are citizens who pay taxes, who demand to know what is being done with our tax and bond monies. The Ed Brand leadership by disaster must come to an end. That Ship of Fools is pretty close to sinking.

Tone-deaf decisions. Reckless spending. Foolhardy schemes. Thoughtless acts by the dozen. Rude behavior. The criminal charges.

This spectacle of disgrace would embarrass most civilized people, yet Ed Brand, John McCann, Jim Cartmill, Arlie Ricasa and Pearl Quinones seem quite pleased with themselves. Go figure.


bbq March 14, 2013 @ 10:25 p.m.

Eastlaker great analysis from a different angle from mine, Ed and crew excuse me, Dr. Brand and the Trustees (Civility,you know), still have the the anchor of believing that they are smarter than the rest of us, I will repeat that a "wise man knows what he does not know" , Socrates....For Dr. Brand this means realizing that it is always possible usually probable that someone knows specifics about some subjects a lot better than he does. Until he accepts this he will continue as I say in the next comment get caught with his pants down.
We all still need to get together and develop a platform for the future of the SUHSD and possibly the rest of the Region. Viva La Sud de San Diego. BBQ


montana64 March 14, 2013 @ 10:35 p.m.

We are not a gaggle of middle school Ipadlings Erasing our IDs, deleting our pdfed textbooks, downloading bootlegged games, streaming videos, jamming up bandwidth, loosing our plugs, cracking our screens, --no we are not.


bbq March 14, 2013 @ 10:09 p.m.

Visduh, to me this is so not about party politics as I could not tell you who is who in this situation, this is all about business and good management.

When everything was rosey, and development was running nonstop, amuck really, the District/Region was rich and felt like they were printing money, they got lazy and sloppy. After 5 or 6 years of depressed economic situation they got caught with their respective pants at their knees and the building industry whores servicing them. Where's the political issue, it looks like greed and stupidity to me.

Yes since the DA is on one side, white and Republican and the Sweetwater 4 ish are, I guess, Dems and non-white there can be all this extra stuff (sh_t) thrown in. I say if you are caught own up to your error and move on at least you still have your dignity and can look yourself in the mirror everyday.

As for the public, what can you do, if they don't know what is really going on they will just keep voting name recognition, race and party, never issue or credential.

This is where we need to have a series of questions and or reforms that all future candidates for City council or local school boards need to answer so we can each decide who best meets our individual ideas of the future of the region. Campaign Spending and Term Limit are the next steps as would be removing reference to any party affiliation.

Finally the effective media blackout by the Union Tribune to most SUHSD issues is insulting and Sir Manchester,should be embarassed if he has anything to do with the lack of coverage of the situation down here. All I have to say is "ROSEBUD", BBQ


eastlaker March 15, 2013 @ 8:59 a.m.

Entrenched unholy coalition...the Sweetwater board and Brand.

Can they feel their grasp on this community's trust weakening? Oh, yes.

Hollow leaders, self-seekers.

Wandering lost among their own misdeeds.

That vast field of wasted opportunity, of students' futures dimmer than they should have been.

Reckoning coming due? Too late to reconcile?

Who will share truth.


anniej March 15, 2013 @ 9:24 a.m.

As I have said before it is easy for us to sit at home and bang away at our keyboards, but until and unless EVERY meeting is packed, until and unless we are able to force our board members to take back their control of this district, and until and unless we take the time to become informed about those candidates that run for the board -

We wil forever be held prisoner to the insanity that is now (and has been for years) SUHSD.


bbq March 15, 2013 @ 10:52 a.m.

Anniej Young lady, as I have said before by the time anything makes it to a Board Meeting it's been decided in back. The Board Meetings are a sham and are a game of the Board and Dr Brand saying "SEE Look at those ignorant/uncivil/aggressive People." I calmly waited 3.5 Hours for my very short 3 minutes after listening to 45 minutes of civility drivel. And other pontification for Sir McCann during the meeting, I don't know what he even said, I usually hear Me and I when he speaks.. I find the Board meetings a colassal waste of time and a formality/show due to the method they are run. Sorry I will come to more but i may need you to keep me from getting excited.


bbq March 15, 2013 @ 10:39 a.m.

Dear Dr. Brand and Board of Trustees, As I am fairly confident you or someone on your staff follows these Blogs, if not out of being intimidated, at least for the pure entertainment value, and I also think you could easily determine who most of us are, I for one know you have my number and e-mail as I have personally given it to you more than once and been in your office.

I would think that if you see us a "agitators and uncivil" the best way to calm the situation would be to hold an informal meeting with us to have an open/honest discussion of the "real" agenda of the district.

Who knows there may be some some common ground that we stand on. The big issue for me is the lack of real communication coming out of the District with regards to almost everything. We get soundbites of Sweetwater University, Grand Canyon University, Real Estate Deals, Open Boundaries, Program Improvement,... Do I really need to go on, if you can't see this you need to get out of the office more. How would you feel if you were on this side of the table?

Your little Fluff Letter on the district Website, come on it's "Banquet Season"! How about making this Letter into a Status of the District Letter with Issues that are affecting us, it would be easier to understand a vote if we really understood the State Budget changes to funding for the Adult Ed Classes, we still may not agree (?) or is that too uncomfortable for you or is the public too dumb to understand?

Dr. Brand you are compensated well enough to answer to the Public/Shareholders of your Corporation (SUHSD) that are unhappy with your financials and policies. Consider us Holders of a major Block of your Stock and start a dialog.

The three or four hours a month given to public discourse (at 3 min each with no question/ answers) with people other than "YES" people is not enough to have a balance view of anything.

Consider Making Time for Review and Discussion, Remember. forgive me PETA, "There's more than one way to skin a Cat" Submitted with Respect and Civility, BBQ


oskidoll March 15, 2013 @ 12:48 p.m.

BBQ has excellent suggestions.

We should expect, request, demand that Ed and Co present a written monthly status report (bullet points, not bs narrative) on major issues that affect the District. Perhaps he might host a workshop and ask community to help define those issues if he can't come up with them on his own. I'll start:

1) Status of each and every program improvement school, with problems identified, a list of objectives, tasks, timeline and persons assigned;

2) Status of Adult Education, with a list of each and every program, proposed outcome, etc;

3) Overcrowding in some schools...Develop a list of each and every impacted school, show teacher/pupil ratio, plan to ameliorate (Ed...that means fix), timeline, persons responsible, etc.

4) Real estate projects...Develop a list of each District-owned property not currently in use as a school site. Explain its current and proposed use. date and cost of purchase. Explain plans for future use.

5) Bond status, projects, costs, outcomes

6) Special Projects (such as charters)...andnd so forth.

That would be Brand's report card each and every month to show progress on each of the items on the list, which should appear as a matrix on the District's website.

The Board should evaluate the progress and help Ed focus on making progress if none has been made.

Thanks BBQ...


eastlaker March 15, 2013 @ 12:56 p.m.

Magnificent idea! Make the scatter- and addlebrained Brand focus on what he is supposed to be doing!


bbq March 15, 2013 @ 1:15 p.m.

Gosh I hate to reply to a reply to my own comment but if Dr. Brand (Civility remember) was not so worried about Sweetwater University and Office Buildings perhaps he'd have his staff compiling all of the above information and reporting out on it already and it would be as simple as having the IT department posting it on the website with his small comments added as to where additional focus should be placed based on actual results.

Remember the "Super" is not the Only person in the District we "PAY". Everyone that works at the district works for us the Shareholders/Public.

Most every Document produced in that building has some type of public record reporting on it.

One would think that reporting this information volunterally (I can't spell, can the Reader Add Spell check to this site?) is preferable to having it demanded by the public or the law? BBQ


angrybirds March 15, 2013 @ 10:42 a.m.

So let me get this straight the district wants to buy more property and lay off teachers and cancel an entire program. What is wrong with this picture are these idiots land developers or are they suppose to be educating students? Who is running this zoo, the zoo or the zookeepers oh yeah maybe the jackasses elected to this board! Why can't they get their head out of the butts and actually do what this Pearl person did and investigate things that benefit students not themselves.


eastlaker March 15, 2013 @ 12:52 p.m.

angrybirds, yes, why can't they?

Why do they get to continue along making one utterly hopeless decision after another, and because it is OUR money, they are just fine with it.

As anniej has previously noted, Ed Brand doesn't live here, so he has never really worked for this district. He has only worked for himself. While getting paid by this district.

The rest may well live in the district, but I really question this most recent decision, to allow cuts in the programs that get students going on an introductory career path. Nonsensical! Fast Eddy must have convinced them that the $3 million will do oh so much more for one of his pet projects. Maybe a charter school here or there, or maybe technology that will be outdated before it is paid for, or maybe it will end up going to help one of his friends in the "big business" education game which is doing its best to milk government programs and give little in exchange.

As all of us well know, some people know how to be responsible with money that doesn't belong to them, and some people just don't. I think we know where Ed Brand and his voting majority lie. (Extrapolate what you will from that).


bbq March 15, 2013 @ 2:44 p.m.

To my fellow commentators, agitators and uncivilized citizens, I grow weary of this method of possible communiction with the district, so I decided to come out so to speak and copied my previous open letter allong with oskidoll, eastlakers and my reply to reply directly to Dr. Brand (Just Being Civil).

With this I explained Why I was so disappointed in him personally, the adminstration,the board and the general public for the situation the district is in.

In Nov 2011 I met with him and he all but promised that the District would recover from the Gandara Era through transpearance and open communication,

I called him on that allong with the new definition of funding any student tech project up to 26% with Mello-roos funds (subject to interpration) and no real plans for use of the newly raised Mello-roos.

I will keep you all informed if I ever hear back from my new e-mail friend Dr. Edward Brand. Civilly yours BBQ


eastlaker March 15, 2013 @ 4:23 p.m.

Good for you. I hope you get some sort of response, but don't be too surprised if you don't hear anything from the great and powerful Oz...(original version).

As you may recall, the wizard was a bit of a flim-flam man, as is Brand, but at least the wizard wasn't insatiably greedy.

Maybe you can find the man behind the curtain. Best of luck.


anniej March 15, 2013 @ 4:06 p.m.

bbq: first of all allow me to THANK YOU, it has been a mighty long time since i was seen as or called a 'young lady'.

EVERYTHING you said was true - having said that please at least CONSIDER the fact that the lack of attendance at the board meetings allows Brand and the rest to say "SEE EVERYTHING IS OKY DOKY". i do not just attend i speak when there are agenda items i do not agree with.

i have been at two board meetings where the large attendance did make a difference - southwest high - when we sent 'the gandara' packing and hilltop high - when we demanded that our tax dollars not be used to pay for the indicted board members defenses.

the media takes notice when we show up - all that is except for the ut - but then we must not forget that it was Brand who called them in allegedly they have to go thru him before they print a story - REALLY??????????????

and so bbq, we will have to agree to disagree on showing up at the board meetings. my time is important to me - however i refuse to be kept away - i refuse to have my tax dollars wasted and remain silent about it.

i can not remember a historical change that was brought about thru silence or being invisible. i know the majority of the board does not care, but i really do not give a ruddy rats behind - they will listen, they may not like but they will listen.

there are others who have stopped coming, certain board members responses "they FINALLY GOT TIRED" i will NOT grow tired.


oskidoll March 15, 2013 @ 4:35 p.m.

I just reviewed Shinoff's presentation on Civility (it is posted on the District's website). It seems to be a potpourri of 'let's all get along' homilies/lectures and a couple of veiled threats -- especially his point about public participation which focused on the penalties for those who 'interrupt' a public meeting (get out of line); rather than the board's responsibility to encourage and support the public's right to comment, whatever the content of that comment might be. If the Board supported the public's right to speak, perhaps the public would be less strident. Our voices become amplified when we are not heard!

It is also concerning that Shinoff mentions staff being 'uncomfortable' going to board meetings. While I don't think it is necessarily 'fun' for staff to listen to the complaints and concerns of the public, I think that is also THEIR JOB to hear what the public has to say, however unflattering that might be. Don't ask us to remain silent about the job you are doing if you aren't doing a good job, because you are on our payroll.

It seems to me that the staff would do Ed and the Board and the public a huge service if they would come up with ways to help Ed and the Board present timely information that we should have without having to ASK for it about the ways the District is managing OUR business and our tax money.


bbq March 15, 2013 @ 9:52 p.m.

Blogees, since we have a new issue, the latest silencing the public issue, this web will undoubtably end, I plan to continue to attend meetings and stand under the Exit sign with a look of distain on my face until we get some resolution to the disfunction in the region, not just the district, I still Believe that the people who feel the area is as messed up as most of us do should get together and be productive working towards an eventual solution rather than continuing to fight the dark side one issue at a time. I realize it is dificult to watch the daily BS but sometimes it requires a fully planned frontal assualt with the proper back up. Perhaps all of the residents in the South Bay Region need to cancel our subscriptions to the Union-Tribune to show our unity and contempt for the current status Quo. See you all on the next web. BBQ


anniej March 15, 2013 @ 10:08 p.m.

Oskidoll-truth be told Brand is NOT known for truly caring about staff - oh, there are those who smile n his face - but they know and speak the truth off the record - 'BRAND is all about BRAND, he pretends to care, that is al it is' I have not met one single person who believes Brand is a god guy - oops I take that back Ms. Russo did.

Just how little Brand cares about he board will soon be known.


fireflycobra March 16, 2013 @ 5:11 p.m.

Being objective, I commend whoever took this pic. Like someone stated above, this pic represents the hard working public. You see a couple kids and from what appears to be several community citizens just getting off work, instead of those SEA extremists.

Also being objective, I have to agree with Alex on this one when he mentioned pink slips were not necessary. If someone can, I would appreciate it if one can post more information on what the "human relations department" he referred to actually is. Same as human resources?

An opinion. Brand & the board will take these issues more seriously if more and perhaps different citizens of the community appeared in the room instead of the negative SEA extremists who show up all the time. Actually, they should give their seats up to a resident of south bay from now on, seriously.


bbq March 28, 2013 @ 8:38 a.m.

All, I am posting on all of the recient SUHSD Comments, I have been in contact with Dr. Brand and Dr. Alt. They are planning some Financial Townhall meetings for April, I have volunteered to help compile a series of questions you would like answered by Dr. Alt. I will forward and review these with him and probe for meaningful answers as best I can working as a community liason. Read some of my other comments and you will understand my frustration with the district, but without dialog we are stuck where we are. Please send answerable questions ie minimal political inuendo, just to make it easier to get a reasonable answer. The sooner the better, I would like to have a formal list to Dr. Alt on Monday April 1, what better day than that, so please post by midday Sunday March 31, 2013. BBQ


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