Mayor Cheryl and county supervisor Greg Cox
  • Mayor Cheryl and county supervisor Greg Cox
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As the Sweetwater Union High School District elections loom closer, Chula Vista mayor Cheryl Cox and county supervisor Greg Cox are flexing their political muscle in the campaign.

On October 14, many residents who live in Sweetwater Area 2 received a robo-call from Supervisor Cox urging them to clean up Sweetwater with a vote for Kevin O’Neill. The robo-call indicated that the plea was also on behalf of the mayor, his wife.

Sweetwater Area 2 covers a portion of western and eastern Chula Vista and Bonita.

As listed on the sample ballot, the candidates for Area 2 are: Dr. Adrian Arancibia, Bertha Lopez, Kevin O’Neill, Kevin J. Pike and Dana Toogood. All the candidates’ platforms are based on reform, anti-corruption, or integrity.

In 2009, when O’Neill applied to fill a vacant council seat, the U-T described O’Neill as “a local contractor and close ally of Mayor Cheryl Cox.”

O’Neill often appears at Chula Vista City Council meetings to support the mayor’s projects. He was one of two people who spoke in favor of the unpopular general plan change that allowed an increase in condominium density in the Otay Lakes area.

Aside from lending their voices to a robo-call, the Coxes are hosting a fundraiser for O’Neill.

In the first round of campaign donations, the Coxes contributed a cumulative of $520 to O’Neill’s campaign. David Malcolm, also a longtime friend and ally of both Coxes and O’Neill, contributed $250.

The Coxes have also endorsed Thomas Schaaf, a candidate for Area 5.

One of the first items of business for the newly elected Sweetwater board will be to choose a new superintendent. Mayor Cox will be termed out in December.

In 2014, Cox became involved in the prolonged discord and corruption in the Sweetwater district. In February, she gave a State of the City address in which she said, “…I am done watching poor governance get worse, and I am compelled to confront Sweetwater’s current problems through my ability to convene community members in constructive conversation.”

Mayor Cox and former Sweetwater superintendent Jesus Gandara both came into office in 2006. The Gandara years were plagued by discord and accusations of corruption. Ultimately, Gandara pleaded guilty to a a felony conspiracy charge.

During the Gandara years, the Coxes lent support to him through public appearances or, in the case of Supervisor Cox, a quote to a Gandara op-ed piece in Star News praising Proposition O implementation.

When Gandara was sent packing, former superintendent Ed Brand returned. His regime, like Gandara’s, was plagued with problems — most notably boardroom strife and controversial real estate deals. Yet, Mayor Cox was silent.

In her February address she explained: “I’ve repeatedly been asked to intervene; however, a mayor’s jurisdiction in our schools is limited, so until now, I have purposefully abstained.” Then Cox put in appearances at a Sweetwater Proposition O bond oversight meeting and two board meetings.

She also held “community conversations” on “preparing for future leadership.” She asked invitees to respond to questions such as: “If you were to ask Sweetwater board candidates two questions to gauge their ability to effectively serve as trustee of the district, what would they be?

An April Star News article states, “She [Mayor Cox] said the upcoming general election will be the time for voters in the South Bay to elect the right board members.”

Then she and county supervisor Cox publicly endorsed O’Neill and Schaaf.

Dave Grylls is a Sweetwater parent who has met with superintendents and attended school board meetings to express concerns about district issues.

On October 20, Grylls said that he hates to see this election getting “muddled by politicking. We aren’t interested in people who are going to be elected and then come in and do a slam dunk for a superintendent. We have enough nepotism and cronyism in our city.”

On October 21, Fran Brinkman said she and several others have been fighting Sweetwater corruption for six years. “We studied every agenda and went to every board meeting and questioned everything that needed to be questioned. We were the whistleblowers and we did this for the Sweetwater students.”

Brinkman said she put in a request to the district three weeks ago to start a superintendent search.

“I believe we need a superintendent who will come in from the outside with fresh eyes to do the business of the people,” said Brinkman. “We need someone who doesn’t have any personal relationships with anyone in the district and who is not politically entangled.”

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oldchulares Oct. 21, 2014 @ 6:02 p.m.

Cheryl has done her bit now it is time to retire. She has failed to honor many of her promises and the glut of condos out east is just one of them. What about the college what happened to that. That automatic call may have been the torpedo that is going to sink Kevin's ship. I want fresh blood running the school districts Cheryl and Kevin may have a plan to put her in charge but that plan isn't going to work.


joepublic Oct. 21, 2014 @ 6:40 p.m.

Mayor Cox invited the entire Chula Vista community to get involved in deciding what to look for in a candidate. Why then, did she only endorse candidates in two of the five areas? Did none of the candidates in the other areas meet the public's criteria that she solicited? Obviously, she has her own personal agenda.


VigilantinCV Oct. 21, 2014 @ 7 p.m.

Kevin O'Neill is a chameleon. Not so long ago he was a strident opponent of Jim Pieri at Mountain West Realty. He helped to gather signatures against Pieri's 'Espanada' project. In the past few years he worked for Pieri moving a group of duplexes from Pieri's H Street property to Roosevelt Street. Now he is firmly in bed with Jim Pieri aiming to develop 97 residential units on Main Street near Hilltop. My point is you never know which Kevin O'Neill you are looking at. Mostly I think it comes down to "just follow the money." His alliance with Cheryl Cox and David Malcolm make him a poor choice for the SUHSD Board, and its desperate need to curb the corruption.


oskidoll Oct. 21, 2014 @ 7:56 p.m.

Mountain west is also hosting a fundraiser for McCann. Connect these dots for a clue to the odious relationships here.


oskidoll Oct. 21, 2014 @ 7:44 p.m.

Truly a sad turn of events, as O'Neill had some very good experience on the bond oversight committee and taking the SUHSD board to task.

The Cox endorsement and fund raising have placed his expertise in jeopardy...also the Malcom endorsement and contributions make him even more suspect. Recall his involvement with the South Bay Community Services, too, and all the questionable folks aligned with that outfit.

Again, a sad turn of events. Just follow the money is a good admonition. O'neill would have otherwise been a good board member. Now he has too many dubious ties.


Ensenadamaria Oct. 21, 2014 @ 7:46 p.m.

The news that Mayor Cox has endorsed Tom Schaaf and O'Neill? Rumors are Arroyo is her third vote for the superintendent seat. Tom has had no interest in this district since his retirement why now? If this happens the district will be run like a dictatorship. Remember what Cox said at her community meeting, "the only one allowed to laugh out loud is me" and she was not kidding. And I thought Brand was bad.


oskidoll Oct. 22, 2014 @ 2:04 p.m.

Sounds as tho her honor Cox has had much of the kool aid many public officials drink....what an obnoxious and revealing remark.

Elected officials should remember they are just that...more on the 'elected' part and not expect to be bowed and catered to 'just because'.

Unfortunately, for many, the lure of being 'someone special' is just too much to ignore and we end up with insufferable, pompous, self-absorbed boors.


Susan Luzzaro Oct. 21, 2014 @ 8:30 p.m.


When you say Mt. West is holding a fundraiser for John McCann, is Agave in the Mt. West, Pieri building on Third & H? Is McCann's fundraiser going to be held in Agave as well?


oskidoll Oct. 22, 2014 @ 10:16 a.m.

The 'invitation' for the Oct 22 fundraiser for McCann, 'hosted by MountainWest' is to be in the Agave Café at 303 H st #107.


theyknowmeascoach Oct. 21, 2014 @ 8:51 p.m.

Looks like we almost were ready to trade one group of thieves in for another. This bunch makes the old bunch look like a freshman team of a bad guys. Heads up came just in time. Have to rethink my vote.


Woodchuck Oct. 21, 2014 @ 9:17 p.m.

Thank you Susan, Fran Brinkman and all of the commenters. We DO need to finish the hard work all of the residents who truly care have been doing for years. We can NOT afford to be manipulated further. I think Dana gets my vote.


AlexClarke Oct. 22, 2014 @ 7:38 a.m.

No matter what anyone says the voters have reelected these folks over and over so the voters are to blame. I vote for the reason the it gives me the right to complain. If you did not participate in the voting process the do not comment. We get the government we vote for. I am glad that I don't live in Chula Juana.


anniej Oct. 22, 2014 @ 11:56 a.m.

AlexClarke - wow, i was in total support of your thoughts, then i read the last word. Sir, we live in the South Bay because we choose to, because to many of this this community represents childhood memories, childhood homes, friends and because we care about each other. i would respectfully ask that you consider this question: does hate speech really accomplish anything positive?


AlexClarke Oct. 22, 2014 @ 1:51 p.m.

Well, anneij, I have to say that you are correct and that I should not have referred to CV in that way. I have been duly and correctly challenged.


Missionaccomplished Oct. 25, 2014 @ 8:34 p.m.

Ignore him, Annie, he is one of the right wing posters on the UT website.


Susan Luzzaro Oct. 22, 2014 @ 9:19 a.m.


I'm assuming you meant Chula Juana as a compliment. We are proud of the wealth of cultural diversity our city has to offer and the benefits of a bi-national location. Many of our schools have dual-immersion programs so that students will have the benefit of growing up fluent in Spanish and English. I have studied Spanish for years because I want the richness that knowing another language can bring .

About voting, perhaps the prospects for Chula Vista voters are improving. We used to have a system where a small minority of the voters could elect an official in the primary. This is, in fact, what happened in the case of Mayor Cox. The voters saw fit to overwhelmingly approve a change so that the top two vote getters advance to the general election.


redevilaboveground Oct. 22, 2014 @ 10:03 a.m.

Thanks Susan for your response to AlexClarke. I have never seen the reference to Chula Juana being used as a compliment. I don't know Alex Clarke but usually this reference is used out of ignorance and fear that our City is predominantly Latino and becoming increasingly so. I grew up in the Southbay and raised our children here (now our grandchildren)and I have seen the demographics change. When I graduated From Sweetwater High School the student population was 80% White as was Chula Vista High School.I think that we should celebrate diversity but unfortunately for whatever reason we are losing the White population and have never had a significant African American population. Thanks to the growing Pilipino population adding to diversity. I wish that White people would stay and grow their families to enrich our diversity and the same for African Americans and others that contribute to our rich culture....btw I am Chicano...thanks again


AlexClarke Oct. 22, 2014 @ 1:55 p.m.

To all: My comment was not meant as a compliment and I was wrong. The reference was a "back in the day" comment and was uncalled for. I regret slipping back to the day when the South Bay was not a place one would choose to live. I do know that things have changed and I hope I have but then every once in a while . . . .


Jmbrickley Oct. 25, 2014 @ 8:35 a.m.

Usually it is best to simply say you're sorry, and won't happen again. Instead you couch your apology in a wrapper that says "once upon a time..." Once upon a time when???? I have lived in Chula Vista since 1956, and never once did I ever think of the south bay as being a place I would not want to live. There is a reason Chula Vista is, and has almost always been the second largest city in San Diego County. It's a damn great place to live, and always has been.


oskidoll Oct. 22, 2014 @ 10:29 a.m.

in response to AlexClarke: I do not think voters intentionally vote for crooks. I think they vote for people who are incumbents (when things haven't blown up) or for people they believe will do a god job. I never heard anyone say they voted for someone because they were likely going to do a bad job.

Let's recall that pubic officials take oaths of public office when they assume their positions, and swear to uphold the constitution and work on behalf of their constituencies. Then, for some reason, some of them fall off the wagon and stop paying attention to the public's good and focus on their own pockets and the lining thereof.

I do suppose there is some truth in the saying that we get the government we deserve, but I don't think it is entirely the voters fault. Where I fault the 'voters' is failing to keep up with, or participate in the public process once the officials are in office. If no one is watching the cash register, opportunists will take advantage. If people attend board meets, participate in the public process, question those contracts, then the public officials are more 'inclined' to do the right thing.

There is certainly enough blame to go around. In Sweetwater's case, the entities that should have been watching over the district's operation, including the County Office of Education, the State Supt of Public Instruction (thanks for nothing Tom Torklakson) have been AWOL. Even Mayor Cox herself was silent for the longest time, as Susan's article points out, until she decided to clothe herself in outrage late in the game when it would garner her some attention as she terms out of her present public paid gig and casts the net for her next one.

In Sweetwater's case, it has taken a small army of dedicated citizens to uncover, report, and expose the crooks, including those such as Cartmill who would have you believe they are sanctified but who have their own interests in focus. Hooray for the citizens who have worked with persistence and dedication to help reclaim a school district that was taken over by crooks, and is still in the process of restoring confidence in its leadership.

Oh, and AlexClarke: our community is wonderfully diverse. I am so glad I do not have to put up with you and your ignorance wherever you live.


Missionaccomplished Oct. 28, 2014 @ 12:04 p.m.

Your comment about Torklason is particularly relevant considering CSEA is endorsement.


oskidoll Oct. 28, 2014 @ 12:27 p.m.

I think Torlakson has 'retired' on the job. I don't care who is or who isn't endorsing him and I do not take my cues from the unions. Torlakson's avoidance of any responsibility to act in the face of so much corruption in Sweetwater and South San Diego County, coupled with the sad, sad, sad, case of those students in other districts who had to go to court to get some educational services to which they are entitled by law says so much about his inaction and the fact that he flat out does not care about what he is supposed to be doing... and he is APPEALING the decision. Missionaccomplished: I would advise that we not cast everything into a black/white analysis based on union support. It's time we started thinking for ourselves and voting in a thoughtful manner based on the facts.

If we are 'pro' or 'anti' union, that is our right. But it does not define me or my vote. If we allow the union endorsements to define who we are or how we vote, we ARE giving them more power than they should have.


Susan Luzzaro Oct. 22, 2014 @ 10:59 a.m.


How the world goes round. I was remembering a dust up about a fundraiser hosted by Kevin O'Neill, John McCann, Dan Hom, Jim Pieri, and mayor Cox. The fundraiser was to be held in Pieri's building and the Lincoln Club had used the Chula Vista logo. Here's the UT article about it,

thanks for the info, Susan


oskidoll Oct. 22, 2014 @ 11:13 a.m.

Thanks for this historical perspective from 2007, Susan. Seems most all the same players are hoping to play at the table again, doesn't it? Kevin O'Neil is certainly the chameleon described in vigilantinCV's posting. Leopards don't change their spots, but some are pretty adept at hiding them, it seems.


anniej Oct. 22, 2014 @ 11:14 a.m.

it was close to 6 yrs ago that i and 4 others formed an alliance vowing to do what we could to expose the corruption within the sweetwater district. thousands of hours of research, the same number spent on telephone conversations, our own monies spent on copying, printer paper, ink, gas and many appeals to every political figure we could find. we are a complex group - ALL type a's. we vary in nationality, race and income. we were however connected with a goal of restoring integrity to SUHSD which would result in a quality education for all students. we had no political ambitions - we were, we are, simple folk doing what we were raised by our parents to do make a difference.

having said all of that i find myself sitting here, a few weeks away from the election wondering if it were all for naught. are we on the verge of seeing one group of 'users' replaced by another? why has/does politics continue to play such a strategic role in school districts? what ever happened to community members wanting to serve, wanting to pay it forward in thanks for all that we are blessed with - our families, our homes, our jobs, our health and this great nation we live in.

this article has left me deeply disturbed, as was the reporting of the process, or lack thereof of how the unions came to choose their candidates. now before anyone jumps on the bandwagon of lecturing me on both entities rights - spare yourself the frustration - i know their rights, i know they can do whatever they dam* well please - but i, as a nobody, also have the right to question their process or lack thereof. and hear me clearly, i do support the majority of 'some' of the unions endorsements. what i do not support is the nonsense. some of those running know no more about the current issues than my african grey - but like my cockatoo they simply mimic what the popular view is (my african grey is very smart, the cockatoo, not so much). republican/democrat, union/non union, east side/west side - blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

contd below


joepublic Oct. 22, 2014 @ 11:43 a.m.

David Grylls: I agree totally with your quote in this article. To you and the rest of the "antagonists" or "CAVE" people, (I see you as concerned, dedicated citizens of Chula Vista) I want to say THANK YOU!


anniej Oct. 22, 2014 @ 11:48 a.m.

political affiliations - to me that equates to a favor owed. some might say oh no, it is simply like minds - ah yes, like minds - you mean like John McCann, Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricasa combined with Jesus Gandara and Ed Brand and Dianne Russo - you mean those kind of like minds. ah, no thank you!!!!!

i want independent thinkers, those that think outside the box. those that are there for all of the right reasons, the students. I want persons sitting up there at the dais that are willing to work for our students, not use them for political or personal gain. i want persons sitting up there at the dais that are spending the Districts monies as if it were coming out of their own bank accounts. i want persons who are willing to make the tough decisions beholding to NOONE(S). i want persons who are willing to look at my community which is much poorer than others and view my communities students as just as deserving as the next. while i use the word 'i' in reality, i believe i speak for 'most'.

i have never considered a persons party as the determining factor for any vote of mine, and i am more than troubled that some of the candidates have done jack diddily squat to earn even one vote. you are an embarrassment to yourself (selves) - hanging a sign does not make a candidate.

new, fresh, independent of ANY party or group, integrity to think for him/her self, intelligent, strong but sensitive, congenial not dictorial. is it too much to ask to believe that our students and we taxpayers deserve these qualities.

i would respectfully ask each and every candidate this question - IF you are fortunate to be voted in and a community comes before you with a concern - will you simply listen or will you meet with them and really consider what is being said.

while i have painted a broad brush with this post please know there are continued concernS out here amongst those of us paying the bills - for example South Bay Community Services in conjunction with Promise Neighborhoods - there is proof that protected information was shared by our District - and to date not one person with a name plate has stepped forward and called for an investigation to insure our students legally protected information will be protected. will any of you?, call for an investigation that is?

there is a comment above about chulajuana - ignorance and racism is alive and well. i would offer this thought up in closing - perhaps we can become known as the community that banned together - with no allegiance to party, or union, or friend or home address - and voted in those we believed had integrity - and are prepared to KICK THE HELL OUT THOSE THAT FAIL TO HONOR THEIR PROMISES!

the above are just my opinions



eastlaker Oct. 22, 2014 @ 5:10 p.m.

Hear, hear!! Huzzah!! Hip, hip, hurray!!!

Well said!!


Wabbitsd Oct. 23, 2014 @ 10:50 a.m.

Anniej, well said, and thank you a million times for what you and your dedicated group have done and continue to do.


anniej Oct. 23, 2014 @ 11:36 a.m.

Wabbitsd - No thanks necessary, we did it, because like all of you, we care about all of our students in this great South Bay.


DanaToogood Oct. 22, 2014 @ 12:22 p.m.

I’ve never run for political office, and I do not intend to run for any political office beyond School Board Trustee. My reasons for running are a simple desire to help the community in an area where I thought they needed help and where I have the knowledge and experience to be effective. I have no major endorsements – no career politicians or unions or political parties back me in this election. My supporters are the best kind – my friends and neighbors and former colleagues and former students and people I talk to as I walk the neighborhoods or work in my stores – people who believe in my abilities and who know I will do the right thing. I’ve learned that this office is often used as a springboard for people with political aspirations. Unlike Kevin O’Neill, I’ve never wanted to be on City Council, or run for Water Board, and now School Board. I’m also amazed by the Bertha-defenders. They say her only crime was not reporting some gifts. In reality, according to her FPPC filings, she accepted thousands of dollars from a developer, as well as gifts - dinners, wine, flowers, who had a multi-million dollar contract with the district. She did not refuse those contributions or recuse herself from votes regarding that contractor, did she? At best, it is all highly unethical behavior. We need trustees who can be trusted to have integrity and who know inherently that their behavior is acceptable. We are out here trying to make a difference in Sweetwater – a student-centered district where integrity, honesty, and transparency rule the day. If you want to help in any way including donations, contact me at or [email protected] Thank you, Dana Toogood, Area 2 Candidate


Jmbrickley Oct. 25, 2014 @ 9:05 a.m.

"she accepted thousands of dollars from a developer"

Dana, even though Bertha is not in my voting area, I am actively supporting her in her bid to be elected to her board seat. AS one of those who took an active roll over four years ago to bring about much needed change to the current leadership of SUHSD, what we did would have been impossible without Bertha's involvement. It was her that kept us moving forward when all seemed doomed. It was her that kept pointing out where the skeletons were. It was her that made an honest attempt to help bring about change by risking all when she went, at her own insistence, to meet with the DA's investigators. They did not seek her out. Her reward for her efforts was to be caught up in Bonnie Dumanis's "Hang 'em all" failed campaign show in her bid to be mayor of SD. Bertha's "crime" for which she plead guilty to was "going over the limit from one source." Whether it was a $100 bouquet of flowers, that she valued at $50 because she did not know the true value, or $100 for her share of a meal she did not have or eat, or any number of supposed, or imagined items spread about by ill-informed candidates or others, is a false argument.

I have seen her documents to the FPPC. EVERY ONE OF THEM!!! I personally reviewed every piece of scrap paper she kept her notes on in this matter. I didn't do this to "help her." I did to assure myself that she was who she said she was. I spent too much time building my credibility to be blind-sided by someone's word. I know... FOR A FACT... that what you said in your post is not true. You link "thousands of dollars" to other very minor gifts and want us to believe Bertha received these monies as gifts.

Put up or shut up! Produce the documents that show "thousands of dollars" in gifts.

I'd continue, but I need to get out and do some door-to-door in support for the woman I believe IS THE BEST choice for the SUHSD board. Too bad I can't vote for her.


Jmbrickley Oct. 25, 2014 @ 9:08 a.m.

One last thing, much to my dismay, campaign contributions are not gifts. Citizens United and what.


Missionaccomplished Oct. 28, 2014 @ 12:15 p.m.

EVEN if the Lopez apologists were right in that she only failed to report some gifts, she has lost that trust with the people of Sweetwater.


Bvavsvavev Oct. 22, 2014 @ 12:44 p.m.

Excellent comments above! Ultimately, we as citizens and voters have to be engaged and involved. I am glad Sweetwater has area representation. I believe it will result in greater accountability. I know there is fear of influence peddling, but that is always the case.

Please know there are hardworking citizens who want to hold electeds accountable. The many who have fought Sweetwater corruption for years, those that continue to question and dig, those that call out politicians like John McCann, who seems to forget the damage he has caused.

On that note, those of you in Area 3 of the Sweetwater Union High School District, there will be a candidates forum tomorrow night. My understanding is that Areas 2&4 held a forum at the CV Public Library and only 20 or so people showed up. We need to do better than that! The candidates need to see and hear that the community at large is watching and paying attention! If they see our involvement before they are elected, they will know of our involvement after being elected. Please spread the word and let Area 3 residents know this is our chance to be seen and heard!!



Visduh Oct. 22, 2014 @ 1:46 p.m.

In a recent comment made to a blog post, eastlaker expressed the fear that this old corruption may be hard to root out. Of course, that's exactly right, and if this election doesn't get more interest, cronyism will carry the day, and you'll get a pack of political opportunists on the SUHSD board, and they'll quickly (as quickly as they dare) reestablish much of the old way of doing things. Cronyism isn't always a bad thing if folks with shared values tend to work to support each other. But cronyism based on contracts, jobs for friends and family, small favors, and vote swapping is likely how much of this mess got started. Little by little board members and school administrators saw that fudging across the line was scarcely ever noticed, and when it was, never resulted in punishment. And so the stage was set for the past ten-or-so years of an out-of-control school district.

It is up to the voters to get informed and vote, not for familiar or familiar-sounding names, not for someone your friend or neighbor happens to like, and not for the first name you see on the ballot. The DA, the FBI, the Fair Election people, nor the U S Attorney will root out the corruption if the voters don't get it together. This election will be pivotal for not only SUHSD but the whole of So County. It can mark the start of a new era of clean politics, or it can just let the same-old, same-old continue. It's all up to you, folks.


bbq Oct. 22, 2014 @ 2:36 p.m.

Unfortunately I have commitments on Thursday. I hope the turnout is good. Can anyone supply a review of the Area/Seat 3 candidates and their platforms? A lot of things too little time before the election. BBQ


erupting Oct. 22, 2014 @ 1:56 p.m.

Dana,sorry your information is incorrect. Bertha should have been given an FPPC fine not a misdemeanor. You have no idea what politics came into play in this situation,starting with Gandara,Brand,Espana and finally Dumanis. You were not present. You know nothing about the DA's office not allowing the cases to be separated. The SWC people having to all go to trial or all plea out,same with SanYsidro,and Sweetwater. Only Arlie was allowed to make a deal. Anyone ever wonder why? Bertha was the only one that supported our efforts,and bothered to go to the DA,and assisted in ways you know nothing about. Could you afford to go to trial after spending a fortune on an attorney that shouldn't have been necessary. This women served this community and the public turned on her because she couldn't afford to go on. Yes, I support Bertha and feel awful that we asked for her help. She's running for office because she feels it's the only way to show she's not guilty. Will she be elected,probably not especially after someone I truly believed in Kevin O'Neil sent out a mailer stating that Bertha was guilty of bribery. This is also false as your thousands of dollars comment and gifts. O'Neil showed his true colors and is trying to climb on the band wagon in order to get elected. This is the man that spent $894.00 on robo calls for Bertha in her last run. Next to us five he was the person that knew the truth about what was happening to Bertha. I know because I cared an respectEd this man. Then the SEA and AFT send a flier out showing Bertha behind bars which never happened and claimed she committed bribery as well. Why? Because of her name recognition and fear that she could win. Incidentally Arancibia claims he didn't have any knowledge about this and O'Neil said it was a mistake. Well I haven't seen an apology on their websites for this egregious error! Yes, I'm tired super sensitive and was in hopes because I know you are honest that if Bertha didn't win you would. Why because I've already been fooled by someone I believed in. Fran


Jmbrickley Oct. 25, 2014 @ 9:17 a.m.

Fran, the ride with you for the past four years has been my proudest moment. Ditto for Maty and Cathy.

"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."


AlexClarke Oct. 22, 2014 @ 1:58 p.m.

Note to all: My apologies for the Chulajuana comment. I was wrong. No excuses. Stupid is as stupid does.


redevilaboveground Oct. 22, 2014 @ 3:51 p.m.

Alex Clarke even though you probably know better your hidden feelings came out. Don't fear change you just changed your response. Now, what you can do is try to educate another troubled soul.


AlexClarke Oct. 22, 2014 @ 4:02 p.m.

I don't think the feelings were hidden but more of a throwback to the days of "Nasty City" "CJ" "San Yskidrow" and "Venereal Beach". I did live and work in the South Bay for many years and I really do know better.


anniej Oct. 22, 2014 @ 3:36 p.m.

AlexClarke - one can only respect the fact that you are man/woman enough to admit an error of judgement. You would think that at the age of 64 I would be perfect from all of the mistakes and errors in judgements I have made, unfortunately it appears I am still a work in progress - doubt if I will meet the level of perfection before my time ends.


AlexClarke Oct. 22, 2014 @ 3:58 p.m.

Man I am. We are all works in progress some of us (me) take longer than others. I'll keep working on it.


anniej Oct. 22, 2014 @ 7:21 p.m.

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT !!!!! Steve Padilla's latest flier was just forwarded to me - there in black and white is the substantiated proof regarding McCann's campaign donations AND McCann's Grand Jury testimony - OH MY!!!!!

Anyone desiring to vote for McCann take a good, L. O. N. G. look -

Anyone who has not taken the time to review the Grand Jury testimony, please do,


Bvavsvavev Oct. 23, 2014 @ 6:50 a.m.

How about this mailer received on Jim Cartmill...side 1



oskidoll Oct. 23, 2014 @ 12:42 p.m.

Other cities, including San Diego and Irvine, manage to post campaign disclosure forms (460 that all candidates are required to regularly file) online so that the voters in the races in their cities can see how much is being contributed and by whom to each candidate.

Why then, is there no online posting by the City clerk of the City of Chula Vista, for the forms which are public documents? Why is our City Clerk keeping them a secret?

Perhaps Mayor Cox has an answer.


eastlaker Oct. 23, 2014 @ 12:58 p.m.

Good questions, oskidoll. Perhaps Mayor Cox agrees with some candidates that it is much easier if the public remains uninformed regarding many of these details.

The public isn't quite as docile these days as they used to be.

So odd to me that someone with a strong background in education would be a quiet proponent of the information pipeline's strangulation.


Wabbitsd Oct. 24, 2014 @ 12:17 p.m.

La Mesa is the same way. If you want to look at campaign expenditures, you have to flag the ones you want from a notebook kept behind the counter. And I think it is the same, 10 cents a page for copying.

Crazy. And, oh, by the way, if you request the notebook of someone who happens to be in City Hall at the time, don't be surprised if they casually walk past you as you look through the book....


oskidoll Oct. 24, 2014 @ 1:39 p.m.

Thanks for this information. I think each city's process and accessibility (or not) of these important public documents says much about its commitment (or lack thereof) to transparency and rights of the voters to know who is contributing to campaigns...that is the purpose of the campaign disclosure requirement. I am just sorry that the County does not maintain all the records for the elected in the entire jurisdiction.


joepublic Oct. 23, 2014 @ 1:02 p.m.

Excellent question, oskidoll. Are they legally required to post this information, or do cities do it for the sake of transparency?


oskidoll Oct. 23, 2014 @ 2:24 p.m.

I do not know if the cities are REQUIRED to post the candidate campaign disclosure report information, which is public information per the FPPC, on line, but if the other cities, and the County of SD can do it, it would seem to be 'best practice'.

It would seem that the City of Chula Vista City Clerk's office would want to be among those with the 'best practices' available, I would hope. It might also help the City Clerk reduce the foot traffic into her office by those who find themselves wishing to view the documents in person.

Again, a pertinent question for Mayor Cox, about a lack of service to her constituencies. By the way, in the City of Chula Vista, the City Clerk is appointed by and reports directly to the Mayor and City Council.


VigilantinCV Oct. 23, 2014 @ 2:31 p.m.

Is everyone getting as tired as I am of receiving robo calls by Supervisor Greg Cox endorsing Kevin O'Neill and Josh Smith for School Board? I guess it figures -- Mayor Cox terms out in 40 days and will then be unemployed. Of course Greg wants to help her find another cushy job at the public trough. Alas, how long will this dynasty plague us all!


oskidoll Oct. 23, 2014 @ 2:53 p.m.

Here's how the City of Sacramento serves its citizens by providing easy internet access to campaign disclosure reports. Note the info in the second paragraph about the voters being fully informed.:

" To provide greater access to the public, the Sacramento City Code requires that when these groups are required to file a paper campaign disclosure statement such filing shall also be filed electronically. This provision is contained in Sacramento City Code section 2.13 related to Campaign Contribution Limits, and section 2.14 related to Campaign Spending Limits and Public Campaign Financing.

To assist filers in meeting this obligation, the City of Sacramento is providing, free of charge, an Internet based electronic campaign disclosure statement filing system. *The system is fully searchable for use by the public. This ensures that receipts and expenditures in city election campaigns are fully and truthfully disclosed, and that voters may be fully informed.* Elected officials, candidates, and committees who are required to file campaign disclosure statements with the City of Sacramento may do so through this system. (Note - a password is required for those filing electronic statements).

Where Do I File? Candidates and committees (including ballot measure and independent expenditure committees) within the jurisdiction of the City of Sacramento are required to file their disclosure statements with the Office of the City Clerk. In addition to the paper filing, filers are also required to submit statements electronically."

I would hope the City of Chula Vista would be just as committed to helping the public be as fully informed as possible.


oskidoll Oct. 23, 2014 @ 3:35 p.m.

You're welcome.

It also seems to me that the Chula Vista City Clerk's Office might scan the documents and post them on the website, even without an electronic program like Sacramento uses. It just seems to me that those other cities with easy online access are behaving in a more up-to-date and transparent manner. Why is our City Clerk's Office appearing to be foot-dragging when they could be great advocates for open government and disclosure so our voters can be as fully informed as possible?

Perhaps Mayor Cox, to whom the CV City Clerk reports, would have an answer?


oskidoll Oct. 23, 2014 @ 4:13 p.m.

Here is what the City of Chula Vista City Clerk's office webpage says about public records: Note that anyone interested in campaign disclosure reports is required to complete a written request and pay $.10 per page for them. Doesn't seem very inclined to help voters be fully informed, does it?

"Public Records/Legislation The City Clerk is custodian of many public records of the City, including ordinances, resolutions, minutes of the City Council, agreements, election-related documents, Chula Vista campaign filings, statements of economic interests, and many others. Learn about the California Public Records Act How to Request Public Records:

Self-Service Options Did you know you can view many City records online immediately and avoid copying fees? Click here to Browse City Clerk public records such as City Council agenda packets, meeting minutes, resolutions, and ordinances.

Click here to view Building Permits 1992-current (for permits prior to 1992, please complete a Records Request Form below) Records Request Form (Click here)

  ***For all other requests or assistance, please complete a Records Request Form.    Please include your phone number on all requests.***

Fees • Copies: $1.00 for the 1st page, $0.10 each additional page • State-mandated filings (statements of economic interest and campaign statements): $0.10 per page

Exceptions Requests requiring computer programming will be charged a fee of the full cost including overhead for the time to create such document or program. Requestor will be required to provide a deposit to cover estimated costs, as calculated by City staff. Requests for these services must be made in writing. "

So much for the public's access to documents that are considered public documents!


eastlaker Oct. 23, 2014 @ 5:33 p.m.

That is fascinating. So much for the public's right to know!


Missionaccomplished Oct. 25, 2014 @ 8:41 p.m.

When I first saw the headline, I thought it was about the ongoing, lower-level nepotism and cronyism among administrators, certificated and classified staff, friends and family.


eastlaker Oct. 26, 2014 @ 12:39 a.m.

Well, that, too!

The corporate mentality is really going to have to shift away from all that. It will take real effort from on top, and there will need to be training and retraining for those in Human Resources, and all sorts of admin people.

Ethics. What a concept.


CyranoDB Oct. 31, 2014 @ 7:26 a.m.

A piece on Arroyo - hard to believe he wasn't aware of this or that he never followed up with this? His own words "someone listed me. . ." but he does remember he was asked.


eastlaker Nov. 1, 2014 @ 4:35 p.m.

Makes me wonder what has been happening with the funds/grants that this group has at their disposal. Looks like it's all among friends.


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