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The Village Club Card Room, located in Chula Vista, was one of two establishments raided by the FBI on October 29. In addition to the card rooms, 10News reported that a federal search warrant was executed for a La Jolla residence. According to the report, investigators took away files and computers.

The Village Club Card Room, on 429 Broadway, is the only licensed gambling establishment in Chula Vista; it offers games such as poker and blackjack as well as food and alcohol.

In 2012, the card room acquired two properties on Bay Boulevard in ChulaVista. According to a San Diego Transcript article, the interior contract will go to Chula Vista general contractor Kevin O 'Neill.

Fox 5News reported in August that the Village Club will move from its 5000-square-foot location on Broadway to an 18,000-square-foot space that will have a card room, bar, and full restaurant. The estimated $3.7 million makeover and construction is supposed to begin in 2015.

Village Club owner Harvey Souza is known locally for his generous campaign donations. Chula Vista mayor Cheryl Cox previously worked as a consultant for Souza and the card room. In 1998, she appeared before the city council as Souza’s consultant to support his request to expand his facility.

There was considerable opposition to the expansion at the council meeting, including an appearance by Paul Pfingst, who was the San Diego district attorney at the time.

Pfingst argued, “One of the capabilities is because there is a large volume of dollars running through the same person, the opportunity for money laundering and other types of things are more present.”

He also pointed to “undue influences that large scale gambling can have on elected officials.”

Cox, on the other hand, argued, “Mr. Souza is in this for his business and to perpetuate 53 years of solid ownership of a business that has been good for Chula Vista, and has not levied the kind of pressure upon its political figures that we might fear, should we be looking at institutions with 180-200 tables.”

When Cox first ran for mayor in 2006, the Union-Tribune carried a story about donations related to her campaign. The article states that the San Diego Lincoln Club, a pro-business political action group spent $50,872 “to help Republican Cheryl Cox in her campaign to unseat Mayor Steve Padilla, a Democrat…. The Club received major donations from people with Chula Vista ties....”

One of those “ties” was the Village Club, which gave $13,000.

In 2009, Harvey Souza came back to ask Cox — by then the mayor — and the city council for an expansion of the number of card tables and an increase in credit lines for the players. The item was unanimously approved.

FBI special agent Darrell Foxworth did not return phone calls or emails from the Reader. On October 29, he told the local NBC affiliate that the federal search warrants were in support of a pending investigation and that the issuance of the warrants is not proof of guilt or innocence.

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Comments

AlexClarke Oct. 31, 2014 @ 8:59 a.m.

Follow the money to find out who owns and operates the politician.

8

Sjtorres Oct. 31, 2014 @ 9:01 a.m.

The incessant smear articles by Ms Luzzaro against Mayor Cox are telling. Luzzaro is not a journalist, but a political activist. One thing very interesting about Luzzaro's hit list: it's almost exclusively Caucasians she writes negative articles about. For those of you that wait for stories by Luzzaro as if they were gospel, wake up, she's extremely biased and out with an agenda. Shame on the Reader for employing this non-journalism and calling it news.

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asavinggrace Oct. 31, 2014 @ 9:17 a.m.

I will never understand why people confuse "facts" with "smear." If the facts make Mayor Cox look bad, well that's her own fault, isn't it.

Also, alleging some form of racism? You're making an awful lot of assumptions there.

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erupting Oct. 31, 2014 @ 4:08 p.m.

Wow, what a misconception on your part. I like that Ms.Luzzaro dishes it out to any and all no matter who they are.

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Woodchuck Oct. 31, 2014 @ 4:37 p.m.

SJTorres, What is your definition of journalism, the UT? The most bias editorial board in SD County! Susan speaks truth to power, that's all.

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eastlaker Oct. 31, 2014 @ 10 a.m.

When we have been talking about Bayfront revitalization, I for one have NOT been envisioning a card club. Is this expansion possibly related to the possibility that casinos might be operating on land outside of the stipulated Native American lands?

If Mayor Cox isn't happy with the strip club at the gateway to the Bayfront, why would she like the idea of a card club, unless the financial backing is the difference?

Moreover, if Mayor Cox is really in the running for superintendent of Sweetwater schools, why on earth would the parents want someone who supports expansion of gambling to be the leader of the public secondary schools in this area? I suppose she would be able to speak out in favor of kids taking Probability and Statistics, to be able to calculate odds a bit better...

But speaking of odds, this whole story seems greatly at odds with the sort of image Mayor Cox has been creating for herself.

Not that wholesome, is it?

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VigilantinCV Oct. 31, 2014 @ 10:43 a.m.

I do not know who Sjtorres is, but he/she must be very close to Cheryl Cox and/or ignorant of what really goes on. He/she always seems to spew Cheryl's line of baloney! I suppose Sjtorres thinks that Cheryl's endorsing Rindone for Mayor on KUSI was "news." A lot of us are grateful to the READER and Ms. Luzzaro for their in-depth "watchdog" reporting.

Keep up the great work, Ms. Luzzaro, keeping us informed!

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anniej Oct. 31, 2014 @ 11:05 a.m.

Sjtorres - whenever a person brings race into an equation their credibility flys out the window.

So let's analyze your opinions -

  • Luzzaro story - Southwestern - result, how many guilty pleas?

  • Luzzaro story - Sweetwater Board - result, how many Board members gone - that would be 4

  • Luzzaro story - Sweetwater Superintendents - result, Gandara prosecuted, Brand gone

Where were you Sir, where was your outcry for accountability when it came to the education of our children? What is that saying, 'Don't shoot the messenger'!

As I reread this article it offers verifiable facts - hard to dispute that. Or are you insinuating that the FBI raids, that were colored by local news film was a figment of our imaginations or perhaps part of a The Reader/Luzzaro conspiracy.

The READER and Ms. Luzzaro should be THANKED by the South Bay community, not besmirched by you - but these, like yours, are just my opinion.

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oldchulares Oct. 31, 2014 @ 11:20 a.m.

It is no secret that Cox and Kevin are best of buds. Gambling as part of the new Bayfront just when she is stepping down and her connections are troubling. For sure we do not need McCann sitting on the council with his closes friendships with Lincoln club members with this news.

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anniej Oct. 31, 2014 @ 12:15 p.m.

I apologize for hijacking this important topic - but wanted to get the word out that next weeks meetings regarding the Master Facilities Plan have been cancelled and will be rescheduled - THANKS TO DR. GLOVER. It is indeed reassuring to know that our Super is able to see issues from our perspective and is willing to reconsider decisions. THANK YOU DR. GLOVER -

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eastlaker Oct. 31, 2014 @ 9:19 p.m.

Might this mean that Tom Calhoun will be reined in just a tad?

Anyone know why he has been acting like some sort of independent operator--or at least someone operating independently from what Sweetwater officially would have him do?

Because it sure looked to me as if Calhoun was trying to pull several fast ones over on all of us prior to year-end and the new board being seated. And to be honest with all of you, that just doesn't seem very honest to me.

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joepublic Oct. 31, 2014 @ 5:32 p.m.

It's so hard to keep track of the political connections in Chula Vista, especially those that go back many years. Fortunately we have at least one media outlet that digs and uncovers facts such as those written in this article. Thank you, San Diego Reader! Journalists who expose politicians have historically been criticized by those who hope to divert attention from the real issues. sjtorres doesn't think alone. Here's a similar opinion: "Journalists are simply leftists disguised as reporters. They're political activists disguised as reporters." - Rush Limbaugh

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Sjtorres Oct. 31, 2014 @ 11:26 p.m.

It's no secret that Luzzaro's husband was a union officer in the CVESD and her daughter is a current one. Son-in-law is also a SUHSD union activist.

The Luzzaro family battles against Cheryl Cox go back at least a decade.

That someone claiming to be a journalist would use a "news" platform to fight family battles is unprofessional at best.

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dwbat Nov. 1, 2014 @ 7:39 a.m.

Also raided the same day was Palomar Casino, a card room at 2724 El Cajon Blvd. The Reader previously reported about that gambling establishment: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

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Susan Luzzaro Nov. 1, 2014 @ 9:01 a.m.

dwbat,

Thank you for posting the article and broadening the background on the card rooms.
Susan

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Susan Luzzaro Nov. 1, 2014 @ 9:15 a.m.

eastlaker, you mentioned the card room was not your vision of the bayfront, and you make the point that just down the street is EyeCandy. It is interesting how this area is evolving.

The club will be in the former El Torito's and Souplantation locations. I think they are not far from the new H Street opening. Here is an article about the $3.7 makeover of the place.

http://sdbj.com/news/2014/aug/22/37-million-village-club-card-room-project-underway/

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eastlaker Nov. 1, 2014 @ 12:27 p.m.

Maybe I missed another change in the city plan. Maybe the new thought is to get a booming red light district going.

7

Susan Luzzaro Nov. 1, 2014 @ 9:27 a.m.

anniej, Thanks for letting us know about the Facilities Master Plan and the meeting changes. I remember I was concerned when I saw one of the meetings was planned for November 4.

Do you know--will these meetings include discussions of the future district office locations?

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anniej Nov. 1, 2014 @ 9:54 a.m.

Sjtorres - while it is true in the next couple of months I will be a bonified senior citizen I am not following. Ms. Luzzaro's family members roles as educators - what does that have to do with Card Rooms? What does that have to do with Mayor Cox? In the many years I have been following The READER and Luzzaro's reporting I do not recall any vendettas being promoted. As a matter of fact with the exception of one other recent article Ms. Luzzaro is seen as a local that looks out for the entire South Bay and praises the positives - case in point, the strip club off of E - I seem to recall her positively reporting on Mayor Cox's efforts to bring better sources of revenue. Me thinks you protest TOOO much, which draws more attention to any perceived negative.

I guess we could all call for like UT coverage from our news agencies and reporters but speaking frankly I prefer to read facts and then make up MY OWN MIND, just sayin'.

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anniej Nov. 1, 2014 @ 10:06 a.m.

Ms. Luzzaro - I received an email that the meetings have been rescheduled - the dates, can be viewed on the Districts website. Regarding the new District office - the community was advised that no paperwork had been signed for Harold Place - surely we would not have been fibbed to!

It is up to the new Board whether a new District office will be seen as a priority - based on what I have heard from many candidates - THEY WANT OUR SCHOOLS, ALL OF THEM, in excellent operating order before the suits are given new digs. Regarding the collapsed land speculation L Street deal of Ed Brands - perhaps we should consider sending him the bill via a Class Action Law Suit.

One thing for sure, we need to take Calhoun out of the business of real estate dealings. Last time I checked Aeronautical Engineer and Real Estate - no connection.

I HAVE HIGH HOPES, THAT NO MATTER WHAT THE ATTORNEYS SAY, our new Board will share all they know - that is, after all one of the promises they have all seemed to agree on.

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eastlaker Nov. 1, 2014 @ 12:30 p.m.

anniej, maybe just maybe Calhoun has an advanced degree in "Pie in the Sky". Because he sure keeps trying to sell it to us.

7

VigilantinCV Nov. 1, 2014 @ 10:22 a.m.

To: Sjtorres -- Just which one of the "insider cabal" do you work for?

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Susan Luzzaro Nov. 1, 2014 @ 10:33 a.m.

sjtorres, Wow. Calling me a racist didn’t work so you continue with the ad hominem attacks.

What I love is how you like to use the word union as if you have found the ultimate nasty word. Fourteen and a half million people in the United States belong to a union and they think it is a respectable and reasonable thing to do.

Are you suggesting there is a union feud between Cheryl Cox and the Luzzaros? You might want to check with her on that one. Are you saying she is anti-union?

I am deeply rooted in the community and know its political history—this is invaluable to a journalist. Also note that the article or link provided to substantiate the mayor’s previous consultant jobs (the part in blue if you missed it) –is a U-T article. Many fine investigative pieces contribute to my understanding. A good news item should include historical background material. To simply learn about a raid does not advance our understanding.

You say "It's no secret..." The secret is—your identity. My name is on my articles. I have made my connections quite clear-- and they have nothing to do with a raid on a card parlor and the mayor's connections to the card room.

I applaud your defense of the mayor; it contributes to the discussion. But please stick to the facts. Susan

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oskidoll Nov. 1, 2014 @ 11:39 a.m.

Thanks to Susan Luzzaro for her continuing work to shine the light on some very dark connections in our community...connections that involve shady operations and money! Thanks to Susan and the South County activists for helping all of us 'follow the money' and connect the important dots between influencers and those public officials who would be influenced.

And speaking of financial disclosure, it certainly would help us all understand the dynamics of the financial connections if Mayor Cox would direct her City Clerk (who is a direct report) to post candidate financial disclosure reports on the city's website. Other cities have managed to do so and it would seem to be a best practice. However, the citizens of Chula Vista must now go in person to the City Clerk's office, hat in hand, so to speak, and request to view the reports and to pay for any copies they request. Seems very old school to me, and perhaps designed to keep that vital information as secret as possible. It might also be viewed as somewhat intimidating.

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Susan Luzzaro Nov. 1, 2014 @ 12:05 p.m.

oskidoll,

Your point is well taken. The posting of financial disclosure statements on the San Diego County Registrar of Voters has really advanced transparency and Chula Vista needs to do the same. (I am also actively searching for a synonym for the much used and abused word--transparency.) At least we can keep track of the campaign contributions for Sweetwater and the water boards on the County website.

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oskidoll Nov. 1, 2014 @ 4:07 p.m.

Being able to see clearly what is afoot is what government transparency is about, but I think transparency is the most accurate, if overused, word to describe what we all want from the public institutions our tax dollars support for our supposed benefit and that of our children.

Continue the good work seeking information to which we are entitled and which will help us 'follow the money' to learn more about our elected officials and what they are up to. I agree at the County website is useful for our local school districts and local agencies, but continue in my disappointment that the City of Chula Vista, via the City Clerk, would make it difficult for us to obtain the records about candidates for Chula Vista public office to which we are entitled by law. The internet and online services can and should be used for our benefit, not to shield the candidates from full disclosure about the funding and expenditures of their campaigns. The City of Chula Vista is doing the minimum to comply with the letter of the law...it can and should do better.

9

anniej Nov. 1, 2014 @ 4:37 p.m.

oskidoll - and,,,,, speaking of financial disclosures - it appears David Malcolm has decided that Jim Cartmill is the candidate of his choice - Now, where have I heard that name before?

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oskidoll Nov. 1, 2014 @ 5:38 p.m.

Yes, it seems that David Malcolm has contributed handsomely to Cartmill's campaign. I am wondering, again, just what interests Mr. Malcolm might have in the SUHSD property deals... and, of course, in Cartmill's allegiance. Interesting, isn't it?

9

eastlaker Nov. 1, 2014 @ 6:37 p.m.

Ohhh, yes, what committee was it that McCann named Malcolm to? Anyone remember?

8

oskidoll Nov. 1, 2014 @ 7:24 p.m.

Was it the 7/11 committee that was supposed to evaluate properties for 'surplus' status? However, as we have mentioned before, the board never held the requisite public hearing to declare the properties surplus.

I believe the membership of the 7/11 committee was to be composed of residents, and I do not believe that David Malcolm is a resident of the suhsd. Hmmmmmmm

9

Susan Luzzaro Nov. 1, 2014 @ 7:42 p.m.

oskidoll, last December Sweetwater's 7-11 committee did meet. They voted to declare the district's Third Avenue property surplus. They did not vote on the Fifth Avenue property or the L Street property.

However, I suspect when a new school board is elected the Third Avenue property (the condo development called the Cove) vote will have to be revisited.

As you mention, Malcolm was on the committee and was not a resident.

O'Neill was on the committee, voted, and had property within a block of the Cove (Roosevelt Street).

Jim Delgado, should have represented teachers and demographics, but he never attended the two meetings.

None of the people on the committee filed their conflict-of-interest declarations until after the vote to declare the property surplus. Former supe Brand reviewed the 700's for potential problems.

For all of these reasons, I believe the new board is going to have to revisit the vote taken by the 7-11 commitee.

9

oskidoll Nov. 1, 2014 @ 8:17 p.m.

Good work Susan! I agree that the new board must revisit the votes taken by the 7-11 committee on the Third avenue property in light of the Malcolm ineligibility and Kevin O'Neill property conflicts, as well as the absence of Delgado. Interesting stuff. Thanks.

9

oldchulares Nov. 1, 2014 @ 8:35 p.m.

The group of them together one big bent shitcan. Thought this mess was just cleaned up. Friendship is one thing but this stuff here is pretty bad. Good guy no more guess its all about the money and title. Wonder how many Bayfront deals all of these names are a part of.

9

Susan Luzzaro Nov. 1, 2014 @ 9:44 p.m.

Correction: Sweetwater's real estate development deal on Third Avenue was called the Colony.

There is quite a bit more to come on these property deals.

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eastlaker Nov. 2, 2014 @ 5:50 a.m.

Yes, the figures are beginning to emerge from the mist. We are starting to see what this bunch has been hoping to do. And we cannot let them do it.

8

eastlaker Nov. 2, 2014 @ 6:58 a.m.

Does anyone remember who Cartmill named to that 7/11 committee?

7

anniej Nov. 2, 2014 @ 9:23 a.m.

Just finished watching 'Face the Nation' - Bob Schieffer reminded us that once upon a time politicians were public servants and DID IT FOR FREE. This left me wondering:

What if we were to return to those days - would we see the millions spent on fliers? Would we see all of the previously absent now 'reformers'?

All of a sudden, now/again we are inundated with promises of integrity, transparency and hard work -

Again I ask - how many of those who do not capture the vote will remain AFTER THE ELECTIONS? Hell, there are some I still have not seen at the Board meetings - but I guess getting the scoop second hand from Ed Brand and others is, in their minds, almost as good as being there seeing, hearing and participating. Ask them what are the most important issues and they will spout 'it is all about the kids' - 'we need to support the teachers' - 'we need to be honest' ------- ask them to put some real verbs in those sentences and what you will get back is a blank stare because quite honestly THEY DON'T HAVE A FREAKIN' CLUE!

case in point - when my door bell rings and a solar salesman hands me a flier from one of the candidates and says 'your neighbor is purchasing our solar and asked me to pass these out for him' - all I can say is

THIS DEFINES MY CONCERN - a bunch of do nothing, know nothing wanna b's - they dont't know what they wanna b, they just wanna b someTHING!!!!!

Now you tell me is that pitiful or what?

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Ensenadamaria Nov. 2, 2014 @ 10:08 a.m.

eastlaker Jim Cartmill designee for 7-11 committee was Doug Kerner. Ed Brand's was Burt Grossman. Kerner does have experience as an attorney in real estate but Burt? The joke was does he even know how to spell 7-11?

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Susan Luzzaro Nov. 2, 2014 @ 10:30 a.m.

anniej, the district designated Grossman as one of those who will represent teachers. As I recall there was some discussion about whether or not he had a current teaching credential; however, more to the point, the 700 form in handed in does not say he is employed as a teacher.

6

oskidoll Nov. 2, 2014 @ 10:44 a.m.

Seems to me one of the first items of business for new trustees is to revisit that committee and better align its membership with the regulations about residency and representation.

7

eastlaker Nov. 2, 2014 @ 11:38 a.m.

Yes, Ms. Luzzaro, I pulled up your article from Dec. 21, 2013, and it has all sorts of goodies. To recap, at the 11/18/13 Board meeting the board decided it needed a district advisory committee, AKA a 7-11 committee because it is supposed to have between 7 and 11 members. Appointees were made by the trustees, Ed Brand and Ramon Leyba. Susan noted that the ed code specifies that the committee must represent "the community demographically and have a teacher, an administrator, a parent, and people with real estate expertise."

I remember that this article boggled my already Sweetwater-boggled mind, as several items were pointed out:

  1. It would have been in line with usual ways of doing things to have people apply for spots on the committee--but no, Sweetwater would appoint.

  2. There was no discussion (that we know of) on board approval of the appointees. "But at the December 9 meeting, Lopez had to ask Calhoun to tell the board the names of all the people who had been appointed--and who had appointed them". !!!

  3. Which was "the same night the district was finally giving the presentation on surplus property that Lopez had been asking for over a year".

  4. And my very favorite"Meanwhile, the 7-11 committee had already met twice and concluded their business, declaring the Third Avenue property surplus.

As Susan went on to point out, there were many problems with those who were appointed--they did not really fulfill the requirements as stated in the ed code. (Residency requirements, one was supposed to be a teacher and was not, etc.)

Just another hurry-up and slide things through from Sweetwater--rules not followed. Conflict of interest situations not mentioned. Oh, yes, and there is supposed to be community involvement before any property is declared surplus.

It looks to me as though lots of projects have been in the works for quite some time, and we taxpayers are the last to know, even though we are and will be paying for all of them.

Really, this sort of thing needs to stop happening here in Sweetwater. We want and expect ethical behavior from those that represent us, not outright thievery.

Tom Calhoun, are you paying attention?

P.S. There was also a mention of L Street, bought when Brand was first superintendent in 2005. "The same day the property was purchased, the title was transferred to a "nonprofit" named California Trust, which is also Plan Nine Partners, LLC. The proceeds from the sale of other district properties must, according to an exchange agreement, be used to pay down the debt on L Street."

So, when Ed Brand said this stuff needed to be unwrapped, or some such term--he was the one all along who had wrapped it up. Just how is it that he gets away with this?

8

oskidoll Nov. 2, 2014 @ 11:49 a.m.

Thank you eastlaker for a great reminder of the egregious behavior of district officials regarding property matters...property that belongs to the taxpaying public! So much remains to be corrected! It does boggle the mind that Ed and Co could just 'transfer title' without the benefit of any public input. More criminal activity here?

By the way, I have learned that under State law, it is a misdemeanor crime to violate the Brown Act if a government official 'intends to deprive the public of information to which the member knows or has reason to know the public is entitled." So exactly how many such crimes has Ed and Co committed along the way? Don't forget that even a misdemeanor crime is sufficient to remove a sitting board member, per the district's own bylaws.

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eastlaker Nov. 2, 2014 @ 12:05 p.m.

Just a rough estimate, "Ed and Co" must have violated the Brown act hundreds of times. And that would include John McCann, the only unindicted member of the Sweetwater Board of Trustees (prior to the current appointees from the County B of E).

Gosh!! Conflict of interest--Kevin O'Neill (owns property close to Third Avenue; not a resident of the school district--David Malcolm; not a teacher--Burt Grossman was appointed specifically as a teacher; Pearl's appointee, Jim Delgado, did not attend either of the two meetings. Who is left as standup members of the committee? Isaura Martinez, Carmelita Vinson and Doug Kerner.

We must stop the Sweetwater steamroll. It has been mentioned, why be in such a hurry to get rid of property now when things are on the upswing? Wouldn't it be better to hold on to L street, because the values should get better due to the Bayfront project? Just whose interests are being represented by Tom Calhoun and the district at this time?

8

CV_Parent Nov. 2, 2014 @ 4:40 p.m.

Where are these by-laws. I was looking for them as I still can't understand how these former board can even run if it's againd sweetwaters by-laws so I decided to look them up and could not find it. The one i found was updated June 2014.

4

oskidoll Nov. 2, 2014 @ 4:54 p.m.

go to the boarddocs site for Sweetwater and click on the 'policies' tab. Bylaws are listed by topic.

5

CV_Parent Nov. 2, 2014 @ 5:25 p.m.

I did and read them and the one I thought where it should be was updated in June. I'll read through them again.

3

eastlaker Nov. 3, 2014 @ 8:50 a.m.

CV_Parent, did you find what you were looking for? Is it possible there could have been a "quiet" change, so that a misdemeanor conviction or admission would no longer be enough to keep someone off the board, or from running?

1

oskidoll Nov. 3, 2014 @ 10:16 a.m.

Board Bylaw 9223 (b) cites State law in regard to removal of a board member who is convicted of a felony OR ANY FFENSE INVOLVING A VIOLATION OF HIS/HER OFFICIAL DUTIES or conviction of a designated crime resulting in a forfeiture of office. I doubt that even Sweetwater would be able to modify state law for their own dubious purposes (GOV Code 1770)....you may recall that is the very same law that her honor judge Espana seemed to know nothing about!

2

eastlaker Nov. 3, 2014 @ 2:16 p.m.

So can anyone tell me why a judge can plead ignorance of the law and that's just fine, but for anyone else, the phrase is "ignorance of the law is no excuse!"?

1

oskidoll Nov. 2, 2014 @ 12:23 p.m.

Why wouldn't the L Street property be a great location for district HQ? Seems to me that its proximity to the existing HQ on 5th ave would be quite a plus, and that would provide the balance of the 5th ave site to expand garages for the bus and auto fleet.

Why spend millions the district does NOT have for fancy new digs way across town out of the way for those members of the public who have a right to attend public meetings of the board and to do business at district HQ. ?????

OH....I forgot, the new location is convenient for Cartmill. wonder if he has business interests in the site? Anything is possible.

8

eastlaker Nov. 2, 2014 @ 6:44 p.m.

I am tending to think that outside business interests have been driving these deals all along. What the school district needs has been merely an afterthought. Silly us for thinking that our tax dollars would go to the schools and the kids. Meanwhile, Cartmill has been in on all this for 18 years yet pretends to know nothing. McCann was on the Chula Vista city council and the Sweetwater board, yet he acts as though his mind were a blank slate. We know they know more than they are telling.

7

eastlaker Nov. 2, 2014 @ 8:06 p.m.

One more thing, as Columbo used to say...the attorneys and real estate people who end up making money on all these deals probably prefer as many deals as possible, while we, the people prefer fewer deals--but deals that make sense.

I am sure there are some real estate people and developers who would be absolutely delighted for Sweetwater's taxpayers to pay for properties to be bought and sold continually and continuously...but that is really not what this school district needs. We need responsible, intelligent behavior, start to finish.

No more sleight of hand deals, shady arrangements and borderline illegal activities.

Tom Calhoun, are you taking note?

Dr. Glover, you have my respect; yet, there is still an enormous amount of work to do to curtail all these outside influences. These outside influences are only in it for themselves, not the schoolchildren. David Malcolm's name is cropping up rather often. That might well indicate that some mega-deals are being planned, deals that will not benefit Sweetwater school district or the taxpayers. Deals that will benefit David Malcolm, and perhaps Ed Brand, via some of his shell organizations.

If business people want to make money, great! Make your money honestly in the business world. Don't try and siphon off hard-earned tax and bond funds at the expense of public education. Just a small word of advice from no one in particular, merely one who pays taxes regularly.

7

anniej Nov. 3, 2014 @ 7:03 a.m.

Eastlaker - reading your 'pearls of wisdom' (on a consistent basis) I can only hope you continue to stay involved, and hopefully consider running for a Board seat at some point in time. Hopefully term limits will be one of the first bylaw changes that are made EARLY ON - what better way to message the community of the new members intent on eliminating 'business as usual'.

8

eastlaker Nov. 3, 2014 @ 9:57 a.m.

So again, why would Tom Calhoun be in such a big hurry last November and December and again this Fall to declare properties surplus and go forward with these projects?

Because change is in the air, and he wants to seal the deals before the election throws him off or out of his game?

And, one more time, who is Tom Calhoun serving with all of this? It just does not look like the school district is the beneficiary of all these deals.

Has Calhoun been promised anything by any of the outside interests, such as a job? Why work so diligently when the work does nothing for your employer?

7

Sjtorres Nov. 3, 2014 @ 10:06 a.m.

Follow the money.....>Pearl Quinones.

1

anniej Nov. 3, 2014 @ 1:31 p.m.

Sjtorres - following the money will NOT lead us to Ms. Quinones. You insult us with this insinuation. While she was allegedly a party to all that is wrong with SUHSD - she is said to be mortgaged to the limits.

8

anniej Nov. 5, 2014 @ 12:10 a.m.

Congratulations to those community members who will now be sitting at the dais of SUHSD. Our hopes for a better tomorrow are with you. We are depending on you to do what the majority of those who came before you did not - PUT THE STUDENTS FIRST!

Open comment to Ms. Bertha Lopez - I THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DID TO HELP THE ANTAGONISTS. WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, YOU DO BETTER - YOU NOT ONLY FOUGHT FOR THE STUDENTS AND TAXPAYERS, BUT YOU ALSO STOOD ALONE IN FIGHTING FOR THE TEACHERS, COUNSELORS, LIBRARIANS, ADULT SCHOOL STUDENTS and ALL OF THE OTHER DISTRICT EMPLOYEES - I KNOW, I WAS THERE AND WITNESSED IT.

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eastlaker Nov. 5, 2014 @ 12:51 p.m.

Spot on, anniej. Once Bertha Lopez recognized that "business as usual" was not in the best interest of the students, she really worked to change how things were done.

Her reward from the superintendents and other board members was to be treated with outright contempt and disrespect. John McCann, that would be you I am talking about.

He turned off Bertha's microphone when she was speaking, because he didn't like what she was saying! Ed Brand would deliberately not supply Bertha with the necessary documents to prepare for meetings, documents that all the others would get. I could go on and on. It shows what levels of insidiousness existed within the Sweetwater administration, and almost everyone else played along, not wanting to have Gandara or Ed Brand turn on them.

Bertha used great courage to do what she did, and her personal sacrifices should be recognized. Repeatedly, the "Great Triumvirate" of McCann, Cartmill and Ricasa would do all they could to keep Ms. Lopez shut down and out of the loop.

It is a great pity Brand, Gandara, Cartmill, Ricasa and especially McCann were never charged with those offenses. They were interfering with Ms. Lopez as she was legally trying to do her job!!

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