Tom Calhoun
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On January 26, Sweetwater Union High School District’s facilities director Tom Calhoun sent an email to Marc Litchman that surprised many.

Litchman holds the title to some Sweetwater property through the nonprofit corporation known as California Trust for Public Schools. In the email, Calhoun announced that the district was proceeding with real estate development plans and putting out an RFP (request for proposals).

Marc Litchman

Marc Litchman

Many thought the plans were on hiatus while the new board studied the situation.

The district has three pieces of property in Chula Vista that Sweetwater’s last administration worked feverishly to entitle in order to flip to real estate developers for high-density housing. The properties were located on Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and L Street in western Chula Vista.

The Fifth Avenue property currently houses the district office and bus yard. Third Avenue and L Street were ostensibly acquired for new district headquarters.

Shortly after the newly elected trustees were seated at the beginning of the year, they held a public workshop on the real estate plans, also known as an “asset utilization plan.” A consultant group, Keyser-Marston, provided a third-party evaluation of the plan, and found a number of flaws.

Some properties were overvalued, none of the prices included demolition or environmental remediation, multi-family design concepts that the district paid a high price for were deemed financially infeasible — and when all was said and done the district’s Fund 40 account (which funds the projects) would be $5.4 million in the red.

Board president Frank Tarantino stated at the time, “We are taking our time to learn as much as we can about the issue and we are committed to finding a solution that is in the best interest of the Sweetwater District and the entire community.”

Many community members construed these comments to mean that not only did the new board not intend to move forward with the purchase of a new office at this time, but also that the new board was studying the problems and the speculative deals were on hold until further notice.

The January 26 email from Calhoun to Marc Litchman contradicts this assumption:

“…The District just completed a review of our property asset utilization plan by a third party who recommended we continue with the entitlement process. This was presented at a Board Workshop on the AUP on 1/12/15. We will be issuing an RFP to engage a firm to continue the work that had been started by E2ManageTech.” (E2ManageTech initiated many of the real estate plans critiqued by Keyser-Marston. The district broke with them in September of last year.)

Tim Glover

Tim Glover

Interim superintendent Tim Glover was copied on the Litchman email, but no trustees were.

Right after the email, January 29, an announcement went up on the district website for a public hearing to be held at the district office on February 5. The stated purpose of the hearing was to discuss “District Plans to Rezone the District Administration and Operations Center property to R-3 Multi-Family Residential Use.”

When queried by the Reader on January 29, trustee Paula Hall said that she was unaware of the email or of the public hearing announcement until she received a phone call from a concerned resident. Because much of her information regarding the property was presented in closed session, she was unable to comment further.

Trustee Frank Tarantino said on February 1 that he had not seen the email until the Reader copied him in a query. When asked if this meeting would fulfill the city requirement toward re-zoning, Tarantino said he wasn’t certain and referred the question to the interim superintendent. Tarantino also provided this response:

“In terms of the property issues that confront the district, since taking office on December 5, 2014, the Board continues to evaluate all options to assess and hopefully resolve our long-standing property issues…. We learn more with each closed session and public meeting/workshop presentation...we continue to work with our legal advisors and staff to identify the best resolution for the district, its students and the community.” 

The Reader asked Glover to clear up some of the confusion about the property deals. Specifically, would the February 5 meeting constitute another official step in the re-zoning process with the City of Chula Vista?

Glover was also asked to clarify whether or not the district had continued to work on the property deals since November, and if the district intended to put out a request for proposals as indicated in the Litchman email.

Glover's responses clarified a lot: unbeknownst to the public and some trustees, the real estate/asset utiilization plan has continued apace:

The Sweetwater Union High School District ended its relationship with E2 Manage Tech in September 4, 2014.

In November 2014, the district’s board of trustees re-engaged a firm to work on the Fifth Avenue property. In order to access grant funding available through the City of Chula Vista and help defer some of the costs in the entitlement process, the Sweetwater trustees ratified a contract with the Butler Roach Group (BRG Consulting Inc.). BRG Consulting is currently working with the district to finish Step 1 of the zoning change.

Since November of 2014, the district has continued to move forward on the land exchange that is legally mandated under the agreement [with California Trust for Public Schools/Plan Nine Partners] made in 2005. This is a multi-step process and we are currently in the very early stages of this process.

The meeting on 2/5/15 is being held as a requirement in the zone change process as mandated by the City of Chula Vista….

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anniej Feb. 3, 2015 @ 5:55 p.m.

anniej wants to know - who is driving this ship District employees or the Board?

BY GOD IT HAD BETTER BE THE BOARD- because they are the ones who live here amongst us and promised us transparency. Guess it is hard to deliver transparency when you are not given the courtesy of a CC on SUCH AN IMPORTANT EMAIL.

I make a motion that the Board deliver the message - there are 5 new sheriffs in town and they are in charge!


oskidoll Feb. 4, 2015 @ 11:52 a.m.

You are absolutely correct anniej. What is Glover thinking??? Why is Calhoon permitted to continue to run amok with the property schemes??? And WHY in God's Green Earth was the Board not included in the conversation when it was decided to hold the hearing about the zoning change on the 5th Avenue property. WHY WHY WHY????

March 15 is not that far away. I implore the Board to do what should be done and use the March 15 process to rid the district of Calhoon as soon as possible. It is clear to me that he is, and probably always has been, working contrary to the interests of the public he is supposed to be working for.

And I also agree with eastlaker that the board should call a halt to these proceedings immediately. Not doing that will raise lots of questions about their abilities and/or sincerity for open and transparent management. Geesh!


erupting Feb. 3, 2015 @ 7:21 p.m.

Interesting,the meeting is mandated by the City of CV as a requirement for zoning changes. I pray this board isn't complicit in this. I guess it's time for them to shit or get off the pot so to speak. Is Glover and Calhoun truly doing this behind their backs? I'm starting to get a bit nervous here.


eastlaker Feb. 3, 2015 @ 7:34 p.m.

Back in the land of the runaway train...and who set it all in motion? The same bunch of behind-the scenes 'movers and shakers' who seem to think that south San Diego County is a private estate?

Is Mr. Malcolm a part--a large part--of this? How about all of Ed Brand's friends he used to brag so much about?

Shouldn't the board be able to call a halt to these proceedings?

Why wouldn't they call a halt, as none of it makes any sense at all?

Maybe Dr. Glover resigned for more than one reason. Maybe he wants to be able to say that he was not a party to what is continuing to "go down".


Susan Luzzaro Feb. 3, 2015 @ 8:25 p.m.

eastlaker, there are so many questions and not enough answers though we must be thankful that the interim supe gave us some straight talk.

Like you, I have many questions. If Fifth Avenue is currently serving the district's needs--and is paid for--how can the ground underneath it be re-zoned for multi-family? Doesn't it need to be declared surplus? If not, why did the district hold a meeting and declare Third Avenue surplus? What are the rules? What is the process?

What if the school district needed Fifth Avenue for a school in the future? What if the district couldn't afford to move without tapping into the general fund? And should the district simply change the re-zoning because it is lucrative for the district, despite what is good for the people who live in the Fifth Avenue area? These are the considerations of a legitimate surplus property process.


oskidoll Feb. 4, 2015 @ 12:01 p.m.

Yes Susan, the considerations of LEGITIMATE surplus property processes have not been the focus of the Fast Eddy district property schemes!

Those schemes were designed to avoid public scrutiny and fair evaluation, likely designed to leverage district properties into secretive hands for the immediate benefit of those who would profit from such shady transactions, using the PUBLIC's property as their base.


oldchulares Feb. 3, 2015 @ 9:34 p.m.

Looks like Tom and the City are up to something and our board members know nothing about it. Now what are they going to do about it?


Bvavsvavev Feb. 4, 2015 @ 6:42 a.m.

It does appear the lunatics are running the asylum! How can such major decisions be made without the board knowing? How can an executive make a decision that appears to be contrary to the boards wishes? Maybe the board was not clear in their instruction that all these property deals need to stop until they can review everything. Or, they have ok'd moving forward. Or, Calhoun and Glover are moving forward regardless of the boards instruction. Either way it's continued bad news for Sweetwater.


Ensenadamaria Feb. 4, 2015 @ 9:09 a.m.

Now everyone knows negotiations are continuing without the boards knowledge. Our new board is seen as a nuisance they are seen but not heard. Everyone wanted to know why Tim is leaving, now you know. The good old boys have no respect for the board and are happy to see the chaos.


shirleyberan Feb. 4, 2015 @ 9:21 a.m.

Matt Sides-Adato - 2005 is Ed Brand scheme. Need Community Signature Petitions outside of meetings and Legal Intervention of Any kind. Stop This Theft and Wasteland Snowball Yourselves. Somebody can hopefully be more specific exactly where to start taking back what's yours. Ludicrous Leadership Here!! Millions and Millions Disappeared!!!!!!!!! Who did it???????? Why is it continuing????????????????????????


maty Feb. 4, 2015 @ 10:18 a.m.

Shirley, we are trying very hard to eradicate the misuse of funds in this district. The Ed Brand scheme does go way back and it is the gift that keeps on giving. The SDCBOE and the misfit now councilman McCann gave staff the OK to continue with this ludicrous plan in the November meeting before the new board took over. We of course objected and they voted unanimously to continue. We will try to give the new board as much information so that they can truly understand the implications of what will happen. I do understand that we need to get out of this property mess but not with the present district staff in place. They are incompetent and really do not want whats best for the students. I will give you an example of one of Mr. Calhouns bright ideas at a meeting in January regarding the asset utilization and the construction of the new high/middle school. He indicated that we do not have a lot of land and that the school has to built up and they would not have enough space for a football stadium so maybe they could build 1/2 of a field. People I kid you not that is what came out of his mouth. This is the kind of incompetence and mismanagement we are dealing with. Staff continually misleads the public and the board trying to sway them to see what they see, however what they see is a dream and not reality. The amount of waste is absolutely ridiculous and so very sad for our students, staff and community we all deserve better.


eastlaker Feb. 13, 2015 @ 1:32 p.m.

Well said. I guess these staff members have no shame--and have decided that their loyalties exist in a place far from the taxpayers, students, teachers and parents of Sweetwater.

This should be grounds for dismissal.


eastlaker Feb. 4, 2015 @ 10:09 a.m.

We need the most thorough forensic audit imaginable. Going back a couple of decades.

No more sad tales of how expensive that is. It is more expensive to allow this entire mess to snowball.



Bvavsvavev Feb. 4, 2015 @ 11:34 a.m.

Susan thanks for this link. Sounds like Escondido USD is doing things the right way. Just dont understand why we cant challenge the 7-11 committee that Sweetwater put together. It was a farce how members were appointed, the fact that decisions about surplus properties were already in motion before the committee even met, and that the committee is really just a front for those administrators that have their mind set on movimg forward with these property deals.


Susan Luzzaro Feb. 4, 2015 @ 10:17 a.m.

The Property Exchange Agreement chain gangs three pieces of district property together.

Note to self: Did the board, in 2005 vote on that Exchange Agreement?


maty Feb. 4, 2015 @ 11:16 a.m.

Ms. Luzzaro this story hits the nail on the head regarding the dysfunction of this district. Some of my questions would be is Mr. Lichtman even willing to negotiate with SUHSD? We are getting ready to yet again spend millions of dollars to entitle properties (which we already did many years ago and let them expire) again and for what? The SDCBOE has known about this property fiasco and now just made it even worse. Where have they been? They are just as much at fault as anyone.


shirleyberan Feb. 4, 2015 @ 10:45 a.m.

Maty - there seems to be autocorrect to a male name when I type maty. Ms. Adato, thank-you for answering. It must be exhausting to pursue the long list of criminal activity but it deserves exposure in order to bring a number of con men to justice.


maty Feb. 4, 2015 @ 11:10 a.m.

Shirley, no thanks necessary. I just wish people would do the right thing for once. There is so much money involved and could benefit so many students and this district keep throwing money away. Your comments are always appreciated and believe me we are trying to expose the con men.


shirleyberan Feb. 4, 2015 @ 11:17 a.m.

Susan - There isn't a doubt in my mind Ed as Superintendent is key and in 2005 I think you already reported that the exchange was decided by that board under his "leadership". Calhoun should be recalled whether voted in or appointed. There's only 2 kinds of people, the good or the ones who find chaos an opportune time to enrich themselves. There are key con artists yet to be revealed and the auditors know their names.


bbq Feb. 4, 2015 @ 11:40 a.m.

So the district goes on with the Real Estate folly. I can only assume the need to move quickly with these things are:

  1. Pending payment of L Street Principle
  2. Money from City for Rezoning process
  3. Requirements or payments for Eastside Adminstration Building, lease/purchase.

I suspect that, the City contribution looks like a good deal until you look at what actons it is forcing, no adaquite review of the need, method or outcome of the continued property swap. Also, what did the interium board actually sign up for with the New (Ed Brand) Adminstration Building?

5 years ago I asked the CFO, Ms Russo, if every Dollar cost the same or had the same value to SUHSD and she said yes... I nearly laughed in her face, the cost of money, weather it is in interest, favors, rushed planning or programatic needs varies a whole lot!!!

We must stop his chaos management process at the district, regroup and plan the future, not just react to the past blunders weather they were legal or not!!!

Again could we be throwing caution to the wind for the want of a few dollars???

BBQ, Citizens Active for Value in Education


shirleyberan Feb. 4, 2015 @ 11:56 a.m.

Yes eastlaker! Superintendent(s) disallowing community input for a decade.


maty Feb. 4, 2015 @ 12:02 p.m.

I hope everyone will be able to attend the meeting this Thursday and the one on the 9th regarding the Mello audit results


bbq Feb. 4, 2015 @ 12:08 p.m.

Maty, First I've heard of the Mello Audit Meeting, Info? What happened from the facility use study meeting from December? It was a bit chaotic when I had to leave. Thursday's meeting I will be late but plan to appear, to much going on with Mr. Calhoun !!!! BBQ, CAVE


maty Feb. 4, 2015 @ 12:34 p.m.

BBQ, there is a board workshop on the Mello audit that was done. I have not seen the audit yet but I do hope they post it before the meeting so that people can review it.


bbq Feb. 4, 2015 @ 12:50 p.m.

Maty, I see a CFD Audit Meeting listed for Saturday Feb 7, at 8:00 am in the Board Conf. Room. Is that the meeting you were talking about?


Susan Luzzaro Feb. 4, 2015 @ 12:40 p.m.


Your points are well taken. Why have a committee to declare property surplus after the district has spent an untold amount getting the land "shovel ready" for high-density development?

The Keyser-Marston report on Third Avenue, the Colony, said that the kind of design for podium parking was not supported by the South Bay market. I wonder how many people reviewed that design--at the city, the district and e2managetech?


shirleyberan Feb. 4, 2015 @ 1:10 p.m.

Ka-Ching Ka-Ching Ka-Ching Ka-Ching Ka-Ching


anniej Feb. 4, 2015 @ 1:23 p.m.

Speaking as a commoner I must say if Tom Calhoun is not given his walking papers YESTERDAY then we are doomed. Under what premise does an 'employee', paid with our tax dollars, take it upon himself to take action with complete disregard to those WE HAVE VOTED INTO OFFICE.

The old Board is not there for a reason, they did not conduct business in the best interest of the communities students or taxpayers, resulting in their BEING OUSTED VIA THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM OR OUR VOTE.

One does not need an interpreter to realize Tom Calhoun has assumed all control - new Board, no concern of his. The County Board of Ed SOLD US DOWN THE RIVER WITHOUT A PADDLE, and continue to influence - HOW, WHY?????

During last nights Board committee meeting, attended by Mr. Pike and Ms. Hall, Mr. Calhoun attempted to address the property issue, it was agendized - Ms. Hall made it crystal clear with the words 'WE ARE NOT TAKING ABOUT THAT HERE, IT IS A BOARD DECISION' (paraphrasing). She then asked Mr. Calhoun about the notification for Thursday night meeting on the Districts website - she was concerned about the wording as she had received calls from several concerned citizens. She pressed, she wanted to know who wrote it - Mr. Calhoun's response 'the City and BRG' - so there you have it folks BUSINESS IS BEING HANDLED OUTSIDE THE BOARDS PREVIEW -

IS THIS ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR - if not, then I respectfully ask that you communicate your opinions to those involved.

Look, we can sit here and simply bang away on our keyboards OR WE CAN SHOW UP, STAND UP AND DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY.

Can we all stand together and demand integrity and transparency.

Tom Calhoun has shown us the little regard he has for our choice of new Board members - he is acting as if they fail to exist. He is telling us, in his own defiant way, he could care less that we want to know the TRUTH about what is going on -

The County Board of Ed, John McCann - they voted on this issue in November - ONE MONTH BEFORE OUR NEW BOARD TOOK OFFICE - does that not raise red flags to you?


Well folks..........


eastlaker Feb. 4, 2015 @ 2:20 p.m.

This is a completely blatant disregard of orderly procedure, of what the public wants, and of the current members of the Sweetwater Board.

This needs to be answered in the strongest terms possible.


joepublic Feb. 4, 2015 @ 6:48 p.m.

anniej: You are absolutely right about the county interim board and John McCann voting on this issue in November ONE MONTH BEFORE OUR NEW BOARD TOOK OFFICE. Their interests were obviously linked to the old guard. I'm counting on our newly elected trustees to step up and turn this around. Let's see what happens at Thursday's meeting. Does anyone know if any board members will attend? If so, hopefully they will speak up and represent the majority that elected them.


anniej Feb. 4, 2015 @ 8:41 p.m.

I believe Mr Pike and Mr Segura are scheduled to attend.


VigilantinCV Feb. 4, 2015 @ 11:18 p.m.

I just don't get it!!! Why is the city of Chula Vista in cahoots with Tom Calhoun, usurping the leadership in what to do with this property. This is the responsibility of the elected Board. The city is meddling with due process. Nothing good is going to come from this.


eastlaker Feb. 5, 2015 @ 8:51 a.m.

Good question. Why is the city of Chula Vista in cahoots with Tom Calhoun?

Because some developers with (long-standing, close) relationships are probably driving the boat, to borrow a metaphor from anniej.

It looks like some people have been running south San Diego County like their own fiefdom, and they want to continue doing just that. Of course, we should be centuries beyond that. But it does appear that all sorts of straw people have been put in place. More's the pity, and more's the hard work to change this situation.


oskidoll Feb. 5, 2015 @ 12:25 p.m.

Question: inasmuch as the Public Hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. today is about a proposal to rezone the District-owned property on fifth avenue (District Headquarters) why is the BOARD not in charge.?

Who will chair the meeting if board members are merely going to be in attendance?

Apparently, the Board members were not consulted about this hearing.

WHO is running this side show? It should under the auspices of the Board, who is charged with oversight of the ENTIRE District and not some self-anointed property czar!


shirleyberan Feb. 5, 2015 @ 1:05 p.m.

The new board needs to Mutiny on new CaptainSuperintendent to get rid of that BilgeRat Calhoun and quit claim all shady property dealings.


oskidoll Feb. 5, 2015 @ 5:30 p.m.

Now THAT's an interesting turn of events! Hope the Board members weighed in about protocol!


shirleyberan Feb. 5, 2015 @ 5:51 p.m.

Was just thinking that is a familiar strategy.


oldchulares Feb. 5, 2015 @ 9:42 p.m.

oskidoll I am wondering if Board showed Tim and Tom their new board group picture as a reminder the other guys are gone. I guess since Tom now operates in the private sector he has forgotten the rule of chain and command.


oskidoll Feb. 6, 2015 @ 10:37 a.m.

Apparently, a significant amount of hubris yet remains in the halls of the District headquarters! I am stunned that such a blatant attempt to circumvent the Board was allowed to get that far.

The Superintendent's Office had to be complicit in order for the announcement of the public hearing to make it onto the District's website. Has Glover ceased to come to work?


eastlaker Feb. 6, 2015 @ 11 a.m.

The Board needs to name a new interim Superintendent--unless they already have, and I missed it.

I have said this before and I will say this again: how about Stan Canaris?

We need someone who can take the reins.


VigilantinCV Feb. 6, 2015 @ 11:05 a.m.

Getting the February 5th meeting cancelled was a giant step in the right direction. My thanks to Susan Luzzaro and the READER for exposing this blatant power grab. Thanks also to the activists who helped expose this. Last, and probably most important, is thanks to the newly elected Board of Trustees for stepping in to stop this runaway train.


shirleyberan Feb. 6, 2015 @ 1:38 p.m.

Yes Excellent Susan - one scene at a time.


eastlaker Feb. 7, 2015 @ 6:01 a.m.

If Sweetwater had an alert system, we would be at Code Red.


eastlaker Feb. 10, 2015 @ 6:31 p.m.

And I have just read that Russo has been charged with double dipping. Too bad they can't get her on the rest of the things she did that were not exactly according to the book--or maybe somebody can.

Didn't Ed Brand have the same sort of arrangement?

Sweetwater--Irregularities R Us!


oskidoll Feb. 10, 2015 @ 8:01 p.m.

And I hope they focus on Laura Duzyk, crony of Russo. Duzyk is at the CBOE that has looked the other way when it should have been overseeing the questionable fiscal activities at SUhSd. Surely she has some skeletons in that very big closet too.


miagd Feb. 10, 2015 @ 9:07 p.m.

Thanks to Susan Luzarro for another disturbing and revealing article about our criminal district. What's it going to take?????????


eastlaker Feb. 11, 2015 @ 10:17 a.m.

It is apparently going to take unrelenting questioning from the informed public. It is going to take more articles by Ms. Luzzaro. It is going to take true cooperation from those working at the District who want to change from corruption to a well-organized, well-run District that does not waste public funds and no longer lies to the public--students, teachers, taxpayers, parents.

If you think of the corruption in Sweetwater like the Rock of Gibraltar it apparently is, it will take lots of effort to remove it.


oskidoll Feb. 11, 2015 @ 11:59 a.m.

From anniej's post of Feb. 4, referencing Trustee Hall's questioning of Calhoun about the authorship of the web notice on the SUHSD site announcing the public hearing Feb. 5 : " She pressed, she wanted to know who wrote it - Mr. Calhoun's response 'the City and BRG' - " (anyone know who or what the BRG is?)

So take a look at the actual notice: the language states: "The Sweetwater Union High School District Invites You to a Public Presentation and Discussion of the District Plan to Rezone the District Administration....." Further, " The District will close and relocate....the District proposes to rezone the....SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE CITY OF CHULA VISTA." The part I have typed in all caps is the ONLY reference to the City. Finally, "The District desires to hear community comments on the land use entitlement process."

So, according to the actual notice, it was supposed to be the District's show and not the City's, which seems logical. But Calhoun's reply to Ms. Halls question would have us think the driving force is the City, even though the language of the notice is is the District that was to host the meeting, inviting pubic comment, and otherwise run the show.

Was Calhoun trying to deflect blame for the notice which we now know was prepared without knowledge or approval of the District Board?

PS The notice is also interesting in that it refers callers interested more information about the meeting location to contact Kathie Washington. Anyone know who that is? My guess is that she works in Calhoun's dept but that is only a guess.


eastlaker Feb. 11, 2015 @ 12:40 p.m.

Time to add this to the paper trail on Mr. Calhoun. He has acted deceptively and not in the best interest of the school district. Grounds for termination?! One can only hope.


dbdriver Feb. 11, 2015 @ 3:32 p.m.

A quick Google search brings up Kathie Washington as a Vice President at BRG Consulting.

BRG Consulting, Inc. specializes in environmental planning and impact assessment, land use planning, and regulatory permitting. We also provide geographic information systems (GIS) and Visual Simulation services.


oskidoll Feb. 11, 2015 @ 4:31 p.m.

Thanks for the intel.

It would have been helpful for Calhoun to have 'splained about just who was doing what, wouldn't it?

Wonder how much that outfit is being paid for their role in the Fifth Avenue property scheme.?


eastlaker Feb. 11, 2015 @ 4:32 p.m.

So I wonder how much has been paid to them already. Would the board have approved any of this?


Ensenadamaria Feb. 12, 2015 @ 2:32 p.m.

Board was not told about public hearing. Will Susie's Charter gig and the money she made be the next bomb to drop? Office is buzzing about Brand fighting his repayment?


eastlaker Feb. 13, 2015 @ 9:07 a.m.

So this meeting was made without the Board of Trustees being aware? Just how did that happen? I am hoping that steps have been taken so that no such situation occurs again.

Guess Mr. Calhoun thinks he is the Big Kahuna now.

Time to make some big changes.


shirleyberan Feb. 13, 2015 @ 2:21 p.m.

Calhoun and Ed are happier Living A Fictitious Life - big lie but so far quite profitable for them. Can't have the fairy tale ending.


eastlaker Feb. 13, 2015 @ 3:44 p.m.

I really hope you are right. It does seem so very odd that mess after mess keeps happening, and there appear to be no consequences. Exactly the opposite we try to teach our children.

Let's hope these young people are not learning from the wrong sources.

We're all in big trouble if all the Sweetwater graduates want to emulate Ed Brand and Tom Calhoun. I almost think this dynamic duo should be charged with thousands of instances of "contributing to the delinquency of a minor". Because they have really given the wrong idea to many, many young people. Yes, we hope our young people are better than the examples given by Sweetwater's own Ed Brand, Tom Calhoun, Dianne Russo and all the other bottom feeders and shadow dwellers taking what they do not deserve.


Visduh Feb. 14, 2015 @ 6:40 a.m.

The report of Diane Russo being ordered to repay about $200,000 of retirement benefits and in addition having to make retroactive contributions to the state retirement fund has me shaking my head. Did she, did Brand, really think that they could pull an end run around the law? This attitude that these laws and regulations just don't apply to them is widespread within the Sweetwater district, and now seems so embedded that even the tumult in the district of the past year doesn't dissuade the practitioners from keeping it going. The only conclusion can be that they really think that the old days are back, and that nothing will really change. This new board has its work cut out for it, for sure.

Oh, and it took the state THREE years to decide that Russo wasn't handling the thing legally. A close reading of the law and an application to the situation should have taken no more than three DAYS. If anyone is looking to the state or courts to keep that school district on the straight-and-narrow, look again. It's the board that has to make it happen, and we can see that the bureaucrats are still out of control. A clean sweep of all the upper level administrators is overdue.


oskidoll Feb. 14, 2015 @ 1:32 p.m.

AMEN to everything Visduh posted above! Yes, it is up to the board to clean house and right the Sweetwater ship. And they need to make it happen SOON. March 15 is just around the corner!


oskidoll March 12, 2015 @ 11:32 a.m.

I see a notice on the SUHSD site that there will be a special closed session meeting this evening, March 12, to discuss the Interim Superintendent -- and also to consider other personnel actions.

Could it be the Board is actually going to issue some 'March 15' notices to certain administrators? That would be an ideal move to begin the process to rid the district of the likes of Calhoun and others who facilitated the perfidy of the former board and superintendents Brand and Gandara.


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