Newly elected Sweetwater trustees
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Sweetwater Union High School District’s new trustees are picking their way slowly through real estate land mines bequeathed to them by the previous administration.

On January 12, the district held a workshop on several items, including the “Asset Utilization Plan.”

For two years, Sweetwater has sought to entitle, or make developer-ready, several pieces of district-owned property on Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and L Street in Chula Vista. Two of the properties have yet to be declared surplus.

The district paid exorbitant fees to the consultant group E2ManageTech to entitle its Third Avenue property for a high-density apartment development called the Colony. The entitlement (or pre-development process) included environmental studies, working with the City of Chula Vista to perfect a design, and maneuvering the design through city channels.

Keyser Marston Associates was hired by Sweetwater to give an independent review of the Asset Utilization Plan. They presented their review on January 12 — and it wasn’t pretty.

Paul C. Marra, the Keyser Marston representative, said the Third Avenue property, called the Colony, was only worth $4 million; six months ago the district put it on the market for $7 million. There were no takers.

Further, Marra told the trustees that a developer would not buy into the E2ManageTech design for the Colony because it required podium parking. Podium parking, as described by Marra, is a parking-garage structure with stacked flat housing on the top.

This design was necessary because of the density the district was seeking. “The South Bay Market is not ready for podium parking. The economics won’t support it,” Marra said. He estimated the market would not support this design for at least a decade.

So, wave goodbye to all the money the district paid to E2ManageTech to entitle and design the Colony. Marra advised the district that developers like to do their own entitlements.

The Keyser Marston news got worse.

Marra also told the district that the L Street property would only be worth $23 million after it was entitled for high-density housing.

In August, Tom Calhoun, Sweetwater’s chief facilities executive, told the interim board and former trustee John McCann that the property would fetch $40 million when it was entitled.

Aside from the podium-parking problem, Marra stated that the expense to develop L Street would be “extraordinary” because it was a bulk site, would have to be subdivided internally, and some land would have to be set aside for a park.

Included in Sweetwater’s Asset Utilization Plan is the purchase and remodel of a new district office. The district has been considering a controversial move to the Leviton Building on the east side of Chula Vista.

Marra did the math for district’s capital facilities Fund 40, the fund that was devoted to accomplishing the district’s asset plan. After all the properties were disposed of at the newly determined values, and the new district headquarters and bus yard purchased and remodeled, Marra said the fund would be $5.4 million to the negative.

Board president Frank Tarantino called the Keyser Marston report “eye-opening” and said it was good to know “what we thought and what the market will actually bear.” Interim superintendent Tim Glover called the report “bleak.”

Calhoun suggested that the Facilities Fund 40 total could achieve a positive cash flow if the district only leased the Leviton building rather than purchased it.

For many Sweetwater families there was also some good news. Three of the five boardmembers indicated they were dissatisfied with the district’s proposal to purchase or lease the Leviton building.

Trustee Nicholas Segura kicked off the dissent by saying the location didn’t sit well with him.

Trustee Paula Hall, who represents Imperial Beach, Nestor, and South San Diego, said, “Moving everything over to the east side will send a wrong message regarding the district being viewed as a whole. We have been cut off from the district for many years…. The move would prohibit many people from being engaged.”

Tarantino said, “I remember when the city of Chula Vista was confronted with the same decision. Do they demolish their old civic center that needed to be revamped, or do they move it to the east side where land is available? The point was brought up [that Chula Vista’s] roots are on the west side, and I feel the same way. Our roots as a district are on the west side and moving to the east would go against that premise….”


Regarding the district’s financial problems with the L Street property, Tarantino offered this comment via email:

“Saturday, December 6, 2014, the Board of Trustees received the initial briefing on the Sweetwater Union High School District’s properties. This is a very complex and detailed issue that the Sweetwater District has been engaged in for 10 years. We recognize that there are several intricacies and potential legal implications involved in this issue and because of these, we are not at liberty to openly discuss the matter. 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.”

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Comments

anniej Jan. 16, 2015 @ 12:39 p.m.

How refreshing it was as a member of the community to sit and listen to the comments of our newly elected Board members. THESE BOARD MEMBERS CARE, THEY TRULY CARE - but more importantly they are willing to speak as individuals and vote accordingly - GONE ARE THE DAYS WHEN THE PRE BOARD MEETINGS REVIEW WERE SIMPLY USED TO DICTATE TO THE BOARD THE DIRECTION THEY WOULD TAKE WHEN VOTING ON AGENDA ITEMS.

One comment that has left me more than concerned - it was when Mr. Calhoun stated he was brought here to work on L street. Perhaps that is why our schools have gone from bad to worse - too much time on real estate deals.

One other bad cost estimate by Mr. Calhoun was Third Avenue - he stated it was worth 7 million, yet the EXPERTS have stated 4 million is the true value.

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oskidoll Jan. 16, 2015 @ 12:39 p.m.

Another sterling report. Thanks so much Susan for helping make so much that was clouded in, well, the clouds and lotsa smoke for so long, understandable at last.

This is mind boggling, but not surprising, given the Brand and co tendency to self-deal and lie, lie, lie all the way to the bank.

My first response: Why is Calhoun still promoting ANY use of the eastside property for District HQ? Does he have a stake in the outcome? Is he still taking orders from Brand and co?

And, next, WHY is Calhoun still employed at all? With the details presented in the Keyser Marston report, it is clear to me that Calhoun either does not know squat about real estate development at all or what he is doing with the District Asset Utilization Plan; or he has deliberately been misleading the District Board and constituents. Either way, he is a liability as much as the properties and should be promptly sacked.

Further, I continue to wonder why the L Street Property isn't used as either new District HQ, allowing the present 5th ave site to become an expanded vehicle yard; or why the District HQ on the present site isn't expanded using the adjacent vehicle yard and moving the vehicles to L Street?

Clearly, the new board has its hands, and mental capacities, challenged with unraveling all the real estate schemes.

And finally, what of Plan9 Partners? Did the Keyser Marston estimated bottom line include settling with them or buying them out?

Thanks again for this fine report and bringing us up-to-date on the SUHSD property fiascos.

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joepublic Jan. 16, 2015 @ 1:03 p.m.

It’s really troubling to learn of the huge amount of money that’s been wasted on real estate speculation. The good news is it appears the new board will keep the district’s headquarters on the west side.

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bbq Jan. 16, 2015 @ 1:06 p.m.

I too will say it's night and day between the former Super and Board, and what seems to be happening now. How long have we waited for a true appraisal of the real estate situation?

Thank you to the new board for taking this seriously.

It just goes to show ya, "Figures don't lie, but liers figure". How many more bad agreements and contracts did SUHSD enter into over the last 10 or 12 years? Allient, Grand Canyon, South Bay Community Services?????

Again a lot to dig out, how about hiring Al Alt back as a consultant, I think he already knows where most of the stuff is hidden, that is if Diane Russo didn't rehide them while she was around. BBQ

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Susan Luzzaro Jan. 16, 2015 @ 1:37 p.m.

oskidoll, There is so much more to write. In the month of December I picked up a 200 page public record request from Sweetwater and a 600 page public record request from the city of Chula Vista (regarding the development of the Colony). I guess that's a threat about more to come :-)

The Sweetwater PRA was the invoices and expenditures of Fund 40. Neither Calhoun's overview of anticipated expenditures nor Keyser Marston's report took into account the attorney fees paid out of Fund 40, which are legion.

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oskidoll Jan. 16, 2015 @ 1:43 p.m.

You are amazing! Thanks for your Herculean efforts to untangle all the tangled webs woven by those who would deceive us time and time again.

And of course, there are likely more attorney fees to come to disengage the District from the deals.

This is all confirming what so many suspected was going on all along. Hooray and thanks to so many for keeping the spotlight on the dark crevices where the dubious deals were taking place and for asking questions....time after time when things did not smell right.

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Susan Luzzaro Jan. 16, 2015 @ 1:46 p.m.

anniej & bbq,

I'm glad you're bringing out the fact that the bleakness does not stem from this board.
Also, I haven't had the place to mention this, but it is worth noting that there haven't been any hired security guards at the meetings. It makes one think.....

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eastlaker Jan. 16, 2015 @ 6:09 p.m.

Has the Chula Vista City Council begun having hired security guards at their meetings? If so, one only need look at the (least) common denominator.

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Ensenadamaria Jan. 16, 2015 @ 2:12 p.m.

Everyone knows why Ed hired Calhoun; Ed surrounded himself with yes people who have history. The humor In all of this is Ed hired Al Alt for the same reason then became furious when Al turned out to have integrity. Tom's department is in shambles and the truth of the matter is few respect him or his propensity to loose you in his know it all dialogue.

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VigilantinCV Jan. 16, 2015 @ 4:40 p.m.

While I am appalled by SUHSD’s penchant for wild real estate speculation, I am also concerned about the City’s seemingly cheer-leading collusion. Surely, someone should have seen how grandiose and impossible the Colony project was. Our City leaders persist in hoping that some grand development will come along to save us. Meanwhile, on the west side we have lost K-Mart, Target, Anthony’s, El Torito’s, the old Soup Exchange, and now the anchor restaurant on the bayfront, a la Jakes’ Fish and Grill, South Bay Fish and Grill, lastly known as the Dolphin!

There was much crowing about putting H Street through to the bayfront . . . to go where? The District headquarters should most definitely be kept on the west side.

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oskidoll Jan. 16, 2015 @ 5:20 p.m.

Perhaps former Mayor Cox has some answers for ViligantinCV's questions about the City's apparent collusion in furthering the Colony project.

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oneoftheteachers Jan. 16, 2015 @ 5:35 p.m.

I wonder if those new board members ever wake up in the middle of the night thinking, " Oh lord, what I have I gotten myself into?"

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eastlaker Jan. 16, 2015 @ 6:18 p.m.

Fortunately for all constituents, this bunch appear to be ready and willing to take the mess on.

I did hear a phrase which I will repeat. It had to do with Calhoun's presentation in August. "The biggest pile of claptrap from here to Timbuktu" was the phrase in question, and it described what Calhoun was trying to sell to the temporary board plus McCann. Isn't it interesting that McCann either did not comprehend at all what was going on, or he was ok with what was going on. Yes, we can all say we recognized the pile of claptrap when McCann to his discredit, did not. Pretty sure he is completely in hock to David Malcolm.

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Visduh Jan. 16, 2015 @ 8:42 p.m.

In the past few days, there has been no mention in the Reader (that I've seen) about the sentencing of Manny Paul in US District Court on his guilty pleas to the bribery and extortion he did when "supe" in San Ysidro. Unlike the wishy-washy Ana Espana, the federal judge actually sent him to the pokey for two months, and gave him a "severe scolding." (Hey, anything is more harsh than the sentences she handed down.) Is he likely to have any remorse due to the scolding? LOL Thirty-eight years in the district, and he is bagman for illegal campaign gifts, and then burns records? This is just another case of the actual criminal charges and subsequent plea bargain only touching the tip of the iceberg of corruption. Don't tell me he was caught red-handed on his only offense! No, he and plenty of others were totally corrupt for years or decades. The same was true in Sweetwater and Southwestern, where, if anything, most of them got only a spank on the wrist.

These recent baby steps taken by the new Sweetwater board, and a host of other similar actions taken in neatby districts are just the beginning. Undoing the Sweetwater real estate deals and recovering the monetary loss could take not years, but decades. They've only just begun. And there's the ever-present danger that any of the corrupted districts could backslide into the old ways. Couldn't happen? Oh, I beg to differ. The tangled mess of real estate developers and under-the-table bargains, along with just out-and-out payoffs, may be almost impossilbe to rectify.

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anniej Jan. 16, 2015 @ 9:45 p.m.

Regarding the security guards - while I questioned the fiscal responsibility of their being hired, I sure do miss the eye candy - chuckle.

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anniej Jan. 16, 2015 @ 9:58 p.m.

Visduh - I applaud the integrity of our new Board. Having said that I am of the opinion that there is still work to do - one has only to look at the 'REAL ESTATE SPECULATION' - the questionable auditing that failed to expose the corruption - the poor condition if many of our campuses - and a few other areas to realize this is no time to sit back and relax.

The voters made a difference by voting in our new Board members - oh what a breath of fresh air they all are - and we should all give ourselves a round of applause -

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Susan Luzzaro Jan. 16, 2015 @ 10:10 p.m.

Ms. Adato, I did want to respond to your mention of Ms. Lopez. In all the meetings that I attended, or followed on the audios, Lopez and Quinones, voted against throwing money down the L Street rabbit hole. To my reckoning, and I suspect yours is better, several million on consultants, not to mention the interest only payments, attorneys etc.

Imagine if all that money had gone to pay down the purchase price of the property.....

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anniej Jan. 16, 2015 @ 10:11 p.m.

Ms. Luzzaro - what the community does not understand is just HOW MANY TIMES SUHSD HAS ENTITLED L STREET AND OTHER PROPERTIES. I have the downloaded the proof of each approval by our past Boards and Supers. MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS WASTED - and Calhoun was prepared to waste even more with his ridiculously high opinion of our properties values.

Wondering about all of those documents you refer to - if you put yours and the antagonists together we could probably cover the Coronado Bridge AND STILL HAVE PAPERWORK LEFT OVER.

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Ken Harrison Jan. 17, 2015 @ 6:55 a.m.

Maybe I scanned this story too quickly, but I'm I to understand the SUHSD wants to develop property? As in get into the real estate biz? School districts are not in the business of playing developer, just as politicians should not be left on their own to negotiate with multimillion dollar pro sports teams. Each are out of their league, and their minds, if they think those negotiations with the big boys will ever turn out well for the "people" they represent. Just ask Susan Golding.

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anniej Jan. 17, 2015 @ 7:37 a.m.

Ken Harrison - Sweetwater is trying to GET OUT of the real estate business that Ed Brand got us into back in 05. If you are looking for an interesting but nauseating read I would suggest you read some of Ms. Luzzaro's past stories on this subject - but allow me to warn you after researching how millions upon millions have been thrown away you will be infuriated.

Our new Board is now challenged with the task of getting us out of the mess.

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Visduh Jan. 17, 2015 @ 8:26 a.m.

Ken, you are absolutely right about school districts not being in the property development business. Yet that's exactly what this one was doing. As a fellow No County reader, I've been closely following the story of massive corruption in three So County school districts for, oh, at least two years. These Sweetwater property deals were part of, but certainly not all of, the cause of corruption in the district. You may recall that there was a huge scandal in the Capistrano district several years ago wherein a rubber stamp board (seven members strong, not five) allowed the superintendent, Fleming, to build a new district hq building that was many times larger than needed, and resembled the Taj Mahal. His excuse was that the space rentals would pay for it in full. Well, things didn't work out that way, and soon board members were recalled, and others were voted out. Fleming was facing some charges of acting to intimidate parents who opposed him, although he never went to trial. But his "distinguished" forty year career as an educator ended in disgrace, extinguished by his arrogant overreach. The district is still dealing with fallout from the scandal with factions bitterly opposed to each other's agendas.

State law should prohibit school districts from engaging in these shady deals. They should be required to auction off any excess real property as soon as the property has no planned use or reuse. Trying to make a killing on property sales just distracts the board from its mission of running schools, racks up legal fees, and opens the door to abuse.

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Ken Harrison Jan. 19, 2015 @ 11:19 a.m.

Just like Encinitas schools did with the Pacific View property. They got $10 mil when the city purchased it. And it will all be wasted into the general fund.

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Visduh Jan. 21, 2015 @ 9:21 p.m.

Odd that you should bring that up. I almost included it in my comment of 1/17, but brevity kept it out. That district spent a decade and who-knows-how-much public funds trying to make a killing on the property. At least once they struck a deal with a developer to make some sort of high-density residential/retail/commercial operation. The local, beach-bum, laid-back types managed to shoot that down. And the drama went on for years. Finally, with a bunch of court cases finished, it was put-up-or-shut-up time for the locals. And the city and district negotiated. Generally, when a deal is made, one party or the other blinks. In that case, the city, while lacking the means to pay for the property, blinked and agreed to cough up $10 million to the little school district. From the reports I read, the city is still attempting to figure out just how to finance the purchase. How much time, effort and expense went into into the school district's successful effort to make the real estate killing? How much funding wasn't put into the classroom? How much did they spend on lawyers, etc. in putting those sales pitches together. How much time of the board and supe didn't go into running the schools while they were trying to make a killing on the real estate? Finally, now that they have made their killing, what will those millions buy for the local kids?

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Bvavsvavev Jan. 17, 2015 @ 9:23 a.m.

Susan excellent story and great investigative work! This is really an implication on Ed Brand, his Executive Council and the prior trustees. Too bad there is no legal recourse by parents or taxpayers. This really is an example of the lack of accountability and consequences against administrators and elected officials. They cost a district, students, teachers and community millions of dollars and no recourse. I would love to file suit against Brand and others involved in this mess if I could. Calhoun should be fired immediately! He has proven time and again he can't be trusted, does not tell the truth, and is a spin doctor. The fire alarm issue is an example. This is another example. Kudos to the new board for trying to unravel this disaster and in wanting to keep district offices in West CV.

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Visduh Jan. 17, 2015 @ 9:42 a.m.

If some law enforcement agency did an investigation of Brand, it would find plenty of wrongdoing. But, so far, there's no indication of the DA, Attorney General, US Attorney, FBI or even the Chula Vista PD doing anything to dig out the truth. It is also too bad that stupidity is not a crime, in that those board members who served prior to the scandal and prosecutions, and those who were untouched by prosecution, will walk away unscathed. The system's opportunity for redress, the bribery prosecutions, resulted in far too little punishment. Looking ahead, it is time for voters in the districts to start paying attention to the election campaigns and get informed about the candidates. As the Prez has stated, elections have consequences!

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oskidoll Jan. 17, 2015 @ 11:03 a.m.

Thanks for recalling the fire alarm issue. Lies, upon lies, coming from the mouth of Calhoun. Apparently, he will say anything in the moment. He learned well at the knee of Ed Brand. Again, why is he still employed at SUHSD? Isn't this enough proof that he is a HUGE liability and is responsible for so much that has been just plain wrong?

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oldchulares Jan. 17, 2015 @ 12:02 p.m.

This sure looks like clear cut proof of mismanagement by Tom. Question is what is the Board going to do about it.

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oskidoll Jan. 17, 2015 @ 2:04 p.m.

They have until March 15 to consider a layoff notice to go into effect June 30. Of course, he can always be placed on administrative leave, which is a step out the door, but his paycheck is good until June 30.

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Susan Luzzaro Jan. 17, 2015 @ 6:04 p.m.

Ken Harrison, thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this issue. I think the district, by entering into real estate development, has been the issue for many in the Sweetwater area.

There is the very real issue that the district owns a piece of property, L Street, which is not worth what they paid. They have been making interest payments only since 2005. New trustees will have the difficult task of sorting this out. But residents' bigger gripe is, as you point out, a district is not cut out to be a real estate business. Therefore, it appears that further blunders have squandered more and more of the district's assets.

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SlickEddy Jan. 17, 2015 @ 10:15 p.m.

Finally I have a forum on "L" Street after the real truth comes out on value. I have held back. Am I Ed Brand? NO Do I know Ed Brand YES Have I been burnt by this man? YES. Who should be held accoutable for misleading the public and Trustees on this debacle. There is not one person. There are several. How about those Trustees who should have asked real questions. Like the one who is now on City Council? How about Tom Calhoun the master (and I have seen it first hand) of deceit and lies carrying the water for Ed Brand selling his soul to this Sociopath. How could we be so wrong on land values. Was it by design? Why keep pushing for that Eastlake location?

Let's see the District properties are really worth $39.8 millon when all the so called experts said $53.0 million. Hell what is a 25% error when it is not my money. If that was the private sector that kind of deceit would be fired. Ed believe me did all this dancing and weaving so by the time that you know what hit the fan he would be gone and throw us all under the bus. Russo why is she not called out on this? Check out California Government Code Section 8314. Read it.

These Trustees were elected on Accountability and Transparency. How they handle those accountable on the "L" Street song and dance under Ed Brand and yes the interim Trustees will be interesting. Who carried the water? How about those E2 folks? AnnieJ us who were in the know in the District know you are usually right. Beware of those who criticize you. There is a reason why they do that. They are afraid. I wish I would have won on this one but I will fight another day?

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anniej Jan. 18, 2015 @ 9:17 a.m.

An item that was mentioned at last weeks Bond Oversight Committee was the potential to float a new tax on the west side. Let me be clear - under the current state of the Facilities Dept. in this District I simply could not, in good faith, support such a plan.

I believe we should all pay our fair share, however with the mismanagement and smoke blowing that I have seen and continue to see - my vote would be NO. Schools built using outdated plans, Change Orders, deterioration of schools due to lack of maintenance, finger pointing (not my fault, it is his/hers), lack of respect of the worker bees towards those that are in charge - I could go on and on.

Let me offer a reference that warrants my concerns - the 2007 Prop O Audit that ITEMIZES the work that was suppose to be done with our Prop O monies - a Master Plan done and presented to the community - GIVE US NEW TAXES THIS IS WHAT WE WILL DO - well the old Management Company failed us and the current manageMENT has and is failing us. Under the intial Master Plan Deferred Maintenance was SUPPOSE to a priority, the fire alarms were suppose to be a PRIOROTY - failure to execute. What has the management of this department done - well he hired a Consultant at the cost of 390k even though the Board had initially approved 300k - but alas, this to has been a continuing major issue - the NEVER ENDING CHANGE ORDERS - and guess what folks that 390k has the potential to grow even larger.

SlickEddy - yes, I have been nominated as public enemy number 1 by some. Whining that 'I done know what I did to her, but she just doesn't like me' - 'she does not know what she is talking about'. Well,,,,,,,, there is big difference between the words like and trust AND trust me anniej does not speak of what she has not researched and she ALWAYS has documentation to support.

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Susan Luzzaro Jan. 18, 2015 @ 9:20 a.m.

Does that mean there is no Prop O money left?

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eastlaker Jan. 18, 2015 @ 9:45 a.m.

Righting this ship might mean something along the lines of what had to be done with the Costa Concordia. Baby, we are on the shoals.

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oskidoll Jan. 18, 2015 @ 1:50 p.m.

Wow, SlickEddy -- And there seems to be more than enough blame to go around. Think about this: real estate values have been appreciating these past 12 months or so, and I am thinking that the property values are higher now than they were when the deals were done! If that is the case, they were even WORSE deals than it seems.

Also, where in God's green earth was the County Office of Education, who is supposed to provide fiscal oversight of the districts in their jurisdiction during all this financial perfidy? They weren't unaware, as many citizens and South County taxpayers pleaded for their intervention. Surely the do-less Superintendent R. Ward, the Asst. Sup for Fiscal matters Laura Duyzek, alleged buddy of Dianne Russo; and last but not least the board member who was supposed to represent the interests of the South County --- now what was his name??? Rindone???? should all be held accountable for their lack of appropriate oversight of a district in their jurisdiction. Yes, there was much fiddling by those in high places while Sweetwater burned almost to the ground.

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Visduh Jan. 18, 2015 @ 3:37 p.m.

The endless excuse from the COE was that it lacked authority to intervene in the affairs of the school district. Yet, a close look at the mission of a county office of education includes oversight of the county's districts, and some vague stuff about management and leadership. It may be true that a typical lawyer would look at the fine language of the governing law and conclude that there was no basis for the board to take action. That said, don't all those jokers who get elected to that board spout off about educational leadership and policy making? So, even if they lacked any ability to overrule actions of an errant district's board, they could individually and collectively use their seats as a bully pulpit for making statements, giving advice publicly, and calling on district board members to take proper action, and even to recommend hiring/firing administrators. They are political figures.

OK, so what did the So County get from the new holder of Seat 2 on the county board. That's Ms. Nylon, who claims a PhD. Did she ever utter a word about the Sweetwater mess, or the Southwestern mess, or the San Ysidro mess prior to being dragged, kicking and screaming, into serving as an interim trustee for Sweetwater? Nope. And afterward, when she was serving on that board, did she ask any hard questions and/or refuse to go along with recommendations from the administration? If those clowns who keep getting elected to the county board don't take a leadership stance when things are spinning out of control in a district, why have a county board? A state bureaucrat could serve as the county superintendent without a board at all. And then the state superintendent could perhaps actually start calling out districts that go badly astray.

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oskidoll Jan. 18, 2015 @ 4:34 p.m.

Ms. Neylon is more of the 'same ole...same ole' on the County Board, that is for certain. And, we DO have a state (elected) bureaucrat, the State Superintendent of Public Education, who is also worthless and do-less at the public trough....one Tom Torlakson. GEESH!

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SlickEddy Jan. 18, 2015 @ 9:19 p.m.

How have the big ones failed. The smart ones even get greedy and careless. Ed is smart but is he that smart? You need a smoking gun. Words were said during the campaign about change, the Sweetwater Way. I saw it when I worked for them. No real rules that can not be broken some time when it suits my way. Bullying. Moving money around with lax internal oversight. Then you got the past dolts like Barry Dragon and Diane Russo. What role models for our youth? Ed you srewed me. You screwed Al Alt. How do you live with yourself? I have held back hoping that the new Board comes out and sends a message. I am patient but not that patient. We need some action soon. Oh and those Audits in the past…let me tell you it was more looking away than you can imagine.

For those of you who need some ammunition check out the following from the California Government Code relating to a Gift of Public Funds:

(a) It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer, including any state or local appointee, employee, or consultant, to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity, or personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law. (b) For purposes of this section: (1) "Personal purpose" means those activities the purpose of which is for personal enjoyment, private gain or advantage, or an outside endeavor not related to state business. "Personal purpose" does not include the incidental and minimal use of public resources, such as equipment or office space, for personal purposes, including an occasional telephone call. (2) "Campaign activity" means an activity constituting a contribution as defined in Section 82015 or an expenditure as defined in Section 82025. "Campaign activity" does not include the incidental and minimal use of public resources, such as equipment or office space, for campaign purposes, including the referral of unsolicited political mail, telephone calls, and visitors to private political entities. (3) "Public resources" means any property or asset owned by the state or any local agency, including, but not limited to, land, buildings, facilities, funds, equipment, supplies, telephones, computers, vehicles, travel, and state-compensated time. (4) "Use" means a use of public resources which is substantial enough to result in a gain or advantage to the user or a loss to the state or any local agency for which a monetary value may be estimated.

Isn"t the LAW messy?

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eastlaker Jan. 19, 2015 @ 11 a.m.

Slightly more clear than mud.

McCann's unceasing self-promotion, while not apparently a violation of the letter of the law, does IMO violate standards of ethics and good taste. But what would he know of that, as he remains either oblivious to all the wrong-doing, or was heavily complicit and just puts on an act.

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oskidoll Jan. 19, 2015 @ 1:59 p.m.

SlickEddy: Perhaps the FBI might be interested in some facts of these matters.

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eastlaker Jan. 20, 2015 @ 1:46 p.m.

What are the names on all the originating documents for these schemes?

I am wondering if Fast Eddy/Slick Eddy will claim statute of limitations for some of this--but if the mess has been perpetuated, I would think that means the statute of limitations hasn't even begun, much less run out.

Too bad none of those involved are really interested in the public good.

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