savesweetwater April 12, 2012 @ 12:46 p.m.

Southwestern College has taken proactive steps to change the pay-to-play culture there, and has approved limits on campaign contributions. San Diego City Schools Board Members are also looking at ways to ensure the same issues that have ruined Sweetwater's reputation can not occur there. Yet Sweetwater continues with business as usual. The arrogance of the Board and district leadership, and their disrespect for the public they are supposed to be working for and representing is obvious. That district will not ever be able to recapture the positive reputation they used to have as long as the same Board and leadership are in place. Voters in South Bay - take note and take action! Sweetwater is an embarrassment to our community.


joepublic April 18, 2012 @ 8:57 p.m.

You know, the people who go to all of these board meetings, who study the agenda, who prepare comments, who sit for hours in uncomfortable chairs until they get their two or three minutes to speak, don't deserve the type of vindictiveness displayed by Mr. McCann. At a time when most people are home at the dinner table or relaxing in one way or another, these "antagonists", as some like to call them, are working for change. They really deserve an award for the good service they do on behalf of the community.


Jmbrickley April 19, 2012 @ 8:59 a.m.

Yes they did Joe. The police even interviewed the two security guards, who told a completely different version of events. The security guards version supports ours, and hence, Mr. Payne's version of events.

John McCann deliberately tried to provoke his perceived enemies. He only forced his "handshake" on me, Fran Brinkman, Stewart Payne, and Maty Adato. He was forcing his "handshake" on us after he had personally insulted each of us, individually and by name, in his interview with KUSI. This was a "set up" confrontation by John McCann.

The police even told McCann that the security guards did not support his claim. So, John McCann did what John McCann does, call a news paper and fabricate a story.

So you now have to decide which of the the two news source have it right. The Reader, written by Susan Luzzaro, who was witness to the event, or the U-T article written by someone who was told of the incident by John McCann.


anniej April 18, 2012 @ 8 p.m.

as i sit i here i find myself asking the question 'WHAT POLITICIAN IN THEIR RIGHT MIND CONTINUES TO ACT IN A MANNER THAT IS LESS THAN RATIONAL'? and i answer myself john mccann.

let us review the history as documented by various entities:

1- allegedly he attempts to run over a well respected political figure of chula vista.

2- in front of an entire board audience, he stands up turns off bertha lopez's mic, stomps off of the stage, when she continues speaking without a mic he stomps back on stage and turns off all mics then proceeds to stomp off stage in a melt down state.

3- at southwest high school he totally looses it and spouts off about 'you people' - there is utube documentation of the incident.

4- when advised, by a young much loved (by his students) educator that he (mccann) needed to stop USING his military service for personal and political gain - he accuses the young man of being un American.

5- the night the board was to vote on whether the taxpayers would pay for arlie ricasa, pearl quinones, 'the gandara's', or sandoval's legal expenses due to their indictment, john mccann - who took exception to some of the communities remarks pulls out a camera and begins videotaping them - intent to intimidate? who knows, but when have you EVER heard of a board member of anything acting in such a manner.

and now this, does mccann have no friends? people who care about him? persons who are close enough to say 'hey bud you are coming off looking like a total nut'!

and what of the Republican Party, surely there is an advisor who can give him the 411, "look we want to win these up coming elections johnny boy, we need to win these elections, and you are doing about as much harm to the party as that iceberg did to the titanic".


erupting April 18, 2012 @ 7:30 p.m.

Thank goodness someone bothered to talk to someone other than Mc Cann. The security person should have been a logical choice. Thanks for your usual research. I read Mc Cann's fiction novel on the UT. The title should be How to loose Face and Influence Enemies. Why on God's earth would anyone want to shake hands with someone that just trashed you on T.V. When Mc Cann tried to shake my hand the first time I declined. The second time I felt threatened and got rude verbally. I felt like I was in a Twilight Zone episode, Mc Cann kept pursuing Stewart and saying shake my hand over and over.It was almost like Mc Cann was trying to provoke a confrontation. Someone told me Mc Cann had a history of this kind of behavior.Thanks for finding out part of that history.


Jmbrickley April 18, 2012 @ 7:22 p.m.

I read in the U-T that John McCann was going to explore the possibility of getting a restraining order against Stewart Payne. Go for it John. Just don't get lost in the woods when you go exploring.

Just remember this John, the two women you were intimidating in the parking lot have told me they felt threatened by you. It's just not a good idea to harass women, especially in front of a camera.

Look at the face of Ms. Adato. Does that not look like a woman in distress? What did you do to her to make her cry like that?


anniej April 21, 2012 @ 10:38 p.m.

Visduh: all Americans truly THANK all servicemen/women for their service. but let me ask you Visduh how many do you know take each and every opportunity to bring it up? his facebook page was showing him in full military gear, standing in front of a jeep - may still be up there only an opportunist would USE THEIR SERVICE. there was a COMMANDER at the hilltop high school board meeting that really took him to task - oh what a moment it was. this was one person that mccann could not call un American for calling him out.

what other politician do you know of who has a spot on UTUBE referring to 'those people' acting in a most bizarre manner? what other politician do you know of who 'had a moment' while he served the city? then of course there is the still much talked about melt down where he turned over board member lopez's mic, and when she continued to talk stomped back up on stage and turned them all off. - yes folks 'it was a twilight zone moment'. you had to be there and see it to believe it. oh my,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, does it not concern you that none of his peers on the board have taken him aside and offered him a 'card' - you know with the name and number of a professional that might be able to help him with his self esteem/emotional outburst issues. but hey look at if from their perspective, this guy is a one man minstrel show all by himself, taking all of the focus OFF OF THEM. dr. brand i am sure is working the guy, "yep johnny boy, i know, i know, they are so very mean to you - its ok - i will make it better - you make me superintendent and i will make them go far far away",

we have a real crisis down here in the south bay, a real crisis.


Visduh April 22, 2012 @ 10:16 a.m.

anniej, you don't have to convince me that something is very, very wrong with him and the district. The real mystery is why Bahnee D went after three board members with subpoenas and search warrants, but not after him. With the bizarre events unfolding in that district, all of them should have been similarly investigated. That hasn't happened yet, and methinks that as long as she is in office, that's where it will stay. Unless, that is, he has a full-on meltdown, which is a distinct possibility.


Jmbrickley April 22, 2012 @ 10:29 a.m.

There is more to the picture than you think. As you can see, Ms. Adato is extremely upset at the things John McCann just said to her. She is even using her hand to emphasize her statement that she has had enough of John. But, I want you to look at John's pose for this incident. Hands behind the back so he won't touch her accidentially, but has his face leaning into her. At the time the photo was taken, Ms. Adato was speaking to John in a loud voice. We teachers call this "our classroom voice." Ms. Adato is either crying or about to due to John's aggressive behavior towards her. If Ms. Adato is speaking so loud, why is John leaning in towards her? It isn't because he can't her her well enough. My bet is he's hoping she will accidentially touch him with her hand, so he can claim assult. This was exactly the same pose he took when he accosted me, Ms. Brinkman, and Stewart Payne. He came so close to me, I could smell his breath.

One last thing. The confrontation with Ms. Adato happened within seconds of of his run-in with Mr. Payne. As the four of us (myself, Brinkman, Cheers, and Adato) were shielding Mr. Payne from John McCann and were walking back to our cars, why did John McCann follow us and then proceed to get into Ms. Adato's face and accost her with his "Shake my hand Maty" routine? McCann has reported he felt threatened by Payne, so much he needed to call the police. If McCann was so threatened, why did he follow us? Why did he immediately launch into accosting Ms. Adato? Why did he use the same tactic on her that he had just used on Payne?

Yes, there is much more to this photo than meets the eye.


anniej April 22, 2012 @ 11:47 a.m.

thank you Mr. Brickley, for the insight. it is enlightening to read another first hand account.

i think it goes without saying that Ms. Adato is not a supporter of john mccann's, nor are any of the other 'antagonists' - so why would mccann pursue them and attempt to force himself on them. can you imagine any other politician doing this? what was his point? he had just issued them a tongue lashing on camera and then attempts to force them into shaking his hand. - BIZARRE is the only word that comes to mind.

has the board, has the superintendent, has the districts legal counsel (all i might add that WE PAY FOR) sat this man down and 'counseled' him? we can only surmise that they have - but to no avail. no mccann is on a mission and that political mission is being brought down by he himself.

a real temper tantrum thrower this guy - bet if you were to ask those he went to school with they would have some stories to tell. i remember reading a teachers account of him as a high school student, seems he has not matured much over the years - still the whiner.

hey board, look at it this way, the more he continues to attract negative attention the more your names are left out of the press. hmmmmmm, perhaps the other board members are encouraging the 'little man who wants to be king' - think i am onto something here.

just concerned what he will do when reality steps in, anyone who will allegedly attempt to scare someone with a motor vehicle - that folks is scary.

just my opinion


erupting June 7, 2012 @ 1:58 p.m.

Is anyone surprised? No, Sweetwater is the gift that keeps on giving unfortunately. I think the DA's office will be very busy because Brandara thinks they don't care. I bet when they look into this that things hopefully will change.


cvres June 9, 2012 @ 8:16 a.m.

The Sweetwater saga has gone on too long. When is the DA's office going to act. Indicted board members should be tried, if they are guilty they should not be making decisions on behalf of the district.

An interim superintendent should not be making such sweeping plans (charter schools, etc) while the district is in this situation--it's taking advantage of the compromised situation the district is in.


joepublic April 25, 2012 @ 4:22 p.m.

This is pretty hard to believe. Seems like a lot of back scratching's been going on in this district. I'm surprised no one has officially questioned it. Maybe with all the attention Sweetwater Union High School District's been getting, the elementary district's been allowed to fly under the radar. Just what we don't need, more political shenanigans in the south bay!


Pancho April 25, 2012 @ 7:51 p.m.

Nice reporting Susan. I think voters may need to get a referendum going on special elections to replace vacant seats because this is ridiculous if you're not in the pre-selected club.


Magda1ena April 25, 2012 @ 3:46 p.m.

I am a parent of children who attended Chula Vista Elementary School District starting back in 1983. I've worked with Francisco Escobedo as a principal of my children's school. He was adequate to the task (and I'm rather expectant of administrators). I worked with Glendora Tremper later, professionally, when I worked in Student Supportive Services with the county. Glendora was empathetic and easily approached regarding what was needed for students that she had referred for services. Of the other 3 appointees? I've never met any of them as a parent or as a stakeholder in the interests of the school systems.
I find La Prensa's opinion to be pretty valid. It's hard to know what is going on when all you ever get is a few words in a public statement, and don't see any of the people involved unless you show up at a meeting that is not advertised. But consider, this -IS- Chula Vista Elementary School District. It is in the town where you cannot get crime reports on a daily basis as you do in the city of San Diego. This is a town where they can't afford to put on 4th of July fireworks, but they sure have money to light up an empty city hall for Christmas time! Francisco and Glendora I trust, but as for Larry, David and Doug ... I have no idea how they feel about those kids.


oskidoll April 21, 2012 @ 5:53 p.m.

One has to wonder what McCann actually DOES for a living to support Mrs. MC and the four little ones. The stipend board members receive has a legal maximum and is minimal. Even with the benefits package (most board members of public agencies receive the same package afforded employees) it must be difficult to make ends meet in the McCann household. He may also be eligible for some pay as a member of the reserves?

That is probably why John is reported to want the CV mayors job, because it pays pretty well I think-- maybe around $100K, plus benefits, of course. Certainly an improvement over the SUHSD board stipend, whatever it is.

Any day now, all California public agencies must report to the public how much each and every person on their payroll earns, including all pension contributions made by the agency, and benefits. His name should show up on the SUHSD list along with the other board members.

Sometimes the board members take 'cash in lieu' of the benefits if they are already covered, but I believe that data must also be included in these new required reports.

(One must also wonder about Cartmill's source(s) of income from other sources. We know that Ricassa has --albeit is now on admin. leave-- a full-time well-paying job at Southwestern. She may be taking 'cash in lieu from Sweetwater as well. )

I believe the reporting form 700 must list sources of income -- except public agency employment -- as well as the 'gifts'.

McCann seems quite angry, acting as if someone is taking something away from him. He seems not to understand that elected public officials do not 'own' their positions; rather they serve at the public's will. The recall process is in place precisely as a mechanism for the public to remove elected officials who do not measure up.


Visduh April 21, 2012 @ 8:30 p.m.

It is sad and rather disgraceful when someone who is a veteran or claims to be a veteran wants to turn military service into an excuse for all kinds of bizarre behavior. McCann is out of control. Calling the cops after he's gone out of his way to provoke a confrontation with his opponents? This is something out of the wild west of yore with a modern twist. Where did this guy come from? I thank him for his military service in this past decade of war on Islamist terrorists and others, but now it is time for him to cool it, settle down, and stop trying to profit from his service.


anniej April 22, 2012 @ 11:32 a.m.

the investigation is not over yet, from what i understand john mccann and jim cartmill had their 700 forms in order, or soooooooooo it appears. it takes a great deal of investigative work to find those gifts. additionally the time it takes to align certain gifts, donations etc to dates items (contracts) that were voted on while proving to be a real task is most enlightening. and then there is the fact that we have certain folks who are now singing like a chorus of canaries.

it is not over, much work is ongoing dissecting the alleged corruptive mess of it all.

point worth mentioning, the board voted to give more power to superintendent when it comes to selection of certain contracts, hmmmmmm could this be an attempt to take the focus on the board members RECEIVING the donations? i can hear it now "ah, i had no role in the selection of that contractor, you need to talk to the superintendent " - you mean the same one that reports to you?????????????? only at sweetwater folks, only at sweetwater.

least we not forget, we have all of this L street planning, construction, redevelopment coming up - check it out on board docs, research for yourselves how many hundreds of thousands of dollars ricasa and cartmill voted on - now they want to start all over again - pay all of that money out all over again on land we are upside down on. we paid 33 million for it and now it is worth about 17 - property that we have ONLY PAID INTEREST ON.

again folks i say only at sweetwater - do these politicians care that they are being exposed? that would be a NO, all, that is except for mccann. the rest (with exception of lopez) careers are shot. ricasa and quinones will be found guilty - their own words will be used against them - in my opinion. cartmill really could not care less, but mccann, he wants to be king, i mean mayor - but since he CHOSE to betray the voting taxpayers - both Republican and Democrat - he will never feel that mayors chair beneath his booty. maybe that is why mccann is growing increasingly more desperate to be viewed as a victim - but alas he has played this card before and it is well known.

going after 'the antagonists' - do you know who they are? do they really look that threatening to you? have they done anything wrong in attempting to protect our tax dollars and the children of the south bay? according to mccann and brand - YES, - and i believe that about sums it up. we have mccann and brand who have formed an alliance trying to outwit the others - power and money folks, it all boils down to power and money.

just my opinion


anniej April 19, 2012 @ 10:53 a.m.

Eastlaker: the question i continue to ask myself is this - why, why is the man still in the political arena?

he is talked about at every water cooler in town, and NONE of it is positive. perhaps now is the time for him to sit down and reflect on his actions. not everyone is suited for public office.

one calculated mistake he made was presuming the 'antagonizers' were just a bunch of dummies. anyone who has attended those board meetings or listened to them on line understands one thing - dummies, oh no this group does their research, lots of it - they come prepared with facts and figures to support their position.

in the best interest of the District those named in the RECALL should step down. in the best interest of the District Dr. Brand should give notice. In the best interest of the District a jury of their peers will view the evidence and find QUINONES, RICASA, 'THE GANDARA' and SANDOVAL guilty.

when all of this has been accomplished - then and only then will the taxpaying community be able to begin to build a new foundation.


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