anniej June 6, 2012 @ 6:55 p.m.

Joepublic: no doubt the District - mccann and brand - are strategizing as we speak. but you know it is hard to dispute facts. it is hard to dispute the spoken word as captured on tape.

this will not bode well for mccann, this is yet another example of his failure to lead - another example of why he is considered mere fodder by many 'in the know'. he sits there in front of the public and gives his word that prop o will no longer be touched - well it appears his word is not valued by brand.

brand sat there at the sweetwater board meeting and complained about not having the prop o check book any longer and exclaims 'so we are now using mello roos funds'. (now that makes the eastlake folks feels more than a little betrayed). and here, come to find out THEY ARE USING BOTH.

"hello mr. printer, about those flyers you are printing up for us regarding RECALLING john mccann, cartmill, and ricasa - well can we add a line? - it will have something to do with - ah, lets say 'maybe they stretched the truth and allegedly misused funds'.

speaking of misused funds - what about the ipad fiasco. i am willing to bet that 20% of the households in this district do not have access to the internet - now we were told the district was going to negotiate a contract with cox cable for a discounted rate - ah yes, we were told but, the real question is 'DID THEY NEGOTIATE WITH COX'? none of the incoming 7th grade parents i know have received such a communication from the district.

i am not knocking ipads i know their value: i have purchased several - one for my recently college graduated daughter, i purchased one for my husband, and i purchased one for each of my two grandchildren - not the cheap ones either - in the first week my very responsible, straight A grandson accidentally knocked his off the of the counter. OOPS!!!!!!! so how many OOPS are going to happen? who is going to pay for their replacement? and what about our District being given training to repair them? hmmmmmmmmmmmm

i understand the ACLU is suing one of the local districts regarding this very issue - hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


eastlaker June 8, 2012 @ 1:49 p.m.

Just what can Brand and McCann be doing now? Strategizing? Trying to dig themselves out of a hole that is approaching the size of the Grand Canyon? Strategize that!? Not remotely possible.

It is time for one and all to come clean. This school district needs to concentrate on what is really important--the education of the young people. We need to show them that ethics matter, that doing your best matters, that working for the public good isn't a joke--it is important. All the shysters and self-serving empty suits can depart. We'd like the honest and hard-working people, who have a view to building a better community, to stay.


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.


eastlaker June 9, 2012 @ 9:45 a.m.

Hear, hear!

I agree with all your statements. I'm hopint the DA's office is putting together an air-tight case, which is why we haven't heard much from them in a while.

And what you say about Brand is certainly true. He should be held to "caretaker" positions and decisions. Policy-making, long-term planning and building his own realm of creature comforts should not be allowed--the Board should be strong enough to contain such grandiosity. That the Board is not and does not, speaks to their own lack of insight, backbone and wisdom. More on that later.


anniej June 9, 2012 @ 1:10 p.m.

i have no doubt it is air tight - remember those contractors who pleaded guilty? something tells me they are singing canaries about now. and oh do they have stories to tell.

brand is brand, he is not going to change and so therefore he needs to go. one by one, sooner or later, one way or another we will be cleansed of these greedy politicians. the legacy he will leave this time will probably end up being much worse than last time due to all of the 'legalities' involved.

karma, we have all heard about it and most try and live a life that honors 'do unto others'. however when this group was in sunday school they must have heard it wrong for in their minds it is 'do for me to hell with the others'.

john mccann is running scared, sending out emails to anyone who has not been able to block the little man, doing all he can to deflect his ownership in the campaign donation and voting record on contractors for prop o, doing all he can to try and make us forget 'the vega report', doing all he can to try and deny his alleged hiding the second opinion regarding firing 'the gandara' for cause, doing all he can to paint himself as something he is not, doing all he can to make it all about quinones and ricasa - all the while the two of them continuing to vote right along with him. ah, hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, are the two of you reading the blogs???????????????? yes, johnny boy can be seen driving thru south bay, his little red camera right next to him hoping to spot one of the antagonizers so he can snap their picture - poor little john, he thinks he is intimidating them, all he is really doing is encouraging them to fight the good fight - and in doing so single handidly ending his own political career.

had the opportunity to speak to a mover and shaker in the community today while ''''''shopping''''' at vons - he thanked me and told me to thank all of the others who have brought to light the real john mccann. "you all are being toasted all over town, JOB WELL DONE". NO, not yet, but close real close!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

we are fighting the good fight, we have no personal gain in mine - we are fighting the good fight for those who are unable to fight alleged corruption on their own, the students!!!!!!!!


eastlaker June 11, 2012 @ 10:25 a.m.

I am glad to hear you are getting positive public response. Something needs to happen. We are not hearing anything from the County Board of Education, I do not believe we have heard anything from Mayor Cheryl Cox on this, and the Star-News once again published an article that seemed rather biased in favor of the malefactors. One would think that the public outcry would be greater against the cast of "Bumbling Trustees of Sweetwater Union, the Reality Show".


anniej June 12, 2012 @ 11:59 a.m.

Mr. Anguiano: i believe it is time for the entire community to contact calstrs - our district is in dire straights, the majority of our board, the consistent 3 continue to vote in a block 3 - 2 john mccann, cartmill, ricasa vs bertha lopez, quinones. quinones is new to this side.

one would have hoped that ms. ricasa would have given pause and taken stock - thought about the legacy she will leave when she is RECALLED or voted out, which ever comes first. one would have thought that it was time for a look in the mirror and a change of course.

last evening i did see signs of the old Arlie Ricasa, the woman who so many had trust in and voted for ( i consistently voted for her long ago) i saw her take pause and really consider a few of the agenda items i.e. the ability of brand and the cfo to transfer funds from 'accounts' (unspecified) to the general fund and from the general fund to 'accounts'. Arlie Ricasa asked for the titles of those 'accounts' to be specified - brand did not look happy at all - but he never does when he is challenged. but it is important to give credit where credit is due and i credit Ms. Ricasa for taking this stand on that agenda item. we need to see in black and white, written, that the board has not approved the borrowing of prop o - we were told it stopped - but the county's data now proves that to be false.

as a closing note i am wondering why ALL of the board members did not publicly state - dr. brand may you be so kind as to give me my copy of the data? why did they simply sit there like minions being led?


eastlaker June 11, 2012 @ 4:48 p.m.

Any further comments with regard to Mello-Roos funds, Dr. Brand? Or is that an issue you would much rather side-step?

Brave defensive move on Prop O, however. Somehow, despite your late response, I feel that there is yet more truth to be found.


anniej June 12, 2012 @ 12:40 a.m.

now don't you remember the meeting held at Sweetwater High - brand publicly declared that he is using Mello Roos funds to make payroll.

EASTLAKE TAXPAYERS - these are your tax dollars we are talking about.


erupting June 12, 2012 @ 11:16 a.m.

Truth hurts doesn't it Eddie boy. You can't hide from this one or make it go away. Therr is plenty of space here for you to explain if you choose,but we know that won't happen.


savesweetwater June 12, 2012 @ 1:49 p.m.

I agree with the other responders to Brand's post - it boils down to a total lack of transparency and integrity among the leadership of the district. They have totally forgotten that they are here to SERVE this community, not to try to hoodwink us with their speeches while their actions betray the truth.
The problem is the unbreakable alignment of Brand, Ricasa, Cartmill and McCann. They decide well before the meeting (in violation of the Brown Act - again) how they will trade favors so the four of them all get what they want out of the district.

The remedy to this situation - 1. recall Ricasa, Cartmill and McCann, or even better - they should resign 2. start the search for a real superintendent - NOW. I find it interesting that Brand signed his comment as Superintendent, not interim or acting. When did the Board vote on that? Is he interim, or not?


Susan Luzzaro June 11, 2012 @ 11:14 p.m.

Dr Brand, I've just returned from the Sweetwater board meeting where trustee Lopez told you it was unacceptable that you had not provided the bond oversight committee with information on Proposition O spending for six months. You said you would get the information to the committee right away. The actions of the meeting verify the reporting in this article.

The article is posed as a question--a question about district transparency--that is why there is a question mark in the title and a question in the middle of the story.

You identify the people who carried concerns to the district attorney's office, concerns which have resulted in indictments, as "district detractors." Many people in the community consider them their voice.

As your letter says the reporter only consulted detractors that means you consider Bernardo Vasquez, chair of the bond oversight committee a detractor. That is most unfortunate for the committee and for the taxpayers.


savesweetwater June 12, 2012 @ 1:55 p.m.

Susan - Once again you have done an awesome job investigating and reporting on the news in the South Bay. You and The Reader have earned this community's respect and appreciation. Please keep up the good work.


anniej June 12, 2012 @ 12:02 a.m.

i too was in attendance at this evenings sweetwater board meeting - the information in question was provided to the board clerk - copies for all of the board members to follow along and it was given to dr brand. dr. brand failed to hand the board members their copies WHY??????????????????????????????????

if the Bond Oversight Committee collectively are raising the red flag then why shouldn't we? if they are concerned, then why shouldn't we be? from what i heard they are being disrespected in their roles of oversight members, now that is unacceptable, clearly unacceptable.

the documents were obtained from the County - FROM THE COUNTY!!!! there is no disputing the numbers, what is being disputing is why, why is the district continuing to borrow from prop o bond dollars.

what this has done is made it perfectly clear that NO FUTURE BOND PROPOSALS will fly in the south bay for the district of sweetwater under the current leadership of interim superintendent brand or the majority of the board. board member bertha lopez is the ONLY board member who has consistently asked the tough questions. board member lopez is the ONLY board member who understands what being a board member is all about - acting in a responsible manner protecting the education of our youth and responsibly handling the tax dollars of the south bay community.

speakers spoke of more important data to come. THERE IS MORE????????????????


erupting June 12, 2012 @ 11:27 a.m.

Thank You Reader and Ms. Luzzaro for the unbiased,honest reporting that is your signature in reporting.I'm gladden by the fact that you do not feel that you have to the superintendents approval to do an article.


anniej June 12, 2012 @ 11:37 a.m.

it is apparent that brand, for some reason, believes he can control all of the press. he calls them in defines 'this is the way it is gonna be done' and poof it happens. well, The Reader is obviously old school. you remember those days, when reporters reported the news, quoted persons of interest and then allowed those who subscribed to make up their own minds. it is refreshing to read a news source such as this - truth be told, never bothered up until about a year or so ago. my main source was the ut, however the news there began to change it seemed to lead me vs. educate me with facts and then with the revelations that the tape revealed (regarding ut not wanting Filner) my subscription to the ut was cancelled last week. it was not that they were against Filner, it was that they were trying to persuade the readers to be against Filner. again i say i am old enough and smart enough to make up my own mind.

while i am but one, i say, Thank You to the Editor and Owners of The READER, thanks for adhering to the right of - FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.

THANK YOU for not buckling under the pressure of 'brand' oh, i am sorry, i mean 'brand & associates'.


angrybirds June 12, 2012 @ 12:54 p.m.

Why hasn't the county, state or federal government taken over this district? Dr. Brand you are a scam you always have been and you always will be. All of your comments that you love this district and you are back to help is a bunch of crap! The love came with a $20,000 a month price tag and let me tell you that is not love that is greed. You fit in very well with the greedy board you attempt to lead, they are just as bad as you. Shame on you and shame on them for keeping you. But as a friend who was at the meeting last night told me the only people with any sort of brains and/or common sense are the people that speak at every board meeting. They are the ones that care for the students and the staff they do this for FREE and all they get from this board and you are smirks, and a lack of attention to the logical things they are saying. Maybe if you all would put aside the ego's and listen you would find truth and logic into their questions and remarks. This district is a definite hell hole and is drowning in their own lies and ineptitude's. Ms. Luzzaro keep up the good work and thank your editor for now cowering to the idiotic bulling tactics that Brand tried to pose on you because we all know the UT cowered!

I would love to see those reports everyone is referring to that Brand decided not to give to the board, not that they would understand anything or ask questions. Could the reader get a copy of those reports to post them if possible?


oskidoll June 12, 2012 @ 1:59 p.m.

Whoa! The meeting of 6/11 was recessed prior to Public Comment !!!! So the public was denied its Brown Act rights to be heard during an open meeting of a public agency???? As of today (6/12) there is no notice of a resumption of the 'recessed' meeting of 6/11.

And who is Dr. Brand to 'decide' that he only agrees to place an item on the agenda (his quote in UT article) only if and when he has the ok of three board members? That smacks of collusion of board members, which is absolutely prohibited by the Brown Act. He just does not have any authority to do that.

Further, the Brown Act, as well as the SUHSD own by laws, stipulate that any member of the board (singular) or any member (singular) of the public may provide agenda items.

Please call in the 'Brown Act' police here and arrest Dr. Brand and Co. There are flagrant violations here.


eastlaker June 12, 2012 @ 3:12 p.m.

Yes, you got it!!

Several more violations of the Brown Act (which are now added to the already long list)--shouldn't this mean that it is time for other authorities to step in and take over? Brand is clearly out of control. The board is disfunctional. The people who are responsible enough to want to accomplish business are not being allowed to.

The system has been hijacked by self-serving politicos whose biggest interest is in keeping the scam going.

This must end.


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