jibaro Sept. 11, 2012 @ 11:42 a.m.

Diane Russo knows where money has gone, and by whose direction. Russo under oath....PRICELESS !


eastlaker Sept. 11, 2012 @ 11:42 a.m.

As the parent stated last night, she put her son in a different school as other students AND TEACHERS were bullying her son. The district's official position was that since she changed schools, she was then responsible for his transportation. Again, Sweetwater falls short in many ways.


anniej Sept. 11, 2012 @ 9:40 a.m.

ms. quinones is so dysfunctional and was so overwhelmed with the large crowd that she actually FORGOT THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.

all of the factions are coming together and standing united - the community has delivered a no confidence vote, the Bond Oversight Committee has delivered a no confidence letter and clearly the employees representatives are more than unhappy.

Jaime Mercado, past board member, attended and spoke - he offered to do the job for free for one year. will the board take him up on that offer, doubt it. after all he is a person who could unify all factions. he did (when he was a board member) what Bertha Lopez is now doing - kept the students as a number one priority as well as answered calls from the public.

Mr. Canaris was there, another high respected community member. His words were an obvious attempt to get the board to listen to reason. When these two guys attend a board meeting to recommend change well folks i take it not as a 411 but a 911 - yes my fellow neighbors we have a crisis on our hands.

will the board listen to reason? do the board members know what is going on? so many questions and when it comes to them no answers. as one of the east side parents commented last night - "what are john, jim and arlie thinking? i have watched their body language thru this entire meeting and it is as if they are saying "do you really think we care what you think"". well folks they had better. i would think that three years of this would have brought them to their senses, but at this point who knows what direction they will go.

one of the parents spoke of receiving a response back from cartmill to an issue she is having with bus transportation. she stated that on the bottom of the letter was an advertisement for cartmill's company. she noted she had sent an email to several people and had been admonished by the schools principal for it not being appropriate. she asked why is it ok for you to promote your personal business and yet it is not 'appropriate' for me to advise parents of the issues.

and then of course there was an incident with john mccann, isn't there always. when one of the speakers questioned why mccann's wife would be telling people that her husband was not in favor of brand staying, yet he was acting as if he totally supported brand. he wanted to know which one was lying, well mccann asked quinones to have the gentleman removed, then all hell broke loose. fortunately they realized the public was not having any of that and the security guard was advised to allow him to stay. REALLY? when is mccann going to learn, he is a political official - as such the public is able to question his behavior. now all we have to do is wonder whether he will file another TRO that will cost all of us taxpayers another $6,000 plus. john mccann, is simply not cut out for political office - he is far too unstable, and very, very, very thin skinned.


angrybirds Sept. 11, 2012 @ 9:37 a.m.

I came to this meeting wanting to see what this hoopla is about in this district and wow did I get an eye and earful. One speaker was almost thrown out because a board member had a hissy fit when his wife's name was mentioned, well sir tell your wife to stop expressing opinions in public and she wouldn't get you into this mess.

The president is an absolute idiot who was just waiting for the two minutes that people were given to hit the gavel and go onto the next speaker she wasn't even paying attention,

The way the board was sitting it looked like little Ms. Lopez was on a deserted island or way far out in left field by herself.

This school board needs to listen a bit and stop thinking about the allegiances to people who don't support students this Brand sounds like bad news and completely ego oriented!


mngcornaglia Sept. 11, 2012 @ 9:35 a.m.

How could anyone feel confident sending their children to a school in this district...


erupting Sept. 11, 2012 @ 8:54 a.m.

What an incredible waste of time. No white cards which are for public communication,only pink and green the pro and con cards. Confusion over what color to choose because of the ambiguous nature of the agenda. Did anyone notice that the cabinet was not at the mtg. What does that mean? I believe Brand is holding the Board hostage to get his contract. I don't want to hope. But after last nights mtg.if the board doesn't get rid of Brand I think their will be a civil obedience upheaval.


Jmbrickley Sept. 11, 2012 @ 8 a.m.

The special board meeting SUHSD held last night was one of the most poorly thought out actions taken by the board in this year. This ranks up there with the iPad program and the Southwest HS dirt fiasco.

What was Pearl Quinonez thinking when she caved-in to Brand and McCann? To call a special board meeting is to be used when something is extraordinarily important and time sensitive, To use her authority that way because the interim superintendent is throwing a hissyfit and won't come in to work IN VIOLATION OF HIS CURRENT CONTACT is just plain wrong.

Her leadership as well as her decision making process are to be questioned. It is clear that the community has had their fill of the "contractor who makes demands beyond his current contract," yet she still listens to him and does whatever he tells her to do. She is clearly in over her head and has no clue how to be a board member, let alone the president of the board.


eastlaker Sept. 11, 2012 @ 10:43 a.m.

Another name that hasn't been mentioned recently is Dianne Russo. She is also a "contract player" these days, and may, for all we know, have been part of the discussion behind closed doors.

As she has been the CFO and is now acting in that position, as well has having been named assistant-something-or-other, she is Brand's right-hand person.

She is the one who really knows and understands, if anyone does, what is going on with the Mello-Roos funds, other bond funds, what is going on with bond underwriting (is the board trying to pull a Poway and give us billions to pay back for the next 50 years in exchange for the iPads and charter schools we have now?).

Will we ever get answers to all these questions? Why is the public here in Sweetwater always treated with such great contempt by the majority board and Brand. Are we somehow less than human? Did we somehow resign from the human race because we moved to the South Bay?

Are there any legal authorities with the gumption to actually take this situation in hand and help dig us out of this mess, created by egocentric yet idiotic individuals who have long forgotten they are supposed to be here to help our children gain useful educations?

Are we stuck in a limbo because the local Republican Party has a stranglehold on what can and cannot be done here in San Diego? I certainly hope not. I voted Republican for years, but when I see what that group seems to be doing here in the South Bay, I am filled with disappointment and dismay.

Will someone in authority please wake up and get Brand and crew to understand that their way of doing business is not welcome and will not be tolerated under any circumstances.


pugitta Sept. 11, 2012 @ 10:55 a.m.

Last night was the first time in a sepcial/board meeting, I was scared to see the security guards present. But I managed to stay and even spoke out about my special ed son needing transportation. Quinonez and Lopez promised to resolved my problem and they have followed up with me but my problem has not been resolved.

It is amazing how they can call a special meeting to discuss his new contract but they have problems calling a meeting to hear the publics concerns about the transportation, overcrowding, dirt, and iPads concerns. Let a lone call a special meeting to discuss my son Special Ed Transportation.

They can offored to pay Ed Brand $20,000 plus but not pay a bus driver to take my son to school!

I was discurraged after all the runarounds I got, but for sure I will be sending my Appeal Request/Special Meeting for my sons transportation.


SydneyJean Sept. 11, 2012 @ 2:56 p.m.

I for one feel it is time for everyone to email the Board of Trustees and letting them know that THEY drive the train, not Brand, and if he refuses to come to work, the buck stops here, no more pay checks, vacation or health benefits. He basically has abandoned his job as a CONSULTANT, and therefore, the Sweetwater blood that runs in his body is only if he gets his own way. It also indicates what the future will bring if he is hired. This will cost a lot of money, and could have been stopped. Trustees, now is the time to let the community know you will NOT be put in a stranglehold and that NO ONE and I mean NO ONE should be backing you into a corner. No one likes conflict, and it is time to put an end to an agonizing chapter at Sweetwater. Take Jaime Mercado up on his offer. It won't cost anything, he has credibility, and the Board needs to work together whether they like each other or not. This is about our kids, pretty simple.


justateacher Sept. 11, 2012 @ 5:07 p.m.

Brand can no longer make money off the district so holding back his paycheck isn't a threat. He has reached the limit under the new state law of the maximum amount he can earn as a contractor. In order to continue to get paid by the district he needs to unretire but he is likely going to refuse to do that until he is guaranteed a contract. Brand likes to say that he's here only because Sweetwater is in his blood and he feels compelled to save us. Mercado and Canaris demonstrated last night what it means to have Sweetwater "in your blood". You VOLUNTEER to do what is BEST for the STUDENTS without demanding huge payouts. It is always students first under Mercado and that is a stand we have not seen in our district for way too long. I will say that last night is the longest the public has been allowed to speak at a meeting. Clearly without Brand to tell her to cut off the speakers Quinones was simply at a loss - much like the situation with the pledge. We have now "temporarily" promoted the MOST incompetent individual in the entire district into leading us. An individual who is is the exact opposite of trust, transparency, and competence that our district so desperately needs. We keep thinking things will get better and yet instead they somehow manage to go in the opposite direction. If only if only . . . Mercado, Canaris, Janney . . . someone who truly LOVES the students in our district and would do ANYTHING for them . . . but alas we are only left to dream as this board simply does not care to listen no matter what we as the public try to do.


cvres Sept. 11, 2012 @ 11:26 a.m.

I can't believe the district is not providing transportation for a special ed student. There has to be a law about that.


Sweetwater Schools Board Aborts Meeting Agenda, Not Brand

The Sweetwater Union High School District board room was packed to the gills again on September 10. Frustrated parents, teachers, and community activists demanded to know why a special board meeting was called with an ...

anniej Sept. 11, 2012 @ 6:50 p.m.

justateacher: perhaps that is why ms. castilleja was recommended to be the duty officer. brand knows her inadequacies and wants to capitalize on them. "see board, you need me". there are others with the expertise and who have the respect of all parties that could have been placed in a position of leadership - does our board know these facts? some do, some do and don't care, and some are simply not giving a d***.

all of this has caught the attention of many throughout the state - they are beginning to pay attention. i am reminded of the mayor of trenton who was, as reported yesterday, been arrested by the fbi. here the fbi had been monitoring the situation for over two years. the fbi had been taping secret meetings, phone lines, computer activity - the works. oh my!!!!!!!!!! i wonder if any of those secret meetings were held at a trenton miguels?

perhaps we have been so focused on the upcoming trials that we have not followed thru with facts and information that need addressing. the q and r will shortly be taken out of the equation. since the c and the m are not willing to investigate our concerns seriously and do the right thing - well perhaps it is time to gather up all of that info - , all of the - - -, all of the statements regarding - - -, all of the alleged - - -of brokers, all of the - - - - regarding mello roos,, all of the - - - and unanswered questions regarding prop o, all of the data regarding - - - , all of the rumored - - - tampering, all of the alleged - - - - - - - - . it is a shame when we as parents and taxpayers can no longer depend on those we vote into office to do the right thing. in truth we have no power other than the power of the judicial system.

we must remember 'the gandara' called them antagonizers, crazy and disgruntled x employees - funny the district attorney and fbi seemed to view them as credible - but in truth it was all of that ------------ info that made them credible. but remember before the antagonists, the crazy's and disgruntled x employees went to the fbi and the da - they went to the board - BUT THE BOARD TURNED A DEAF EAR, just as they are doing now,

so i ask you what is an antagonizer to do when they are ignored?

ding, ding, ding, ding, ding - ROUND 2


eastlaker Sept. 11, 2012 @ 6:33 p.m.

Exactly--why is everything a big mystery? Wheels within wheels of shenanigans, and I think all of us are beyond sick of it. What will it take to actually be in a position where we can learn the truth? Aren't we simply entitled to the truth? Why is so much being withheld? The only reason possible is that there is so much going on that is illegal that they are trying to scurry around and figure out how to hide it, or who they need to get to silently go away/pay the old song goes, "I see a bad moon rising".


Susan Luzzaro Sept. 11, 2012 @ 6:23 p.m.

suhsdteacher, one of the amazing things about following this district, this board, is that for the most part it all seems to happen behind a veil. How is it that right now, people are having to speculate the who, the what, the when about a district superintendent, or interim superintendent? How is it that last night the public was told to channel their inquiries through someone else other than the interim superintendent? Does the public deserve more of an explanation of who is in charge of the district?


eastlaker Sept. 11, 2012 @ 6:28 p.m.

You may be right--but "heaven forfend"!

We really do need to get the financial info and soon.


suhsdteacher Sept. 11, 2012 @ 5:51 p.m.

Here is my guess (and please remember, I am only a teacher): The Board researched Alex_Anguiano's information about the meeting being illegal and decided that they would not take action and just name Maria Castilleja (Bruja) Duty Officer, in Brand's absence. [See, we did nothing wrong people.] Interim Superintendent cannot accept a contract, therefore, Brand will resign (for like an hour, since he hasn't been working) and at the regularly scheduled meeting, it will be announced that he is now full time Sup. [No harm, no foul] Brand has the Board by the * because only he (and D. Russo) know the details of the "Rob Peter to Pay Paul Game" (borrowing from one fund/account with 120 day limit--moving $ from another to pay the one that is due, on and on) with regard to iPad $, mello-roos, etc. If I were a betting man, I would bet Brand is Sup. by end of next regularly scheduled meeting--otherwise name Bruja Interim Sup..


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