If I Could Ask the District A Question, I Would Ask Them...

...is it really true that Board Member Greg Sandoval referred to one of the Latino administrators as a "coconut" because he said that the administrator hired too many white people?

...who in the world is Carmen Griego? Hired recently to work in the District mailroom, she tells everyone she is no relation to Board Member Bob Griego, yet she is regularly visited by him, and received a big salary increase all the way to the top step after only 6 months on the job while everyone else goes up one step each year. Did she then get another big pay raise when she was made a supervisor in the mail room when there is only one person to supervise?

...is the Sweetwater School District becoming a travel agency ? Did Board Member Griego really go to New Mexico with district administrators to recruit Mariachi teachers? What does he know about recruiting teachers? Did he recruit someone who promised to name a group after him?

...should we change the name of the District to the Sweetwater Travel Agency? Sometime during the 2001-02 school year, did Luis Maestre and two principals go on a trip to New York to recruit teachers? Did Board Member Pearl Quinones go along to observe with Board Secretary Sandra Smith as chaperone? How much did this cost the District? If Quinones wanted to observe a teacher recruitment, why didn't she go to one in San Diego instead of going all the way across the country? How much taxpayer money went to waste on this?

...is it really true that Barry Dragon is a former employee of Arthur Anderson, the now defunct accounting firm responsible for the bankruptcy of Enron, the second largest in U.S. history?

...is it really true that Board Member Greg Sandoval recently took a district-paid trip to Italy...to study gangs?

...is it really true that Board members, after being reelected to a second consecutive term, receive fully paid health benefits till age 65?

...is it really true that, in this time of budget cutbacks, of homeless teachers and failing students, that the district is planning to build themselves a palatial new district office?

...is it really true that the First Class e-mail program that the district bought cost them $450,000? Everybody I know gets their e-mail program for free.

...is it really true that Brand has earmarked $100,000 to improve the Southwest High School football program? Although they only had three wins, is that fair to the teams they beat?

...is it really true that part of that $100,000 was $20,000 paid to Dave Lay, the Offensive Coordinator of the San Diego State Aztecs to be a part time assistant football coach at Southwest High?

...is it true that the fish really does stink from the head down?, and that all of the problems the district is experiencing is because of the odor emanating from its corrupt school board?

It would be great to be able to ask the district these questions, but then the problem would be to get answers for them, and an even greater problem is that they would have to be honest answers. I sometimes get the feeling that the district has taken Joseph Stalin's famous statement to heart and have it posted in all of their offices. Stalin said "the truth is precious, so precious that it must be rationed."

Do you have a quesiton you would like to ask the district? If so, send it to us. Identities are kept strictly confidential.