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Laugh until you cry and laugh again Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, May 05 2012 12:00 PM

It’s comical, baby! Funny in an uncomfortably awkward dark-comedy sort of way. It’s made for TV, this story of a bunch of school officials and the parents who love to hate them.

The latest episode has board member John McCann filing a temporary restraining order against parent, activist and pissed-off citizen Stewart Payne.

McCann, a former Chula Vista councilman and veteran of the Iraq war, thinks Payne is going to hurt him. The Sweetwater Union High School board member says the father of two  threatened to knock him out after a recent board meeting when all McCann wanted to do was shake hands.

That was the same night Payne and other parents announced they were ready to start collecting signatures to oust McCann and his colleagues Arlie Ricasa and Jim Cartmill. The general consensus among recall supporters is that the trio is inept and has to go.

All this while Ricasa, board member Pearl Quinones and former superintendent Jesus Gandara and another ex-board member, Greg Sandoval, face corruption charges by a district attorney running for mayor in a different city.

Are you keeping track? This show has more twists and turns then a Rocky Mountain road.

Anyway, these days McCann is about as popular as a gassy fat man stuck in a crowded elevator during a heatwave. And Payne is as shy as a crotch-sniffing mastiff. His palpable disdain for McCann rivals that of Tommy Lasorda for Kurt Bevacqua.

Why McCann would approach Payne at all is beyond me. Was he baiting him? Trying to ask if they could be Facebook buddies? Who knows? And, at this point, who cares? This is golden. Adults behaving this way is the kind of melodramatic entertainment you have to pay to watch.

In his declaration McCann states that in the past Payne has called him names like “stupid” and “Howdy Doody.” To be fair, I’ve heard Payne ask McCann if he was stupid, but that was the night McCann was videotaping members of the public during a school board meeting.

Elsewhere in his declaration McCann states a pastor told him Payne remarked “he would kick John McCann’s ass.” Yet one more reason McCann is scared of Payne and wants to keep him away.

McCann told a reporter the district has to pay for the safety of its board members, hence the security guards at the meeting.

If he’s that fearful maybe he should take a page out of former mayor Steve Padilla’s playbook and hire a bodyguard.

While McCann eventually raised a stink about the cost to taxpayers, maybe this episode has given him a new perspective. Maybe Padilla was on to something.

That twisted reversal would be hilarious if not for one thing:  It’s all just so damn sad.

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anniej Says:

Wed, May 09 2012 10:17 AM

i think the attached link just about sums it all up.


i would like to know who at the district, who on the board knew or had a relationship with this 'security'? firm. why would our board put the lives of children at risk (children do attend the meetings) by hiring companies who have allegedly untrained, unlicensed men toting big guns - guns they are legally not allowed to carry - because they do NOT, i repeat do NOT have a license. oh, but i forgot this is the sweetwater board we are talking about. and they wonder why the community is turning out in droves to sign the RECALL petitions.

first thing out of every citizens mouth that i have approached - "where is the RECALL paperwork i sign to get rid of john mccann?"

anniej Says:

Sat, May 05 2012 01:52 PM

for the record, remember the 'retiring' of 'the gandara'? well as discussed at the board meetings and in news articles there appeared to be a second opinion regarding whether 'the gandara' could be fired for cause. for some '''strange''' reason, board president john mccann failed to share that opinion with the other board members. now why would he do that?

'melodramatic entertainment' - with all due respect i beg to differ - what it is is ridiculous. why any grown man, why any political figure would insult persons one minute and then turn around and demand that they shake their hand - ridiculous.

perhaps we can now get back to the business at hand - voting quinones, an indicted board member out and recalling cartmill, ricasa, and mccann so we can focus on what the real issue is - a quality education for the middle and high school students of the south bay.

i think they deserve that, don't you?

just my opinion

anniej Says:

Sat, May 05 2012 01:44 PM

"love to hate them" - hate is a strong word Sir - and unlike the board members those involved are not all parents. but what they all are are taxpaying citizens, many who voted in prop o for benefit of the children, only to find out that 'pay to play' has taken over.

mccann, for whatever reason is like the dog on the commercial who will not be stopped if there is a 'beggin strip' in sight. and so it is with mccann and a camera - if there is one within a half a mile he is there in front of it.

mccann had just insulted the notorious 'antagonists' - you know those terrible people who are fighting for fiduciary responsibility. the nasty bunch had the gall to contact the fbi and da and ask for help. well, my word. and mccann for whatever reason simply can not stand that. my opinion he sees these folks as a real threat for his future political aspirations - and he should.

regarding payne, let us take a moment to think about him being, what did you call him, 'a pissed-off citizen'. well hip hip hooray for him. he spoke out against some of the CIF's past tac tics - it appears he was right about that (see recent law suit article in the ut) and it appears he was right when he questioned what was going on with our prop o money - right again.

there is much wrong with the sweetwater district, mccann did not cause it, but he failed, in my opinion to live up to his campaign promises and fix it.

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