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Sine die it will all work out Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Mar 22 2014 12:00 PM

When a reader contacted me Sunday night informing me that the Sweetwater Union High School District had cancelled its Monday board meeting I thought it odd. Typically government agencies must publicly announce the cancellation of a meeting 24 hours in advance. Ever the optimist and benefit-of-the-doubt kind of guy (no, really!) I figured district officials and their advisors knew what they were doing.

Monday morning I received an announcement explaining that because board president Jim Cartmill had a medical condition and pending surgery on Wednesday the meeting was postponed. It was also suggested the district wanted to address its ongoing labor issues with local teachers before convening a meeting.

Odd, I thought, the board has met with only three members before — most notably with Cartmill, John McCann and Bertha Lopez when Pearl Quiñones was out of town. If three works for the Holy Spirit it should work for a school board.

On Monday McCann told a reporter he’d been informed that morning the meeting was cancelled. He also said he was unhappy about it and that a meeting could still be held with three members, presumably Lopez, Quiñones and him.
Lopez and Quiñones would later that day show up to district headquarters looking for a meeting and there were reports that even McCann made a cameo. So, with three board members in town and available, a meeting could have occurred.

But a notice of adjournment signed by Cartmill, posted on the district’s website and dated March 18 — one day after the meeting was supposed to have occurred — stated “due to the fact that no members will be present, the Regular Board Meeting of the Board of Trustees ... will not be held and is hereby adjourned sine die.”
I felt my eye twitch. But there were members present! I raged mentally. There were witnesses. And how can you cancel a meeting after it already didn’t happen?  That’s like saying the Broncos will lose the Super Bowl the day after they got smashed in  the championship game! Aaaaugh!

Then my attention turned to those two Latin words: sine die. In essence the phrase means without a set date, indefinite. So the next school board meeting will take place, ah, whenever. Sometime in the future. We’ll see.

Of course now that Quiñones has pleaded guilty to a felony and misdemeanor and may have to resign her seat on the board, that means the next board meeting — whenever that may be — will have only three board members available. That is, of course, if Cartmill and Lopez who are the last two current board members in a corruption case don’t plead guilty and are required to resign before then. If they do have to quit then who knows what will happen? I’m sure we’re all dying to know. Sine die we will.

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sosocal Says:

Thu, Mar 27 2014 01:29 PM

Mr. Davalos, what are your thoughts now that another Sweetwater Board Meeting did not take place?

What are the options for the public? How do we get a grip on those who are out of control? Sweetwater with Ed Brand at the helm is a disaster that will bring down all education in this part of the county unless he is stopped. His deliberate and manipulative words and deeds harm real human beings--students, teachers, all employees of Sweetwater, and all those who look for honesty and good usage of public assets.

It is horrifying to me that Brand's efforts to become a real estate magnate on the public's dime have not been stopped. What he is doing is wrong. Cartmill and McCann--useless or worse than useless. May furious justice find a home in Sweetwater.


Fran Brinkman Says:

Mon, Mar 24 2014 08:10 AM

We can't have a meeting without the quorum but, it appears Brand doesn't care about this.i was there on the 17th. He told the press that he was advised by legal council not to attend. Does anyone believe this? Of course not, he's a self serving political puke.corruption at its best.


sosocal Says:

Sat, Mar 22 2014 10:44 PM

anniej, was it really printed as "adjoined"???

Has someone been watching too many movies about crime syndicates in New Jersey (or Joisey, as it allegedly has been called in some circles)?

This is too funny for words. A real Freudian slip for the record books!

In fact that's the sort of truth-telling that lets us all know that all is not well in the minds of Cartmill, Brand and McCann.

You can't make this stuff up...or if you would, there might be an opening for a scriptwriter for cable tv.

The Real Criminals of Sweetwater School District.


sosocal Says:

Sat, Mar 22 2014 08:42 PM

Yes, Mr. Davalos, all sorts of people are having similar reactions to the latest Sweetwater developments. Sure looks like Ed Brand is not planning on giving up easily. With Brand, it really isn't so much that knowledge is power, it is that money is power, and the longer he sits in that superintendent seat, the more money he makes for himself, and the more money he has access to--to play with at will. Rather medieval around Sweetwater. I'm surprised that no one as yet has been instructed to back out of the royal chamber, bowing and scraping, after a meeting with our own Fast Eddy, King of Slimy Deals and Ruler of Regulations (subspecialty in avoidance of those rules that are really inconvenient).

How does one in this day and age get to choose which rules they obey? And no higher authority ever calls him on it? What kind of dealmaker is Fast Eddy?


Bernardo Vasquez Says:

Sat, Mar 22 2014 06:50 PM

Carlos thank you for reporting on this abuse of process. This board and superintendent think they are above any rules or laws. That's why a few had (and still have) some legal issues to contend with. Unfortunately no oversight authority seems to care about the constant abuses committed. Please keep shedding light on this board and superintendent, as that seems to be the only way we can keep track of their abuses of power.


anniej Says:

Sat, Mar 22 2014 06:00 PM

Well Mr. Davalos, hate to be the bearer of bad news but the meeting is on for next week, EVEN THOUGH Lopez had advised the audience she would be out of town til April!!!!

Can someone ell me where is the good, honest, honorable man Jim Cartmill professes to be?

What are Jim Cartmill John McCann and Ed Brand up to now? Are they planning on slipping one by us?

Sine die Cartmill says, well anniej has a word to, and it is a legal term 'alleged corruption'.

Community needs to GOOGLE L.A. Times 2001 Jim Cartmill - interesting read don't you think?

Mr. McCann was 'disappointed' that the Board meeting was cancelled - hmmm, then why is he participating in this one knowing full well that Lopez will not be there?

Can you imagine all of those reporters that McCann spoke to at the 'adjoined' ' meeting when they learn of this move?


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