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Alliant decision delayed Robert Moreno | Sat, Aug 24 2013 12:00 PM

The National City Planning Commission voted against having a special meeting to expedite a decision on whether or not it will grant Alliant International University a conditional use permit for a South Bay campus at 517 Mile of Cars Way, in the building of the National City Adult School.

The matter will now be heard at the Sept. 16 meeting.

Sweetwater Superintendant Dr. Ed Brand sat through part of Monday’s Sweetwater board meeting before showing up to the commission meeting to speak in public comments.

Brand said the district and Alliant have met the requirements needed for the university to be placed at the adult school.

“The purview of the commission is really to determine whether or not the staff in the Sweetwater District, in meeting with the staff of the city of National City, met its obligations,” he said.

“My understanding is in fact we did. We did show that there was ample classroom space, we did show that there was adequate parking, we did show there was easy freeway and trolley access for the facility use.”

Brand said such claims that Alliant is forcing students to attend Alliant is untrue. He said Alliant is just serving as another higher education institution where students can go.

Fran Brinkman, a retired teacher from the Sweetwater District, outlined seven points why Alliant shouldn’t be placed at the adult school. Among her complaints is that the university would trump the adult school’s purpose.

Brinkman said she sees no use for having Alliant at its proposed location.

“Alliant is not a good fit for the community and they offer no benefit to the district or to the city because they will not be paying rent because of your metro agreement,” Brinkman said in public comments. “Dr. Brand boasts that he will have Alliant University in the Sweetwater Union High School District regardless of what happens here.”

Brinkman said Alliant should set up shop at the L Street property that the district owns.

Brinkman also questioned Brand’s priorities by him being at the Planning Commission meeting and being a no-show at the school board’s meeting.

“Also, we should all be wondering why is Dr. Brand leaving a scheduled board meeting tonight at Sweetwater when he should be representing the seventh through 12th graders in the school district in order to advocate a private university.”

National City Chamber of Commerce CEO Jacqueline Reynoso said the chamber issued a letter Aug. 8 requesting that the date on a decision for the conditional use permit be Aug. 19 and not the Sept. 16 date.

She said the reason for the letter was to get a determination on the permit before students start classes at Alliant.

Reynoso said if  a permit was granted it would have made it on the City Council agenda for approval on the Aug. 20 meeting.

Sweetwater school board member Bertha Lopez noted in public comments that she sat through the night’s school board meeting and still made it in time for public comments.

Lopez said the school district shouldn’t get involved with the private university

“We’re in the business of educating kids seven through 12 in adult, and that adult school was basically made for an adult school,” Lopez said.

Community member Maty Adato said the permit decision does not constitute an emergency meeting.

“Having the commission consider an emergency meeting, in my opinion, is a slap in the face regarding the process,” she said. “This is not an emergency, it’s just plain and simple a lack of organization and planning,”

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anniej Says:

Sat, Aug 31 2013 08:33 AM

The communication drums of the South Bay are beating yet more disturbing news about SUHSD. Arne Duncan is scheduled to visit Castle Park and there are allegations regarding massive amounts of monies being used to spruce things up including tshirts for the students to wear. Hmmm, I do not remember Jim Cartmill and the rest of the board voting on such expenditures.

911, missing ASB funds? Here we go again. Just a couple of years ago we had this exact issue at Castle Park High, missing ASB funds - who is manning the ship at Castle Park Middle? While there are many excellent Administrators within the District it appears there are those who USE their positions for personal gain - one of Ed Brands fair haired favorites?

It is time for Jim Cartmill to answer to what is going on in this District. Why isn't John McCann demanding answers? Does Dincan know the legal controversies Jim Cartmill and others are facing - felony indictments? OH MY!!!!!

Bonnie Smith Says:

Fri, Aug 30 2013 02:03 PM

Sweetwater is a mess right now. Schools on the East are over crowded. I hear some of the schools don't have cleaning supplies. Brand and the board need to stop this stupid dream and focus what they are paid to do. Again, Grand Jury, please look into this. Why is Brand pushing this so hard? Why is a public Institution pushing for a private institution on pubic land? That our taxes pay for? Has to be something in it for Brand.

anniej Says:

Sat, Aug 24 2013 12:28 PM

When rules/laws are followed - when government is truly transparent - THAT is 'good government'! CONGRATS to the National City Planning Dept. for seeing thru Brands interpretation of the events.

The SUHSD taxpayers have seen what 'poor governement' aligns itself with.

The question remains why is Ed Brand so hell bent on shackling our students with Alliant debt? There are many many issues with our own district that need addressing.

Transportation fees, off season athletic fees, overcrowding of east side schools, rumors of alleged battery of students, rumors of alleged inappropriate conduct with a student - why isn't our board focusing on these to start with?

Instead they are using up our financial resources with questionable expenses - like having one of SUHSD's attorneys send out letters dispelling information regarding a certain traffic accident and the 'health' of the board member involved.

Ed Brand is the ONLY person allowed to contact an attorney at districts expense, so why did John McCann seek out legal assistance on an issue that could have/should have been addressed by SUHSD's public relations dept.? Just had to get that name and face out there one more time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, what a puts!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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