Southeast Bexar County Awareness: Southside ISD- "Town Crier" Great Witness in Legal Case?

Robin Ellison "Town Crier no more"

Who is Robin Rachell Ellison?

Robin Ellison, formerly Robin Cantu, a Southside ISD Community member, not often heard from outside her small circle of friends. Then the candidates; the "team" members of the Southside ISD made up of Alma Guzman, Loren Brewer, Frank Cannon, Robert Chavez, Tony Luna, came calling and she answered their call. She became one of the most vocal political supporters in the community and once elected and started misusing funds and power, Ms. Ellison became non-existant.

However, the issue was never with Ms. Cantu's activism, it was with the content and comment of her activism. Ms. Cantu, knowingly or not, spouted much about items that are not within the scope of knowledge that should be given to a community member. Her comments also could incriminate the board members in illegal doings.

Ms. Ellison is an attorney's dream witness or nightmare depending on which side of the court room you sit on. As knowledgeable as Ms. Ellison is on policies that they want to pass or were going to pass, before they have even voted, showed that Ms. Ellison was one of the "inner circle" of the "team" with much to question.

Food Service

Ms. Robin Ellison of the Southside ISD community was pretty much a blip on the radar screen for years until school board elections; when Ms. Ellison became known as the "town crier" in the district. Spreading gossip, digging for dirt and plotting and planning for the candidates.

Ms. Ellison used her daughter and a school employee to take photos of the food in the school cafeteria to get the local media involved. One photo that she sent to the local media, was from a bushel of broccoli. Having been around bulk produce; when it is brought in, sometimes a bug or two can be seen in a crate of broccoli, cauliflower, even scorpions can be seen in bushels of potatoes. So for that photo to appear, it would have to have been taken in the kitchen. A place where Ms. Ellison as a community member had no business.

The article was disappointing in the fact that the local news channel did not take time to investigate the photos, but used them instead to add dramatic flare to the article.

It was learned that the broccoli did not come from Aramark as it was portrayed, but from federal bulk vegetables that the district receives.

"Question #1- How did she know she was instructed not to file?  #2-Who told her?
"Question #1- How did she know she was instructed not to file? #2-Who told her?

Possible position at the district?

Robin Ellison quickly targeted the food service program that the school used. All the while her children had been students at the district, Ms. Ellison never got vocal, however, in the comment that was posted by Ms. Ellison, it may have been a "Freudian" slip or as some people call it a "slip of the lip". However, Ms. Ellison mentioned she herself getting a job.

And while no one is doubting the equality of the food that the children receive in comparison to wealthier and larger school districts when it comes to them personally. Food service is an entirely different issue. If I want London Broil, I have to pay for it. Wanting it and affording it are simply two different issues.

Being that candidates, Brewer, Chavez, and Luna had already met with the teachers union and made promises to work with them for endorsements, they may have just as easily made a promise to Ms. Ellison to hire her if she helped their cause.

How did Ms. Ellison know how much the manager and directors were getting paid? How did she know their qualifications?  Did she see HR documents?
How did Ms. Ellison know how much the manager and directors were getting paid? How did she know their qualifications? Did she see HR documents?

Confidential: Salaries & Resumes

Anyone with HR or managerial experience knows that the salaries and resumes of employees such as directors and managers as mentioned above are confidential records seen only by those in direct line of making hiring and salary decisions.

If Ms. Ellison had seen these documents, then someone was leaking information to Ms. Ellison. As Mr. Chavez, the candidate is the brother-in-law of Mr. Cannon, who sat on the board, the information could come from a board member who would be privy to this type of information. Mr. Brewer and Mr. Luna are close friends with Mr. Cannon and Ms. Guzman as well.

It must be very uncomfortable for employees of the district knowing that Ms.Ellison was looking into their personal information and salaries. While this would be considered not only immoral, it is against the law.

However, Mr. Chavez and Mr. Brewer coming from the ESD#6 board where they did as they liked without regard to law; do not inform their voters of these actions,policies or laws.

A board member who cannot follow rules and responsibility has no business on a board present or future.

Robin Cantu Ends up with Committee Chair Position

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Software programs couldn't help Ms. Cantu.
Software programs couldn't help Ms. Cantu.

First Day of School- Middle School Runs out of Food

The school year 2013-2014 had just begun and the menu was made up of 4-5 selections per day, which cost the district in overrun expenses. While the selections sounded good, the fact of the matter was that the district had already purchased food items according to the contract with Aramark Food Service.

The year began without the food needed to feed all the children and as kitchen staff members put it, "we have a menu, but we don't have the food to fix it." Could easily explain why the district ran out of food on the first day of school at J.L. Matthey Middle School.


Information Not Intimidation

Ms. Ellison, calls information intimidation.

If Aramark or any other food service provider were negotiating, of course there would be a difference in price for a meal. You cannot have a steak for the same cost as hamburger. The fact as well that was pointed it out that "Self Op" which Ms. Ellison liked to use means the district would self-operate it's food service to the district.

If you went to a school district website and applied for a position in the kitchen, you were required to have years of experience with cooking and background in food handling and management. A computer program cannot run a kitchen, while it may assist in the process, it does not cook and or make managerial decisions.

Procedures and guidelines must be followed to ensure that a district does not lose it's funding. The feelings from the kitchen staff at a board meeting "open forum" are just this. Their concerns were that the district would not be ready when school began.

They were correct, the school wasn't prepared and even sent out for them to purchase ready meals to feed the children, ran out of food during the lunch period and hired a Director who does not hold a degree in food service.

The students of the district are getting better food, at a higher cost to the district taxpayers on both ends. To pay for the food, the additional positions required and daily lunch cost that was increased by the same board member, Mr. Brewer that complained about Aramark service and the cost of lunch. Wanting Aramark to provide better food, but keep the cost low or even go lower than the district was already paying.

Once in control, money was no longer an issue, the district checkbook had endless checks and Ms. Ellison had much knowledge of the activities of the board in regards to the food service.


According to Ms. Ellison--the board is micro-managing the district.
According to Ms. Ellison--the board is micro-managing the district.

Micro-managing the District

The law states that a school board is to over see, the law states the superintendent is to run the district.

According to Ms. Ellison and her "inner circle" information, she mentioned employees roles and responsibilities, which fall under the Superintendent and not the board. ALL FUNDS, she said will be focused on the children. Since Ms. Ellison did not sit on the board, what information was she being given and were these board members meeting in quorum outside the board room to make these type of decisions?

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