Southeast Bexar County Community Awareness: The Big Loser in Southside ISD Elections 2012
Mendelsohn Couldn't Get It Done
Try as she might, even with all her "influence" and her campaigning, ESD#6 Board President and Chico Rodriguez campaign manager, Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn, was unable to put any of her ESD#6 candidates on the Southside ISD school board. However, she was supporting Ms. Alma Rosa Guzman- Estrada and Henry Frank Cannon, who were elected to the board.
Ms. Mendelsohn spent much time working on campaigning and was working at the Southside ISD Administration Bldg. voting site during early voting. At one point, driving voters in to vote and delivering professionally printed handouts for the candidates.
From the contracts that I have seen, the ESD#6 as well as the volunteer fire departments cannot publicly support or become involved in political elections or support of candidates.
In the end, the community decided that Ms. Mendelsohn and her ESD#6 board members were not what the district needed.
Southside ISD Community Hands Mr. Chavez his Second Loss
While Mr. Norberto "Robert" Chavez sat on the board of the ESD#6, it was an appointed seat by the County Commissioner of it's precinct, Sergio "Chico" Rodriguez. However, the community of Southside ISD had been given the opportunity to elect Mr. Chavez to represent them on the Southside ISD board for the second time and for the second time they voted against it.
Mr. Chavez ran in 2009 and was able to pull in about 261 votes. This time around, he pulled in less votes than his three companions that were running alongside him. And only 12 votes more than a newcomer to the community.
2013, Mr. Chavez ran again and won, while sitting on the board, Mr. Chavez along with the rest of the "team", squandered taxpayers money on travel, parties, political promises, etc. Though he and his "team" member Loren Brewer continue to sit on the board until 2017, they no longer control the votes.
ARE THESE BOARD MEMBERS CLUELESS OR IS THE COMMUNITY?
Candidates Bully the Voters
As most elections go, history has shown that name calling and bashing your opponent are par for the course, however, for a school district and a tight-knit community, the 2012 election was more than just a traditional election.
To much disappointment, the community was very divided as well as intimidated.
- Several members of the community claimed that Mr. Brewer and his fellow candidates intimidated them by taking down their names and telling them that they would know if they voted and how they voted, prompting them to question whether they should vote.
- The sons of two of the candidates took campaign t-shirts to school and handed them out to their friends, the shirts asked for them to vote for Cannon, Chavez, Brewer and Guzman. Campaigning on school grounds and during school hours has been prohibited for many years, but it seems that Mr. Brewer, being a past board member and knowing the rules, chose to ignore them and allowed this to occur. The students were encouraged to lie, as they handed out the t-shirts, they told their fellow students to say that the t-shirts were "sold" to them. Prompting the question, if they were indeed selling t-shirts, who reported the donations and the expenses of the t-shirts? Better yet, what's worse, the fact that their children were lying or that these are the parenting skills of the candidates and the moral values they are teaching their own children?
- Mr. Brewer himself was on record as being escorted off the campus by the campus police for violating the campaign rules. However, this did not deter him or his fellow candidates as they continued to display the same behavior.
- Voters also complained of being stopped and harassed at the polling site entrances as they came in and then again as they exited by these individuals; to the point that some parked in an area behind the building and walked around the building to avoid the harassment.
The 2012 election was more than an election on causes, it was an election that showed just how far a candidate would take it to garner a position on the school board.
Since Mr. Cannon and Ms. Guzman won their seats, they have shown that they do not serve in the best interest of the students.They vote along the Mendelsohn lines. Ms. Guzman refused to end her lawsuit against the district as well.
The biggest loser in this election?
The Southside ISD community. The loss of a very good board member, Rick Quebe and a community member with no political agendas, but with the best interest of the students and the community, Mr. Gonzalez.
The Missing ESD#6 Board Member no longer has a place?
Mr. Brewer who was the absentee member of the ESD#6 board, claimed to have volunteered to step down from the ESD#6 board and asked for his seat to be re-appointed to someone else in February of 2011; just in time to run for a term on the Southside ISD school board of which he was once a member.
Mr. Brewer returned to campaign for a seat for the Southside ISD school board after being gone for 2 years on TDY (Temporary Duty) with the military, according to an article in the local paper. While the election was close, Mr. Brewer lost by 7 votes. The biggest question in this election for Mr. Brewer was; how he planned to serve a board while still serving in the military. How effective could a board member be if he's TDY for 2 years at a time? Mr. Brewer never produced proof that he was in the military at all, bring claims of Stolen Valor by the community.
The Southside ISD candidates are elected by majority vote, leaving Mr. Brewer as the losing candidate, however, Mr. Brewer's campaign paid $1000 for a re-count. Suprisingly, no one in the community seemed to have expected anything less from Mr. Brewer. According to the elections office, the recount did not change the numbers and Mr. Brewer vowed to run again. In violation of campaign rules, Mr. Brewer began openly campaigning for a position on the school board for the 2013 elections.
Mr. Brewer and his "team" ran in 2013. They ran on lies and intimidation and were not only elected, but they gained complete control of the board, like the ESD#6, all the board members were now from the "inner circle" of Ms. Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn. And as like the ESD#6 board, spend, spend spend is what they did. Forsaking the laws set by the state and the policies of the district, micromanaging every aspect of the district. Mr. Brewer will be up for re-election in 2017, along with Mr. Chavez.
It's All About the Money
More than year after becoming a candidate for the Southside ISD School Board and being elected board Member, Alma Guzman- Estrada refused to drop a case she had already lost in court, filing an appeal to get her settlement. Supporting her friends to get elected in 2013, she accomplished her goal of getting them on, getting them to vote and settle her case for $120,000.
When asked how she could take the money from the school district that she is supposed to be making decisions for, Ms. Guzman-Estrada said that it wasn't the schools money, they have insurance for that. That comment alone, showed the ignorance of this board member, as the district pays for insurance and frivolous lawsuits such as Ms. Guzman-Estrada's cause rates to go up and those are paid by the district and the communities tax dollars.