Southeast Bexar County Awareness: Less Than a Full Year- New Board Had All but Bankrupted Southside Isd
Unqualified and Broke
ESD#6 Board President, Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn took the cake when she bankrupted the ESD#6 within months of taking over. Like the school district, the ESD#6 had funds in reserve. The Southside ISD school board filed a lawsuit to get fire protection back in the district because she left the 5000 plus students and district employees without proper fire protection.
Those that know Ms. Mendelsohn have made it clear as how spiteful and vindictive she can be. Ms. Mendelsohn made it her mission to have control over the Southside ISD by openly campaigning and spending money to get her "team" elected to the Southside ISD school board where she could pull the strings. On a side note, none of the "team" members claimed the expenses on their campaign reports. The lack of transparency leaves it up to the imagination as to who supported them financially and what it is they had to hide.
These members (Brewer, Chavez, Wood), along with Ms. Mendelsohn have a detailed history of financial instability to include refusing to pay their taxes. Lies repeated often enough are too often believed and with that said, Ms. Mendelsohn was successful in having her "team" elected.
The "team" was made up of members who were unqualified and left the district, as the ESD#6 did; bankrupt per say. When the "team" took over the school district, the previous board had approximately $23 million in the fund balance. The "team" has spent or allocated approximately $21 million of it, leaving the district in financial strain.
Food for thought: If they spent $21 million dollars, this year alone, how are they going to run the school district on less than $2 million dollars next year. This looks like Mendelsohn math 101. It doesn't add up.
Time to see them go
Are you ready and will you have the honor and strength to file a complaint?
How do you spend $21 million dollars in less than a year?
People of the Southside community are dumbfounded by the articles in the media that have informed them of the deceptions being perpetrated by this current acting board and it's superintendent.
"How do you spend $21 million dollars so quickly?", that was the million dollar question of the day.
Board history showed that they had spent the money because they look at the bottom line, not at future expenses. Like kids in a candy store, they decided to overspend.
- Nearly $12 million dollars for a state of the art football facility.
- Created positions for friends and family with hefty salaries.
- Pay raises that the district couldn't afford.
- Salaries, like the $200,000 salary for the unqualified superintendent and his wife's salary of $90,000. This does not include all the items they pay for at their personal home, internet, computers, printers, etc. Both over inflated contracts for unqualified personnel.
- Paying their friends lawsuits off.
- Forgetting to rescind previous motions that gave the teachers a 4% pay increase and added an additional 4% increase, plus the $1 an hour increase. Added a compensation program. When you have a staff of thousands,, it adds up.
- New vehicles for the superintendent and the board members to drive to functions.
These are just a few of the ways that have been publicly known.
What does this mean?
June 9, 2014- Selling off school bonds.
Southside School Board holds a meeting to refinance a 2004 bond. It has been all over social media, local paper and community gossip that the sitting board and Superintendent at Southside ISD has bankrupted the school district and looking for additional funds.
It was rumored very shortly after they were elected to the board that they were going to push for a bond election. However, the volatility of the issue at current time would surely be a losing battle for the "team" to pass a bond election.
Instead, using their legal team and their knowledge, they have decided to refinance district holds on bonds. Sometimes bonds are purchased to secure other debts. Similar to what they and Ms. Mendelsohn did to the ESD6, which is now in debt for millions of dollars. By refinancing the bond, they can lower their payments, interest rates and attain more money. Some bonds are known to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which they can recoup if they refinance.
If the community doesn't put a stop to the shenanigans of this board and the superintendent, Mr. Vela and his wife will be sitting pretty on a $290,000 a year salary plus perks. And the community members will have higher taxes to keep them in the means that they are accustomed.
Superintendent has no credibility
Ricardo Vela, Superintendent was a former employee of the district, resigning due to troubled issues working at southside. The 'team" resurrected Mr. Vela, like many others in the district that were let go.
It was apparent from his resignation letter to Dripping Springs, that he had been promised the position of Superintendent, knowing then that he didn't have the certification to do so. Mr. Vela, since coming to the district, has shown that he is not capable of running the districts financing by allowing the "team" to overspend.
He has allowed the school board to micromanage the district, which is a violation of the law. Showing that Mr. Vela has no control over the day to day activities of the board.
He has shown his lack of education in running the district because the scores have reflected it.
He has shown it morally by continuing to lie and getting caught at every turn.
- His telling the district that he was working on certification, when he has not.
- His telling the media that he had completed his student teaching and finding that he had not.
- His telling the media and community that he had applied for his waiver, when he had not.
Mr. Vela, has no credibility and continues to show it to everyone every time he opens his mouth.
District has lost it's credibility
History has shown, that issues within the Southside ISD community and within the district have been cyclical. When things are going well, people get complacent, leaving the opening for people like Mr. Brewer, Mr. Cannon, Mr. Chavez, Ms. Mendelsohn, Ms. Guzman to stir the pot.
The district in recent years had become credible and respected; during Dr. Juan Jasso's tenure at the district, the district had actually flourished. Education had advanced, the campus upgrades had come under budget and they had utilized their maintenance staff members to help with the upgrades.
In the last year, the "team" has shown not only their lack of ethics, but their lack of being able to maintain the educational structure of the district as well as the moral structure.
The fact that the employees are getting compensated financially makes it easy for them to continue to run ramshot with district funds. When the money runs out completely, what will happen to these employees? Will they be out of a job? At will employees will be the first to go.
Can it be repaired? Yes, only if the people of the community say enough and file a complaint and stay on top of it. History has shown that people like the "team" thrive on the fact that people in the community are only to eager to complain and "hope" that someone "else" does something about it.
There were several town criers when the "team" was running for election, where are they now?
The administrative offices of Southside ISD