Southeast Bexar County Awareness: Southside ISD School Board Elections May 2015
Elections got down and dirty in Southern Bexar County
Southside ISD held election May of 2015. As of January 25, 2015; no sign of a called election existed. However, candidate election packets were being released for pick up. Anyone interested in running for a position on the Southside ISD School board could pick theirs up at the administrative offices.
While they were releasing them, they were not accepting any completed packets until January 31st and ending date for turn in had not been announced; leading community members to believe that it was because they had not yet called for an election.The district offices were closed on Saturday, January 31st. Once again putting the cart before the horse and misleading the Southside ISD community.
Documentation showed that the board did not vote to proceed with elections until after packets were released.
Ms. Mendelsohn, campaign manager for the sitting board members and Ms. Susan Richardson, Union Rep and Southside ISD employee were talking elections at the board meeting. Both geared and ready to keep their candidates and power on the board.
3- Team Members were up for Re-election/ election
Actions of the board
The board dismantled most of the work that previous boards had accomplished and implemented their own rules and regulations. Have dismissed employees that disagree with their agenda and have been embroiled in lawsuits and grievances since they took over the district last May.
At current standing Mr. Brewer was accused of sexual harassment by an employee that refused his advancements and was then terminated.
The Teams Accomplishments
- Gave the Superintendent the authority to do all the hiring, etc.
- Allowed the Superintendent to hire his wife with a salary double than what her position called for.
- Gave the Superintendent a contract that has him listed as the 3rd highest paid Superintendent without a degree or credentials to be a Superintendent. Also covers his home office expenses.
- Allowed the Superintendent to hire his brother in an administrative position in the Athletic Department at a salary higher than any other in the history of Southside ISD.
- Allowed the Superintendent to create positions and fill them with family members, allies of the board and pay that is higher than the position calls for.
- Voted to spend, 3 times more to replace a score board that was fairly new and still in good working condition.
- The school board spent the majority of the $24 million dollars it had managed to save up for expansion and growth in the district on Athletics and Athletic related facilities. New turf, New Score board and New training facility. New Coaching Positions.
- Lost over 200 employees of the district, micro managed the district by approaching community members with offers for positions within the district.
- Purchased the new score board from Superintendent Vela's brothers company.
- The district bought 2 trucks, board President, Brewer has been seen driving one, VP Chavez has been seen driving the other (photos coming). The district has purchased a wench truck (heavy equipment). For what purpose, it is unknown.
Who was up for election?
Board member, Alma Guzman, who was elected to serve, while suing the district for $1 million dollars. Ms. Guzman was let go from the district for her divisive and disruptive behavior, along with racist comments about Hispanic employees of the district.Ms. Guzman used her position on the board to try to make herself a victim and build her case, but was unsuccessful. The state sided with the district, the board now under the control of her political allies quickly called the case back and voted to pay Ms. Guzman $120,000 from district funds and taxpayer dollars. They also made her the "Board Member of the Year", a made up award to honor one of their own and give her credibility.
Ms. Guzman and Mr. Rodriguez began littering the Southside area with the signs closely together.
**Election signs were put up for Lisa Salazar, former board president at Southside ISD; alongside those of Mr. Rodriguez and Ms. Guzman. it was made clear that Ms. Salazar was not a candidate in the 2015 elections, but disgruntled members of the community put the signs up, possibly to spur the community into getting involved, becoming aware or consider her as a write-in candidate on the ballot. What ever the case, the point was that the Southside ISD community was fed up.
Education- high school diploma.
Employment: Unemployed, worked for the district and was terminated.
Mr. Frank Cannon, who most will remember, was removed from the district in handcuff's and picked up at the county jail by his family. Mr. Cannon was arrested for $14,000 in unpaid fines for driving without a license, insurance and failure to pay his fines. Mr. Cannon has long had issues with the IRS and the County Government when paying or lack of paying his property taxes on a value of $300,000+ for his home and business taxes.
Elections are not cheap, Mr. Cannon's campaign signs run from $120 to $200 depending on the size, so a candidate with financial problems will need funding to campaign. Who will back him and will he report it?
While Mr. Cannon decided not to seek re-election. He could have still been appointed to the board at a later time as they have done in the past. Mr. Cannon did not have to run to be placed on the board again. He could simply wait until after the elections and replace someone like Norberto Chavez, Jr. should he win, it's a tactic the "team" used to get members of their inner circle on the board.
Education- high school diploma.
Employment: Self employed- construction, with tax liens and fines for not taking financial responsibility.
Mr. John Wood, who served with Mr. Brewer, Board President and Mr. Chavez, Board Vice-President, while they were on the ESD6 board, was appointed to his position when it was vacated by a sitting board member. Since he was not elected to serve, he was required to run at the next election after his appointment in order to retain his seat.
Mr. Wood's last minute decision to run for Mr. Cannon's position showed that they were plotting to keep the "team" together.
Education--unknown, says he graduated but refused to say from where and lead one to believe that he did not graduate, however this was speculation due to his and the districts lack of transparency.
Employment: Janitor at Northside ISD. He was self-employed for some time and was unsuccessful; had several assumed names for companies that no longer exist.
Mr. Sandoval, another friend of the "team" was appointed to the board when his seat was vacated by a sitting board member and was also required to run at the next election after his appointment in order to retain his seat. However, after being appointed to the board, Mr. Sandoval proved not to be the team player that they wanted. According to Mr. Brewer, Mr. Sandoval asked too many questions. Prompting the "team" to run another of their "inner circle" against Mr. Sandoval.
Employment: Critical Facility Engineer, Schneider Electric
Mr. Daniel Rodriguez, was a former board member and ally to the "team" who chose not to run for re-election. When a board seat was vacated, he was appointed to that seat, forcing a run in order to retain his seat as well.
Education- High School Diploma
Employment: Architectural design firm, incomplete election form leaves lack of transparency.
Agenda Item 1
Has the community had enough of this team?
With elections around the corner, will you support these candidates?
Southside Elections Always Interesting
When you open the paper to south bexar county news, it is always interesting. When you look at south Bexar County school board elections, you can always count on political tension, drama and election rules being broken.
One thing community members needed to remember, "the team" had a history of bullying voters and intimidating them. In 2011, they block walked and took names then told voters that they would know if they voted and how.
Southeast Bexar County community members needed to remember not to give the candidates their names if they felt uncomfortable, a candidate DOES NOT have to have a voters name, but it is important for the voter to remember the candidates name. Write it down so that you will remember it when you go to the polls as a to or not to vote.
Public Information Act--request Information at This Location
Administrative Office for Southside ISD.