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Southside ISD....more comes out. $200,000 of the taxpayers money gone down the drain
Dirty Deeds...not dirt cheap
Southside ISD is a country school that encompasses a great portion of Southeastern Bexar County. For years it was a sleepy school district when it came to politics. Like any small area with "political figure" want to be's; elections got heated, but never made it past the community circle.
Then the area people tired of the politics at the county level, especially with their county commissioner and elected Sergio "Chico" Rodriguez as their county commissioner, with the support of a local individual who had long aspired a political career, to no avail. Ms. Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn could not get enough votes on her own to win a political seat; the next best thing is work to get people elected and push their buttons. Ms. Mendelsohn received ten's of thousands of dollars from the Rodriguez family for her campaign work in support of not only the county commissioner, who is now her boss; but his brother Ciro Rodriguez.
For her hard work she was appointed President of the ESD6, running it into financial ruin to the point that the Southside ISD area has just received the lowest possible rating for insurance purposes due to lack of fire protection. Residents should be seeing their home owners policies increasing. At the brink of an investigation into the finances of the ESD6, Ms. Mendelsohn stepped down from the board and went to work for her benefactor and supporter, Chico Rodriguez. Leaving the ESD6 in shambles and still under her watchful eye by having the County Commissioner appoint only her inner circle members to the board.
The saga moves to Southside ISD
Ms. Mendelsohn angered with Southside ISD for filing an injunction against her and the ESD6 for lack of fire protection at the district, prompted Ms. Mendelsohn to support the "team" for a run at the Southside ISD School Board.
Once in control, the team brought Ms. Mendelsohns longtime friend and attorney who received hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars from the ESD6 board to do work for Southside ISD, Mr. Brewer as president, had the district re-work the criteria for hiring a superintendent to fit the hand picked Superintendent that they wanted and knew well as Mr. Ricardo Vela had worked for the district, under Mr. Brewer's Presidency and was non-renewed, allowing Mr. Vela to seek employment elsewhere. It was evident by the actions of the board that they had an agenda at Mr. Vela was the key figure to help make it happen.
It all comes out in the wash.....
The board quickly began to overstep it's boundaries and get involved in the personal day to day issues of the district. They began spending money quickly and without following the proper procedures.
One particular and very large part of the spending came to the district in the name of Joe E. Gonzalez and his created position of Deputy Superintendent, not only with a generous contract, but they allowed Mr. Gonzalez who was related to Mr. Vela by marriage of their children to do as Mr. Vela had done; he began hiring his wife and children to do work for the district with hefty salaries, bonus',etc.
Today..the taxpayer is out almost $200,000 and more expected
Under the former school board and Presidency of Loren G. Brewer, the district squandered a large number of funds, but a large expense to the taxpayer remains to be settled. A parking lot on the schools property and a neighbors property is holding up a project the district has already spent nearly $200,000 dollars on.
Lack of permits shut down the job, lack of additional funding to be thrown at this situation is also causing a hold up, but the one outstanding hold up....is a greedy neighbor. The inability by the former board and their hires, Mr. Vela & Mr. Gonzalez have lead to a line in the sand. Lack of oversight lead to issues, like using part of the neighbors property. It is unsure if the district hired a surveyor before they began, but the neighbor who pays on the average $200 a year on taxes on a property worth $3,200, sees the district as a cash cow and does not wish to settle for the $10,000 offered by the district, instead is asking for an outrageous $80,000 for the unkempt property.
Do you feel the land owner is being nothing more than greedy?
Questions for the board
- The construction company should have known they needed permits as well and their should have been insurance on this project as well. Can some of the money be recovered?
- Did the district hire a surveyor? The surveyor should have set pins in the ground at the points of the survey, did he/she do their job correctly?
- Can the district eminent domain the property for school use?