It’s Time for a Change at Sweetwater High School District

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Corruption is in the air. Many contractors, staff, and even Trustees have been indicted for possible wrongdoing tied to gifts. Some have pled guilty while others await trial. Consultants paid by the District were allowed to defraud the District for non-existent meetings. An investigation was conducted but nothing came out of it. Finally, the contracting system for goods and services seems compromised at best. This may be news to the people who sit on the dais, but it’s time to take steps to reform the system.

Sky is the Limit. Unlike most other government entities, Sweetwater District has no campaign contribution limits, and, consequently, contributions to the campaigns of some Trustees have been staggering. The same situation existed at Southwestern College (SWC), but there, the Board recently put an amount limit on campaign contributions. That Board (SWC) is trying to fix what one Trustee described as “trying to rebuild the foundation of a house.”

Lost opportunity. At a recent Trustee meeting, a public speaker submitted a proposal to put a limit on the amount that can be contributed to the political campaigns. The proposal was not considered and none of the Trustees even discussed it.

It’s time to clean house. It might be too little too late but the Sweetwater District needs to bring real reform to the system. While not a big step, adding a limit of $300 to campaign contributions would be a small start. Even more important, contributions from corporations should not be allowed. It should already have been proposed but a strong policy on gifts must be implemented. Finally, there must be accountability for the thousands of dollars billed to taxpayers for bogus consulting. Let this be a warning: If the District doesn’t act, then the community will.

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4 Responses to It’s Time for a Change at Sweetwater High School District

  1. David Danciu says:

    Ideally, you would limit campaign contributions before the necessary house cleaning.
    Do you think the current board has any interest in making that motion? Is there any other way?
    If the board must change the campaign rules, and refuse, then the voters need to wake up and become active. It feels like the attention has been shifted away from the education of students for far too long. Let’s hit the reset button and get it right this time.

    • Agreed. Unfortunately, it is very doubtful that the necessary changes will be made. It’s also important to point out that just one change would not be sufficient. A complete overhaul is necessary to regain the trust of the community.

  2. Nice blog! We need more citizens paying attention to what is going on in schools. And we need more transparency so the public will know the truth.

  3. annie j says:

    it is important to stay focused. change will only happen with all of us banning together to demand it – it is important to remember WE OWN THIS DISTRICT, OUR TAX DOLLARS ARE THE FUEL.

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