Last fall, a disagreement arose between officials at San Diego Unified and Southland Electric, one of the district’s contractors.
The district was being audited and had concerns about the pay rate of a Southland employee who worked on a job at Garfield High School.
Andy Berg, who works for Southland and dozens of other electrical contractors as the head of their association, wrote district staffer George Harris III on July 30, 2014: “George, Any idea why it would be a problem if the contractor overpaid an employee? Andy.”
Berg eventually looped in Lee Dulgeroff, San Diego Unified’s chief facilities planning and construction officer, and Harris’s boss.
“I have a worried contractor to answer to,” Berg wrote.
Over the next several weeks, more emails followed without resolution.
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Both the big contractors and the unions know that school boards float billions in construction bond money. That is why they contribute big campaign funding to school board candidates. They do so based on promises to float more construction bond money and help steer it to selected contractors and unions. Therefore, it's not surprising to find out that those same contractors and unions get their own representatives appointed or elected to those same school board, advisory and audit committees, to police the use of that money and make sure they get what they were promised by school board members. Follow the money. It's not about ensuring quality educations for kids, and never has been. It's about investing in elected school board officials and harvesting bond money.
In response to an article by Mario Koran, September 24, 2015, "How San Diego Unified Defends Stadiums Over Air-Conditioning"...I asked Mario "What I would like to know is more about Andy Berg, chairman of the Independent Oversight Committee. I see that he is the labor boss for National Electrical Contractors Assoc., also on the oversight committee in Poway Unified. I just want to know more about this VERY connected man."
Just about a month later, comes this answer to my question. Much worse than I suspected. So many other conflicts of interest.
Gafcon? Is that how Ursula Kroemer got her shady job?
Sickening but not surprising in a district run by Richard Barrera,SDUSD school board member and President of the San Diego and Imperial Valley Labor Councils...No conflict of interest there.
Great article, Ashley.
This article is very timely - currently, we are seeing several School Districts voting on PLA's - the information in this article is more than troubling. The membership of the Sweetwater BOC is quite unique - and is highly respected and trusted by the community!
"“Follow the money,” as Berg puts it. “I’m chair of a committee that’s in charge of making sure money is spent as outlined in the bond.”"
If so, then he is failing.