It didn’t take long for former trustee Scott Barnett to clash with his old colleagues at San Diego Unified.
Just a month after stepping down from the school board, Barnett told San Diego Unified he’d be representing a charter school in its land sale negotiations with the district. The district objected. Now, Barnett’s out of the deal, but the tensions sparked by the squabble probably won’t die down anytime soon.
On Jan. 13, the school board voted 4-1 to sell the property where Magnolia Science Academy, a charter middle school in San Carlos, currently sits. The district estimated it could make $5.8 million from the sale, City News Service reported.
Facilitating such a deal was an unexpected move from Barnett, who’s been the district’s loudest land sales critic for the past four years.
Barnett doesn’t see it as a contradiction. He said that when Magnolia approached him after he left the school board, he thought he could help strike a deal that could be a win for all parties.
“This doesn’t change my view that selling property for one-time revenues to pay ongoing expenses is poor public policy,” Barnett said. “But if the district was going to sell, I thought they should sell to Magnolia.”
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Scott was all for 'keeping the schools' as we head into the largest baby boom (from multiple 'peaks' in the Echo boom) in decades? I say, "Failed." After John DeBeck appointed me (a volunteer, no pay, no commissions, even 'using' my 29-yr. 'expertise') to Excess School Properties committee for 10 yrs., though we were from 'opposite political parties', John Held to his word and respected his constituent's future. Scott allowed two major school properties to be SOLD..at the Lowest Point of the Lowest Real Estate Market in a lifetime! I don't 'doubt' there were shenanigans in all of it. Thank God at least one of the District's financial persons would listen and knew how to 'read' even an 'abbreviated' property valuation in Real Estate, which after using (the District's 'leaders'? Who contracted that 'commercial appraiser for Residential Zoning'?') an East Coast Commercial Real Estate Appraiser Co. (Scott's 'friends' from NYC?), that had (or who also represented other East Coast Buyers? Very few of our 'local developers' even Knew the properties were for Sale! I checked!) Severely Underestimated the Mission Beach AND the Barnard School Properties, they (all got my market analysis) Raised the Barnard Property 'minimum closed bid', by almost double. Still, when $5 million (their estimate of value for a full 9.4 acre site!..that was almost empty, no 'soil remediation', etc.) was 'raised' to a near $9 or 9.5 million minimum, the winning Bid (all Very Close) ended up at $16.5 Million! Over THREE TIMES what 'the East Coast appraiser company' valued its 'worth.' Still, Far Below its real value in 'missing school' in that area (per sq. ft. of Coastal Property for Residential property OR Commercial property in the Coastal Zone...soon to be over 180+ 'condos/apts.' with..."Zero schools to walk to,'' in the most Dense part of the beach areas!) what ANY Developed or Undeveloped Coastal Parcel has sold for in Decades, including during the major part of the recession of '05 to '12, what will this 'District' do?
Mission Beach's under 2-acre property, vacant for decades, was also Severely Undervalued! Within 50-300 feet of both Ocean and Bay, the price per sq. ft. 'finished' was 'selling for' $1200/sf., vacant, for over $300-800/sq ft....multiple properties, 2 of which were both a Block away in different directions! Coastal area schools nearest San Diego will be completely full of students soon, with No Where else to even 'expand.' ie. the beach areas..you'll never even 'see an affordable 7-acre parcel,' much less with 'extra acreage' for shared parks, where there ARE No Neighborhood Parks, in both very Dense areas! Scott couldn't even get one 'politician' to see" it..so focused on 'making the district stay in the black?' Right. Scott wouldn't even listen to me (prior VP of of OC Managment Consulting business), when he was 'looking for input' to the 'long term plan' for schools in my area..under Bersin...less so, after he was 'elected.' In two properties, I helped raise their 'take' more than the 'expected loss' for the District that year.."after" I was gone from ESP and our youngest had graduated. "You're welcome (for giving them an extra $8+ million), SDUSD"...though the politician's would never admit a 'local business woman' volunteered and corrected what they spent far too much money 'paying' a possibly 'conflicted' East Coast 'connection.' Our area's rep. now? Also refuses even volunteer help. This District needs to be split, decades ago.
Anyone ready to do that
investigation, now that Mario's found just some of the 'inconsistencies'
to report on in this District?
Haven't figured yet that Cindy Marten doesn't speak in "active" terms. But, she does like to float the promising language - and any real decisions are closed session decisions.
Last evening, as I watched the school board meeting, trying to make sense of what Dr. Marten was saying..."Metrics that go with it"..."reaching our indicators"..."launches a community dialog"..."larger community conversations"..."formative assessment indicators"..."equitable across the system"..."focusing on implementation"..."collaborative conversations led by intentionality".."sense of advocacy"..."creates the whole child"...I wondered.
I thought about the two years that had passed, since Scott Barnett and Richard Barerra rammed through the appointment of this Kindergarten teacher, with magic wand and red shoes...and wondered why...Why?
Why no search, why no interviews, why no community input, why no diversity in applicants...Why?
Why did Scott Barnett say that Cindy Marten was the best choice he'd made in his life..Why?
After a year, I sort of figured it out...Charter schools and selling property...Two things Scott was there for...
Now the district is run by the big three...Ursula, Cheryl and Staci...and Scott is no longer the puppet master.
Good for Andra, a smart, fearless lady, for calling Scott out on this..
"Public offices are used for personal or private gain.." A no-no..Thanks for that Ursula. You"re not speaking from personal experience, are you?.
Sorry, Scott, you may have to get a real job to pay your bills.
Is this the same Gulen run Magnolia Charter schools being investigated in Los Angeles and Ohio?
If so, I would VERY wary of selling them anything.
Hope I am wrong.