Morning Report: Tensions, Then a Pricey Resignation at National School District

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Morning Report: Tensions, Then a Pricey Resignation at National School District

National City School District
National School District / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

National City’s elementary school district will go into the coming school year without a top business officer.

An assistant superintendent agreed recently to resign in exchange for $147,000 — the equivalent of 10 months’ pay — and gave up his right to sue. His departure followed an investigation commissioned by the district that stemmed from a series of internal complaints among the staff.

Some of the early disagreements stemmed from district spending on things like furniture and grew into more serious allegations. Other administrators said he created a hostile work environment, stressing out employees to the point of physical illness. 

He had a reputation for being fiscally hawkish and clashed with his boss over financial decisions. He said his colleagues retaliated against him.

Many of the allegations were ultimately dismissed and the assistant superintendent denied he’d done anything wrong. But the tensions consumed the upper echelon of the district’s leadership for much of the last school year, Ashly McGlone reports.

In addition to the payout, the district spent at least $139,000 on its investigation. 

How the Ballot Is Shaping Up

San Diego’s elected leaders have until the end of July to decide which measures will go to voters in November. 

What won’t be on the ballot: A union-backed proposal that would clear the way for union-friendly contracts with the city. That effort has the support of Council Democrats, Andrew Keatts reports, but will have to wait for another election.

In 2012, San Diegans barred officials from requiring that city projects include an agreement to hire union workers in exchange for a guarantee that there’ll be enough labor to finish the job. 

What will be on the ballot: a $900 million affordable housing bond. If approved, it’s expected to increase property taxes over a seven-year period to help fund 7,500 homes for low-income and homeless San Diegans.

Voters will also decide whether the city should create a new police oversight commission with independent legal counsel and subpoena power. 

Plus: A group of elected leaders walked out of a SANDAG meeting in an attempt to stop the regional planning agency from finalizing the number of homes that developers can build over the next eight years. Keatts has more on the procedural gamesmanship from small cities that want to see fewer new homes. 

Mo’ Politics

  • Ricardo Flores, the director of LISC San Diego, which provides financing for affordable housing, argued on the podcast in favor of dismantling single-family home zoning. Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby also reviewed what a lack of COVID-19 testing means for, well, everyone. 
  • In the Sacramento Report, we took a closer look at a new state audit concluding that San Diego’s air control regulators aren’t charging polluters enough to cover the cost of their efforts. At the same time, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate have asked the governor to temporarily amend state code or risk killing hundreds of local hair salons and barbershops that can’t operate outside during the pandemic. 
  • As COVID-19 cases rise in Coronado, public records show that some businesses have been unwilling or unable to follow county public health rules and the city has also been reluctant to take action. Officials tapped a local business group to flag others for noncompliance, but then downplayed the significance of those findings to the U-T. 

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.

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