District divided: Tensions mount as Sunnyside board votes to keep superintendent
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Sunnyside is a district divided.
"I knew from day 1 he was a crook," said Carol Schurwanz.
"Personal business has nothing to do with how he's running the district," said Gloria Sanchez.
At the center of the battle: Superintendent Dr. Manuel Isquierdo and whether he should stay or go.
"People here deserve better," said Richard Hernandez.
He's been embroiled in personal and financial trouble, everything from owing thousands in back-taxes to accusations of misusing district funds.
"Let us speak," chanted the crowd.
People packed into the tiny space wanting to speak.
"We're very upset," said Schurwanz. "This is the way they planned it."
But they didn't get that chance. In a 3-2 vote, the board voted to keep Isquierdo around through 2016. He'll be making a base salary of $150,000.
"Shame, shame on you," chanted the crowd, disappointed with the decision.
"San Antonio doesn't want him, nobody wants him," said Schurwanz. "That's why he wants to be here, he's got nowhere else to go."
After the meeting, 9OYS talked to Isquierdo who says he welcomes the challenge of uniting a divided district.
"I plan to work for this," said Isquierdo. "I don't plan to leave."
But for the people in the crowd Tuesday night, the fact he won't leave is exactly the problem.
Isquierdo did achieve 93% of the district's goals. But his critics say he's just not right for the district. Next, they say they'll work to recall the board members who voted to keep him around.