After yesterday’s story about a communications consultant hired by San Diego Unified Superintendent Carl Cohn, former school board member Frances O’Neill Zimmerman wrote a letter to the editor to say Cohn had nothing on his predecessor, Alan Bersin.

In her letter, Zimmerman claimed that the district had 22 public relations staff members when Bersin was superintendent, a number she said she remembered from a PowerPoint presentation given while she was on the board.

However, former district Communications Director Peri Lynn Turnbull said that number was incorrect. In 1999, the district had eight positions in the communications department, she said. In fiscal year 2002, the department grew to 12 positions after taking on the maintenance of the website and broadcasting functions. In fiscal year 2003, the staff was at 9.5 members. And it stayed at that level through 2005, Lynn said

At one point, the district transferred its interpreting department — eight staff — under her supervision, though the interpreters were never part of the communications staff, she said.


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