Paul Boyer and OEA's Tim Myers on Tim's version of reality
Paul Boyer, March 15, 2006, 2:46 pm
This just gets gooder and gooder.Paul_____________________________From: Tim MyersTo: Paul BoyerSent: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 2:07 PMSubject: Re: article
Paul, we just disagree on whose version of the story is correct. Or for that matter whether Mr. Leone is a savior or a crack pot.______________________________
Tim, all I can say, then, is that if you were there when all of the misspending was going on, then you must be blind and hearing impaired or just too plainly stubborn to agree with the facts of the case.Paul______________________________From: Tim Myers email@example.comTo: Paul BoyerSent: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 1:15 PMSubject: Re: article
You are correct, you will never convince me. I was there before Leone started.___________________________Sorry, Tim, there were no changes made until we started complaining about the misspending. Mr. Dyer and the Board were going right on spending as though, as Mr. Dyer replied to a retiree, (paraphrased) "The money is not yours; it is the Board's money to spend as it sees fit". That is totally contrary to ORC 3307.15.I know that I will never convince you but I am sticking to my guns.
Paul L. BoyerRetired since 1985Life member OEA/OEA-R,NEA, ORTA, COREProud to be named“Core” of CORE______________________________From: Tim MyersTo: Paul BoyerSent: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 9:39 AMSubject: Re: article
“W” is President George “W” Bush.And I obviously disagree about Mr. Leone. Changes were underway long before he stirred things up.______________________________
Tim, I have just read the long, mostly false, diatribe which was written by you and posted on the STRSWATCH blog. I am not going to waste my time trying to refute each of your statements.Suffice it to say that you have missed the point completely. I do not know who you are referring to by "W" unless you are meaning Dr. Dennis Leone. If that is the case, where did the "W" come from?You state that many changes have been made in the last three years and that your retirement is now secure. The only thing you left out is that those changes have been made because of Dr. Leone's research and the continued pressure by those retirees who now form CORE.'Fess up to it, Tim. If we had not done what we have for the last three years, you might have lost all of your retirement by the time the OEA members and the Executive Director had spent all of it on themselves.Paul_____________________________March 12, 2006STRS: A day from the back rowBy Tim Myers
The STRS meetings have gotten interesting, almost entertaining, over the past few years since I started going to the Board meetings. Not many benefit recipients or actives attended the meetings several years ago. Everyone could fit inside the huge glass walls that surround the board's primary meeting room. A few years later, the audience has overflowed into the anteroom outside those transparent partitions.
Somewhere along the line, there arose a clatter. There were accusations, denials, investigations, and finally, a resolution. Adding to the problems at that time was a man simply known as "W." His fiscal ineptitude caused the economy (and the STRS investments) to go into Academic Emergency. There was an immediate interest in what the STRS staff and board were up to. A few new staff members and newly elected board members later, and the STRS is once again the respected retirement organization it once was. The clatter is now in the past, and should, for all intents and purposes, stay there.
The interest in board meetings has continued, however. Today, two groups of STRS watchers have emerged. One still rooted in the past, the other looking for solutions. The first group has, rightly so, criticized the system for extravagant spending and is made up of benefit recipients who are affiliated with the Ohio Retired Teachers. The second group has formed an alliance with all STRS stakeholders, including active groups and the benefit recipients affiliated with the Ohio Education Association.
On any given Thursday board meeting, these two groups file into the room as if following a classroom seating chart. CORE sits on the north side of the aisle and the Coalition group sits on the south side. One need only look down the row to see Gary next to Jim in front of Vivian, in front of Mark, in front of me, who is sometimes in front of Rick. Homer is next to Jim, and Bill, well you get the picture. The Wonson rule of chair placement is now in effect. The soft, padded chairs have moved from the back of the anteroom to the front where our assigned seats are.
The interior is now mostly staff, a few leaders of the two groups, and newcomers who want to be closer to the action. Every once in a while, a librarian type 'shush' is heard outside the glass, as two watchers are discussing a comment heard during the board's discussion. The response is whispered, "Go inside, that's what those chairs are for!" As the day goes on, more people come in and the empty seats are claimed. The interior room's chairs are vacated as reports are given and then refilled with the appropriate staff responsible for the next report.
After lunch, the public gets a chance to speak. These can be mostly speeches asking for restoration of lost spousal health care benefits or the return of the 13th check. Once a person testifying wondered aloud how STRS can get its employees to have more children so the Day Care Center could have all spots filled and thereby more cost effective! And every once in a while, we get a speaker who praises the work of the STRS staff. These comments are highly appreciated by the staff and board members alike.
The room generally clears out after the public participation and the board usually continues its work with very few remaining to hear the chair's gavel announce a recess until 9:00am Friday morning. Often, the board then goes into a scheduled meeting with the Health Care Advocates for STRS during the evening hours after the recess. Friday morning is the resumption of the board meeting and we go back to the same pre-clatter attendance patterns.
Several changes have been made in the make-up of the board in recent years. An additional elected retiree member and some appointed investment experts were added by the Legislature. The active teachers and administrators are now in the minority on the board even though they are the only board members actually paying into the system with their continued contributions! And much like adding additional students into an already full class of inquisitive students, this new arrangement has meant longer board meetings due to the additional questions and subsequent discussions. Some of these questions could be answered with a little more homework before the meeting since the issue at hand is explained in the printed material. One board member actually switched his/her vote one meeting because he/she was not aware of provision included in the measure that he/she voted on in the previous meeting.
At the end of the day, all is still well with the system. I can rest assured as an active teacher that my contributions are being spent and invested wisely. I fully expect the system to be there when I retire along with the optional health care benefit. That is, unless that "W" guy gets his hands on my retirement contributions and tries to privatize the system like he wants to do to Social Security!