From Donna Seaman, November 1, 2006
Conni, I must add my voice to those of other retired educators who are upset and concerned about the continued shenanigans of the STRS board. To begin, though, you need to know that I am excluding Dennis Leone and John Lazares because they are, apparently, the ONLY two STRS board members who are sincerely concerned and interested in the welfare of Ohio's educators.
Conni, you and the remainder of the STRS board, and the STRS administration, Damon Asbury et al (Damon is just Herb Dyer's look-alike!) are still totally focused on YOURSELVES, not retired Ohio educators! If ever you consider making any cuts, it is to cut benefits for us, the real beneficiaries of STRS funds, instead of looking where you should be looking: STRS operating expenses, STRS board expenditures for perks, fringes, overnights, frivolous contracts like $315,000 to Ferguson to find real estate personnel!
STRS cut the 13th check for retirees but continues to pay a 13th type check/bonus to STRS staff! How can you justify that?
You MUST stop putting down Dr. Leone and Mr. Lazares. You MUST instead, respect and value their input because it reflects the frustrations most of us are feeling. They TRULY represent retired educators and are TRULY trying to change the STRS status quo. As board chair, you MUST encourage Leone and Lazares (not shut them up) to lead the board toward frugal and conservative changes in spending and operations. I, also would like to add my voice to those who are encouraging you to step down from the STRS board. Thank you.