Note: I put Conni's words in red so you wouldn't miss them. Glad the other two contributors to this post have better developed communication skills. KBB
From: June Hughes
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006
Subject: Re: Conni
But Connie, the question is who are you committed to, to seek a solution(s) for health care and pension funding, us or them? If you don't know history, how can you make an intelligent and informed decision and be fair about it? History teaches us many things and much of it is for all of us to learn about mistakes made by others (read Leone's findings carefully). Please, I say puuuuleeeeeeze!! read those offenses committed by past board members. Otherwise I wish you a colder winter house than mine because of the extreme higher costs I've been facing for utilities, health costs, gasoline, overpriced prescriptions (Advance/Caremark), etc. I know God says "Vengeance is mine", but I've been privileged to see, without action on my part, vengeance to happen while I am still alive. So think carefully of your own future without any action on my part other than to defeat any possibility of you continuing to remain on the board! June (retired 1990)
From: Conni Ramser to Molly Janczyk
Subject: RE: Conni
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 14:27:56 -0500
Yes, I served on the OEA Executive Committee. I am committed to seeking solution for health care and pension funding. Those are my priorities. Conni
From: Molly Janczyk
To: Conni Ramser
Sent: Fri 1/27/2006
Correct any errors:
Following Allen's letter which blasted Leone in June of 2003, weren't you appointed to the OEA Exec Committee? When asked , you seemed quick to tell people you were NOT on the OEA Exec Com when Allen sent his statement. However, it seems obvious that you were on the committee during the period of time when Kirk Shuring, retirees and some actives seperately went to Allen asking him to apologize and make amends for the sake of the future. I was one of the retirees, among many, begging him to consider this via email. At the time, Gary and I had a responding dialogue going and he indicated all in due time. He did invite Lazares to the tower after he was elected and implied to me, if Leone were elected, such would occur with Leone. It never did. Allen reportedly told others he'd take their suggestions under advisement, which we have heard caused dissention of some of the higher-ups at OEA. We also hear there is a 50-50 division among OEA with those who want to be collaboratively working to solve problems.
It seems completely and utterly impossible for you NOT to have participated in any those discussions or been privvy to these issues at that time. I would think you would have full knowledge of what was happening. Doesn't make sense. How can any board member not care enough to read Leone's research report when is was a triggering element of sorts for internal changes at STRS, revamping of the board, and a new pension reform law? Ridiculous.
Now, you have Len Codispotil telling OEA-R members, that CORE is diametrically opposed to OEA. How is that possible when we ARE OEA and Lifetime OEA-R? Where would OEA be if not for us? We WERE the local reps and worker bees who raised this organization. We put Allen in his position. We have a right to feel underrepresented when we were told in 2003 by Bill L. "OEA has active on the building" and were laughed at by the young slick OEA reps saying, "You have yours; we want ours." Now, with all the bad press, OEA is sure to include current and future retirees in its language.
We simply wanted and fought for a change from an OEA dominated board voting spending approvals for themselves 100% of the time. Is this a dictatorship when dissent is not tolerated or an organization for ALL educators who have a right to seek change when necessary? That seems so very threatening to some of you and you then call us names and say we are the problem.
I am most happy to send you the researched facts by email for your convenience - all which were provided by Damon Asbury and researched by numerous investigative reporters. I will send you the articles and Allen's letter since you seem illiterate on these issues.
Your co-candidate, Mark Meuser, a respectful and seemingly more opened minded individual, welcomed the information stating he , too, was not that familiar with the past events. I hope your attitude, already being a board member, would be to invite information which resulted in change and dynamics of the board.
We have been disappointed in you as a board member, Conni, trying to shut down dialogue and motions to the board shaking your head and repeating, 'I object' several times to Leone's substitute motion and adhering to tired ways. You are young and should be open to all membership as is your duty according to law.
Expect some information, please read it for your knowledge and perhaps return your point of view. It is fine to not be responsible for another's act and true. But to plea ignorant of it simply doesn't ring true. I would suggest this for Mark as well. Know the background and speak to it. It brings credence to your candidacy. The other point is: I expect from the past 2 elections, that you will get further stating that while you are OEA, your duty is to determine issues not by voting most of the time with OEA policy but for the STRS Membership ONLY taking all sides into consideration with blinders to outside influence.
DO seek information on the subject from leaders of all sides, printed materials, discuss purely with other board members as to their reasons for a stand. It seems board members are voting without concrete facts in front of them and without knowledge of board protocal and without the depth of information to see how it truly affects all membership. It seems NO ONE stand up for proper protocal and views other than ones of a more corportate mentality other than Leone and Lazares. Since this is not being tracked, we are happy to do that. Every board meeting is going to be noted with who speaks, offers input for true and full disclosure, seeks depth of understanding of issues prior to voting as is required evidenced by their input and votes according to law and not because they want to get along.
It is most sad to see board members NOT SPEAK up for other board members' rights or try to shut board members down and it will not go unnoticed. Minutes will be sent to every organization leader for their consideration of who they sent to rep their membership. STRS Membership wants to know WHO contributes and WHO stands up for what is right. You will not agree on all things but you sure need to come prepared for your stand and speak to it so membership knows your reasoning.
You are there for contribution and it is not for the meek or those not passionate regarding STRS. WE HAVE BEEN WARNED BY CONSULTANTS THAT THE UNFUNDED LIABILITY WILL GO TO INFINITY IF 8% IS NOT MET EVERY YEAR! WE HINGE FRAGILE AND VULNERABLE ON OUR INVESTMENT STAFF ALONE BECAUSE WE DID NOT PROTECT RETIREMENT AS WE SHOULD HAVE DECADES AGO guaranteeing a source of revenue for HC and making bigger changes way back in the 80's when trouble loomed. This is not for the weak minded or the willy nilly and this system could fail completely without strong leadership from this board. Actives face NO health care if solutions cannot be found.
Voting should NEVER occur if not properly and 100% prepared! Some among you are saying AFTER THE VOTE, I shouldn't have voyted that way when you consider other views. CONSIDER ALL VIEWS WITH DEEP CONVERSATION AND OPEN MINDS BEFORE THE VOTE! We can't afford errors like that if we want a secure retirement. This isn't a bet in Vegas! It is retirees' LIVES- both current and future.
The healthcare hinges on legislation which should have been sought in the early 90's when a bill to guaranted HC was proposed. OEA and STRS found it unnecessary. Now it is mandatory. Have you counted your eggs in the basket? I wonder how many legislators-those legislators that STRS told us would never help us since they think we retire too young and feel we should manage ourselves..........are now in our basket.
I support this legislation but have serious concerns it can be passed. Young educators face futures with no healthcare and it is a catastrophic thought. How can we encourage education with no pension security? There is no retirement without healthcare as current retirees know having had to go back to work, sell homes, refuse medical care and RX's. This is reality.
The young man who came to the STRS Board meeting suggested putting the full
5% onto him as it legislation did approve the employer paying 2.5% of the
5%, it still would be on him with cutbacks in raises, schools, areas for the kids. This was a wise young man who said he could bear it better than retirees and while wouldn't like it, knew it was necessary for him to have HC in his retirement. He understood that no educator can save enough to ever pay for his HC let alone for a family as well.
STRS Board Members have an uphill challenge ahead. Listen to each other, vote YOUR CONSCIENCE BASED ON EVERY DETAIL YOU CAN HEAR AND READ. Consider all points with in depth discussion prior to voting; seek each other's views. You have a duty to know everything before you vote OR DO NOT VOTE! This isn't a team, it's a board fighting for membership and you darn well better know the battlefield before you cavalierly decide other's lives simply based on the comment of the moment-oh that sounds good; well, no, that sounds good. You have to go deep into the subject BEFORE you come to that table without predjudice.
You have a sacred duty! Earn our respect. So, far, all we see is: Leone and Lazares speaking up. Ramser and Brown trying to shut them up. Some just trying to get along and not wanting to offend anyone and be in the background. A couple locked into corporate mindsets with absolutely NO understanding of the real world. A couple considered info but changing with each set of facts.
We need the big picture of future effects on membership-not one gorup:STRS non investment STAFF. STRS Membership are out here with destroyed lives and still their is talk of raises for them. Actives face futures with no security. What is wrong with some of you people? MEMBERSHIP FIRST! BY LAW! FIRST!
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." - Plato