Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bob Slater to Ann Hanning re: Charter school participation in STRS

From Bob Slater, Sept. 8, 2006
Subject: RE: Fwd: Charter School Aid Flows In; Our HC/Rx flows out!
Hello, Ann.
Teachers in charter schools are required to participate in STRS. As of today, there are four charter schools that are a little bit behind (31 - 60 days) in submitting member contributions. Total late contributions for all four of these charter schools combined are about $2200.
Employer contributions for charter schools are deducted from state funding and sent directly to STRS. If they fall behind with member contributions, we have authority to ask the Department of Education to deduct member contributions from state funding as well, so we monitor them pretty closely.
I hope this is helpful.
Bob Slater
(614) 227-4009

Duane Tron: About Dave

From Duane Tron, Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dear All,
Dave Speas and I have been friends and professional colleagues for over 30 years. Dave has served as a school board member with Clark-Shawnee Local Schools since he retired from the classroom in 1994. He has also served eight years on the Springfield City-Clark County JVS School Board. He has served as president of the Clark County RTA for many years.
Dave has operated a faith-based after-school program for at-risk children in grades 1-4, in Springfield/Clark County, since 1998. I came on board as principal for the program five years ago. Three years ago we partnered with Springfield City Schools and recently the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services. We are supported by Central United Methodist Church where our program is based. We also receive funding and support from Freedom Road Ministries, The Nehemiah Foundation, Elderly United, student volunteers from Wittenberg University and many more. Our funding comes from a 21st Century Grant through ODE and other sources. We presently serve 125 at-risk children in grades 1-3, at a given time, and last year served 234 children from Springfield City Schools. We feed the children when they arrive each day and provide support in reading, math, physical development. We provide counseling and a safe environment for the children. The impact of this program has demonstrated how successful it has been. This program was the idea of Dave and he was the one who designed and implemented the program during the past nine years. The cost to parents? FREE!
Where is this going? Dave is one of the most caring, professional, and hard working people I have ever known. He is selfless, caring, compassionate, and empathetic. he has given everything he can to support Ohio's retired teachers over the years. To even question him, and his motives, or commitment too retirees, is not acceptable. He has given more of his time, talents, personal finances (always donated), and energy than about anyone I know!
Dave is the consummate negotiator who always tries to create win/win situations as opposed to confrontation. We are close friends who have worked together in the Springfield Area Emmaus Community, an ecumenical religious group, from all faiths in Springfield and the surrounding region.
He never does anything to promote himself or to build his ego. When he says something you can take it to the bank! He has never worked on behalf of teachers out of personal motives or possible selfish gains. This is very unlike so many of our elected officials across this state and the past leadership at STRS and those serving at OEA.
Everything he does for ORTA is about serving teachers! He has and continues to work on behalf of ALL retirees and actives. I wrote this for those of you who don't know Dave on the same level as me and haven't had the privilege to know him for as many years as I have! When he was appointed to the STRS Board we agreed that I would run the school program for our kids and he would handle STRS and ORTA business. I anchor the school so he can work on behalf of retirees and actives. This is why I haven't been able to be physically present for activities since we started trading off duties four years ago.
We consult on a lot of issues and discuss strategies and plans to help retirees when we are together at school. Dave always places the interests and welfare of educators first and always has! There isn't anyone who has worked any harder to try and resolve the HC crisis at STRS. After all we both have non-teaching spouses so we know the pain and problems that retirees are facing because we are dealing with them ourselves.
Dave is pragmatic enough to know that we aren't going to find immediate fixes to problems that have been allowed to fester for over a decade at STRS. I felt it time to step up and let others know who Dave Speas is and what he has done for retirees. I don't let people slam my friends and especially those who are committed to serving others as much as Dave.
Anyone who has any questions about Dave and doesn't want to ask him personally can contact me any time and I will clarify any questions you might have! Dave and I don't profess to have ALL of the answers to every situation, and problem, but there is never any doubt as to our level of commitment to anything we do. We give 100% to everything we do or we don't bother doing it!
This is why it was a blow to retirees when Dave wasn't re-elected to the STRS Board. Some people think that compromise is a sign of weakness! It is not! Sometimes you give a little to gain a lot more in the long run. We both operate from the standpoint, and with the philosophy, that it's better to get a third of a piece of pie than to get NO pie! Sometimes you take a step back and then take two to three steps forward!
As I have offered many times there are some of us who have worked diligently using all resources available to us to try and bring about positive change! I have indicated many times that I have been very busy behind the scenes and this is how I prefer to help our cause. I don't believe in putting all of my eggs in one basket, and as an old coach, I don't think it wise to always lay your game plans out for everyone to see. It takes people at all levels, using a variety of resources, to bring about change. One or two people can't reform the mess we are dealing with by themselves! We each bring special talents to the fight! This is what will help us prevail in the long-term. I realize that some of us might not be alive to see the changes, a return to a STRS Board committed to serving the needs of retirees and promoting the welfare of others ahead of themselves. We are moving in the right direction but the solutions aren't going to be immediate. I sometimes get very impatient but understand what is at stake! This is why I remain an eternal optimist through all of this! I know what is just and right will prevail in the face of those who took care of themselves at the expense of those they were elected to serve and represent!
Any other questions? Any other questions as to where Dave lines up on the issues? Just think if we had him, John, and Dennis on the board right now?
Duane Tron, Immediate Past President & Legislative Liaison The Champaign County Retired Teachers Association
Friend and colleague of Dave Speas

Dave Speas responds to Paul Boyer and RH Jones

From Dave Speas, Sept. 9, 2006
Dear Paul,
Thank you for your words of respect. STRS members did not consult their legal experts before they made unethical and immoral decisions. I was one of many who wanted clarification of our ability to support political candidates. We were told by professional experts in the field of tax exempt organizations that we could not.
If the STRS board members had consulted the legal department and then gone against their advice, how would those of us in CORE, and etc. have reacted. You have known me for awhile and you know I will not do anything illegal, unethical, or morally wrong. What kind of leader would all of us be if we went against legal advise. No better than those who broke the ethics laws at STRS and maybe worse because we were told not to by legal experts.
Thank you for your friendship and I honor Bob's right to state his opinion and I want all sides so I can make educated decisions. I am here because I respect and admire the retired teachers who have given so much. Please know I will not stop working for them and welcome one and all opinions and feelings. I have attached my response to Bob Jones who I respect very much and value his sharings.
Your friend,
Dave Speas
September 9, 2006
Our membership has made it very clear that recovery of health care benefits is the most important thing. It is clear on every questionnaire and response we have gotten last year and this year. The 5% will make it possible to recover the coverage for our most needy teachers.
You may want us to sever the ties we have with the politicians that have to write and support the bill but where does that leave those of us who are most vulnerable? I have no argument about leading but over two years of hard work has been put in convincing legislators to back the idea that retired and eventually active teachers should have adequate healthcare.
I believe the locals can do more in their communities than any other entity can in defeating the very politicians that we want out. Priorities must be made. Some will not agree and I have no problem with that, however, as I speak around the state, the most asked for topic is recovery of healthcare in every local I visit. Over two years have been spent working to get the bill in front of both houses and the very politicians you want us to defeat may be reelected and be needed for passage.
As president of Clark County Retired Teachers, I instruct my legislative chair to keep our people informed and up-to-date on the politicians who are running. We will defeat those from our area if enough people agree and we work hard enough. I am not willing to have those of us who are hurting the most making decisions about taking medicine or eating hurt even more because we anger the very group ORTA, OEA, STRS, and CORE want to pass the legislation to ease the pain.
I am a member of both groups and CORE has the ability to do what it wants in this area because it is not a member of the Healthcare Advocates. The two top issues laid out to us in the four area meetings were healthcare and no social security.
We paid for a legal expert to advise us on whether we could endorse candidates. Using our stated purpose for existing and our constitution and bylaws, respected experts in the field of tax-exempt organizations advised us that we could not. It seems to me that STRS is still going through the problems of people who broke the law and did not ask for advice before they acted.
I was one who asked for clarification and now we have it. I will not walk down the road Chapman, Endry, and the others took. As organizations for retirees, we should use our combined strengths to get things done but I would never ask CORE to go against the advice of counsel as ethics and moral strength is what we were lacking at STRS. I will not go down that road as I was privy to the inside of the problems for awhile and it was not any better from that view than it is now.
You may disagree with me, speak against what I believe is right, castigate me as an officer, blast the organization I am trying to make stronger and I will die for your right to do so but do NOT ask me to go against the legal opinion and do what is unethical and immoral. I am working by butt off in my own community to see that public schools are protected and as a school board member, it is one of my most important priorities.
Thank you for your statements and I do not dismiss them lightly.

Paul Boyer: A response to RH Jones

From Paul Boyer, September 09, 2006
Subject: your letter Bob

Shame on you for what I have just read from your letter to Dave Speas.
"We voted you into office to lead. We pay our dues for leadership. We public educators Pre-I-16 are at war with those who are taking public tax dollars and putting them into the pockets of entrepreneurs who would like to privatize our public schools. Our survival as STRS retirees depends on our traditional public schools that are doing the best they can as multi-millions flow away to inferior charter schools -- proven to be so by state testing. And we depend on those politicians that support the education system that has made us the number one world power. A democracy depends on public education -- an intelligent voting decision! Profiteering entrepreneurs do not know how to educate students, educators do. Making money is their job, or is teaching."
Yes, I feel in many ways the same as you do, that ORTA is still not doing the job. But please remember that he is just one person on a board and that many of the board are dragging their feet. It is hard to accomplish anything when one has such overwhelming odds against him. You should be praising Dave for the work he is doing.
If you feel that way about Dave, I wonder how you feel about John and Dennis on the STRS board. They are in a very similar position on that board as Dave is on the ORTA board; all of the others are voting against them time after time.
Remember, we ALL have to work as hard as we can to get the job done. If I continue to feel as good as I am feeling today, I hope to get back in there and be more active again.

RH Jones to Dave Speas: We need direction from ORTA

From RH Jones, September 09, 2006
Subject: ORTA leadership

Concerning your letter to John explaining the stand that ORTA is taking in the coming election, I looked up the term "lead". The Webster Dictionary "New World" Edition mentions "lead" as this: 1. to direct 2. to guide 3. to head 4. to be the head of 5. to be head of in a contest 6. to show the way. 7. to be or go first 8. to lead off 9. in the forefront....etc.etc. & etc. In particular, I like # 5. to be head of in a contest. We sir, as educators, are in the contest of our lives. We need direction from ORTA and are not getting it.
When I was in "leadership school" in the army at Fort Benning, the logo on the entrance gate was: "Follow me". Today, as followers of ORTA leaders, we need direction. We voted you into office to lead. We pay our dues for leadership. We public educators Pre-K-16 are at war with those who are taking public tax dollars and putting them into the pockets of entrepreneurs who would like to privatize our public schools. Our survival as STRS retirees depends on our traditional public schools that are doing the best they can as multimillions flow away to inferior charter schools -- proven to be so by state testing. And we depend on those politicians that support the education system that has made us the number one world power. A democracy depends on public education -- an intelligent voting decision! Profiteering entrepreneurs do not know how to educate students, educators do. Making money is their job, or is teaching.
We members realize that we are made up of diverse political, racial, ethnic, religious and every other persuasion that makes us Americans. In this fall election OEA is made up to the same people, only they are younger. OEA, OFT, FOP, and other unions lead members with their political endorsements. That is a major responsibility of organizing, of coming together in union. Endorsements, in one way or another, help in making informed voting decisions. ORTA is going to have to lead or get out of the way. CORE is coming on strongly and will soon be in serious contention for membership. Perhaps, however, OEA may have waited too long, as well. CORE represents active educators too.
No one knows the future, but be certain of this: we want leadership. Personally, I do not want to hear that we need to work with those who would destroy our schools. They do not want to hear us; they have not listened to us in the last 10-yrs. or so. They will not listen to us now. Just let us know whose these politicians are so that we can do our best to retire them out-of-office. That is our ORTA elected leaders and the ORTA hired staff's job. Are you all up to it, I wonder?
RHJones, SummitCRTA & ORTA Life Member

Another response to Damon's long, long, long, long letter

From Barb Garwood, Sept. 7, 2006
Subject: STRS Expenditures
Good morning Dr. Asbury, I have read your long message explaining budgeting procedures, controls, and authorizations of funds for hiring real estate investment staff and paying legal fees for STRS employees. Your message was long, detailed, informative but still a rationalization for what you, the Executive Director, decide to do.
As I indicated in a previous message to you, merely stating that the HR Dept. was disappointed in the quality of applicants for the real estate positions is not a sufficient reason to spend $315,000 on head hunters. The HR Dept could have tried a second round in the search using creative approaches.
One disappointing response does not a $315,000 contract make! Your message explained that legal fees would be authorized for staff who spend money in a case involving their work as STRS Board members were charged with ethical violations. Why did the staff members disregard the excellent staff at STRS? Why was the legal staff not available to the STRS staff members?
Even though the bill is only $1,400 for legal fees, it is inappropriate for STRS to pay any amount. This is also a dangerous precedent. No legal fees should ever be paid by STRS for staff under any circumstance.
As a reminder, I am still waiting to receive the spread sheet listing the HR employees, their titles, and their annual salaries that you promised to send to me. Thank you for your consideration of this email.
Barbara Garwood, Ph.D.

RH Jones to Ann Hanning: Can you name names?

We know that ORTA has been meeting and talking with legislators. What I and others would like to know is: Where does each politician stand on their backing of traditional public schools, as opposed to privatized charter for profit "schools"? Can ORTA publish these names? I see nothing wrong with ORTA taking the leadership in this fight for the survival of our beloved public schools and it's STRS. We members want to do our talking with our votes.
RHJones, SummitCRTA Leg. CMTE Mem.; Life Mem. of ORTA

Friday, September 08, 2006

From a retired OEA staffer re: STRS 2007 healthcare premiums and coverage

The email below was sent to me by a retired OEA staff member, Ray Sutherland. Some of you may remember Ray. He really hits the nail on the head. John Curry
From Ray Sutherland, September 8, 2006
Subject: Re: Read and weep - 2007 STRS HC premiums are posted

This is criminal. To keep up this silly inane method of health coverage and cost is only promoting people not to retire until reaching the age for medicare coverage. It is nice to see the STRS is a family oriented group. Let us leave out the spouse in the coverage. What a sad, sad joke.
Ray Sutherland

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A thanks to Dave Speas

From John Curry, Sept. 7, 2006
Subject: Re: Dave, have you heard back from ORTA?
Dave, thank you. I do understand what you are saying and am glad you took the time to "lay it all out" in print.
From: Dave Speas, September 7, 2006
John, This is a situation that is very sensitive at this time. After what ORTA went through with the STRS fiasco using the bylaws as they were written and doing the process as it was designed and getting drilled by members who were not happy with the decision, I think any one looking at the situation would agree that after getting and paying for legal advice on the matter of general elections, ORTA leadership, of which I am one, would be very careful in this matter.
Not only are there members of both political parties in the organizations but there are many independents like me who want to be able to choose our candidates and stances without political party influence.
There comes a time in the way the organization is built that the individual chapters need to take the lead and do what each local feels necessary. All political decisions affect all of us in some way but ORTA must be careful in the area of direct impact on retirees only. In Clark County, we are giving our people all the issues and allowing them to make the decision based on their own thought process. Every person who has a dog in the fight wants backing from everyone but local control in the form of township trustees, county commissioners, school boards, and etc. are the best way to keep government close to the people.
I believe it is ORTA's job to lead the locals into doing what is best for their membership on the individual chapter level. CORE can do what it pleases because it has no strings attached, although that will change when constitutions and bylaws are put into place in the near future and the organization begins the road toward where ORTA is today.
I am sure the locals who began the statewide organization did so in 1947 with the same ideals CORE has today. I believe the strength of ORTA is in its local chapters and that they are the ones to dictate to the state organization where it should go. The power then belongs to the people and not to the state leadership. That is what got us in trouble statewide. It was the local chapters who were used by CORE to get the word out and make the things happen that did. Without the ORTA chapters around the state already formed and active, it would have been much more difficult to get what we got done finished.
I am active in ORTA because I want the locals to be the power and not a few people in Columbus. Should we inform and be the conduit by which retiree work should be done, yes, but each local should have the power to act on its own for the retirees in their area AND across the state. I will continue to look at this and be the squeaky wheel.
I believe that the leadership of ORTA would be responsive to the locals if they moved us toward a certain goal. Until then, healthcare has been the issue most often mentioned across the state and then keeping us out of social security. ORTA is working hard quietly to get the added funds for healthcare and working hard with politicians from both sides of the isle to get it done.
There are many pitfalls that have to be measured against what is best for the retirees directly. I assure you that discussions and hard work are going on every day in the organization. My hope is that local organizations will have more say at the state level and that is why in November the presidents of every chapter will be in Columbus to listen and be listened to. My hope is that a more prudent way will be found to involve the local leadership in the decision-making will be found and adopted.
From: John Curry, September 7, 2006
Dave, thanks for your input on this matter. I know you are just the messenger in this. I think it is fair to say that almost all political elections affect retirees either directly or indirectly. We are finding this out after detailed study of the misdeeds of STRS and the players who could have and should have investigated the STRS fiasco but didn't (especially Petro,Montgomery, and Taft).
Just a simple admission by ORTA officials stating that they, in fact, could have encouraged local chapters to take a political stance but chose not to would have gone a long way towards enhancing their credibility. These days, employee organizations who don't become politically active often find themselves (and their constituents) on the "short end of the stick." Like you, "I am still curious as to the specifics." I have a hunch that Hades will freeze over before we will get a substantive reply. Will the squeaky wheel get the grease this time round? Thank you, Dave.
From: Dave Speas, Sept. 7, 2006
John, So far the only reason given by the experts asked about this issue is that the constitution and bylaws of the organization is set up that the leadership cannot speak for the 90 chapters without a vote or direction from them in a political election that does not have issues that affect the retirees directly.
Since ORTA was set up by local chapters the power flows from the chapters to the state organization. Since STRS elections directly affect the status of the retiree, and is not part of the general public elections, it is proper for the state organization to be involved but representation from locals must be part of it as the 16 member committee was in interviewing the candidates last time.
As you know, even when that happens a statewide hullabaloo can happen. My understanding is that 501C4 may be set up to do political work but ORTA's original reason for existing was to promote retiree issues and not general political party issues. I have asked for clarification on specifics but as all of us know, lawyers do not always respond in specifics but generalities.
I will continue to try to get a clearer picture of the reasons but cannot promise more than this as the experts used are not our general lawyer under contract to advise us but were asked to comment by the board. I do not know what we paid them but I am sure no lawyer works for a small amount. I am sorry I do not have more on this front but will advise you if more comes. By the way, my own legal person helped me with this as I am still curious as to the specifics.

Ann Hanning responds to Bob (RH) Jones

From Ann Hanning, Sept. 6, 2006
Subject: Re: SummitCRTA Gen. Meeting 09/05/06
The HCA/STRS Legislative Team has been meeting with Senators and Representatives over the past year. We began last December & met with the Senate President Bill Harris & House Speaker Jon Husted. We also began initial meetings with ORSC members, as well as members of the House Retirement & Pensions Subcommittee. Some legislators have been visited more than one time.
As of today, we have met with 31 of 33 Senators and more than 70 of the 99 Representatives. We have appointments with five representatives on Tuesday, Sept 12, 2006. As you know both the House & Senate are in recess as members campaign for office.
The Legislative Services Commission (LSC) has drafted (at the request of a legislator) the HC proposal into bill format. The bill has no number or sponsor at the moment.
While the House is currently scheduled to spend 2 days in Columbus before the election; there are no known plans at this time for the House members to do likewise. However, we expect a very busy "lame duck" session.
The HCA/STRS Legislative Team includes: Ann Hanning, Bill Leibensperger (OEA), Larry Lewellyn (IUC), Terri Bierdeman (STRS), and Mike Spino (HCA Project Director). Sometimes Tom Mooney (OFT), Colleen O'Brien (IUC), Robert Davis (OEA) or Marla Bump join the group. We have reported to the STRS Board regularly. I also share the information with ORTA members in various ways.
Meetings continue to be held with OSBA, OASBO and BASA leadership. In addition, presentations on the HC proposal have been given at local school board meetings. Please be aware that we are not just waiting for the election - or anything.
Last week a local school treasurer did his math during presentation at a school board meeting. He said this would cost his district about $150,000 when fully implemented (5 years), and they would save more than twice that amount next year if xxx number of eligible teachers would retire this year. OSBA has not changed their position and embraced the HC proposal; however, I think that the public declarations of "going to war" are in the past.
ORTA has been meeting with the spokemen for the Coalition for School Funding Reform. In addition, I attended the meeting of the Coalition for Public Education (CPE) in June. The latter group is still waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of charter schools. Meanwhile they have once again addressed the "test scores" for charter schools (and public schools) that were released mid-August. The general thinking is that the Supreme Court will not release it's ruling until after the election - the closer we get to Nov 7, the less likely they will issue their ruling before the election.
I hope that I've answered your question. Take care.

STRS FLASHBACK - 3 YEARS AGO TODAY - Hazel's last "junket" and what happened to those video conferences, Laura?

Canton Repository, September 7, 2003
STRS board inspects its real-estate holdings
By PAUL E. KOSTYU Copley Columbus Bureau chief

COLUMBUS — After 17 years on the State Teachers Retirement System board, Hazel Sidaway took one last junket, and it cost the pension fund $1,723.
Less than two months before she retired from Canton City Schools and had to leave the board, Sidaway took a trip to New York City to look at real estate. She wasn’t there to buy, but to visit seven apartment buildings, an office building and some retail space, all owned, at least in part, by the teachers retirement system.
Five other board members accompanied Sidaway on what is an annual spring ritual of visiting the fund’s real estate holdings. This year’s May 4-7 trip cost STRS $8,766. A similar trip to New York City for seven in 2000 cost $10,918; in 2001, eight members went to Atlanta for $5,920; and in 2002 four went to San Francisco and Portand, Ore., at a cost of $6,660.
Sidaway was the only board member to make all four trips.
At its August meeting, the board adopted new guidelines to limit travel. That happened after STRS members complained about excessive spending on meetings and conferences to places like Hawaii and Alaska. But there are exceptions. Real estate tours and travel related to the board’s “due diligence” to oversee the pension fund’s investments are not covered.
Nine percent of the teachers’ pension fund investment portfolio is in real estate. That’s comparable to two other of the state’s five public pension systems: the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (9 percent) and the School Employees Retirement System (10 percent).
Property holdings shift almost daily, said Damon Asbury, interim executive director of STRS.
Jay Hyde, a spokesman for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, said institutional investors generally maintain between 5 percent and 15 percent of their portfolios in real estate.
He said large investors, like pension funds, will buy real estate outright and through stocks of companies that manage real estate holdings.
“Direct property investments were ahead of the curve,” he said refering to the downturn in stock portfolios over the past several years. “They benefited from diversifying.”
A Copley Newspapers analysis shows that most of the retirement system’s real estate investments as of July were in California, Texas and Georgia. Of the 17 properties in Georgia, 14 are in Atlanta, including land, industrial sites, apartments, offices and retail space.
The teachers’ fund has 155 properties in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Most of the investments are in retail space, including 12 Kroger stores, nine Wal-Marts and four Kmarts. A number of the retail buildings are occupied by drugstores. The pension fund also solely owns acres of timber in eight states.
Asbury said board members attend a real estate seminar in conjunction with site visits. He said the trips are rotated annually by region among the Northeast, Southeast and Northwest. He didn’t recall one to view Midwest properties.
Hyde said it is not unusual for property investors to want to “keep an eye” on their holdings through visits. But he couldn’t speak to whether board members would need to make visits if in-house investment managers do.
According to teachers’ fund spokeswoman Laura Ecklar, board members now will be required to file evaluations of the real estate trips. Such evaluations were not required before a story by Copley Newspapers reporting that board members rarely filled out voluntary evaluations on conferences, workshops and seminars they attended.
Before she left the board, Sidaway justified it was important to talk with real-estate clients to make sure their needs were being met.
It might be time for the board to check its holdings in Chicago. Renters at AMLI at Danada Farms complained that maintenance and service at the apartment complex in Wheaton, Ill., near Chicago, was poor. The latest complaint to an online apartment evaluation service came June 6. The anonymous writer said the apartment was “not worth the money you pay for rent.”
Another renter filing a report in January after living at the apartment complex for two months said, “I can’t complain” and complimented the maintenance staff.
But other renters said on March 3 that they had lived there seven months and “can’t wait to get out.” The reviewer criticized the staff as unfriendly and the office help as “horrible.”
The online service publishes unverified claims, and all eight of the evaluations filed since February 2002 were unsigned. Half recommended the apartment complex, which received an overall rating of three on a five-point scale.
Ecklar said the board may start using video conferences in the fall to reduce travel costs associated with investment seminars, including the real estate trips.
Asbury also said the board discussed limiting the number of board members who can attend the real estate trips. But no limit has been set.
You can reach Columbus Bureau Chief Paul E. Kostyu at (614) 222-8901 or e-mail:
The State Teachers Retirement System owns 155 properties in 28 states and the District of Columbia. They are:
California (36)
Texas (24)
Georgia (17)
Ohio and Illinois (10 each)
New York (9)
Kentucky and Florida (7 each)
District of Columbia, Minnesota, New Jersey and Virginia (3 each)
Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri and Washington (2 each)
Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin (1 each).
The holdings are retail space (70), office buildings (37), apartment buildings (23), industrial sites (23) and land (2).
Source: State Teachers Retirement System
Among the properties in which STRS invests are:
Palladium at Cityplace in Palm Beach, Fla., described on its Web site as “one of the most ambitious urban developments in the country.” The Mediterranian-design project, with 186 arching water and air jets that provide a nightly, coordinated show with music; it includes retail spaces, offices, townhouses, lofts and a hotel, and cost $550 million to build.
Cobb Galleria Convention Center in Atlanta, a 320,000-square-foot complex on 88 acres “in prestigious Northwest Atlanta.”
n R.R. Donnelley Center along the Chicago River in Chicago. The modern, glass-dominated skyscraper is the corporate headquarters for R.R. Donnelley Financial.
Park Glen, a corporate housing complex in Minneapolis adjacent to a 100-acre nature preserve. The one- or two-bedroom units rent for $60 to $77 daily or $1,800 to $2,300 monthly.
Apartment buildings in New York City named Union Square, Tribeca Park, Sagamore, Strathmore, Lyric, Westport and Sonoma.
The Paramount, a luxury apartment building in San Francisco. On its Web site, the building’s 43 stories grow before the viewer’s eyes; it promises panorama views of the city, mountains and bay, and calls it “the tallest, most dramatic luxury rental in the history of San Francisco.” Studio apartments begin at $1,895 per month and two-bedroom apartments cost up to $8,000 per month.
Atrium II, an office building on East Fourth Street in Cincinnati.
Key Center, a downtown Cleveland mixed-use complex opened in 1992; it includes the 57-story Key Tower and 28-story Cleveland Marriott.
Macedonia Commons, a 525,000-square-foot shopping center along Interstate 271 in Summit County with a Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Tops and Cinemark Theater as anchors.
STRS also owns the lots and parcels that make up its headquarters at 275 E. Broad St. in downtown
Columbus. The land has market value of $52.4 million; STRS pays no property taxes because the pension fund is exempt as a state agency.
That figure does not include the building, which consolidated the teacher’s fund operations in 1999 at a cost of $99.9 million.

2007 STRS HC premiums posted on ORTA website

From John Curry, September 7, 2006
Subject: Read and weep - 2007 STRS HC premiums are posted
ORTA has posted a webpage listing the dollar amounts of healthcare premiums for 2007 and I congratulate them for doing so. What the rate schedule doesn't reflect is that the benefits for 2007 have been "watered down." Higher deductibles and higher co-pays will be experienced for STRS retirees in 2007. STRS commented on how they were able to keep the premium costs down from what was expected - that is how they did it!
As an example, the 2007 healthcare monthly premium for the Medical Mutual Plus PPO (80/20) for a 30 (or more) year retiree (non-Medicare age) will be $163 per month - THE SPOUSE (non-Medicare age) WILL BE $581 PER MONTH ADDITIONAL for a total of $744 per month premiums! The tables included info for both Medicare age retirees and non-Medicare age retirees. The link below will take you to the tables.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

FLASHBACK: A 2003 Kostyu article re: Two supers sparring over Billirakis' pay

Superintendents spar over board member's pay
By Paul E. Kostyu
Copley Columbus Bureau chief
Canton Repository, September 5, 2003
Leone said Thursday morning, “The more I think about it, I think that all three (Perry, STRS and Billirakis) are equal partners to the problem. I think this whole deal smells really bad.”
[Three years later and it STILL smells bad. Nothing has changed. Do we have our illustrious OEA to thank for pulling the right strings to make it "OK"? If not, then who? KBB]
COLUMBUS -- Two superintendents accused each other of breaking the law in an argument related to the State Teachers Retirement System.

Chillicothe Superintendent Dennis Leone accused the Perry Local Schools in Lake County of fraud for billing STRS for the lost services of STRS board member Michael N. Billirakis, who has been on Perry’s payroll in name only for the past two years.

Leone later retracted his accusation, but still said Perry schools should not have billed STRS more than $33,000 during the last two years to pay part of Billirakis’ salary.

Perry Superintendent Tim Berkey said the charge was “absolutely unfounded.” He accused Leone of violating Ohio law by using taxpayers’ money to pursue a personal, political battle not in the interest of the Chillicothe district.

The two superintendents duked it out in an hour-long phone conversation Wednesday night.

The issue, however, may now be moot. Billirakis said Thursday he agreed with Leone. He asked Perry schools to stop billing STRS in January. He said neither Perry nor STRS should pay for his salary if he’s not teaching.

Billirakis said the National Education Association, where he is an executive committee member, will reimburse Perry for the portion of his salary the union has not covered the past two years. Then, he said, Perry will reimburse STRS.

Billirakis said his pay this year will come entirely from NEA, where his full-time position keeps him on the road in and out of Ohio most of the year. Billirakis said he will initiate a change in board policy this month about how STRS reimburses districts.

“I’ve found board members are all over the place in how they’re charging,” he said.

Districts with employees on the STRS board are allowed to bill the pension fund for the cost of hiring a substitute or replacement for the days missed because of board business.

Billirakis has not been in a classroom since 1988, when he became an officer in the Ohio Education Association, the state’s largest teacher union. In 2001 when he was named an NEA executive, Billirakis moved his teaching contract to Perry schools from a lower-paying district in Portage County. Doing so improved Billirakis’ benefits when he retires. Perry lists his salary, including benefits, at $101,820. Billirakis lives in Pickerington, southeast of Columbus, while Lake County is east of Cleveland.

Berkey said Billirakis, a social-studies teacher, is on a “leave of absence” and “does not perform any work for Perry.”

Leone questioned how Billirakis could be on leave from a position that never existed or he never filled.

“It’s fraud to get reimbursement,” Leone said.

Leone said Thursday morning, “The more I think about it, I think that all three (Perry, STRS and Billirakis) are equal partners to the problem. I think this whole deal smells really bad.”

Damon Asbury, interim executive director of STRS, did not return a phone call for comment Thursday.

Leone said his school district’s attorney said he has not violated any law in his campaign for accountability. “I don’t want my district’s (retirement) contribution to go up because of misspending by STRS,” Leone said.

“A school administrator should not be taking taxpayers’ dollars to pursue a political issue,” Berkey said. “This is not a school district issue.”

You can reach Columbus Bureau Chief Paul E. Kostyu at (614) 222-8901 or e-mail:

Dennis Leone re: Rehired Retirees article in Lima News 9/5/06

From John Curry, Sept. 5, 2006
From Dennis Leone, September 05, 2006
Subject: Rehired Retirees
"This whole thing reminds of how happy everyone was when the 35-year/88% rule was adopted at STRS. It felt good when the change occurred. Everyone was smiling. No one wants to hear today how much it has cost our pension system and how much it has added to our unfunded liability. And no one, 20 years from now, will want to admit that the employment decisions of today were a factor in driving quality new teachers away from education. How many times do you think a brand new teacher will allow himself/herself to be passed over before he/she heads in a different direction?"

John -- I stated my feelings about this issue at the last STRS Board meeting and at previous Board meetings. I understand all of the reasons supts give for immediately rehiring retirees. I was "there" once myself. My decision to recommend the elimination of STRS health insurance for full-time rehired retirees, beginning in 2009, was driven by 2 factors:
1. Rehired retirees using the STRS health insurance plan turned in medical claims last year totaling $5.9 million, but they paid only $3.9 in insurance premiums. This means, black and white, that STRS has to eat the difference. I also was getting tired of school districts "using" our pension system to help solve their financial problems. STRS does not exist for this purpose.
2. While one can argue all they want about the advantages of hiring a more experienced, retired teacher, a continuation of this practice will cause our profession, in the long run, to become stale. It saddens me to see districts immediately rehiring retirees without even considering new teachers or laid-off teachers and administrators. It also bothers me that so many administrators apparently aren't even concerned about the long term impact of immediately hiring retirees. Many of them are doing it because it's easier and because they just don't want to be bothered with conducting interviews. I did it myself 2 years ago. It is one thing to rehire a retiring Latin teacher at the end of the summer after not being able to find anyone else. It is something else to instantly rehire a retiring 2nd grade teacher in April, thinking, I guess, that quality new teachers will still be around later if we need them..
This whole thing reminds of how happy everyone was when the 35-year/88% rule was adopted at STRS. It felt good when the change occurred. Everyone was smiling. No one wants to hear today how much it has cost our pension system and how much it has added to our unfunded liability. And no one, 20 years from now, will want to admit that the employment decisions of today were a factor in driving quality new teachers away from education. How many times do you think a brand new teacher will allow himself/herself to be passed over before he/she heads in a different direction?
Dennis Leone
STRS Board Member
Retire-rehire of school employees common practice here
Lima News, Sep. 5, 2006
LIMA — Several administrators and teachers around the area have retired and then been immediately rehired, including at Bluffton schools, where the school board decided last week not to allow Superintendent Rodney Russell to do so.
Local school boards have been quick to approve retire-rehires, a legal and common practice among school districts around the state. They largely approve them because it is a savings to the school districts, while at the same time it keeps seasoned employees.
"It does not make any sense not to do it, if you are saving money and the person is doing a good job," said Shawnee schools Superintendent Paul Nardini, who retired and was rehired three years ago when he was still a middle school principal.
School employees can retire and start collecting retirement from the Ohio State Teachers Retirement System when they have 30 years in. They can collect 66 percent of the average of their top three salaries. If they wait until they have 35 years, they can collect 88 percent.
Employees can also begin receiving their insurance through STRS, even if they are rehired by the school district. Laura Eckler, of STRS, said between 70 percent and 80 percent of all retirees enroll in its health care plan.
The STRS board though, recently voted to direct officials to draft an administrative rule to require re-employed retirees to receive their health benefits from their employers. It would likely not be until 2009 when the provision is put in place.
Rick Dickinson, general counsel for the Ohio School Boards Association, said retire-rehires have become widespread around the state. He said Ohio has always allowed for retirees to collect retirement and go to work someplace else. About 10 years ago, the law was extended to allow school employees to return to work at the school.
"People started to realize that this was not helping the schools," Dickinson said. "We were losing good experienced people who economically found it desirable to retire and then go to work."
Dickinson said there was a fear then that there would be a shortage of administrators. He said there are a number of administrators nearing retirement today.
If Russell would have been permitted to retire and then be rehired, the school district would have saved about $13,000 a year. He would have taken his retirement from STRS and his annual base salary would have dropped from just more than $92,000 to $89,000.
Three board members voted against it, saying they were hearing concerns from residents. They said their decisions had nothing to do with Russell’s performance. People have questioned whether the district could save money by hiring someone with less experience, and said rehiring retirees makes it difficult for younger people to get jobs.
The move would have been a financial gain for Russell, who would have been able to draw 66 percent of his retirement, meaning he would receive about $5,000 a month. People have to wait two months after retiring to begin receiving payments. They only have to not work for a day.
"It is a financial thing for me personally," he said. "I’m going to draw my retirement and continue to work someplace. I would prefer to do that here. ... Every month I pass on this, is money I am losing in retirement."
Russell, who said he is looking at his options, spoke to the board about wanting to eventually retire and be rehired when interviewing for the Bluffton job three years ago. Two of the current board members were not members then.
Bluffton schools has four others currently working who had retired. They include teachers and a guidance counselor, who all fall under the teachers’ union.
Russell said when union members retire, they are brought back at the fifth-year of experience on the district’s salary schedule. With the insurance and the salary reduction, it is usually about a $24,000 savings to the district. Teachers also lose their spot on the seniority list, meaning if the district needs to cut staff, they are the first to go. Russell is the first administrator at Bluffton to ask to retire and be rehired.
Lima schools has just one administrator who has retired and then been rehired full time. Carin Doseck, director of career and technical education, did so last year. Treasurer Ryan Stechschulte said the district is saving $10,200 a year in not having to pay Doseck’s insurance.
While it is common for both teachers and administrators to be hired back at a reduced rate, Lima schools could not do that with Doseck because its administrators have a union.
Stechschulte said the school board does not have a problem with rehiring retirees as long as all other qualified candidates have been considered.
"They want us to look at the other candidates before we give the job back to the retirees," he said. "So we are still giving the younger staff member the opportunity to grow and/or be promoted."
Shawnee schools has been doing retire-rehires for a number of years. Nardini said both administrators and teachers in the district do it. Teachers are brought back at the five-year experience level and administrators’ salaries are reduced by 20 percent. A teacher could possibly drop from a $65,000 salary to $35,000. Many times they are teachers who would be hard to replace.
"In areas like chemistry, physics and math, there are just not applicants out there in those content areas," Nardini said.
School board President Jim Bronder said there has not been any issues raised about the board rehiring retirees.
"If we can save money for the district and save the taxpayers, while retaining someone with experience, then that is in our best interest," he said.
Perry Superintendent Michael Lamb’s salary dropped $20,000 when he retired and was rehired two years ago. It was during a time when the district was asking voters for new money. The district is also saving about $5,000 on Lamb’s insurance. Two teachers retired and came back this year, saving the district between $20,000 and $25,000 each.
"The benefit is that we keep a veteran teacher who knows the ropes at a greatly reduced salary," Lamb said.
Lamb said there are some risks to taking retirement at 30 years instead of waiting until 35, when people can draw 88 percent of their retirement. Lamb said the 66 percent is locked in when you retire, with the exception of some cost-of-living adjustments.
"You are rolling the dice that this will be enough to carry you through the rest of your lifetime," said Lamb, 53.
While there have not been issues at Perry, Lamb said he understands that some people don’t like the idea. He added that retire-rehire does not just happen in education, using an example of a person retiring from a company and then coming back as a consultant.
"At times it can be controversial," he said. "But it is no different than what takes place in the private sector."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Dennis Leone to Sally Buis: Additional points to consider re: rehires

From Dennis Leone, Sept. 5, 2006
Subject: Additional Points to Consider

Thank you, Sally, for your comments below. Yes, you are correct in assuming that all dollars set aside is per person.
Two points I could have/should have put in my response to John and the Lima News article were these:
1. The supts and principals who think it's such a great idea to rehire retirees are actually hurting the STRS Health Care Stabilization Fund that is supposed to be there for the supts and principals when they retire in the future. This is because of the fact that rehired retirees who are utilizing STRS health insurance are causing an annual $2 million drain on the fund.
2. Every supt and principal, without exception, will tell you they like to have a good mix of new teachers and more experienced teachers in their school districts. All will say it's good for their districts. Experienced teachers often will admit that THEY learn things from new teachers as well. My concern about whether things will become "stale" in the future was not intended to be insulting to anyone. The truth is the truth. It's better for students and staff to have a good mix of teachers in a district.
Dennis Leone
From Sally Buis, Sept. 5, 2006
Subject: Re: Dennis Leone re. Rehired Retirees article in Lima News 9/5/06

Thanks, John!
Once again I am in agreement with Dennis and I applaud his forthright statement! I was a rehire for a couple of years, as a sub, because it was difficult to find Cosmetology teachers with the proper licenses. While I continue to be covered on my husband's Federal Health Plan, I can see where Dennis is coming from......and I have to tell you he is absolutely right about us "getting stale" after a while - the students are just not the same; especially to substitute teachers, no matter how much experience, Voc. Ed., OR Industry, they have. Let the school districts cover the health is so much better, in this system, at least! Thanks for allowing us to see the opposite side of the "argument"! If there is so great a savings to the districts, they should not oppose paying out for the "rehire's" health care costs! It is my understanding that the amount set aside for health care is per person, NOT according to I correct on that?

Jim Kimmel to Susan Zelman: Puckett must go

Sent: Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Subject: Steve Puckett

Ms. Zelman:
Your appointee to the STRS Board, Steve Puckett is not fulfilling his sworn obligation to act in the best interests of the STRS retirees as required by ORC 3307.15. That is obvious to all who know anything about the situation.
He has voted with those who vote with no regard to their obligations to retirees. Puckett has voted to reject the requirement to have in writing important issues brought before the board. How ridiculous is this? Would you buy a car,house, or even a refrigerator on time without reading the fine print on the contract ? I doubt it. This is just one of many issues Puckett has helped decide to the detriment of retirees.
Four of our present and former board members have been found guilty or are under indictment. Staff members are also being investigated. Two board members have recently resigned from the board. For your own legal security you need to be sure that your board representative votes in an ethical way that conforms to 3307.15. Puckett has not been doing this and it could reflect on you because he represents you.
The light of day is finally shining brightly on the STRS Board and staff.. I would think that you would want your representative to be able to stand tall when the drill sergeant comes by for inspection -- for he most surely will in one form or another.
James O. Kimmel, M.Ed
STRS Retiree

Hmm. It gets curiouser and curiouser.

From John Curry, Sept. 5, 2006

Go to page 8 and then page 2 of this Adobe Acrobat download. Michael Billirakis was issued a limited one-year contract for the 2006-2007 school year (page 8) at the very same board meeting in which the board accepted his resignation effective at the end of the 2007-2008 school year (page 2)!! John

CORE Constitution: Final proposal to be considered for ratification 9/14/06

Final Proposal to be considered for ratification 9/14/2006


Concerned Ohio Retired Educators

We, the members of the Concerned Ohio Retired Educators, hereinafter identified as CORE, in order to develop a well-defined and effective organization do hereby establish this Constitution.

Article I – Name

The name of the organization will be Concerned Ohio Retired Educators, henceforth referred to as CORE.

Article II – Mission Statement

CORE is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to advocate for the preservation of retirement benefits, including health care, to all Ohio educators under the control of the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS).


To monitor the compliance of the STRS Board and staff with ORC 3307.15.

To support the election of Board members who will “discharge their duties with respect to the funds solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries.”

To advocate for the security of adequate retirement benefits.

To advocate for a dedicated stream of funding for the Health Care Stabilization Fund in order to guarantee health care for all STRS members, spouses, and dependents.

To monitor inappropriate spending of STRS funds by the STRS Board and/or any STRS employee.

To establish a fair and equitable balance of active and retired members to serve on the STRS board.

To research and collect information about STRS, legislation, and other related matters, and to report and distribute this information to Ohio's current and future retired educators.

Article III – Membership

Participation in CORE is open to all Ohio educators, future and current retirees and their dependents. We must all work together to ensure the success of CORE and to preserve retirement rights for Ohio's educators.

Article IV – Governance

1. CORE will be governed by a Board of Trustees with a minimum of seven members. It shall be the duty of the Board of Trustees to receive input from the CORE membership, establish policies that reflect the ideas and attitudes of the membership, direct the actions of all CORE officers, and approve all documents or communiqués that represent official CORE publications.

a. Nominations for selection as a member of the Board of Trustees may be made by anyone listed as a CORE member and meeting all requirements of active membership as set forth in Article III of this document.

b. Should a vacancy on the Board of Trustees occur, selection of a CORE member to complete the remainder of the term shall occur within thirty days of that vacancy

c. In the event of a vacancy on the Board of Trustees, selection of a replacement shall be determined by a two-thirds (67%) vote of the existing Board of Trustees .

d. Removal of a CORE Trustee shall follow the procedure outlined in Article VIII of this document.

2. CORE shall elect a President who shall preside at all meetings.

The President shall carry out the directives of the Board of Trustees and be the official spokesperson for CORE.

a. The President shall maintain the power to appoint all committee chairpersons, shall be an ex officio member of all committees, shall present all motions to the body, and shall be present at CORE meetings.

b. The President shall appoint a parliamentarian who shall use “Robert’s Rules of Order” to resolve questions of parliamentary procedure.

3. CORE shall elect a Vice President.

a. The Vice President’s duties shall be to preside at all meetings and functions that the President cannot attend and remain current on all CORE business.

4. CORE shall elect a Secretary.

a. The Secretary shall keep the official minutes of all CORE meetings, including the attendance of officers, and regularly report them to the membership.

5. CORE shall elect a Treasurer.

a. The Treasurer shall handle all dues, maintain and regularly report on the status of all accounts, and keep an accurate roll of all CORE members.

Article V – Operations

1. Voting Eligibility

a. Those members meeting all requirements of active membership as set forth in Article III and in attendance at any meeting where a vote is taken, will be granted voting privileges.

2. Election Process

a. Elections shall be held at the CORE Annual Membership Meeting in September of each year.

b. All officers shall be elected by a majority vote (51%) of the eligible voting members of CORE in attendance at the CORE meeting designated as an election meeting.

c. All persons must give consent for their names to be placed in nomination and attest to their willingness to serve if elected.

d. The President shall take nominations from the floor, the nomination process must be closed and the movement seconded. The nominated parties will be allowed to vote.

e. All voting shall be done by secret ballot to be collected and tabulated by the Secretary and one voting member of CORE to be selected by the Board of Trustees.

f. Election results shall be reported to the CORE membership by the Secretary before the meeting is adjourned, if possible, or no later than forty-eight hours after the election.

3. Term of Office

a. The term of office shall be for a period of no longer than two years.

b. All officers may succeed themselves if so elected by the membership.

4. Meetings

a. All meetings will occur at a time and place to be designated by the Board of Trustees and will follow the general procedure set forth below:

i. Attendance

ii. Report by the President

iii. Committee Reports

iv. Vote on all Committee motions/decisions

v. Any other Business

vi. Dismissal by the President

b. There shall be a minimum of four (4) meetings per year.

c. The CORE Annual Membership Meeting shall be held in September of each year.

d. Committee Chairs may call meetings of their committee as needed. Minutes and a report of the meeting shall be made to the CORE President.

Article VI – Finances

CORE will finance the activities it engages in by the following means:

1. Contributions

2. Special projects or events organized by the Board of Trustees .

Article VII – Amending the Constitution

This constitution is binding to all members of CORE but the constitution is not binding unto itself.

1. Amendments to the constitution must be proposed in writing to the Board of Trustees. Any voting member of CORE may propose an amendment.

2. These amendments will be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting of CORE and notification of the consideration of the amendment will be sent to members via the CORE E-mail Alert system.

3. Voting to ratify the proposed amendment shall take place at the second regular meeting after it has been presented to the Board of Trustees .

4. Proposed amendments will become effective following approval of two-thirds (67%) vote of all eligible voting members in attendance at the ratification meeting.

Article VIII – Removal of Officers

Any officer of CORE in violation of CORE’s purpose or constitution may be removed from office by the following process:

1. A written request to the Board of Trustees by at least five members of CORE.

2. Written notification of the request to the officer, asking the officer to be present at the next meeting and be prepared to speak.

3. A two-thirds (67%) majority vote of the eligible voting members in attendance at the meeting is necessary to remove the officer.

Article IX – Dissolution of the Organization

When CORE's goals are reached the organization may be disbanded.

1. The Board of Trustees, by a two-thirds (67%) majority vote, shall call for a motion to disband the organization.

2. Notification of the motion and the date of the meeting called to vote on the motion shall be posted for CORE members at least 30 days prior to the meeting date.

3. A two-thirds (67%) majority vote of the eligible voting members of CORE in attendance at the CORE meeting designated as a meeting to vote on dissolution shall be required for the motion to pass.

4. All remaining monies held by CORE, after expenses have been met, will be dispersed by the Board of Trustees to retired teachers with health care needs.

Article X - Adoption and Effective Date

This constitution shall become effective immediately upon adoption.


Article I - Membership

Section 1: Registration is required for CORE membership.

Section 2: There are no formal fees for CORE membership. Donations are crucial to the support of CORE’s mission.

Section 3: Honorary memberships can be bestowed by a majority (51%) vote of the Board of Trustees.

Article II - Notification of Meetings

Section 1: It will be the duty of the Secretary to post notices of regular or called meetings to members at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.

Article III - E-mail Lists

Section 1: CORE shall maintain a contact list (database) of those who wish to be informed of CORE activities, etc.

a. Access to the CORE database shall be limited to:

i. The author of the database

ii. The CORE President

iii. The CORE Secretary

iv. The CORE Treasurer

v. The person designated by a majority vote of the Board of Trustees to send official CORE Alerts.

Section 2: CORE shall establish an E-mail Alert System for the purposes of quickly disseminating CORE information.

a. The Board of Trustees shall, by a majority vote, designate a CORE member as the person responsible for sending all official CORE E-mail Alerts.

i. Only official releases approved by a majority of the Board of Trustees shall be sent via the E-mail Alert System.

ii. CORE ALERT shall be included in the subject line of all official releases.

Section 3: The database shall be maintained by a CORE member to be designated by a majority vote of the Board of Trustees.

Section 4: The Treasurer shall forward, in a timely manner, lists of all new CORE members so that they may be included on the CORE Contact List.


Section 1: CORE shall maintain an Internet website.

a. The Board of Trustees shall, by a majority vote (51%), designate a CORE member as the person responsible for managing and maintaining the CORE website.

b. Any information posted on the CORE website shall be approved by a majority vote (51%) of the Board of Trustees before it is published.

c. The CORE website may be updated as directed by the Board of Trustees but shall, at a minimum, be updated quarterly.

d. The cost of maintaining the CORE website shall be paid from the CORE general fund.

Article V - Amending the Bylaws

1. Amendments to the bylaws must be proposed in writing to the Board of Trustees. Any voting member of CORE may propose an amendment.

2. These amendments will be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting of CORE and notification of the consideration of the amendment will be sent to members via the CORE E-mail Alert system.

3. Voting to ratify the amendment shall take place at the second regular meeting after it has been presented to the Board of Trustees.

4. Proposed amendments will become effective following approval of majority (51%) of the vote of all eligible voting members in attendance at the ratification meeting.

Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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