Monday, May 28, 2007

Molly Janczyk re: STRS/CORE meetings Thursday, June 14, 2007

From Molly Janczyk, May 28, 2007
Subject: Addendum: Position Statement: STRS/CORE Meeting: Thurs. June 14, 2007
Addendum: The following is my position statement and not indicative of anyone else. I am continually saddened by the lack of some to acknowledge our help while welcoming it and soliticing it only to disparage us. I have always said I am reactive and this is my reaction based on many exhanges and lack of substance.
THIS IS NO WAY AFFECTS THAT I WILL CONTINUE TO WORK FOR RETIREES ON HCA LEGIS; IMP BILLS; PROPER FUNDING AS THAT IS FOR RETIREES AND NOT FOR ANY ORGAN. I believe we MUST continue to work on common goals FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF BENEFITTING RETIREES regardless of some ideology differences which matter little in their world of need. I am just airing my thoughts as we continue to be extremely unappreciated by those who should be working to befriend us. WE ARE ALL THE ORGANIZATIONS AND WE WILL BECOME THEM ONE DAY as more and more our retirees gain positions in these organ. so that we can open minds and debate to all membership encouraging support and dialogue which is our communication style.
*I am sure we can expect the usual unrelenting praise for all but the dissenting 'problematic' Board Members and any retirees on these issues or any issues for that matter not of common interests to all. While listening to this politely or tuning out, simply remember, who has gotten reductions in nearly every area, removal of those who did not provide oversight and got 'lost in translation' of the ORC, were the only ones with language in SB133 (Leone, Janczyk) and recognition for it with direction at CORE by the Gov. and sponsors at the signing and invited to be the speaker of the day (Curtis). Remember, the 'press' we exherted to remove investment appointees: Fisher and Meyers for their corporate thinking of: "Who does it hurt" regarding doing business with companies convicted of with Ethics Violtions (Fisher) and who responded: "It's the law Judith! If you don't understand that , I can't help you!" (Lazares). Remember who is repsonsible for the new 'John Lazares STRS Ethics Code.' Who is responsible for the new travel policy (Leone); cutbacks in vacation and sick leave payouts (Leone); Response to Geoffrey Meyers: "It's only a few dollars" to Leone explaining to him that they approved a contract (Not Leone and Lazares) hiding items of cost the Board knew nothing about and who stood strong (Lazares and Leone) for 'No document; no sign' for months until it was approved.
Small fish in the big ocean of concerns to some. Every penny counts to others. Johnson came on the Board with these words (paraphrased): "My Mother told me to watch every penny as pennies turn into dollars and are not your own to spend." (Please correct this version if I am not stating it accurately tho I did hear it. But, it was a while back.
Remember all the accomplishements WE along with our elected Board Members have accomplished in spite of months long and difficult and stressful insistance, persistance and integrity on our behalf. Did it take some passion? Yes. Does it leave one with feeling any little item is going to need effort and facing a fight along the way? You bet. But only for those long grown in not watching those dollars not their own and think it's ok to spend any amount not necessary whether pennies or millions without oversight for fear of 'intruding' or 'treading' on staff ground. CORE wants no fear of treading, complete oversight and yes, intrusion when necessary. If a voice needs raising to get this, the tame should leave the room, I guess. If it becomes a matter of expectation by all Board Members, no need to raise a voice!
Does this mean we all have to agree or not debate? Absolutely not, when in good conscience and solely for retirees verified NOT BY GENERAL IDEOLOGY DEFENSIVE STATEMENTS BUT BY GOOD, SOUND FOUNDATION REASONING THAT PROVES BENEFIT TO RETIREES. NO EXCUSES ON PAST BEHAVIORS BUT FIRM SOLID FACT.
*One cannot excuse wrong or less than total integrity saying it is politics. One cannot lie, malign or be less than accurate because it suits them and turn around and say it was politics and expect respect or validation. That was the old dishonest way. We will never tolerate that ever again.
For all issues positively impacting retirees such as HCA legis., changing how educ. if funded, House and Senate Bills affecting educators , CORE stands strong and advocates along with all the organizations. I will always advocate we work for any cause with any organization that brings benefit to retirees.
The next STRS/CORE meeting on Thurs. June 14 promises to be interesting.
1. Concerns on the proposed 13.7% increases in the budget for wages and addt'l staff have been expressed by some Board Members and many, many retirees. This is a topic of ongoing discussion and questioning when retirees are fighting to tread water. Benefits to retirees from these increases needs to be scrutinized and weighed in any decision. Expect heavy debate on this issue from those fighting for complete and very public oversight of our monies.
2. HC will be proposed by staff for 2008. Increases will be heaviest for spouses with no Medicare to help.
We all know it is increasingly difficult now to attend due to gas prices on top of distance, health, etc. If any can carpool, please arrange to do so as this is going to be a month of who stands where for retirees. We realize that 'expertise' together with much 'prudence' needs be exhibited for our public pension system understanding we are not corporate in nature and that all must always remember: "We are only as well off as our neediest retirees," which is CORE President Dave Parshall's: Guiding Principle. Leone and Lazares always ask: "How will this look and how can it be explained to our needy retirees?"
Those points should always be a measure and a goal: Complete transparance as to how this impacts retirees for whom STRS staff exists along with specific explanation on any decisions benefit to retirees.
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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