Monday, August 06, 2007

Thank you, Craig Brooks! From Jim N. Reed

From Jim N. Reed, August 6, 2007
Gratitude for A Strong Vote against Divestiture And for Retirees

Mr. Brooks, I just want to express my appreciation to you for your willingness to speak up and out and against the divestiture issue as an STRS Board member. I do not know if you can understand how magnificently refreshing it is to see someone on this Board concur with Dr. Leone and Mr.Lazares. (I actually believe there are Board members who would oppose Dennis and John without full consideration of the issue just to be confrontational.) All we ask as retirees and actives is that our representatives demonstrate independent thinking and are not bullied or socialized into registering a vote without due research and strict observance of ORC 3307.15.

Your vote against divestiture is reason for HOPE among retirees. HOPE has been in short supply, a rare commodity during the past six-seven years for many dedicated, career public educators. There has been an absence of understanding, an appreciation for the circumstance in which many retirees find themselves due to the shameful increases in heath care premiums, stagnant COLAs and embarrassing pension fund waste.

Thank you for your stance against the further erosion of STRS pension funds through the unsubstantiated expenditure of divestiture. How much of our hard-earned savings will be spent for the STRS Staff to "study" the strategy and logistics of divestiture? How much will go down the rat hole to money managers eager to accommodate the General Assembly's fiscal bullying in their desperation to convince constituents they are real patriots? And, even if divestiture happens, who actually gets hurt in those countries that have been "targeted," their extremist-radical leaders or the already suffering, common people who are trying to scratch out a living and survive each day?

Mr. Brooks, you have given us cause to believe there is light at the end of this STRS nightmare. There are so many people whose well-being hinges on the decision-making of our Board. We are in need of some heroes who will stand up and be counted as genuine representatives of Ohio's retired and active public educators.

Jim N. Reed
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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