Sunday, August 05, 2007

Tom Curtis to Dennis Leone re: Divestment

From Tom Curtis, August 5, 2007
Subject: Curtis To Leone, Divestment
Hello Dennis, Concerning the issue of divestment, I want to thank you and Mr. Brooks for attempting, once again, to educate your fellow board members concerning an issue many of them have little knowledge of.
Further, it would seem that those board members voting for any action moving forward on a divestment plan are in violation of their fiduciary responsibility, according to the ORC 3307.15. I agree with you, not one minute should be spent by STRS staff on this issue.
Where does the STRS attorney stand on this issue? Was his opinion asked and did he make any statement? Why was the Attorney General not consulted and asked for a position statement?
It is my understanding that it is illegal for the Ohio legislature, or any state legislature, to order divestment of funds due to their concerns about foreign policy. Is that not to be done by the Federal government and not state or local governments?
I sent an email on 7.23.07 to the Attorney General asking where he has been on this issue and why he has not issued a ruling concerning such. I did not receive any response to my email, so I sent the same letter by snail mail this past week. I will call his office this coming week and ask if my correspondence was received and again request a response to my questions. Who is representing his office at our board meetings now? Is it still John Patterson?
Dennis, I am so tired of hearing that decisions like this one are made so as not to anger the legislature. That is pure conjecture and fear thinking! If we want HC in the future, then we simply must fund it. That is not a hard concept to understand, yet so much time, energy and money have been spent in trying to resolve this problem. As one young educator stated when speaking to the board last year, stop playing around with this problem and put the full 5% on the actives back and let's get on with it.
I need not remind you, but the STRS/OEA/ORTA have been using the fear issue concerning HC legislation since early 2003, yet still have not gained such. How long must this foolishness go on?
This follows the same rhetoric that has been stated by so many for so many years, that being, that we must find a dedicated source of income for funding HC. That statement was printed in a 1992 STRS Newsletter and yet is still unresolved in 2007. That is unbelievable to me! One would think that with all the money paid those leading the STRS, that would have been resolved by now. It is very obvious to me that it is not in the best interest of the STRS management, OEA, OFT, or ORTA to get the job done. They all have been dragging their feet, when this could have been settled years ago and the funding would be in place. As it stands now, only the retirees are suffering and I for one am damned tired of it!
Tom Curtis
STRS Retiree
CORE & ORTA Life Member

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