Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nancy Boomhower's speech to the STRS Board, October 18, 2007

Good afternoon. My name is Nancy Boomhower and I am a retired first grade teacher from Medina County. At this time, I work part time as a GED instructor at the Medina County Jail.

The sermon at church on Sunday was about taking time to say thank you for good things done for you. I decided that there were thank yous due to you, so I want to thank you today for all of the positive changes that have taken place here at STRS. The Board’s taking the time to question and discuss items on the agenda rather than the blanket rubber stamping that went on before is a positive. I have seen that several times, after a discussion, board members have changed their minds due to additional information gained in the discussion. This deserves a thank you.

Some Board members seem to have spent a lot of time researching issues and are well informed so they are able to make wise decisions when it comes time to vote on an issue. This deserves a thank you and is a positive change from the past.

Some Board members use fiduciary responsibility as a guide when casting a vote. This deserves a thank you.

When I first started attending these meetings, there were policemen and security guards here and outside the building. The fact that they are no longer here tells me that we retirees are no longer felt to be a threat. This is a positive and deserves a thank you, also.

Lest you get complacent, please be aware that there are many areas that need improving on yet.

One of these is the Child Care Center. For several years, it has been stated that it will operate cost neutral the next year, but when that year rolls around, it is the same story. Next year never seems to come. This does not make for a positive nor trusting feeling.

Some Board members choose to attend seminars that are in faraway places and cost thousands of dollars. This does not deserve a thank you.

A last item that I would like to bring up for clarification is the three minute time limit for public speaking. I realize that this was started when we had many speakers. However, I have attended meetings when speakers were cut off at three minutes, and sometimes quite rudely; and then I have observed other speakers who spoke for five or six minutes, at least. My question is: Is the three minute limit still in effect now that we have fewer speakers, and is the limit for all speakers? After a couple of conversations today, I found out that the Board has decided to relax the rule when there are a few speakers. I feel that this information should be made available to all individuals.

In summation, I want to say thank you for all of the positive things that have occurred. Please continue to work on the areas that need improvement.

Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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