Saturday, October 31, 2009
An oldie but a goodie! Please focus on item #4 in this 2003 email from Dr. Leone!
Subject: Important STRS Update
John Curry to Dispatch reporter: Catherine...re. your excellent article in today's Dispatch
I am a benefits recipient of the State Teachers Retirement System and a reader of your article that appeared in today's Dispatch entitled, "$112,000-a-year job - Convicted ex-union leader gets state post.
An Ohio public schools retired educator
Dennis relates 'The Rest Of The Story'
Subject: Re: Catherine...re. your excellent article in today's Dispatch
(1) Billirakis didn't stop an OEA lie in 2004 when both an OEA promotional newsletter and an STRS board candidate publication (reviewed in advance by Billirakis) said that he was an "active social studies teacher" at Perry High School......when in fact he had not set one foot in the school;(2) Perry Local paid his STRS contributions for many years (reimbursed by NEA) to ensure he could fully protect his STRS retirement; and(3) Until I yelled about it in 2003 in the Canton Repository, Perry Local was collecting substitute teacher reimbursements from STRS for STRS Board meetings Billirakis attended, when in fact there was no substitute teacher needed at Perry High School (because no teaching position existed there for Billirakis);(4) NEA paid STRS back $35,000 for the substitute teacher reimbursements, which was an acknowledgement that the position never existed; and(5) After I blew the whistle on this thing, I received a letter from the legal counsel representing the Perry Local Board of Education advising me to cease and desist my complaints (or face possible litigation) since NEA paid back STRS. It was unbelievable..........
STRS Retiree Board Member
Congratulations to Shirlee Zerkel
October 31, 2009
Shirlee Zerkel: All involved should have to give, too; it's only fair
Subject: Re: just a thought..and another way for STRS to save money...lots of it!
An STRS flashback - 6 years ago
Copley Columbus Bureau chief
You can expunge it from the court records but...you can't expunge it from our memories!
By Catherine Candisky
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
[You may also click this image to see the list]:
Friday, October 30, 2009
Kathie Bracy to Mike Nehf: How many and how much?
Subject: Healthcare coverage for spouses of STRS employees
John Curry: Just a thought..and another way for STRS to save money...lots of it!
Molly Janczyk's response to Mario Iacone
Subject: Re: Dennis leone's opinion
Molly Janczyk and Mario Iacone on managing risk
Subject: RE: Dennis leone's opinion
Once again RETIREES are reduced in 2011 not 2015! Retirees had NO WARNING AND HAD TO BEAR CATASTROPHIC changes virtually overnight. One can hope the ORSC demands quicker implementation as who knows what kind of market the next years will bring.
But, remember who we have on the board: OEA board members, Puckett who votes with them and others among them who are influenced by OEA and STRS attorneys and staff who have not changed their tactics or verbiage saying the same stuff to bring board members under their line of thinking.
The 'dissenters' are gone and the majority of Board members follow STRS, OEA protocol. Even if one stands up, no hope of going against the once again majority in place. Of course, that would matter not to Leone or Lazares who always voted for retirees no matter what always asking : "How does this impact retirees?"
From Mario Iacone, October 30, 2009
Subject: Dennis leone's opinion Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 11:22:35 -0400
Dennis Leone Urges STRS Board to Prepare for Significant Stock Market Downturn
The following excerpt is taken from.
Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA)
By Dennis Leone,
STRS Retiree Board Member
Among a number of items Dennis reported and discussed in his quarterly report was,
………………………….My point is simply this: Absent a continuation of the great investment returns, we will not offset the realities (if they continue) of the other three areas shown above. I am hopeful my fellow board members will be agreeable to approving a contingency plan to minimize the negative impact of a significant stock market downturn………………………
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Molly Janczyk and Laura Ecklar: Questions and answers
Subject: RE: Response to E-Mails
10 yrs for any ability to realize a pension ck with no HC.
5 yrs is simply not enough time to realize any benefits and either one can afford to not work, worked at something else or just is padding their pension.
Subject: Response to E-Mails
Director, Communication Services
RH Jones: HB 318 - Income tax rate freeze
Subject: HB 318 -- Freeze of the income tax rates
According to a message sent out by the E & A Coalition Weekly update of Oct. 23, 2009, the Ohio “HB 318 passed the House on Oct. 21 with all the Democrats and two Republicans voting for it. The two Republicans--Representative Ross McGregor and Representative Matthew Dolan—both gave impassionate House floor speeches in favor of HB 318.
The current budget is out of balance in the range of $850 million. With postponement of the income tax rate reductions or an alternative increase in state revenue, public K-12 education will be reduced 10% in FY 2010 and 15% in 2011. Other areas of state government have been cut to the bone already.
Senate deliberations on HB 318 begin the week of October 26. It is time to express our views to our respective senators.”
Every educator both active and retired will be hurt if this does not pass the House. The OEA, OFT, ORTA and CORE are asking all members to contact your state senators now. We cannot depend on Ohio voters voting for the upcoming gambling (Issue 3) on the November Ballot to help fund education. Personally, I think Issue 3 will not pass. The voters want a better bill crafted.
By the way, the two brave Republicans, Reps. McGregor and Dolan deserve accolades from all Ohioans. Such positive thinking will save our Ohio economy.
Educators, without HB 315 the public, the state, the children, and us will be severely hurt: For with a curtailed funding situation in education, Ohio’s future economic condition will, again, I say only worsen. This is not an opinion. This is a fact.
RHJones, retired teacher member of OH STRS
Sunday, October 25, 2009
RH Jones: Robin Hood thinking not always good
Subject: Robin Hood thinking not always good
Here in Ohio (OH) geographic income thresholds are uniquely different. So, in the consideration of the redistribution of the STRS COLA, as in Robin Hood taking from the rich to give to the poor, is not always a valid goal. Why not, you may ask? The answer is that each county the purchasing power of the dollar varies. For instance, in my Summit County a home is more expensive to purchase than just south of me in Stark County; but, to the west of me, in Median County, homes are more expensive to purchase than here. This is true with many other costs and purchases even including Health Care HC). In other words the dollar goes further, or not so far, depending on where you may live. Therefore, if the retiree in Medina gets cut to add to my COLA here in Summit County, it is not equitable, nor fair; and I would end up living better than he or she. Conversely, the retiree in Stark County would be better off than me here in Summit County.
Note: The federal and state governments have Geographic Means Test Thresholds published that support my contention. They include geographic scales for median income for one individual, spouses, and other dependents.
To keep the OH STRS 3% simple COLA simple, it is best just to leave it as is. The 3% COLA, until the supplemental (13th check) can be again offered, was, and will still be, very fairly distributed -- or even better yet, I might add, is a legislated compounded COLA based on our monthly pension check.
And, by the way, is it not strange that the STRS officials and board are declaring the our STRS will be nearly amortized – by their recent recommendations to the ORSC for legislated changes that would extend STRS funding until it will almost reach its 30-yr. funding goal – when legally a 13th check can only be issued when this 30-yr. goal is reached. A coincidence, I wonder?
The above are some thoughts that could be considered.
Robert Hudson Jones, a retired teacher STRS member, & proud to be a CORE member
Minutes of the October 15, 2009 CORE Meeting
Minutes of the October 15, 2009 CORE Meeting
The Oct. 15th Concerned Ohio Retired Educators (CORE) meeting was opened in the Sublett Room in the STRS Building by President Dave Parshall at 12:15. Dave’s first order of business was to convey Dennis Leone’s thanks for the gift of a check, as well as the cards from CORE membership. Dave then turned the meeting over to Kathie Bracy so that she could give those in attendance an update on John Lazares’ health.
After surgeries and hospital stays, according to Kathie, John is currently back home recuperating, but definitely improving. Both Dave and Kathie thought that he’d appreciate cards. (His address will be put on Kathie’s blog.)
CORE minutes – done last month by Jill Fetters – were moved to be approved by Mary Ellen Angeletti; Nancy Boomhower seconded the motion. The group of 18 members in attendance voted approval.
Due to the absence of Herman Fisher, our treasurer, there was no treasurer’s report this month.
Much discussion ensued about retirees’ ability to refute the anti-retired teacher, misinformation about benefits, which is occurring in the non-teaching sector. In fact, Nancy Boomhower stated that most people don’t even realize teachers do not pay into Social Security.
The group agreed that the best starting point was a committee (still without a formal name) whose job it would be to put important points into written form for CORE members to have and use. Any member who does have some ideas or comments should send the information (or questions) to Dave Parshall (advisor of the committee) or committee members Jill Fetters, Kathie Bracy, George Justice, Carole DePaola, Marie Fetters, or Mary Ellen Angeletti. (Lou D’Orio will also be helping with this group.)
People continued the discussion about pensions by noting that it’d be helpful if all five Ohio pension systems were “on the same page.” It was suggested that when CORE is completed with its committee work, and has the points written out, we should share them with the other pension groups.
President Dave broke from the pension dialogue in order to welcome “new faces” to our CORE meeting. Rose Phillips had come with Liz Ebbing and Tom Price accompanied George Justice.
After those brief introductions, Dave reminded the group – especially those not at the STRS Board meeting – to call and order CDs of the meeting. (Sandy Adams has taken Joyce Baldwin’s place as the contact person for this.)
Dave redirected those in attendance to think about educating legislators via e-mail, snail mail or face to face. George Doyle indicated that we all should also be working with and talking to younger teachers – especially those who were our former students – so that we could bring them up to date on the situation.
President Parshall closed the meeting by reiterating that we need more active members, workers. Meeting was adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
Marie M. Fetters
Tom Curtis to ORSC: Scrap the 88.5% rule now
Subject: 102509 Curtis To ORSC Board Members, 35 Year Rule, SB190
North Canton, OH
Can you make 8% over the long term with just Treasury Bonds?
From Mario Iacone, October 22, 2009
The return of this fund is 8.22% since 1986, a 23 Year Period.
Please notice that the performance of this one example, Vanguard Fund, is slightly below the index, Barclays US Long Treasury Index.
Will bonds outperform risk equities or vice versa in the future?
Therefore, a balanced asset allocation including both might be the most prudent way to invest.