Thursday, April 25, 2013

To the STRS Board: Your Silence Speaks Volumes

Kathie Bracy to STRS Board, April 25, 2013
To the members of the STRS Retirement Board:
As you are well aware, there are irregularities in the ballot language in the 2013 election, creating confusion among many retirees and which will produce unintended results in the election currently in progress for the two retired seats on the STRS board unless something is done about it.
Assuming the personal integrity of each member of the STRS board would never permit such an injustice to prevail, I wish to know precisely what the board intends to do to rectify the situation. The only right (and maybe lawful?) thing to do, as you are also well aware, is to invalidate the 2013 election altogether and run it again, whatever the cost, with corrected ballot language.
Since whoever authored and/or approved the carelessly written current ballot language clearly did not understand the possible confusion it would cause for many, I would strongly suggest you create a panel to study it carefully and submit it to some language experts before putting out a new ballot.
At the April 18, 2013 STRS board meeting, Dennis Leone outlined exactly what the problems are with the ballot language. He asked repeatedly how this could have happened, and his questions were valid; yet you, the STRS board, met them with stony silence (I was present during his speech and was totally stunned that not one board member had the courtesy of offering him even the slightest semblance of a response).
You can only imagine what your constituents must think of such a cold reception from their board. Had you been a child in my third grade class, you would have missed a few recesses for this kind of rudeness, and I'd have had a little talk with your parents. If you are still teaching, you can imagine what your next evaluation would look like if you treated your principal this way. If you're not teaching, try this out on your boss sometime.
You have a chance to make things right; please do, so that justice will prevail and you won't go down in STRS history as the board that approved a crooked election at the expense of retired teachers and got away with it. How many more times are you going to slap us in the face?
For the absent board members that day, you may listen to Dr. Leone's words on the CD-ROM recording of the board meeting, or go here to view them:
I hope to receive your response in a prompt manner. Further silence on your part shall be interpreted as your support of the ballot language as it currently stands, and no intention on your part to acknowledge or correct any part of it.
Thank you.
Kathie Bracy
STRS retiree
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
web page counter
Vermont Teddy Bear Company