Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Carol Janes: Messages to ORSC and STRS regarding the flawed 2013 STRS board election

Carol Janes to ORSC, May 20, 2013 
Subject: STRS election
To the Members of ORSC,
I would like the recent STRS election to be investigated.  Dennis Leone only lost by 700 and some votes and he had no money to campaign. Those of us who voted for him did so because he is a man of integrity and exposed corruption in STRS before. Due to unclear ballot language and instructions, some retirees unfortunately voted for two candidates, lessening Dr. Leone’s chances to win.
When I retired in 2002 I started to watch STRS very carefully through a group called CORE. Even though CORE has formally disbanded we are still watching...STRS and ORSC. I still do not understand why STRS was given control over changes in our benefits without legislative approval.  This bodes ill for retirees as all cuts made in the past are immediate to those who can least afford them and phased in for people currently working.
Carol Janes 
Middlfield, OH
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Carol Janes to STRS board, May 20, 2013 
Subject: recent election
I am writing in regard to the current election to express my opinion of how this matter has been handled.  It has all been poorly done.  Dennis Leone received 20,000 some votes and would have won had not the ballot language been confusing for some retirees. Keep in mind there was no campaigning and Dr. Leone still got 20,000 votes...that means there are 20,000 of us out here riled up enough to keep very careful watch over STRS.
You may publish all kinds of nonsense about how happy everyone is with STRS...it also interests me that you believe 95% of us have a secondary income, therefore, it must not hurt much to have our COLA cut...No one has ever asked ME...either about my degree of satisfaction or about my income.  by the way as a single woman my income is just my pension.  Many of us retiring from rural schools have very little.  And we always paid our OWN retirement unlike some of the richer districts who could “pick it up”.
I was fairly happy until this last plan...in which my COLA (which I need) is gone for this year and then reduced to 2% but you somehow can justify dragging out the 35 yr 88% incentive...this rankles to say the least...
And then this election and how it has been handled. It is obvious that STRS does NOT want Dr. Leone on the Board..he might shake things up a bit...He is a watchdog and truly represents retirees' interests.
I am NOT going to forget about this or let it go. This will be a topic of discussion by retirees everywhere. I have people interested in this who have never expressed concern before.
It would be the honorable and right thing to hold the election again...but I don’t expect it.
ORSC will also be bombarded with letters.
Carol Janes
Middlefield, OH
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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