Friday, May 17, 2013

Duke Snider to the ORSC: Please investigate the STRS board election

From Duke Snider, May 17, 2013
Subject: Ballot
Members of the ORSC,
Since our politicians have given POWER and CONTROL to OHSTRS, you are our only hope that everything at STRS is conducted in an ethical, orderly, professional, and honest manner; however, I believe the election of two retirees for the STRS board was not conducted properly. 
Probably I’m telling you something that you have already heard, but I hope you all will conduct an investigation into the election.  Dr. Dennis Leone barely missed winning a seat on the STRS board, and I truly believe it is due to the fact of the wording “Select two candidates” which means to select two candidates. I’ve had several retirees and a superintendent ask me who they should vote for besides Dennis Leone, and I told them to only vote for Dennis Leone as this gives him a better chance to be elected. 
Why won’t STRS board members answer Dr. Leone’s questions that he presented to them?  If this would have been an election conducted by county board of elections, this would never have happened, because the wording would have been “Select up to two candidates" or "Select no more than two candidates”. Retirees are teachers and they have a habit of doing exactly as they are instructed to do and in this case they were instructed to “Select two candidates”. 
In 2009 I don’t think the wording was this way; therefore, why was it in the 2013 election and who is responsible for selecting this command?  As I stated earlier, you are our, retirees', only hope, because STRS appears to be more interested in their employees than retirees, i.e. I’ve heard the investment people can earn a bonus of up to 100% of their salary, and if this is true, I believe this is not right, especially when we retirees had our COLA cut to 0% for one year and reduced to 2% thereafter.  I’ve also heard that our COLA can be cut or reduced to reduce the cost which active teachers contribute to STRS. 
Why is it always the retirees who are the ones who are targeted?  If there were no active teachers and retirees, there would not be a STRS. What is it that STRS doesn’t understand about this?  Why would OEA push so hard and spend so much money to get Mr. Stein and Mr. McGreevy elected?  Are some people filled with so much hatred, because Dennis Leone was the main person responsible for some former board members and a former executive director being  indicted and convicted? 
The top priority of STRS should be retirees, and it does not and has not appeared this way for some years.  Are some people so angry with retirees having a demonstration in Columbus a few years ago, and are some people so angry about being discovered, indicted, and convicted? I and many retirees have spoken to the STRS board several times since 2002, and many of us feel as second class citizens, because “they” seem to want to do anything to “get even” which is my opinion. 
If you feel I have made any mistake, please let me know and I will correct it. As I said you are our only hope and thank you for standing up for SERS and the “trip” to attend a meeting. Maybe you kept them from getting a sunburn.
Kenneth “Duke” Snider   
Referred to by some former STRS board members as “the malcontents from southern Ohio” (We malcontents stand up for what is right, honesty, professionalism, and integrity.)
Sardinia, Ohio
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