Friday, November 23, 2007

Not yet eligible......

From John Curry, November 23, 2007
Subject: Our bubble has burst....Dr. Leone not eligible for Executive Director's seat!

It has been called to my attention that it will be impossible for Dennis to accept the Executive Director's position of STRS as the STRS "Governance Process" precludes him from being placed in that position for at least one year "after" his tenure as an STRS Board member.

Yes, I am also unhappy to read this page 37 from the STRS "Board Members Code of Conduct." Please look at item B. 3. This page is in the attachment to this email.
(Click to enlarge)


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Jim N. Reed to STRS Board members (one letter shown here): Thank you for supporting Dennis Leone's motion

Jim N. Reed to Tom Johnson, November 21, 2007
Subject: Thank you for your support of Dr. Leone's motion.

Dear Mr. Johnson,

As a STRS recipient and a 42-year public school teacher I want you to know how thankful I am for your support of restoring "Checks and Balances" to the STRS Boardroom with your approval of the "untabling" of Dr. Leone's motion and then your affirmation of the principle.

I could not read all the faces of Board members when Chuck Chapman addressed you last Thursday and indicated sizeable support for the candidacy of Dr. Leone for Executive Director. I believe there are thousands of STRS-literate retirees and many actives who would give their support for such a campaign. That possibility should not be overlooked.

Dr. Leone has demonstrated his leadership abilities both before and during his Board time. He has been publicly recognized by numerous organizations for his tireless efforts on behalf of education and educators. His appointment would be a positive step toward the fulfillment of the continued efforts to restore full credibility to our wounded but recovering retirement system.

Your Board has made some very significant contributions to the restoration of trust and confidence to the one-time "Cadillac" of retirement systems. You have given us cause to believe there is hope for the future, if not for my generation but for that of my teaching daughter and son-in-law. I know one thing for sure. Educators must continue to be observant and vigilant and Board members must insist on transparency so that mutual trust and respect can become a formula for security during and after the classroom.

Jim N. Reed

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nancy Hamant to STRS Board members: Please support Dennis Leone for STRS Executive Director

From Nancy Hamant, November 21, 2007
Subject: STRS Executive Director Position
Dear STRS Board Members:
I am writing to you in support of Dr. Dennis Leone's candidacy for STRS Executive Director.
Dr. Leone's dedication for the past four years to STRS operations makes him uniquely qualified to serve as Executive Director. Also, his position as STRS Board Member has provided him immeasurable knowledge regarding the administration of STRS.
Dr. Leone's experiences as an Ohio Superintendent has provided him with years of information regarding Ohio's school laws and financial operations. As a Board member, he has garnered a tremendous amount of information as to STRS's fiscal and managerial operations. He is uniquely qualified for the Executive Director position.
Dr. Leone's abundant energy will help with the monumental job of administering STRS's day-to-day operations.
There is no other person in Ohio who has the qualifications and the support of most of the STRS members in Ohio. Which places Dr. Leone in a unique position to provide the best leadership for STRS Ohio.
Therefore, I support Dr. Dennis Leone candidacy for STRS Executive Director.
Nancy B. Hamant,
Warren County Retired Teachers Association

xc: Barbara Carvey, President, Warren County RTA Ryan Holderman, Warren County RTA

RH Jones: Retirees have carried districts long enough

From RH Jones, November 21, 2007
Subject: Retirees have carried districts long enough
To all:
My Ohio voting educators and friends, retirees have carried school districts long enough. It is time they recognized this fact. The following letter to the editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, 11/21/07, page A14, tells it all:
Retired teachers need assistance
In response to the Oct.3 letter from Akron school board President Linda Kersker (‘Districts can’t carry retirees’): House Bill 315, if passed by the legislature, would call for an additional 2.5 percent increase to be phased in over a five-year period. That amounts to 0.5 percent per year for both employer and employee.
It is a given that most school districts are struggling under financial restraints due to failures of levies and other expenditures, but 2.5 percent over a five-year period does not seem exorbitant. It would seem feasible and less costly that a school system would rather pay an additional 0.5 percent more quickly for a retired teacher that greater health-care expense and higher salaries for a current teacher who is reluctant to retire.
Currently, board of education employers contribute 14 percent, and employees contribute 10 percent of payroll to pay for retirement benefits. These percentages have been static for 20-plus years. Now let’s do a reality check. Tell me, what hasn’t changed in 20 years in cost of living and in the health-care bills. Many retirees are in their seventies and eighties.
Many who thought they were good to go have found out otherwise and have had to return to the work force. In 1986, 19.2 percent of people ages 65-69 were in the work force; in 2006, just 20 years later, the figures have jumped to 29 percent. In 1986, 10.3 percent of older workers (ages 70-74) were in the workforce; in 2006, 17 percent.
Managing a household budget and planning for retirement have become incredibly complicated. Most distressing is the number of would-be retirees who haven’t been able to save enough to support themselves for life, especially if they must pay a large sum for health insurance and require numerous prescriptions fo health problems.
Concentrating on living a healthy lifestyle can reduce the need for maximum health care.
The trend is evident: People are living longer and having to stay in the work force longer due to no or limited health-care coverage. With health-care and prescription costs increasing exponentially, as well as living costs, many retirees are struggling to live a life of quality.
Alice Marson
Readers, pleased keep in mind that retired educators are elderly and past their prime. Although, sometimes we error in statistics, our hearts are in the right place: We want the best for the children. Children who have the best teachers attracted to Ohio by school boards, and business leaders, who recognized that offering a good retired educator health-care package is in the best interests of Ohio’s citizens.
Robert Hudson Jones, a retired Ohio STRS member

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dr. Fluke to Akron Board of Ed: There is NO Adequate Retirement Without Adequate Hospitalization

From RH Jones, November 20, 2007
Subject: Dr. Fluke's lonely HC struggle
To all:
With a severe head cold, Dr. K. Fluke, Legislative Chair of the SummitCRTA, addressed the Akron Board of Education (ABE) with an explanation of reasons for supporting HB 315 (the modest employer/employee contribution increase for health care). Backing Dr. Fluke was Bob Dengler, Past President of the SummitCRTA -- Due to their advanced age; these two certainly deserve the thanks of the thousands of active & retired teachers that reside in Akron. As you know, it is most difficult for the elderly to drive to and from such meetings on a frigid & dark November night.

Dr. Fluke’s main concern is that the employer has not properly funded Health Care (HC) for the past 30-years—the employees have had increased contributions during that time. The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) & the ABE does not understand that inflation has been a factor in those 30-yrs. And, contrary to the OSBA & ABE’s position, the STRS cannot support the increased HC costs.

Dr. Fluke gave each board member a copy of the AEA Member’s Handbook of September 1979 which noted that: Members contribute to the STRS 8.5% and employers 13.5%. Clearly, this backs Dr. Fluke’s statement about STRS members paying proportionately more since 1979. The following is Dr. Fluke’s speech:

There is NO Adequate Retirement Without Adequate Hospitalization
Data from the 1979 AEA Members’ Handbook shown above indicates that in the last approximately 30 years active STRS members have proportionately contributed more towards Health Care. The teachers’ contribution was 8.5% of gross earnings. The employers’ contribution was 13.5%. Today, active teachers contribute 12% and Boards of Education 14%. Apparently, there has been very little consideration for inflation during this approximate 30 years.
The Akron Board of Education should be aware that all teachers are taxpayers. The need for support for HB 315 is urgent. Without consideration of support for HB 315, the Akron Board of Education obviously cannot expect future support from their teachers; this includes retirees, presently active teachers retired teachers not qualifying, age 65, for Medicare. Those students who are planning an educational career should carefully observe the negative support for HB coming from the Ohio School Board Association and local school boards. We will be losing those future teachers to states more considerate of retiree Health care.
K.W. Fluke, Ph.D.
By the way, the ABE meeting was televised several times on the Public Service Channel of Warner Cable.

Monday, November 19, 2007

From Pat Wax.....

November 19, 2007
Subject: New STRS Executive Director

Dear Board Member of STRS –

As a representative of all active and retired teachers in the state of Ohio, you have the responsibility to maintain the quality program that STRS offers educators in Ohio. I am writing to urge you to vote for Dennis Leone as the new Executive Director of STRS. He has demonstrated his dedication to improving STRS during his current tenure on the board. He is ethical and diligent in his representation of all teachers in Ohio.

PLEASE represent all teachers' interests by voting for Dennis Leone.

Sincerely -

Patricia Wax, Retired Educator

From Linda Meinelt.....

November 19, 2007

Since Dr. Asbury has decided to retire as Deputy Director of STRS, I encourage all Board members to nominate Dr. Dennis Leone for the position.

Dr. Leone has a proven track record of putting the needs of active and retired teachers above all else.

Let's move someone into the position who can hit the ground running and devote himselt to the best interests of those who contribute to and depend on STRS for the security of their retirement. That person is Dennis Leone!!

Linda Meinelt

From Mitch Truesdell.....

Is there anything we can do to promote Leone.

Thanks! Mitch Truesdell

Molly Janczyk:
Hammer the Board with a recommendation for Leone!
Get all you know to do the same.
Copy thru us so we know and they cannot say no one said anything.

Sondra Stratton: Dennis Leone for Executive Director

Sondra Stratton to Duke and Jane Snider, November 19, 2007

I DEFINITELY second that!!!!! He would be perfect for the job. If we are EVER to get this system straightened up, this would be what seems the ONLY way!!!!!!! PLEASE appointment or use your influence to put Dr. Dennis Leone in this position!!!! ASAP!!!!!

Sondra Stratton

Knowing THIS Board, it might be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle!

From John Curry, November 19, 2007
Wouldn't it be nice to see a future STRS Executive Director who is the recipient of the First Amendment Award and the Ethics in Government Award (like Dr. Leone) also be the one overseeing our retirement system? But then, good guys seldom land in those positions. Could it be because they do what's right (legally and morally) and not necessarily what's politically popular? To Dennis, ORC 3307.15 means more than just another number in another book on some dusty library shelf, doesn't it? John
Molly Janczyk to Beverly McCoy, November 19, 2007
Subject: Leone as Exec. Direc. of STRS
Subject: Leone as Exec. Direc. of STRS Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 13:56:19 -0500
Dear Bev, Dennis Leone has not expressed interest to my knowledge. Of course, we would feel very confident in STRS with his leadership!!!!!!!!!!
Dennis would have to apply and be interviewed by the firm selected to do the search. Of course, if we follow Chuck Chapman's advice and STRS Board selected Leone, that would not have to be done, and it did this with Damon Asbury.
We all know some members of the Board would fight that to the 'death.'
Support is coming in and a sample of it was sent and a sample was blogged. But, in the harsh light of day, reality is: Dennis has to apply and the Board has to be open to considering him. They would be smart to do so being their future depends on STRS. But, what do you think the chances of that are?
We can send our support to the Board for Leone in this position. I certainly recommend Leone for the new Exec. Direc. of STRS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Beverly McCoy to Molly Janczyk, November 18, 2007
How exciting to even think about Dennis being our Ex. Dir. Is CORE going to fight for it?

A brief message from Duke and Jane Snider

November 19, 2007

Dennis Leone for the next STRS Executive Director

Duke and Jane Snider
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
web page counter
Vermont Teddy Bear Company