Please don't post your comments more than once. I moderate all comments and a delay between posting and appearing is part of the drill here. I get to all comments in due time. Please don't continually repost the same comment. Only one will be posted. Also, due to the volume of email I'm getting right now, I am unable to guarantee that I will respond to all personal emails sent to my email address. I am being buried alive under an avalanche of email. Please go to the PERS Oregon Discussion (POD) Group, linked below (left) under LINKS to post your question and get a variety of answers. Thank you.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Saturday, May 27, 2006
The takehome message is that if you're expecting a regular monologue here, you'd be wrong. I'll try to post as often as needed, but I can't say I'm likely to be as prompt about responding to email. Don't take it personally if I don't answer you immediately.
P.S. (added 5/30). Posting will continue to this blog - I'm not taking the whole summer off from posting as some have misinterpreted. It is just that my posting will probably be limited to significant events rather than the interspersed interesting observations that have no practical bearing on the immediate PERS issues. I hope this clarifies any confusion.
Friday, May 26, 2006
On an unrelated topic, I have, apparently, overstayed my welcome on Robert Gourley's SEIU retiree's mailing list. Although I never belonged to SEIU or any union (I was unclassified), Robert let me have "guest" status on his list. I had the temerity to suggest that Dawn Morgan did not testify before the Strunk Special Master hearings in a way that favored PERS members (either she wasn't permitted to do so, wasn't asked, or chose not to do so. The reason remains unclear.), Mr. Gourley decided that I no longer deserved "guest" status and he "unsubscribed" me from his list. Strangely, Mr. Gourley continues to cc me on emails related to things I've posted here and elsewhere and so I'm still privy to his various rants about me and other members who post on the Oregon PERS Discussion Group. I want to thank Mr. Gourley for allowing me a window into the inner workings of SEIU politics while I had the opportunity to do so. For me, however, the loss of my occasional email from Mr. Gourley's list spares me from email whose noise to signal ratio was rapidly approaching 100:1.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
This is very helpful piece of the historical record that has been missing from the discussions up-to-now. Many of us suspected that the Board's actions in crediting the 20% for 1999 was completely within the Board's discretion and that they acted in accordance with legal advice given at the time. Dawn's information indicates that there was virtually no discussion of the earnings crediting rate, but instead a discussion of the need to, or not, fund the contingency reserve. This puts the Board's actions in a slightly different perspective, but also reinforce the claim that there was nothing inappropriate about their actions in 2000. It's nice to see this information out in some form. The state, the employers, and PERS have been working double-overtime to prevent this information from reaching the courts. In so doing, they've permitted a legal travesty. Hopefully, we'll eventually get what we were promised. I'm not holding my breath. Blue is not a good color for me.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
Several have emailed me about my judge comments in a previous post. There are two interesting statewide judicial races and one interesting local race. The most important statewide race is for the Supreme Court. It pits Jack Roberts, Virginia Lindner, and Gene Hallman against one another for the position vacated by former Chief Justice Wallace Carson. The Oregonian has endorsed Virginia Lindner and she's rumored to be Gov Ted's favorite. Gene Hallman has been widely endorsed by the labor unions involved with the PERS Coalition. To my knowledge, Jack Roberts hasn't any significant endorsements. The second statewide races pits Court of Appeals Justice David Brewer (author of the PERS Special Master's Report used in the Strunk case) in a brutal battle against himself. The only choice there would be a write-in to send a message. Final, the local race drawing the most interest is in Marion County where Judge Paul Lipscomb (yep, that one!) is running against Ross Day. This is a tough race because, in my opinion, the opponent could be worse than the incumbent. The major issue in that race seems to be Measure 37, while PERS has received relatively little notice. Nevertheless...... Finally, keep in mind that all of the current PERS litigation has been filed in Multnomah County, so watching the Multnomah County Circuit court elections might be more than a spectator sport this year. My limited experience in/with the Multnomah County Circuit Court system hasn't given me to strong opinions about any of the judges running for re-election. If others have more information, pass it along.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
This lawsuit could still be followed by several more before May 9th, the official end to the 60-day period surrounding the "official" notification "window retirees" received.
P.S. A copy of the petition is posted on the OPRI website for those interested in reading it. The OPRI site also has exerpted section 14b of the statute enacted by the legislature in 2003 to highlight the area of law addressed by this suit. The Robinson case basically asks the Court to order PERS to charge the expenses of the retirees off to administrative expenses as the court already ruled that the COLA freeze was an improper way to recover the money.