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. Thank you.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Livin' in the Future
For the past three months, a small group of PERS retirees have been working to construct a comprehensive library of Oregon PERS material in an attempt to address the public information access problem. This repository will eventually include more than 1,000 documents containing material related to litigation, legislation, studies, communications, audit reports, administrative rules, internal but public e-mails, and articles. The site currently offers a manual search of a limited number of documents. The manual process has many limitations especially when trying to follow a sequence of events about an issue over time.
Team members (myself included) have volunteered time, expertise, and money to get us to this point. Now the library development group has contracted with a developer to construct a database that will greatly simplify and amplify the process for locating records. Other database options have been considered and rejected. We believe this is the best and most cost effective solution. The cost of the database is estimated to be between $3,000-4,000. Half of this amount has already been pledged by members of the development group and generous donors have contributed nearly $2000. We're so close to our fund raising goals that I'm hoping another repeat of this message will send us over the top.
In the past, many PERS retirees have expressed interest in contributing to the struggle to preserve retirement benefits. While not directly related to current litigation, the PERS document library will be an important resource of information for the public about PERS decisions.
Contributions can be sent to:
OPDG Library Project
6550 Huntington Cir SE
Salem OR 97306-1481
Make checks out to: OPDG Library Project. Credit card donations may also be made through a Pay Pal link at the library site.
For a better understanding of this project and for a view of the density of material already collected, visit the library web at:
I have written previously about this in my entry "Power To The People" (October 5, 2007). Support for this grass roots effort affords all PERS workers and retirees an opportunity to make a difference in the struggle for our retirement benefits. No donation is too small. We will publish a final accounting of the project when work on the database is complete. Questions should be directed to :
In the information age, documents are the raw material that fuel research, analysis, and understanding of decisions and events. Complex issues unfolding over many years produce a flood of documents. Often these originate from many sources and are stored in many forms. Access can be difficult under the best of circumstances which means that most people don't know where to go or how to locate needed records. Over time, documents are destroyed, lost, archived, or otherwise made unavailable. With critical information unavailable the media and public are often unaware about key facts in events which can lead to skewed perceptions of events and decisions. Your support for this effort is one direct way you can make a difference.
PERS Library Development Team:
JRS, Marc (mrfearless47), PEG, & Greg
**Post appeal footnote:
When the project is complete, any balance in the donated development funds will be returned to contributors on a proportional basis. The only exceptions will be for refunds that are less than $1. To be eligible for a refund, contributors will need to provide a return mail address with their donation.
P.S. If this note looks familiar to subscribers to OPDG, it is because Greg, our chief cook and bottle washer, entered a variant of this appeal on the OPDG newsgroup. We are looking at empowering as many PERS members, retirees, legislators who do not always have a clear view of history, journalists who also do not always understand the central issues or the seemingly peripheral elements that make the trivial seem meaningful and the reverse, lawyers, indeed anyone with an interest in PERS history over the past dozen years. We hope you'll contribute to this incredible asset and we hope you'll use it. It is there, and once the new searching suite gets posted, will be quite simple to use for complex searches.