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Friday, March 06, 2009

Party People

It is pretty clear now that the PERS Board doesn't want any more at their party. At yesterday's Board meeting (by phone), the Board took the position that they would oppose a bill proposed in this year's legislature (no bill number announced or introduced, but drafted) that would increase the PERB from 5 to 7 members. The objective of the bill is to require a sixth member from the retiree ranks (good) and a seventh member from the unaffiliated (not in PERS) ranks (yawn). The Board is open to the idea of having a retiree (instead of an active) on the Board, but not to increasing the Board size. Tom Grimsley (the current active Board member) was the only one who spoke in favor of this proposal; the others objected because they thought it would make the Board more cumbersome and have more difficulty arranging meetings. So their solution would be to trade out the active member for the retiree, leaving the Board composition at 5.

I can imagine the real thinking is that the concept of having two members on the Board who both experience PERS as "members" might be too much information for the outsiders. Ironically, the most vocal opponent was Brenda Rocklin, who sits on the Board as a PERS Member from Management.

It will be interesting to see how this bill fares in the Legislature. If the bill does not come up for a hearing before March 31, the current Board will discuss it at its March 31 meeting.

You can read the report on the rest of the agenda at the PERS Oregon Discussion group. See link to group on the left.

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