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Monday, March 29, 2010
Of course, the next step in the process is for PERS to complain of staff shortages and computer problems that make it hard for them to meet the deadline. This has been a recurrent theme of every piece of legislation implemented over the past decade. PERS simply does not want to take ownership of the system it is responsible for administering. It wants to have it both ways - it gets to make all the rules and it wants no responsibility for any mistakes that arise from its making the rules. Tough shit. PERS complains that it will need 13 additional FTE to handle these "verification" requests, on the assumption that 25% of potential PERS retirees will request them; if more than 25% request verification then more than 13 FTE will be required.
In typical PERS fashion, they allow that "estimates are not legally required", and that they might suspend formal written estimates if they have to make choices about what to do with limited resources. People will then be expected to rely on the, thusfar, almost worthless online calculator available on the PERS website. Of course, PERS promises to make it more accurate, if they have staff time and money to do it.
I am so sick and tired of this pile of horseshit from PERS. They have only one reason to exist - to manage OUR money, and to compute and pay our retirement benefits to us. They continue to act like retirees are inconveniences that they have to put up with and that their only responsibility is to try to KEEP retirees money, rather than pay it to them. It is long past due when PERS members can get a reliable and accurate benefit verification before making that life-changing decision to retire. We're awfully sorry that this troubles you PERS, but frankly we don't give a damn about your inability to do the work you're paid to do. This is just another attempt at sleight of hand - now you see it, now you don't.
My advice to members planning to retire within the next four years. As soon as PERS implements the verification method, apply for a verification. This will be the ONLY way you can be assured of getting something close to being accurate before you retire. Request it early because PERS will be swamped.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I can only conclude that they got some bad ganja and ran out of newsworthy information today.
Boring. Again. Still.
Friday, March 26, 2010
On an unrelated note, I've received some emails from readers asking if the snowmobile accident up on the Three Sisters area was my wife and daughter. To have divined that from the newspaper accounts required that you know a lot more about me than is publically available. Nevertheless, it is correct that my wife and daughter were injured in a very freak snowmobile accident this past Monday. My wife was bruised up pretty severely but is otherwise OK. My daughter had to have stitches in her knee and she has multiple facial fractures that will require surgery relatively soon. We have snowmobiled for the past five years and both I and my wife are experienced snowmobilers. We always go in a guided tour and we don't own our own equipment. We were an on unfamiliar route with a new guide when my wife lost control of her dual going around a banked curve. The right "ski" on the snowmobile got entrapped on a snow shoe mogul and made it hard to steer out. My wife's glove got caught between the thumb-throttle and handle bar and the snowmobile wouldn't slow down. In desperation, she hit the brakes and the vehicle went into a slide ending up in some brush. Both my wife and daughter were thrown from the snowmobile. My wife ended up flat on her back, pinned under the left ski of the snowmobile. We were able to lift the snowmobile free and get her out and upright. My daughter took a fall from the snowmobile and hit a tree, suffering a deep laceration in her knee, and multiple fractures of the small bones around her right eye. The Deschutes County sheriff's search and rescue teams were able to ambu-sled them out and then they were transported to St Charles Hospital in Bend. They were kept under observation until about 8:30 Monday night and then both were released. We stayed at our house in Sunriver until yesterday when both seemed stable enough to return home. Both are resting comfortably at home. My daughter has an appointment with a facial surgeon on Monday to discuss surgical plans. She will probably have some wiring done to hold all the small bones together while they heal.
Thanks to those of you who were able to figure out that this was my family. The first I knew this was a news item was Wednesday morning when a family friend called me to find out if this was really my wife and daughter. That's when we discovered that the articles had added nearly 10 years to my wife's age - she was really insulted - and had some details incorrect. In any case, I suspect we'll not be snowmobiling again anytime soon.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Phil Keisling will be giving a presentation at PSU today, entitled "The 'Other Two' Oregons: Dimnensions and Implications of our Growing Generational Divide". Of course, Phil manages to work PERS into the discussion as he argues that non-discretionary spending at the federal and state level consume more and more of tight budgets.
Keisling isn't giving this presentation just to enhance his reputation; he is a candidate for the Director of Public Services in the Mark Hatfield School of Government. So, Phil appears to be wanting to leave his cloistered world of the private sector and looking to join in the PERS or ORP program of the Oregon University System. I don't know what the candidate field looks like at PSU, but I'd say that Phil probably has a lock on this position.
Soon he will be able to issue his reports with a group of graduate students helping him do his research. Not a bad job if you can get one.