TRS board member Bob Lyons and I exchange views responding to Richard Ingram.
October 8, 2012
Not knowing if you saw my email from last Thursday I include it here, Cinda sent something out as President of the IEA, but the TRS Board will be silent up until we hold our meeting in a little more than two weeks. Fred, no member of a public board can speak for the board unless they are authorized to do by the board. For individual board members to be sending email to all of the other members to consider any course of action would be in violation of the Open Meetings Act. I have talked by phone to two other board members and exchanged emails with a couple of others, but I will not say what we may do because I do not know and because I cannot. You will have to wait until October 24th at the earliest.
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2012 11:59:06 -0500
Subject: We Have a Problem
From: Bob Lyons
Once again we have a problem. TRS Director, Richard Ingram, was interviewed by Crain’s and he is quoted as saying that changing the existing COLA may be the only way to save the pension systems. Last spring the TRS Board was very clear that the role of the System and of our director was to supply sound information when asked and not to be an advocate of any solution to the problem and especially not to do so when the specific solution was unconstitutional. Reading the article and especially watching the accompanying video I came to the conclusion that Director Ingram sees the Illinois Constitution as an inconvenience to solving the underfunding problem. Mr, Ingram has gone to where the Board of the System did not want him to go and for the second time. Our next regularly scheduled meeting is in Springfield on October 24. As a single member of the board, I can not say what we will do, but I certainly believe that we have a problem and that we will deal with it.
To watch the video: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20121003/NEWS02/121009921
Thank you for taking the time to clarify.
Of course I am aware that no one person can speak on behalf of the entire board of trustees.
However, the email you wrote that you include here demonstrates that individual members of the board of trustees can speak to the issues speaking for themselves. Which you did quite well and quite clearly, I should add.
President Klickna, on the other hand, took no position other than to restate what we already knew. This supports my contention that the two hats President Klickna wears – one as a member of the board of trustees of TRS and one as President of the IEA – seem to constrain her from speaking forcefully in rejecting the Executive Director’s contention that COLAs are the problem that must be immediately addressed. At least in her mind it appears to be a constraint. I don’t believe it should be.
I look forward to seeing strong action by the TRS board of trustees when you meet on October 24th.
– Fred Klonsky.