And now for a look at the elected members of the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees:
So how do you get elected to the Board of Trustees?
According to Kentucky Revised Statutes 61.645 there are two ways to be nominated to the Board.
(4) (a) The trustees selected by the membership of each of the various retirement systems shall be elected by ballot. For each trustee to be elected, the board may nominate, not less than six (6) months before a term of office of a trustee is due to expire, three (3) constitutionally eligible individuals;
(b) Individuals may be nominated by the retirement system members which are to elect the trustee by presenting to the executive director, not less than four (4) months before a term of office of a trustee is due to expire, a petition, bearing the name, Social Security number, and signature of no less than one-tenth (1/10) of the number voting in the last election by the retirement system members;
In reality only the first method is used the difficulty with the second is getting the number of signatures needed to be nominated. First you have to find out the names and addresses of the retirees and get in contact with them, and then they have to be willing to sign the petition and put their social security number on the petition.
For example if you wanted to run for a CERS position you would need a minimum of 1,378 names, and you had better have a lot more than that because some of them will be challenged,
From the KRS member news:
Nominations by the Membership
Individuals may also be placed on the election ballot by submitting a petition from the CERS membership. Per Kentucky Revised Statutes 61.645, the petition must contain the name, social security number, and signature of no less than 1/10 of the number of members voting in the last election. Based upon 2001 election results, the petition would require a minimum of 1,378 names, social security numbers, and signatures from the current CERS membership. Petitions to be included on the CERS election ballot must be submitted no later than November 30, 2004.
So basically the system is rigged. It is nearly impossible to get on the Board unless the Board or the Governor wants you on the Board. Remember how elections were done when you elected a class president in high school, this is pretty much the same thing.
The five elected members are:
Randy J. Overstreet, Chairman, Elected by State Police Retirement Systems (SPRS)
Bobby D. Henson and Susan Smith Horne Elected by Kentucky Employees Retirement Systems (KERS)
Vince Lang and Patricia Ballenger Elected by County Employees Retirement Systems (CERS)
Randy J. Overstreet
Overstreet is a retired Captain with the Kentucky State Police and the former Commander of Post 4, Elizabethtown. He is serving his third four-year term as State Police Retirement System Member of the Board of Trustees.
Bobby D. Henson
Henson is a retired KERS member and currently serving his second term as a member of the KRS Board of Trustees. He retired from the position of Executive Director, Office of Policy and Budget, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Susan Smith Horne
Horne is a retired KERS member, currently serving her second term as a member of the KRS Board of Trustees and is employed as an attorney in private practice. She was an Assistant Fayette County Attorney
Ballenger is a retired CERS member and currently operates her own public accounting firm.
Lang is a retired CERS member and currently serves as Executive Director of the Kentucky County Judge/Executive Association.
The elected members of the Board appear to have the paper qualifications to be the watch dogs needed but the look like a closed club with three of the five serving multiple terms.
The one possible real watch dog in this group is Vince Lang. Lang with his position with County Judge/Executive Association should have the knowledge and connections to make a difference, but he would be a lone voice.
Basically the Board is not a pack of watch dogs; it’s mostly a group of toothless lap dogs, all bark and no bite.
There is no dog in this fight for the tax payers and retirees when it comes to watching the administration of billions, that right billions with a “B”, of public dollars.