I’ve not been posting lately because we have been traveling in Ireland. I hear you crying for me now, maybe you should given what the policies of the Bush administration has done to the exchange rate. But this is not a rant about international economic policy.
This one is a little closer to home.
From the minutes of the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board:
Mr. Overstreet presented the memorandum “Amendments to the Statement of Bylaws and Committee Organization and Election of Officers.”
Mr. Overstreet stated that over the last year the Board has been faced with circumstances of different reporters contacting trustees. Mr. Overstreet stated that it has been a communicated policy to the Board for a number of years to refer media inquiries to the Executive Director so that questions from the media are answered with one voice. The Bylaws as amended provide that the Board, or individual members of the Board, shall refer all news media inquiries to the Executive Director and to not discuss matters that affect the Systems or the Board generally with the news media. The role of the Executive Director is also redefined. Mr. Overstreet opined that those matters are better addressed by the Executive Director who has the information and knowledge to answer those questions.
Mr. Crall advised that it somewhat implies that the Executive Director is the one to respond on behalf of KRS to entities because the Bylaws do not specifically allow for the board members to do that. Mr. Crall advised that there are times when he is asked to do that and would use appropriate discretion in doing so. Mr. Crall stated that there are also times when he would need to respond to questions as the Governor’s representative.
It was moved by Mr. Lang, seconded by Ms. Ballenger, and carried by the Board to adopt the amended Statement of Bylaws and Committee Organization as presented.
In my absence the mainstream media have picked up on this act by the KRS board. The Governor is talking special session to deal with current mess and has appointed a working group to figure out what to do.
Given the composition of the work group, no state employees or retirees, I have a feeling which group is going to end up on the short end of any recommendations.
The proposed changes are pretty cosmetic and don’t deal with the real problems of chronic underfunding by the legislature and the ballooning cost of medical care.
Raising retirement ages for future hires;
Lowering the cost of living adjustment to 1.5 percent;
Requiring new employees to contribute 1 percent of their salary to the health insurance fund;
Reforming the practice of double-dipping, in which government retirees return to government jobs while still collecting a state pension.
But I digress; let’s get back to the KRS board and the smelly sock that is stuffed in their collective mouth. The KRS Board is the governing body of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. These people are not doing their job. If Steve Beshear needed a reason to clean house this is it.
Whatever happened to transparency in Government? Does the Executive Director think his board is too stupid to talk to the media? Is it possible that if more than one of them answered a question the answers would be different?
The only reason for an action like this is to keep the story straight. If only one person is stonewalling or telling a lie then it’s easier to keep the story straight.
If the Governor really wants to instill ethics in state government then cleaning out this sad excuse for a Governing Board at the Kentucky Retirement Systems would be a great way to start. I would like to see people appointed who cared more about doing the job they were supposed to do than the next tax payer paid junket they were taking.