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Suzanne Laird to STRS Board: Make that your New Year’s resolution: Earn our trust!

Those of you who attend STRS Board meetings, in person or virtually, know that Public Participation is the time when members of the public may address the Board for three minutes. Susanne Laird's informative - and entertaining - speeches have become a highlight of Public Participation. Here, by popular request, is the speech that Suzanne made on December 14, 2023.


Good Morning, Members of MY Board:

First and foremost, I must say how sorry I am that employees of this organization had to endure the temper tantrums and alleged perverse behavior of the former Executive Director. Let’s all agree on one thing, though, there must be no golden parachute.

If even one allegation is proven, the Executive Employment Agreement should be invalidated.

We cannot allow any more of our hard-earned benefits to be squandered.

Our future is now in the hands of the Interim Director and the current Board: (God forbid I should say anyone’s actual name), yes, some of us were listening to the discussion yesterday with AON. 

The nice woman from AON thinks we should sign up to speak a week in advance? How could I reply to the ridiculous suggestions I heard only yesterday? Such as cutting BACK on our 15 speaking slots?!

One of you claims he doesn’t hear any productive comments.

I’ll say it a little louder:

Cut the bonuses.

Freeze the salaries.

Restore the COLA.

Reduce the actives’ years of service.

And that asinine rule about not allowing us to use real names? Be careful what you wish for. If you are on this Board, you should be accountable for your actions, by name. If not, I’ll continue to to find creative ways to identify you. Accountability is the only way out of the mess at STRS.

Right now, we have the most embarrassing pension system in the state:

Our Director is on suspension, we can’t pay a permanent COLA, we give crazy raises and bonuses out like Christmas candy……

 BUT, we have an opportunity to overhaul this entire corrupt system.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the female Interim Director, appointed after the Executive Director was accused of disparaging women, turned this Titanic around? 

And what if the Board actually began earning the respect and trust of the membership?

At 4:45pm yesterday someone smart said (I’m not allowed to say who), “If we don’t have the trust of our members, we have nothing.”

Make that your New Year’s resolution: earn our trust.



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