School Division Candidate
Director of Transportation in Weld RE-4 School District
This information has not been edited by PERA. Please read the information carefully so that you can make an informed decision.
The deadline to vote is May 31, 2022.
Responses to Questions
Question 1: Interest on Serving on the PERA Board
Please briefly describe why you are interested in being elected to the PERA Board of Trustees.
The first reason that I am seeking election is that I find that both the operations side of schools and smaller districts seem to be underrepresented. I want to be the voice for those of us that aren’t teachers and don’t hail from a big district directly around Denver. The second reason is that I would like to be able to better understand the particulars of PERA and then share that knowledge with the districts around me. Lastly, I feel that I can bring a unique perspective to the assigning of funds for investing due to my diverse job history.
Question 2: Views on PERA’s Mission/Vision
PERA’s mission is to provide retirement security for our members while ensuring the sustainability of the fund. PERA’s vision is to innovate and build on a tradition of service by being a trusted partner in order to meet the changing needs of our diverse membership. Please share your thoughts on these ideals.
Retirement security is going to become one of the biggest incentives for future state and education employees in the state. By ensuring the sustainability of the PERA fund, we will be able to offer the retirement possibilities that many jobs in the private sector don’t. I want to help ensure that the board is that trusted partner so that the younger generation will be able to have the same benefits that everyone now gets to enjoy and won’t be worried about losing their retirement.
Question 3: Funded Status—Challenges/Opportunities
Please describe what you consider as the biggest challenges and opportunities facing PERA in the next 4-5 years related to the funded status.
One of the biggest opportunities that PERA could capitalize on is that the state population of taxpayers is growing, allowing a larger tax base to help fund PERA’s obligations. Another opportunity is that currently the stock market has been consistently growing. Through smart and sound investments, we could help push the fund to banner growth as well. A challenge that we are facing is that retirees are living longer than ever, increasing the costs of their benefits over time. Lastly, less people are entering the public sector, so less employees are paying into PERA. Hopefully this trend can be corrected.
Question 4: Serving the PERA Membership—Challenges/Opportunities
Please describe what you consider as the biggest challenges and opportunities facing PERA in the next 4-5 years related to serving the membership.
A substantial challenge that will be facing PERA is that the house prices are increasing, increasing property taxes also. Add an increase in cost of living and retirees will face more difficulty surviving on their retirement and PERA will have to figure out how to adjust to this. We also have an issue that is both a possible challenge and a possible opportunity, that is perception that public sector jobs aren’t ideal jobs. If we prove the reliability of the PERA system, we could reverse that perception and increase membership but if we don't the problem will only be exacerbated.
Question 5: Challenges/Opportunities Facing PERA
Please describe what you consider as other areas of challenge/opportunity facing PERA.
The biggest challenge facing PERA is the belief that the system can’t be sustained. As mentioned before, if we can ensure that PERA can be truly solvent, then we can show that employment in schools is a smart decision. With careers offering less retirement options, displaying that PERA is there for its people can help grow the membership. We have the chance to set a course for PERA that helps to decide its fate for the future.