By Tom Moutes, RLACEI Legislative Director
n my June 2023 article, I laid out my rationale why members should vote in elections for our active (still working) and Retired LACERS board representatives. This article will cover some items for you to consider if you receive a ballot and have no idea for whom you should cast your ballot.
Have They Overseen a Complex, Multipart Operation?
LACERS is a complex, multipart operation consisting of many units, such as investments, healthcare, systems, accounting, various types of retirement benefits, administrative, audit, and personnel, among others. If someone has overseen a complex, multipart operation in the past, they will understand how to monitor appropriately the various units and not be overwhelmed by the vastness of the operations or fixate on just one or two parts, to the exclusion of the other units. It’s important that our LACERS board members have the tools to oversee the entire operation.
Have They Ever Been a Supervisor?
While the LACERS board technically supervises only the General Manager, it is important for board members to know how to supervise, and it is even better if they have supervised a large group of employees. Why is this the case? Ideally, board members should come in with an understanding of all the principles of supervision so that they can be better aware of personnel dynamics they observe in the organization. Additionally, a board member or the full board may be requested to hear a personnel matter. They will be much more capable of doing this if they have previous experience.
Does Their Experience Allow Them to Understand the Difference Between Policy and Operations?
Board members exist to decide policy issues. The day-to-day operations of LACERS are the purview of the General Manager. If board members don’t understand the difference between policy and operations, they may well become overly involved in operations, which is a waste of time, and fail to get more fully involved in the policy aspect of the department, to the detriment of members.
As covered in my June 2023 article, it’s really important that you vote in the LACERS board elections. Only 5.47 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the last election! The mayor selects four of the seven LACERS board members. If you want to help ensure the LACERS board has a majority of good members, you need to vote to make sure the elected representatives are good members!
Some eligible members may not vote because they don’t know the candidates and don’t know how to select whom they should vote for. I hope the suggestions in this article will help you make informed choices in future LACERS elections.
The only board members we get to have a say in are the elected board members – so we have to vote!