David Muir

Dave Muir

I’m so happy that RELAC’s three candidates in the LACERA election were successful. Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote and who voted for Les Robbins and me. Our third candidate was J.P. Harris, and since no one filed to run against him, he was automatically elected.

With Les serving as the retiree member on the Board of Retirement and J.P. serving as the alternate retired member on the Board of Retirement, RELAC will be in a strong position to help you find the right person at LACERA to assist with any issues you may encounter. As the newly elected member of the Board of Investments, I will make sure the interests of retirees are fully considered and protected. This is especially important when it comes to the actuarial valuation, which serves as the basis for adjusting member and County contribution rates. It is important to the security of retirees that the funding of the retirement system remains strong and continues to improve.

I was pleased that the unions did not endorse candidates to oppose us for the three retiree positions. This is the first time I can remember that our candidates did not face union opposition. I believe this is because union management respected the records that Les, J.P. and I established while serving on the LACERA boards in the past. Most of the time the unions’ interests and the retirees’ interests are aligned.

The three-year terms of office for the new LACERA board members commence on Jan. 1, 2018. At that time, Les will replace Bill de la Garza as the retired member on the Board of Retirement, J. P. will replace me as the alternate retired member on the Board of Retirement, and I will replace Diane Sandoval as the retired member on the Board of Investments.

Special thanks go to Bill and Diane for their many years of dedication and hard work in faithfully serving retirees on the LACERA Boards.

By the end of his term this year, Bill will have served 15 years on the Board of Retirement. He played a key role in making things better for retirees, including (i) the establishment of the alternate position on the Board of Retirement, giving retirees an additional voice in the Board’s deliberations, (ii) the increase in the retiree death benefit from $750 to $5,000, and (iii) the enactment of legislation that requires RELAC to receive notice of LACERA proposals that would affect retiree benefits and requires the Board of Retirement to consider any comments RELAC may submit.

Diane will have served on the Board of Investments for 12 years by the end of her term. Her highest priority has always been to ensure the retirement fund’s continuing ability to pay our retirement benefits. She was a forceful voice on the Board, given her long experience managing LACERA’s financial operations, and her education in retirement funds management at the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and U.C. Berkeley.