Hello: This will be short and sweet. I just wanted to let you know about a couple of upcoming events, one on and one off, and to give you the results of the election for new Commonwealth Retirement Association (CRA) Board of Directors.
The Superior Court hearing which was scheduled for Monday, October 3, 2011 was taken off the Court calendar because of the action of Sapuro Rayphand to remove that case to the Federal District Court. The Fund has filed to have it returned to the Superior Court but no decision is known on that as yet.
There will be a continuation of the NMIRF Board of Trustees’ meeting which started on September 8, 2012. The continuation will be on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. Please consider attending. You can see the agenda on the Fund website, www.nmiretirement.com
As you know, the CRA Annual General Membership meeting took place tonight. There was a pretty good turn out, with most seats in the theater of the American Memorial Park filled. And, most people stayed until the end. I saw two legislators attending, Rep. Joe Guerrero and Rep. Joe Palacios. We were told that Speaker Ely Cabrera had been present earlier but had to leave. Others could have been present; I just didn’t see them. Our U.S. Congressman, Gregorio Sablan, was present. The Northern Mariana Islands Retirement Fund (NMIRF) Board of Trustees Chairman, Sixto Igisomar, and Fund Administrator, Rich Villagomez were also present. It was gratifying to hear so many of those present ask questions and express their feelings. If we could get that kind of passionate discourse when important issues are at hand, such as hearings on bills affecting the Fund, hearings in the Court, and at Fund Board meetings, maybe our concerns could be given more weight by those powers that be.
An election for all eight positions on the CRA Board of Directors took place. Many were nominated and many declined. It boiled down to 8 nominees for the 8 positions and then, by a show of hands, most of those there agreed to put these 8 on the Board. They are:
Oscar Camacho (current Director)
Agnes McPhetres (current Director)
Sapuro Rayphand (current Director)
Manny A. Tenorio (current Director)
Dr. Helen Taro
Jocelyn DeLeon Guerrero
Larry DLG Cabrera
Our U.S. Congressman, Fund officials, and Rep. Joe Guerrero all spoke and graciously accepted questions and comments from those present. When we were told the meeting had to adjourn because of time commitments made to the Park Service for use of their facility, I personally felt those present were just getting started and could have gone on and on expressing their feelings and asking questions.
At this meeting, Fund Trustee Chair Igisomar said the Fund now has $266 million. Considering only that $63 million is to be paid out in pensions each year, you can figure how far that will go. Out of the $63 million, $50 million is paid out to retirees and survivors (spouses and children of deceased retirees) within the Commonwealth; $13 million is paid to retirees living out of the Commonwealth. If this $50 million is taken out of the economy (if our checks stop coming), it would be disastrous for the retirees and for all businesses.