Voting in a runoff election to fill a position on the Employee Retirement System (ERS) Board of Trustees ends on July 7.
The runoff between Cheryl MacBride and incumbent Yolanda Griego is necessary because neither candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in the general election held earlier this year. MacBride is deputy commissioner of administration for the Texas General Land Office and Veterans Land Board. Griego, a programmer for the Health and Human Services Commission, is running for a second term on the six-member board.
Created in 1947, the ERS administers a benefits package for state employees and retirees that includes:
- Retirement benefits for employees and retirees of state agencies.
- Health and other insurance benefits in a Group Benefits Program for employees and retirees of state agencies, higher education institutions, Community Supervision and Corrections Department employees and active or retired employees of the Texas Municipal Retirement System and Texas County & District Retirement System.
- TexFlex, a tax-saving flexible benefit program.
- Texa$aver 401(k) and 457 investment accounts.
The contested position on the ERS board is one of three filled through election. The remaining three members are appointed, one each by the Governor, the Speaker of the House and the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Both appointed and elected members serve staggered six-year terms. Member duties and responsibilities include trust fund investment decisions, approval of a legislative agenda and the selection of benefit providers.
Members of the ERS as of January 31, 2009 and retired state employees receiving an annuity from ERS are eligible to vote. Paper ballots are mailed to members’ homes. Members can return their completed ballots by mail or vote online at www.ers.state.tx.us. Online voters will need their 11-digit ERS employee identification number and the last four digits of their Social Security number.
Runoff election results will be certified on July 29. The term of the winning candidate runs from September 2009 until August 31, 2015.