Decisive victory in trustee elections for Pilditch, Reilly, and Ward... Final vote count to be completed Wednesday

The staff of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) has released the count of votes for the three retiree trustees who were being elected by mail ballot during October and early November 2009. According to the votes counted as of November 8, 2009, the following were the results. Note that these are, as stated, "preliminary".

Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) trustees James Ward (foreground) and Mary Sharon Reilly (behind Ward) were re-elected trustees of the $10 billion fund to represent retired teachers, who voted by mail ballots that had to be postmarked no later than November 6, 2009. A preliminary count on November 7 indicated that Ward, Reilly, and Walter Pilditch had won in the five-way race for three seats. Substance photo at the June 2009 meeting of the pension board by George N. Schmidt.The final tally will not be official until Wednesday, November 11, because of the nature of the mail balloting. Votes had to be postmarked no later than November 6. However, according to CTPF officials, the margins are so large that late votes that come in are highly unlikely to affect the outcome. Therefor, the winners are clearly Walter Pilditch, Mary Sharon Reilly, and James Ward.

"These results are preliminary of course, as the voting will remain open until Wednesday for those ballots that are postmarked through November 6," Kevin Huber, Executive Director of the CTPF told Substance via e-mail. "Based upon the margin of victory, I believe that the three highest vote recipients will be seated and sworn in on November 17."

As reported earlier, one of the two teacher candidates who won the October 30 balloting in the schools is demanding a recount, which is scheduled for November 16 (see related story on this SubstanceNews Home Page). The next meeting of the pension board will take place on November 17, 2009, at the CTPF offices.

The three candidates who were elected were all endorsed by the Retired Teachers Association of Chicago (RTAC). RTAC director Bob Bures, a retired principal and former teacher, told Substance that his organization was "very satisfied" with the results.

"We know that these three trustees can work well on the pension board, with the teachers union, and with us," Bures told Substance.

The Chicago Teachers Union's Executive Board had endorsed Louis Pyster, who lost, and Mary Sharon Reilly, who won.

The final official tallies will not be completed for two more days, according to Kevin Huber, Executive Director of the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund.

Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund, 2009 Pensioner-Trustee Election

Preliminary Vote Summary (As of Friday, November 06, 2009 at 3:14:15 PM)


Terri Katsulis 4,615 14.32%

Walter E. Pilditch 7,487 23.24%

Louis Pyster 3,079 9.56%

Mary Sharon Reilly 7,854 24.38%

James F. Ward 7,153 22.20%

Unexercised Vote 1,933 6.00%

Multiple Mark 99 0.31%

Total Returns 32,220

Election Summary... Total Returns 10,740... Total Ballots Delivered 22,076... Percent Returned 48.65%

The preliminary report from Election Services Corporation (ESC) stated: The election results and any additional information in connection there with provided by ESC hereunder or in any report delivered by ESC in connection therewith are provided solely for the benefit of the Board of Directors or equivalent governing body of your organization in connection with the services provided hereunder or any other services rendered in connection therewith and shall not otherwise be reproduced for any other purpose, made public or provided to the membership of your organization (other than to report such actual election results) or any other

person or entity without the express prior written consent of ESC.


November 9, 2009 at 12:38 PM

By: Retired teacher

Is UPC nod the new kiss of death?

A close look at the elections of October and November 2009 at the teachers pension fund shows that the endorsement of Marilyn Stewart's United Progressive Caucus (UPC) and the puppet "executive board" of the Chicago Teachers Union is a kiss of death. Stewart wanted the voters to elect Otero and Williams. The voters elected Ashford and Rehak.

Ooops... Sorry, Williams is forcing a recount next week. A recount is a bad thing when Debbie Lynch does it, but a good thing when a UPC lackey does it, I guess...

Now we have the UPC (er., Stewart, er., the "Executive Board") backing Pyster and Reilly, and Pyster, after all that work, gets creamed, while Reilly gets elected surely based on the work of RTAC, not the Chicago Teachers Union lame duck president.

Have you noticed that even some of the hardest of the hard core UPC are now trying to act friendly to the people they once called lots of names? Rats always scramble down the ropes when they feel the ship sinking. Leave them there, nobody wants them anymore.

November 9, 2009 at 8:08 PM

By: disappointed

sad with these results for retired

First, why RTAC keeps Buris is a mystery--a real snarkey guy there. Terry Katsulis and Lou Pyster were so well qualified and what we need on the pension board now. Walter is just lazy--yeah, he was a great principal--he made his money and was taken care of very well by Vallas, but Walter does NOT fight! We need people who will speak up and bring reality into the mess that Huberman is creating. Come on people, CPS cannot even tell the CTPF who should be paid as retired in 2007! This is sad. Glad for new blood from core people--some hope.

November 10, 2009 at 7:56 AM

By: Margaret Wilson

Retired teacher

I'm was very disappointed to learn that Lou Pyster and Terry Katsulis were defeated. They both have worked hard to serve the needs of teachers and neither allowed any leader to silence them. It shows how strong the anti-Marilyn reaction is but sometimes it backfires to hurt us.

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