One who intends to leave others better off for his having existed.

1/25/15

How Greensboro, North Carolina Executive Management and ICMA-RC lobbyists reacted to Hartzman's Retirement Plan Whistle

The email that led to the following chain of events;

From: George Hartzman
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 7:56 AM
Subject: Seven International City/County Management Association (ICMA) 457 Retirement Plan Fee Comparisons

Per ICMA's Plan Service Reports;

San Antonio's $254,097,157 Q2 2014 Plan Service Report (page 83) states;

"As of June 30, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.82% of plan assets)"
.
.
Orlando's $141,985,619 Q1 2014 Plan Service Report (page 105) states;

"As of March 31, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.64% of plan assets)"
.
.
The City of Durham's $25,531,109 Q2 2014 Plan Service Report (page 87) states;

"As of June 30, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (1.06% of plan assets)"
.
.
The City of Greensboro's $87,898,314 Q1 2014 Plan Service Report (page 66) states;

"As of March 31, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.84% of plan assets)"
.
.
The City of Wilmington's $26,047,983 Q1 2014 Plan Service Report (page 68) states;

"As of March 31, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.81% of plan assets)"
.
.
The City of Charlotte's $44,774,547 Q1 2014 Plan Service Report (page 78) states;

"As of March 31, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.80% of plan assets)"
.
.
The City of Winston Salem's $19,933,124 Q1 2014 Plan Service Report (page 49) states;

"As of March 31, 2014, the estimated annual cost to your plan is... (0.47% of plan assets)"
.
.
Please ask ICMA to match Winston Salem's fee structure or better to leave more money in employee accounts or fire them.

Thanks,

George Hartzman

ICMA-RC won't say whether any of the above information is accurate, 
but chose to use words to downplay the veracity of the numbers
instead of providing data that counters the above facts.

From: George Hartzman 
Date: October 7, 2014 at 1:23:23 PM EDT
Subject: This evening's 3 minutes.

George Hartzman,

I teach financial ethics, foresaw the 2008 financial crises, after which I became a whistleblower against Wells Fargo, and I have found the financial industry engages in profit skimming via limited transparency that provides little to no value to investors who pay the fees.

...In the fall of 2013, I analyzed Greensboro's 457 retirement plan to see if the City's employees were being overcharged for administration and investment management.

Greensboro’s 457 plan provider is the Washington DC based “non-profit” International City/County Management Association, or ICMA whose CEO made more $2 million in 2012.

I found that;

North Carolina's 231,000 plan participants pay about $217 each for recordkeeping per year.

Greensboro's 2,781 ICMA 457 participants pay about $266 each for recordkeeping per year.

But Winston Salem, who rolled over their plan's 1,029 ICMA 457 participant balances in 2012, pay about $91 each per year.


ICMA-RC, Jim Westmoreland and Mary Vigue
won't say whether or not
the $91 per participant number is accurate
for Winston Salem.

I wrote about Greensboro's plan on April 23, 2014 for Yes Weekly and met again with city staff a couple of months back.

Greensboro's employees are getting fleeced by the state and ICMA and no one seems to want to do anything about it.

Lowering the costs your employees are paying within these plans can create higher levels of economic impact after retirement, as more money would be available to be spent locally.

I can explain how to lower these costs for Greensboro's employees in about 15 minutes.

Please invite me to a City Council work session to look into increasing the values of our community's retirement accounts.

After presenting the above words to a City Council meeting, 
I was never invited to a City Council work session.

From: Vigue, Mary
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2014 1:26 PM
To: Hammond, Connie; Blackburn, Joan
Subject: Fwd: This evening's 3 minutes.

Can I please get something to respond to this tonight?

Thanks

It ends up Mary wasn't looking for a truthful response, 
but a counterpunch provided by Greensboro's 457 plan provider.

From: Westmoreland, Jim
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2014 12:11 PM
To: Department Heads
Subject: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman

I’ve been made aware that Mr. Hartzman may be calling around to some of you (and possibly some of your employees) to ask questions about our 457 plan. If he calls you, please refer him to Mary Vigue for follow-up.

Thanks.

Jim Westmoreland, PE, City Manager
City of Greensboro

Westmoreland and Vigue ran interference
not in the best interests of Greensboro's employees, 
but in the best interests of ICMA, of which they are members
and who created ICMA-RC to make money off of municipal employees
with the help of ICMA members like Jim and Mary.

On Oct 14, 2014, at 11:38 AM, "Zack Matheny"
wrote:

Mary -

I spent over 8 years in this industry as a professional and have invested in mutual funds since I was in high school.

I would like to set a meeting with you, and anyone else that oversees this account.

There are some changes that could be made and their response was underwhelming.

Please, let me know when you can meet.

Zack

There is no record produced by the City so far
that shows Zack ever following up with Mary, 
or Zack attending a meeting on the 457 plan fees.

From: Vigue, Mary
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 12:46 PM
To: Matheny, Zack
Cc: Hammond, Connie; Carruthers, Tom; Lusk, Rick
Subject: Re: Council Request- ICMA-RC

I am having a conference call with ICMA-RC on Monday if you want to meet prior to that so staff can share your concerns and possible changes.

After today I am available the rest of the week and I will pull the appropriate staff. Let me know a time that would work for you.

Thanks.
Mary
.
.
From: Hammond, Connie
To: Vigue, Mary
Subject: RE: Council Request- ICMA-RC
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 8:57:35 AM

Thanks.. Will share further thoughts when we take a break.

Thanks for all you do......

Connie D. Hammond
Human Resources
City of Greensboro
.
.
ICMA-RC tried to cover the tracks of thier involment 
in putting out the fire while maintaining thier profit margins;



ICMA-RC provided talking points and a letter 
to send to municipalities I got in touch with 
not for the benefit of ICMA-RC's customers,
but for the benefit of ICMA-RC.



Damage control, sent to the City of Greensboro,
without a corresponding response by Staff
to the detrimment of Greensboro's employees invested in the plan.



The letter written by ICMA-RC lobbyist John Saeli;

"distorted and incomplete"

Winston Salem's plan includes a per participant fee that is not assessed to other plans referenced"

Why would Winston's plan have fees not in other plans?



from: George Hartzman
to: aflattich@icmarc.org, jweight@icmarc.org, carmenc@cityofws.org, jsaeli@icmarc.org,
bcc: "Westmoreland, Jim" ,
"Clark, Jim (Legal)" David.Parrish@greensboro-nc.gov,
"Vigue, Mary" , Thomas.Carruthers
Sharon Hightower "Jamiah.Waterman "Hammond, Connie" "Cooper, Larry"
Nancy Vaughan Mike Barber Zack Matheny Tony Wilkins joan.blackburn@greensboro-nc.gov,
Rick Lusk marlene.druga anita holder
date: Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 9:47 AM
subject: Please provide a numerical explanation of why the total costs to employees are incorrect.

"Mr. Hartzman's comparison is inaccurate, incomplete and misleading..."

John Saeli
Vice President, Market Development and Government Affairs
.
.
What specific numbers are innacurate?

If something was innacurate, why wasn't I informed for the oppurtunity to retract, refute and/or apoligize?

Why wasn't a retraction demanded?



The financial industry is very much in favor of asset based fees, as the profit margin increases over time via compound interest.  Flat dollar retirement plan Record-keeping and Reporting fees are in the best interests of participants, as shown in Greensboro's case, at the bottom of the following post;

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/11/401k-457-403bs-and-federal-governments.html



Greensboro ICMA-RC 457 plan fund alternatives which City management refused to look into

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/2014/11/greensboro-icma-rc-457-plan-fund.html
.
.
City staff coodinating with ICMA-RC;

From: Blackburn, Joan
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 6:02 PM
To: Weight, James
Subject: FW: This evening's 3 minutes.

Joan A. Blackburn
Total Compensation Benefits Supervisor
Human Resources Department
.
.
From: Blackburn, Joan
To: "Weight, James"
Subject: FW: Recent PIRT responses sent to Mr. Hartzman
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 6:01:18 PM
Attachments: 457 Plan statement 12-31-13 for PIRT.pdf
457 Plan Financial Statment 2009 for PIRT 33694.pdf
457 Plan 2010 Financial Statement - PIRT 3694 .pdf
457 Plan 2011 Financial Statement PIRT 3694 (2).pdf
Fund Performance 6-30-14.pdf
Fee Disclosure Statement.pdf
Service Agreement with Greensboro to 2018 signed.pdf
PIRT 3890_9-17-14.pdf
457 Plan Document Trust 11 06.pdf
.
.
From: Weight, James [mailto:jweight@icmarc.org]
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2014 8:48 AM
To: Blackburn, Joan
Subject: RE: This evening's 3 minutes.

Hi Joan,

I can call you mid-day today, ok?

James Weight, CFP®
Director, Relationship Management
Mid-Atlantic Region
ICMA-RC
.
.
From: Blackburn, Joan
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2014 09:30 AM
To: Weight, James
Subject: RE: This evening's 3 minutes.

How’s 12:30?

Joan A. Blackburn
Total Compensation Benefits Supervisor
Human Resources Department
.
.
From: Weight, James
To: Blackburn, Joan
Subject: Re: This evening"s 3 minutes.
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:44:16 AM

12:30 should be a good time for me.

I will call you in your office then, ok?

James Weight, CFP
Director, Relationship Management
Mid-Atlantic Region
ICMA-RC
.
.
From: Gaylord, Shani
To: Westmoreland, Jim; Vigue, Mary
Cc: McCollough, Mary
Subject: RE: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:45:40 AM

Good morning Jim and Mary,

George Hartzman recently called to provide the information that he will be downtown today, so feel free to contact him if you’d like to schedule a brief, 15 minute meeting to go over the 457 plan before today’s Work Session. He mentioned that he also went over this information with Jeff, Marikay and Zack.

He can be reached via phone at...

Best,
Shani
.
.
From: Vigue, Mary
To: Gaylord, Shani
Subject: Re: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:46:26 AM

Jeff?

Mary Vigue
Interim Assistant City Manager
City Manager's Office
City of Greensboro
.
.
From: Gaylord, Shani
To: Vigue, Mary
Subject: RE: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:47:35 AM

[Greensboro's News and Record Publisher] Jeff Gawger. [Gauger]

Please excuse my spelling he did not spell out the name.
.
.
From: Vigue, Mary
To: Hammond, Connie
Subject: Fwd: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:52:06 AM

Have we heard anything from ICMA-RC?

The Jeff below is with the media... 

This makes Councilmember Matheny's email make sense.

Mary
Mary Vigue
Interim Assistant City Manager
City Manager's Office
City of Greensboro
.
.
The Thursday, October 16, 2014 9:52:06 AM message from Mary Vigue was forwarded;

From: Hammond, Connie
To: Marro, Joseph; Blackburn, Joan
Subject: FW: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:09:17 AM
.
.

And then City Staff used ICMA-RC's letter and talking points to put out the fire;

From: Hammond, Connie
To: Vigue, Mary
Subject: RE: Contact(s) from Geroge Hartzman
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:16:44 AM

Yes… I got a copy of a proposed letter yesterday from Weight. 

We can discuss. 

Over phone or in person.
.
.
From: Hammond, Connie
To: Marro, Joseph; Blackburn, Joan; "jweight@icmarc.org"
Subject: Hartzman"s
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 10:52:50 AM

This link may give you further insights (?) into the thinking. See side panel "457 proposal..

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/

Connie
.
.
From: George Hartzman
To: Vigue, Mary
Subject: Re: See you at about 2:45 tomorrow
Date: Monday, October 20, 2014 12:41:18 PM

Looks like I am meeting with Nancy Vaughan alone at 2 tomorrow, if you would like to join...
.
.
Mary Vigue was aware of my efforts state wide;

From: George Hartzman
To: bwhitehorn@ashevillenc.gov
bcc: Marty Lawing, "Vigue, Mary" Nancy Vaughan, Rick Lusk 
Subject: Thanks for your time.
Date: Monday, October 20, 2014 2:30:50 PM
Attachments: 10 10 2014 TSP Presentation Book.doc
Information request for the North Carolina Treasurer.doc

If possible, please forward the information request to North Carolina's Treasurer's office as a "fiduciary".

I call to ICMA with mention that you spoke to me and took a look at how Winston Salem is doing business may bring down your fees rather very quickly.

Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing spoke with ICMA last Friday, and Greensboro Assistant City Manager Mary Vigue is meeting with them
.
.
From: Tony Wilkins
To: "George Hartzman"; Westmoreland, Jim; Lusk, Rick; Hammond, Connie; Vigue, Mary
Cc: Vaughan, Nancy (Mayor); Johnson, Yvonne; Barber, Mike; Abuzuaiter, Marikay; Hightower, Sharon; Fox, Jamal; Matheny, Zack; Hoffmann, Nancy; Wilkins, Tony
Subject: RE: On October 21, 2014"s ICMA 457 plan meeting with Mayor Vaughan and Mary
Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 1:57:41 PM

Jim Westmoreland,

Please tell me, in language that I can understand, if George Hartzman’s claims in this e-mail are true.

Thanks,

Tony Wilkins
Greensboro City Council
.
.
From: Hammond, Connie
To: "Carmen Caruth"
Subject: FW: Hartzman"s
Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 3:04:30 PM

Carmen,

As discussed.....

This link may give you further insights (?) into the thinking. See side panel "457 proposal..

http://hartzman.blogspot.com/
.
.
From: Cooper, Larry [mailto:Larry.Cooper@greensboro-nc.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 3:43 PM
To: Weight, James
Cc: Flattich, Art; Blackburn, Joan
Subject: FW: On October 21, 2014's ICMA 457 plan meeting with Mayor Vaughan and Mary

Vigue

HI James,

See the information below I referred to in my voice message. This email blast is the result of
George’s meeting with the Mayor and Mary Vigue yesterday. He is trying to make contact with
Winston-Salem regarding 34 basis point issue.
.
.
ICMA member Jim Westmoreland misleading City Council;

From: Westmoreland, Jim To: "Tony Wilkins"
Cc: Vaughan, Nancy (Mayor); Johnson, Yvonne; Barber, Mike; Abuzuaiter, Marikay; Hightower, Sharon; Fox, Jamal;
Matheny, Zack; Hoffmann, Nancy; Wilkins, Tony; Lusk, Rick; Hammond, Connie; Vigue, Mary
Subject: RE: On October 21, 2014"s ICMA 457 plan meeting with Mayor Vaughan and Mary Vigue
Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 6:41:20 PM

Tony,

I have asked staff to prepare an update for Council on this item. We will share tomorrow.

In simple terms, we have a very good 457 plan in the City of Greensboro that provides a diverse range of funds/options for our employees to choose from. Depending on the fund/option they choose to invest in, different plan fees are applied.

So I don’t think that comparing our plan/fees to others by averaging plan fee costs by participant is a fair comparison or really means anything?

Jim
.
.
From: Weight, James
To: Cooper, Larry
Cc: Flattich, Art; Blackburn, Joan
Subject: RE: On October 21, 2014"s ICMA 457 plan meeting with Mayor Vaughan and Mary
Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014 4:41:51 PM
Attachments: ICMA-RC Letter Regarding Hartzman Fee Comparison - Greensboro - 10 16 14.pdf

Hi Larry,

Thanks again for the heads up yesterday.

Would it be helpful for us to meet with the City Manager and/or the Mayor and/or any City Council members?...

James Weight, CFP®
Director, Relationship Management
Mid-Atlantic Region
ICMA-RC
.
.
Department Directors told not to engage in conversations
that could have left more money in the pockets of Greensboro's employees;

From: Grayson, Greg
To: Fire Leadership
Subject: Notes from Department Director Meeting
Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 11:56:36 AM

...Hartzman information in public domain on 457 plan costs
Direct questions to Mary Vigue, do NOT engage with Hartzman
His data is not comparing apples to apples
ICMA charges variable fees based upon the funds employees choose
.
.
From: George Hartzman
To: Westmoreland, Jim; Lusk, Rick; Hammond, Connie; Vigue, Mary
Subject: On October 21, 2014"s ICMA 457 plan meeting with Mayor Vaughan and Mary Vigue
Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 9:24:12 AM
Attachments: Greensboro fee pages.pdf
Winston Salem Fee Pages.pdf

On Tuesday, I met with Greensboro Assistant City Manager Mary Vigue and Nancy Vaughan in the Mayor's office.

Mary, a member of ICMA, had met with a representative of ICMA-RC on Monday.

Mary became confrontational from the outset of the meeting, and seemed to be advocating for ICMA's justifications of Greensboro's current 457 plan fees as opposed to what's in the best interests of Greensboro's employees invested in the plan.

Mary cited a hidden asset based fee in Winston Salem's fee structure to assert Winston Salem
doesn't pay less than Greensboro...

...Mary Vigue objected to the idea of considering the plan's fees per participant and asserted that
Winston paid more during the meeting on several occasions.
.
.
...Greensboro's VT Vantagepoint Equity Income "Large Value Fund" (page 67), which ICMA
owns, which is inherently a conflict of interest, charges a total of 0.78% on $1,609,652 in
Greensboro's plan.

Winston Salem's Vanguard Equity Income Admiral "Large Value Fund" (page 50), which is
essentially the same thing Greensboro's Equity Income Large Value Fund only different,
charges a total of 0.21% on $2,011,041. Adding in the 0.34% ICMA charges Winston on the
back end, I found the total annual charge for Winston's participants to be 0.55%.

Greensboro's 0.78% is larger than Winston's 0.55%.
.
.
Winston Salem's Mid and Small Cap index funds (page 50), where most of the participant's
money is invested, is charged a total of 0.44% by ICMA. (0.10% + 0.34%)

Greensboro's Mid and Small Cap funds total annual ICMA charges (pages 67 and 8) are
1.20%, 1.14%, 1.09%, 1.05%, 1.27%, 0.82%, 1.02%, 1.24% and 1.45%.
.
.
It's my understanding Mary did not ask for or inquire about any possible fee reductions during her meeting with ICMA-RC's representative on Monday, but instead appears to have consumed a great deal of ICMA cool aid to regurgitate to the benefit of ICMA, as opposed to proactively looking out for what the best course of action was for Greensboro's employees.

Mary asserted that nothing needed fixing in Tuesday's meeting with Mayor Vaughan and I.

Mary cited Rick Lusk, Connie Hammond, Larry Cooper and herself as experts who agreed that nothing needed to be done with the ICMA 457 plan's fee structure and fund line up in the face of an opportunity to leave more money in the retirement accounts of City of Greensboro participants.

Please confirm Mary's assertion that Rick Lusk, Connie Hammond and Larry Cooper found no need to look into potential savings in Greensboro's 457 plan fees.

I never recieved confirmation.

Trying to do the right thing in this case has become much more difficult than it should have been.

Inaction has occurred for more than 12 months since these issues were initially raised.

Let's give Greensboro's 457 participants a raise and more money to spend locally in retirement by lowering their fees, which are demonstrably too high and retarding the prospect of wealth creation for 2,781 employees.

This email should not have been necessary.

George Hartzman
.
.
Notice Flattich never says how the costs are understated and misrepresented, or why the information is incorrect;

From: Flattich, Art   aflattich@icmarc.org
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2014 9:43 AM
To: Lisa Saunders; Brian Hubbell
Cc: Carmen Caruth
Subject: Recent Public Information Requests

Lisa and Brian, I hope all is well. I wanted to give you both a heads up that the same gentlemen that made a public information request from the City of Winston Salem several weeks ago is now sending the email below. Please note that he incorrectly states the total costs to employees at the City of Winston Salem. I wanted to give you a heads up for two reasons. First, this particular individual has sent this out to many employers and employees in the State of North Carolina and specifically names the City of Winston Salem. Secondly, we have just released a written response that details the many factors that go into plan pricing and that the total cost to the City of Winston Salem’s employees is understated and misrepresented in his email. I have attached our written response for your information (please note that we addressed the letter to Lisa but it is written as a response to those employers who have received the email below which the City, presumably, did not.)

Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Thank you and have a great week.

ICMA Retirement Corporation
Art Flattich, Vice President, Southeast Region
aflattich@icmarc.org
.
.
From: Carmen Caruth
To: Hammond, Connie
Subject: FW: Recent Public Information Requests
Date: Monday, October 27, 2014 9:50:48 AM

Attachments: ICMA-RC Letter Regarding Hartzman Fee Comparison - Winston Salem - 10 24....docx

FYI

Mr. Hartzman had requested information from our Finance Department and plan consultant (Hubbell Consulting).


Which I have still not recieved.

See correspondence from Art Flattich with ICMA.
.
.
From: George Hartzman [mailto:hartzmancpe@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 11:50 AM
To: Healy, Sarah
Subject: Information request

Please provide all communications between Mary Vigue and ICMA for the last 90 days.

g
.
.
from:  George Hartzman
to:  "Vigue, Mary" 
date:  Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 12:14 PM
subject:  Fund Lineup

Any word on the fund line up we spoke of and you said you would inquire about?
.
.
From: George Hartzman [mailto:hartzmancpe@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2014 9:42 AM
To: Healy, Sarah
Subject: Re: Response to PIRT # 4002

Please provide any communications over the last 90 days to or from ICMA RC and Mary Vigue, Connie Hammond and Jim Westmorland.

g
.
.
From: Healy, Sarah
To: Vigue, Mary; Hammond, Connie; Westmoreland, Jim
Subject: PIRT request
Date: Friday, October 31, 2014 10:18:34 AM

Jim, Mary and Connie:

Sending as an FYI – it is PIRT # 4006. Will keep you posted.
.
.
From: George Hartzman
Date: Fri, Oct 31, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Subject: Re: Information request for the City of Charlotte
To: "Ellis, Anna"
Cc: "Darby, Nakyhia"

Please pass the attached proposal along to the Willis of North Carolina.

The proposed fees should save Charlotte employees about $1,318,584 over five years, as the City is overpaying rather dramatically for services from ICMA.

The problem I have run into with the consultants who looked at 457 plan providers in Greensboro is they appeared to only review more expensive plans to the detriment of Greensboro's employees, as in this case as with many others along with the Nationwide provided plan via the North Carolina Association of Counties.

It seems a few Municipal Management oriented employee associations have cornered the market via influence with decision makers at the expense of many employed under members of the same associations.

Please provide the last Willis of North Carolina's provider assessment and the report of their last RFP produced for the City of Charlotte in an electronic format...
.
.
From: Healy, Sarah
To: Vigue, Mary
Subject: FW: PIRT request
Date: Friday, October 31, 2014 1:32:47 PM

Mary – wanted to let you know that only 7 emails were produced from the search and no emails were to/from you.
.
.
From: Vigue, Mary
To: Healy, Sarah
Subject: Re: PIRT request
Date: Friday, October 31, 2014 1:35:22 PM

Thanks! :)
.
.
From: Healy, Sarah
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2014 1:13 PM
To: Westmoreland, Jim
Subject: FW: Response to PIRT # 4006

Jim – I wanted to send you a copy of my reply to Mr. Hartzman regarding his recent PIRT # 4006
request. Only 2 of the 7 emails produced were not sent to Mr. Hartzman b/c one was your personal quarterly statement and the other was Connie’s personal quarterly statement. Neither are public record.

Just wanted to let you know.
.
.
From: Westmoreland, Jim
To: Healy, Sarah
Subject: RE: Response to PIRT # 4006
Date: Monday, November 03, 2014 3:07:14 PM

Thanks.
.
.
From: George Hartzman
To: Westmoreland, Jim; Vigue, Mary; Hammond, Connie; Nancy Vaughan; @votehoffmann.com; Matheny, Zack; Lusk, Rick
Subject: Fwd: Response to PIRT # 4006
Date: Wednesday, November 05, 2014 10:34:28 PM
Attachments: PIRT 4006.pdf

Mary told me on Monday night, after telling both Nancy Vaughan and myself on October 21st that Mary would personally contact ICMA-RC, that she had been in touch with HR about getting the fund list of alternative investments with lower costs from ICMA-RC.


Looks like ICMA member Mary Vigue
never did what she said she would
to the mayor of Greensboro.

I spoke with ICMA-RC Deputy General Counsel Angela C. Montez this afternoon, who told me municipalities have the lattitude to negotiate fees and switch funds as fiduciaries deem prudent and in the best interests of participants.

Mary said otherwise. Jim doesn't seem to have a problem with it, or he doesn't know and should.

ICMA members Mary and Jim appear to be acting in the best interests of ICMA-RC.

Mary incorrectly informed both Mayor Vaughan and I that Winston Salem was paying less per participant on October 21st, acting as an overt advocate for ICMA-RC after meeting with an ICMA-RC rep the day before.

It's been about two weeks since Mary said she would personally get with ICMA-RC on the fund list, and two days since she said she directed HR to do so.

The information request attached suggests otherwise.

Nancy Hoffmann and Zack know what a fund list is.

To my knowledge, no one at the City has made any effort to save Greensboro's employees money within the 457 plan, despite more than a year's worth of effort on my part.

ICMA members Mary and Jim don't seem to mind ICMA-RC skimming off of Greensboro's employees.

It seems ICMA members Mary and Jim are acting in the best interests of ICMA-RC.

I would like to hear some good news on saving Greensboro's 457 plan participants some money by the close of business tomorrow.

Those names above are the only recipients of this email.

At this point, ICMA members Mary and Jim are involved in a betrayal of 2871 Greensboro 457 participants, in my view.

At this point, I believe ICMA members Mary and Jim have violated ICMA's ethics code conflict of interest rules, and probably the City's ethics code as well, as if either really means anything.

I am trying to do the right thing.

It appears ICMA members Mary and Jim are not only impeding my efforts, they are helping ICMA-RC maintain and increase profits at the expense of thier non-ICMA co-workers.

I have tried to get this done relatively quietly.

That period of time is coming to a close.

By doing nothing, I believe those involved in non-action are actively stealing from other people's kid's futures.

g
.
.
From: George Hartzman [mailto:hartzmancpe@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2014 6:21 PM
To: Healy, Sarah
Subject: Info

All communications to or from for The last 30 days

Jim Westmoreland
Mary Vigue
David Parrish
Chris Wilson
Nancy Vaughan
.
.
From: Westmoreland, Jim
To: Turlington, Donnie; Healy, Sarah
Subject: FW: Info
Date: Thursday, November 06, 2014 7:44:53 PM

It would be good to ask Mr. Hartzman if he could more specifically define what he is looking for with this request?
.
.
from: George Hartzman
to:
bcc:melanie.buckingham@greensboro-nc.gov, melanie.daniel@greensboro-nc.gov, melanie.neal@greensboro-nc.gov, melinda.king@greensboro-nc.gov, melinda.medford@greensboro-nc.gov, melissa.ashe@greensboro-nc.gov, melissa.coble@greensboro-nc.gov, melissa.douglas@greensboro-nc.gov, melissa.mckoy@greensboro-nc.gov
date: Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 11:20 AM
subject: Concerning the contents of an information request on Greensboro's 457 retirement plan.

From what I have found so far, Mary Vigue and Jim Westmoreland amongst others, betrayed City of Greensboro employees by regurgitating ICMA-RC's message of leave the plan fees and options unchanged.

Westmorland and Vigue, both members of ICMA (International City/County Management Association), have been running interference for ICMA-RC (International City/County Management Association Retirement Corporation), in violation of Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest: Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter.

Even after Zack and Tony asked, city staff towed ICMA's line, and told city employees to refer any contact from me to Mary Vigue.

Mary told me about a month ago she was getting a fund line up with lower fees that could replace the current from ICMA-RC.

There is no record of anyone from the city asking for it, which means Mary lied to my face in the middle of a Council meeting.

There has been no movement on the part of city executives to act in the best interest of the city's employees, even after I identified the funds Winston uses and showed they are paying much less, even though Greensboro's plan is three times bigger.

According to ICMA-RC's 2012 IRS form 990, Robert O'neal, ICMA's Executive Director, serves as a paid director of ICMA-RC.

San Antonio’s Assistant City Manager and ICMA member Frances Gonzalez serves on ICMA-RC's board. San Antonio has $254,377,728 of City employee funds with ICMA-RC.

Meaning Mary Vigue could as well.

Decatur, Georgia’s City Manager and ICMA member Peggy Merriss serves on ICMA-RC's board as Decatur offers an overpriced ICMA-RC 457 retirement plan.

If both San Antonio’s Assistant City Manager and Decatur, Georgia’s City Manager are ICMA members are paid board members of ICMA-RC, while Decatur and San Antonio do business with ICMA-RC, Westmorland and Vigue, both members of ICMA, could be paid ICMA-RC board members.

I told some truth, and Mary and Jim asked the folks who are making money off of not telling the truth for there side of the story, and Mary and Jim swallowed it without any effort to confirm or disprove independently of either side what I have been saying for more than a year.

I have met with most of council on this issue to no avail.

Both Zack and Nancy Hoffmann understood my position, as they worked in the financial industry.

And nothing.

Jim Westmoreland's reply to Tony Wilkins lacks any value.

Jim and Mary betrayed thier own employees.

Shame on them for letting ICMA-RC take one cent more than they should or could, without even trying to find out what could be done.

I was hoping for some signs of humanity, compassion, care and resolve, and all I got was a turd for my efforts to save other people money.

Give those folks you screwed a good look in the eye when you pass them in the halls.

You stole a part of thier future, along with some more money that could have been spent locally instead by Wall Streeet, DC lobbyists and thier purchased polititions.

So now what?

g
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"Any officer, department head or employee who has financial interest, direct or indirect, in any proposed contract with the city or in a proposed sale of any land, material, supplies, or services to the city or to a contractor supplying the city, shall make known that interest and shall refrain from ...participating in the making of such contract or sale.

Any officer, department head, or employee who willfully conceals such a financial interest or willfully violates the requirements of this Section shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position and shall forfeit his office or position.

Violation of this Section with the knowledge expressed or implied of the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the city shall render the contract void."

Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest: Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter
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ICMA-RC conducts business with The City of Greensboro.

Managers and Assistant Managers of other cities have compensation arrangements with ICMA-RC.

Westmorland and Vigue have a Financial Interest, as they could obtain a potential compensation arrangement ICMA-RC as they conduct negotiations/transactions/arrangements between The City of Greensboro and ICMA-RC.

In connection with any actual or possible conflict of interest, Westmorland and Vigue should have disclosed the existence of the financial interest.

Mary Vigue denied the possible conflict at a recent City Council meeting, as Westmorland looked on, prevented City employees from speaking with George Hartzman of the issue, and then lied to George Hartzman about looking into saving City of Greensboro employees money during another Council meeting, and City Council has done nothing.
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From: George Hartzman
to: steve drew
date: Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 3:13 PM
subject: City of Greensboro Manager Jim Westmoreland Lying to Tony Wilkins and City Council

For every $100,000 invested in the PIMCO fund in Greensboro's plan, each participant is paying another $270 (0.71% - 0.44% = 0.27%) for no reason other than Jim Westmoreland and Mary Vigue refused to negotiate lower fees.

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2014/12/city-of-greensboro-manager-jim.html
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from: George Hartzman
to: Thomas.Carruthers@greensboro-nc.gov
bcc: Tasha.Swann@greensboro-nc.gov, Tiffany.Temple@greensboro-nc.gov, Donald.Turlington@greensboro, Donna Gray @greensboro-nc.gov>, donnie.turlington@greensboro-nc.gov, "Clark, Jim (Legal)" "Jamiah.Waterman@greensboro-nc.gov"
"McCollough, Mary" "Vigue, Mary" , sharon.bell@greensboro-nc.gov, "Schwartz, Sue" , "Mabe, Mike" , "Richardson, Betsey" ,
butch.simmons@greensboro-nc.gov, hfourrier@greensboronc.org, kathi.dubel@greensboro-nc.gov,
"Davis, Larry" , Rick Lusk ,
Andy Scott
date: Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 3:42 PM
subject: City of Greensboro Manager Jim Westmoreland Lying to Tony Wilkins and City Council

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2014/12/city-of-greensboro-manager-jim.html
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Thomas,

The logical course of action would be to ask for a retraction or sue for defamation if what I am saying isn't true.

The problem the legal department is going to have, is employees realizing that Jim and Mary Vigue coodinated with ICMA-RC to purposefully keep Greensboro's 457 plan fees high.

And now I have found both Jim and Mary misleading City Council on the subject.

Please determine whether legal action is appropriate for the City.

I believe it would not be, as I am telling truth to power, and those who hire and fire the City Manager have not acted.

Sooner or later, a breach of fiduciary suit will emerge from some in your workforce if nothing is done in before hand.

One way or another, Greensboro's legal department will have made the choice which to defend.

g

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