State Rep. Marsha Haefner Upset Over Franz’s Comments

State Representative Marsha Haefner said she was offended over Rich Franz accusation that state legislators did not have political will or courage to change the state’s Public School Retirement system.

Missouri State Representative Marsha Haefner (R-100) had an exchange of words with Mehlville school board member Rich Franz during a town hall meeting Friday.

At a June 21 board meeting,  for their handling of Missouri’s Public School Retirement System, which he labeled a “ponzi scheme.”

“And my other problem is with the state legislatures. Those same teachers’ organizations, through their current and retired members, exert political influence on the state legislators and I fault the state legislators, including the legislators who represent the districts in this school district, for not having the political will and courage to address this issue,” Franz said. “They know it has to be fixed and they refuse or they have been unable and unwilling to do it because of the political fallout.”

Haefner said she was offended by that comment.

“First of all, no one has ever asked me what I am doing to help make changes to the public schools’ retirement system,” Haefner said. “That comment was made without ever a phone call, a question or anything.”

She also said she believes that the current retirement system must be fixed but that she alone cannot make that change happen.

“I deal in a system with 163 members in the house of representatives, 34 senators and a governor, that’s how I get to get things changed. I don’t deal on five or seven-member board. That’s my reality and I have to deal in reality—not in opinion or talking points to make me look better.”

Franz, who was in the audience, then asked Haefner a question which he said required a "simple yes or no answer.”

“Did either one of you introduced legislation to address this problem to try to solve it in the last session?” Franz said.

“I did not,” Haefner replied. “That doesn’t mean I don’t have any political will or political courage.”

Jim Avery July 02, 2012 at 01:48 PM
The question is did Franz contact his state legislator to work with her to get her to introduce a bill or did he just sit in the audience and sharp shoot Rep Hafner? I'm going to guess he didn't do his job as a school board member and contact Rep Hafner.
Bryan Andrews July 02, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Jim you are so right.
Russ Rosener July 02, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Well either way he DID raise the isssue in a public forum and she is AWARE of it now. Let's see if she actually responds to this in any meaningful political way....
Amber Neal July 02, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I'm sorry, but can someone please explain to me why they think that the teacher's public school retirement system needs to be changed? I haven't heard one thing about this system being some type of hige drain on the state budget. Teachers are not like other professions....how many lawyers work with 25 clients all at the same time in the same room? How many doctors see 25 patients at the exact same time, all with different needs and issues? How many plumbers work on 25 sinks at the same time? Each school board member and state representative should be a substitute teacher for 1 week, and then tell us how much teacher's are overpaid and over-compensated in retirement.
Bob McKitrick July 02, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Quite honestly, Social Security is in much worse shape. Look at all the other public pensions. Many of them are in much worse shape. Don't know why PSRS is such a hot button topic for south county all of a sudden. And I think Rep. Haefner is doing a good job - but am disappointed that she is playing up to the Call so much. Their definition of "political courage" is laughable at best.
Bryan Andrews July 04, 2012 at 06:25 AM
I find any comment made by Rich Franz laughable.


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