J.J. Jelincic to Oppose Henry Jones in Race for CalPERS Seat

The Calpensions blog published by Ed Mendel reported today (4/8/19) that former CalPERS Board of Administration member J.J. Jelincic plans to run against current Board President Henry Jones in the upcoming race for the open retiree seat on the Board.

According to the Calpensions article "Jelincic hopes to become the third challenger in as many years to unseat a CalPERS board member. He would join the two previous upset winners he supported, Margaret Brown and Jason Perez, as outsiders endorsed by retiree groups."

Before becoming a member of the CalPERS Board Jelincic worked for CalPERS as a member of their investment staff. Jones began working for the Los Angeles Unified School District as a janitor in 1960, eventually earned a masters degree, and retired as the Chief Financial Officer for L.A.U.S.D.

Jelincic has been critical of the extent to which, in his view, CalPERS staff has been able to manipulate the Board on critical issues. Jones, on the other hand, claims that he has worked to protect the interests of retirees during his time on the Board. Jelincic has received the endorsement of the Retired Public Employees Association. The CSU-ERFSA Executive Committee has not yet made an endorsement.

According to the article, Jelincic sees an opening for greater scrutiny of CalPERS staff actions, because new members Brown and Perez have shown a willingness to question staff recommendations as have ex officio Board members Fiona Ma (State Treasurer) and Betty Yee (State Controller).

[ed. note: The CalPERS Board of Administration includes two members appointed by the governor, one member appointed by the legislature, the state treasurer, the state controller, the state human resources director, and a state personnel board member, along with six members elected by active and retired CalPERS members.]

Unfortunately, turnout in recent CalPERS Board elections has been dismally low. In the most recent election in which Jason Perez was elected only 6.4% of eligible voters cast ballots. This year potential candidates for the open seat have until May 16th to file. CalPERS will mail out ballots on August 30th, and eligible voters will have until September 30th to cast their ballots by mail, telephone, or online. If more than two candidates are on the ballot and no one receives a majority a run-off election will be held.

Once the field of candidates has been established, the CSU-ERFSA Executive Board likely will consider making an endorsement.