Cellucci Makes Pension Board Appointment

NOVEMBER 1998 - Police Association Gains Key Seat - Acting
Governor Paul Cellucci has appointed Fall River police officer Jim
Machado to a seat on the nine-member Pension Reserves Investment
Management (PRIM) Board.

PRIM is responsible for management of the Commonwealth’s $21 billion Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) Fund.

The
seat, which by law goes to a person representing a public safety union,
had been held by Dan O’Neil, president of the Mass Correction Officers
Federated Union. The seat became vacant when O’Neil was defeated by
Tony Ryan, the new president, and O’Neil left the Department of
Correction to become a Civil Service Commissioner, a Cellucci
appointment.

The PRIM seat had
originally been held by the Firefighters Union since the agency was
created in 1984. However, because the correction officers union had
supported William Weld when he ran for governor, Weld gave the seat to
the Correction Union’s president, O”Neil, when Firefighter Secretary
Paul Lestage’s term was up in 1991.

The
Massachusetts Police Association (MPA), a 17,000-member organization,
of which Machado is an executive board member and MPA legislative
agent, was one of the first organizations to endorse Cellucci for
governor in 1998 when Weld resigned last year.

With
O’Neil gone, the MPA called on Cellucci to appoint their choice,
Machado. With the November 3 election rapidly approaching, Machado was
appointed and sworn in on October 13.

Welcome Addition

According
to Ralph White, an elected member of the PRIM Board, politics aside,
Jim Machado is a welcome addition to the PRIM Board.

“Several
members of the PRIM Board are political appointees from varied
backgrounds and most have done a good job,” said White. “Jim Machado
knows the State House and how it connects with our pension fund. We
have investment experts on our staff, but we also badly need Board
members who will look out for our legislative needs.

“I,
for one, am looking forward to having Jim with me on Beacon Hill when
any legislation involving our pension fund is on the line. In fact, the
MPA’s new office adjoins our office at 11 Beacon Street …Jim knows that
I’ll be on his tail when it comes to PRIM Board activity.”

“I’ve
been studying the structure of the PRIT Fund and how the fund’s assets
are invested,” said Machado.” This is a tremendous fiduciary
responsibility for the PRIM Board members. There will be a learning
process on my part … I’ve already started that process. Also, I’ve
listened to Ralph White when he has spoken on PRIT Fund legislation at
State House public hearings. I believe that I can add to the PRIT
Fund’s presence when legislation is before the House and Senate.

“Although
I’ve been working for the MPA and will continue to do so, I realize
that my constituency as a PRIM Board member includes the entire
spectrum of public sector employees and retirees, especially when it
comes to the PRIT Fund’s impact on future COLAs.”

Machado’s
term expires in May, 1999, when O’Neil’s term would have ended. At that
time, his future depends on who is governor. A Cellucci win on November
3 would almost certainly mean that Machado would be reappointed to a
full four-year term.

Machado’s
uncle, by the way, is Association member Dave Machado, a retired Fall
River firefighter. Dave Machado is also an elected member of the Fall
River Retirement Board and longtime public retiree activist in his city.

“Jim
enjoys the action on Beacon Hill,” said uncle Dave. “He knows the needs
of retirees and the role of the PRIT Fund in setting the agenda for
COLAs. Cellucci couldn’t have selected a better person for that
appointment.”

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