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Board Elections

Serving on the COAERS Board

The COAERS Board of Trustees are fiduciaries of the retirement system and discharge their duties in the exclusive interest of members and beneficiaries for the purpose of providing authorized benefits to participants and their beneficiaries. Trustees work with professional staff and service providers including investment consultants, actuarial consultants, and legal counsel. 

COAERS is governed by an 11-member Board of Trustees that is comprised of:

  • Four elected active City of Austin employees 
  • Two elected retired employees 
  • Two City Council appointed citizens 
  • One Board appointed citizen
  • One City Manager designee
  • One City Council Member

Responsibilities of the Board of Trustees include:

  • Establishing and reviewing the mission and setting the strategic direction of COAERS;
  • Adopting policies, resolutions, and bylaws appropriate for the administration of COAERS;
  • Hiring and performance evaluation of the executive director;
  • Approval of the annual administrative budget;
  • Oversight of investment program and asset allocation of the fund;
  • Establishing the actuarial assumptions with the assistance of professional staff and consulting actuary; and
  • Approval of disability retirement applications. 

If you are interested in serving on the COAERS Board, please review the information below about open positions for Active members, Retired members, and citizen appointments. 

2021 Election Open Positions:

Active Member Elected Positions

 The candidate application period for the positions listed above is now closed. 


January 2022 through December 2025


A Candidate Training Workshop will be held on September 28 for candidates who have submitted their completed application. The workshop is to inform candidates of Trustee duties and responsibilities. Candidates may withdraw their application after the session if they are unable to make the necessary commitments.


Ballots for the 2021 COAERS Board Election will be mailed to active members in mid-October and must be received before 5:00 p.m. Central Time on December 1, 2021. To ensure that your able to vote, please make sure your address is up to date with our office. You can update your information via MemberDirect. Only active-contributing members of COAERS are eligible to vote in this election.

Retired Member Elected Positions

 Currently, there are no open positions for Retired members in the 2021 election cycle.


2021 Election Voting Information

Vote in the 2021 Active Member Place 8 & Place 9 Election

In the 2021 election for Active Member Place 8 and Place 9, COAERS members have two options for how to cast their vote: (1) by mail-in paper ballot or (2) by voting online. Active City of Austin employees can vote for two candidates in the Active Member Place 8 and Place 9 positions. Members will have until 5 pm CST on December 1, 2021 to cast your votes.

How to Vote

Active COAERS members have the option to cast their vote through the mail-in paper ballot or by voting online. Safeguards are in place to ensure you cannot vote through more than one method.

Active City of Austin employees can vote for two candidates in the Active Member Place 8 and Place 9 positions. Members should select only two candidates from the slate.

Mail-in Voting

On October 18, paper ballots will be mailed to active members for the COAERS Board of Trustees Active Member Place 8 and Place 9 Election. The mailed ballot, as well as your pin and code for voting online, is contained in a white envelope with a COAERS logo that was mailed to your address of record.  Three documents are enclosed:

  1. Ballot.   You will vote for 2 candidates on the ballot and then return it.  All ballots, whether voted online or by mail, must be received or cast online no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 1, 2021.
  2. Business Reply Envelope.   Use this envelope to return your paper ballot.  No postage is necessary.  If voting online, you do not need to return a ballot as well.
  3. Candidate Statements.   This document contains information about each candidate, their experiences and qualifications, and their reason for wanting to serve on the COAERS Board of Trustees.

Online Voting

Members who have an email on file with COAERS will receive an email from our vendor YesElections with instructions for voting online. Online voting information is located on the paper ballot, along with each COAERS members’ unique election code and pin. Active Members who have an email on file with COAERS were also sent election information via email from YesElection with their unique voter identification code and pin. To vote online, enter your identification information, and follow the instructions to cast your vote.

Candidate Information

The following active members have been certified as candidates by the Nominating & Election Committee. Candidate statements are provided below. English candidate statements have been copied verbatim from each candidate's application. As a courtesy to our members, the candidate statements have also been translated into Spanish. 

Ben Ellinor Candidate Statement (English and Spanish)Chris Noak Candidate Statement (English and Spanish)Kaz Wotjewicz Candidate Statement (English and Spanish)Lanzi Liu Candidate Statement (English and Spanish)Yuejiao Liu Candidate Statement (English and Spanish)Lauren Wynn Candidate Statement (English and Spanish)



General Information on COAERS Board Elections

Board elections are held every year for active and retired trustee positions and are overseen by a volunteer committee called the Nominating and Election Committee. Terms for elected board members are four years and the terms are staggered so that there is an active or retired place for election every two years. As an active employee, you have the opportunity to vote for peers running for active board positions. When you retire, you can vote for the retired positions. You can also be a candidate yourself for these positions.

The volunteer Nominating and Election Committee meets approximately four times in the election year: once to kick off the election season, next to review candidate qualifications, then prepare ballot, and lastly to tabulate votes. All meetings are held at the COAERS Boardroom at 6850 Austin Center Blvd, Suite 320. If you are interested in being a volunteer, please send a message to Michelle Mahaini.

Candidate applications are submitted in September, with ballots mailed out in October and voting by December. The newly elected board member will begin their new term the upcoming January.