BUSINESS MEETING MINUTES
JULY 11, 2019
Call to Order: President Steve Rayne called meeting to order at 9:50 a.m.
Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance: Steve Toth
Welcomed New and First Time Members
Minutes of Previous Meeting:
Motion by David Kalich, 2nd by Mike Newsome to accept the minutes as printed. Voice Vote. Motion Carried.
Suspended Regular Order of Business
George Guerrero – Candidate for HPOPS Active Trustee Position
Senior Police Officer with 25 years at HPD and plans on staying another 8-10 years,
Was a Trustee on the HPOPS Board from 2013-2018. In 2013 the pension fund was $2.9 Billion. In 2018 the fund was $5.5 Billion.
He attended the 2013, 2015 and 2017 State Legislation Sessions becoming acquainted with both Senate and House politicians while fighting to secure our pensions. Each new Trustee must master a big learning curve during the first few years.
Asked for our support because of his HPOPS experience. He wants to protect and manage the HPD pension system for all past, present and future officers.
Christopher Hassig – Candidate for HPOPS Active Trustee Position
Lieutenant with 12 years at HPD serving in Patrol and Investigative Divisions with Administrative experience. Originally from Detroit. Has 5 children from 15 to a 1 year old and has no plans to leave HPD.
BA in Political Science and Russian Area Studies from Wittenberg University. MBA from University of Houston.
Mission to ensure the pensions we earned are viable for generations to follow. Protect the benefits we have from those wanting to harm HPOPS. Educate new and old officers on the pension system to promote understanding. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-513-3814.
Return to Regular Order of Business
President – Steve Rayne
Performed semi-annual budge comparison. We are on track with the budgeted expenditures. HPROA income depends on membership.
The HPD will have 5 Academy Classes this year. This will be the second year HPD stated they would have more new officers than the number of officers retiring.
o HPD reported they had 2 Million citizen contacts, 273 civilian complaints, 830 internal complaints, 18 officers involved shootings and 20 complaints were cleared with body cameras.
o Active Officers will receive a 4% raise. Firearm qualification will be on duty.
o November and December will be no-shave months. HPOU supports permanently allowing beards.
Police Week Memorial Service and Reception will be held Friday, October 18, 2019 from 6:00-9:00 pm at the HPOU building. The service and reception are co-hosted by the HPOU and the HPROA. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.
Ballot envelopes were stuffed and prepared for mailing by E. J. Smith’s crew of volunteers. Election Ballots will be counted and results announced at the August meeting followed by a complementary Election Day Luncheon. Volunteers are needed to come early (7:30) to help count the ballots.
Representatives from Aflac Insurance and a Senior Law Attorney will attend the August Business Meeting.
A Fundraiser BBQ will be held Friday, July 26, 2019 from 11:00am-2:00pm at the HPOU building for Retired Harris County Deputy Oscar Valvrede, Jr. Oscar was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has undergone chemo and radiation treatments. Oscar’s wife, Joann Valverde is a retired Houston Police Officer, Class 108, and is in remission for thyroid cancer.
Executive Director – Anthony Kivela
The following were acknowledged for each of their donations to the Family Assistance Committee, all in memory of Albert Pivonka:
o Carlton and Lacinda Homfeld
o Bon Appetit Cooking Group, care of Ms. Glenda Cochran
o Justin and Danielle Kalisek
o Robert and Loretta Supercinski (two donations)
Carol Hake sent a letter of thanks for the flower arrangement sent for her husband, John Hake’s funeral.
o The market value of HPOPS holdings as of June 30, 2019 was $5.62 Billion. There were 143 retirements for the Fiscal Year to date 2019, while for this same period in FY 2018 there were 155 retirements.
Update to the Health Assessment for Retirees:
o Approximately two years ago Kivela attended a City Insurance Committee and learned that the active officers’ health insurance program offered a component that gave a discount for active officer’ insurance if a Health Assessment was completed. The HPROA asked the City to make the discount available for HPD retirees who were off Phase Down active employee health insurance rates, yet were in the pre-Medicare age period. This request was made because the discount program was successful in reducing insurance costs for active officers and their spouses.
o This past week City Human Resources affirmed they had received approval to implement the discount program for pre-Medicare retirees. The Finance Department is studying what the discount amount would be, and it is tentatively scheduled to be rolled out in approximately a year.
Funeral Plan Benefit:
o The HPROA Funeral Plan offered by Joseph Earthman, in cooperation with Secure Your Legacy, has had slight revisions. In addition to HPROA members, it is now available for immediate family members as well. The revised plan will be posted on the HPROA Website.
Suicide: Members who are experiencing stress, depression, substance abuse, or a host of other ailments that could lead to suicide are encouraged to contact a confidential and anonymous program – HOPA, the Houston Officers Peer Assistance. This hotline is staffed by HPD retirees who are aware of many of the problems experienced by active and retired officers and who are dedicated to helping callers get through he tough times that so many of us eventually face. If needed, HOPA can be contacted at 832-200-3499. You are not alone.
Discussion about making emergency withdrawals from HPOPS (those withdrawals taken at times other than quarterly distributions). If needing an emergency withdrawal, members were encouraged to visit the HPOPS website and read the policies therein concerning the requirements. Further discussion on this topic by John Lawson who stated HPOPS must adhere to the written policy not only for consistency but also for the well being of all of the system’s members.
Treasurers Report – Ed Aldridge
$218,650 in the bank.
Retired Badge – Nelson Zoch
Please submit articles by July 20th for the August-September Issue.
Always looking for contributors and anyone may submit an article.
Membership Committee – Roy McDonald
1,767 members as of July 9th.
The board approved 6 new members and 3 associate member. 11 members reinstated. 19 members dropped and have been contacted by email.
Members may renew memberships with a credit card or make changes at any meeting.
Website Committee – Jim Ashby
16,000 plus visits to the website.
Retired Badge will be on the website as well as printed and mailed.
Microsoft, IBM, IRS, etc. will not call on the telephone. Hang up on these scammers. Call Jim with any questions or help.
Contact Jim if you know anyone who would like to place an advertisement on the HPROA Website. It is only $20 per month.
Contact Jim if you need the User Name and Password to the HPROA Membership Directory Website.
Family Assistance Committee – Forrest Turbeville and Pat Kainer
Please contact members of the FAC with any needs or concerns:
Nelson Foehner (281) 351-4669 Ray Smith (281) 731-1588
Forrest Turbeville (713) 319-5466 Pat Kainer (281) 642-6645
Ron Headley (713) 253-5749 Mattie Provost (832) 653-4921
Members we lost in June were John R. Hake, Benny Rivera Jr., Joseph A. Lampignano,
Thomas C. Lancaster, Clarence R. Kirk, and Walter West’s mother Priscilla.
Entertainment Committee –
Election Ballots have been mail and results will be counted and announced at the August business meeting. A complimentary barbecue lunch will follow.
The Hill Country Reunion in Fredericksburg will be Saturday, October 5, 2019 at Lady Bird Park. Please remember to bring your items for the silent auctions, which are the only fund raising activity for the HPROA. Make your reservations early.
PAC– Bob Barnard
Received $3,610 in contributions.
Donated to Karla Cisneros’ and Dave Martin’s campaign.
Paid $200 in administrative expenses.
Total PAC Fund Assets are $86,071.58.
Legislative Committee Chairman / Consultant – Bill Elkin
Mayor Turner honored John with John Lawson Day in appreciation for his years of service to the City of Houston.
The 86th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature ended 45 days ago, now most of the news regarding actions by the Legislature is coming from Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office. As I reported last month, the final say will rest in the actions by Governor Abbott.
An astonishing number of pieces of legislation were passed by both the Senate and the House. There were 10,877 pieces, which included Resolutions, Declarations and Congratulatory pieces. To date, the actual law affecting pieces were 4,581 bills passed and the Governor signed 1,323 or about 29%. The rest he allowed to automatically go into effect, with the exception of 58 bills that he vetoed.
There were 2 pieces of legislation that easily passed; the teachers pay raise and SB2 the tax cap, which the Governor signed quickly. Now, many cities are in a dilemma over budgetary matters caused by a shortfall of tax income.
Another bill the Governor signed was the gun legislation that allows all home owners to carry firearms for a period of time during and after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane. HPD Chief Art Acevedo strongly opposed this bill but to no avail.
The efforts of our HPROA legislative team, we feel, worked to benefit all of our members this session.
Bill Flowers - $25 and 25th Anniversary Ballpoint Pen
Jim Kennedy - $25 and 25th Anniversary Ballpoint Pen
Ruth Massey - $25 and 25th Anniversary Ballpoint Pen
Johnny Knott - $25 and 25th Anniversary Ballpoint Pen
Jimmy Harrell - Dave Ward’s book Good Evening Friends and 25th Anniversary Ballpoint Pen
Robert McCorkle - Dave Ward’s book Good Evening Friends and 25th Anniversary
97 Members in attendance.
Meeting adjourned. Sue Gaines
Executive Board Meeting –
Board of Directors met following the July Business Meeting to discuss HPOPS candidates George Guerrero and Christopher Hassig. Based on Guerrero’s prior six years experience as a HPOPS Trustee, the Board voted to endorse George Guerrero for the Active Position on the HPOPS Board of Directors
? Motion by Barnard, 2nd by Zoch to endorse George Guerrero for the Active Position on the HPOPS Board of Directors. Called Vote. Motion Carried.
Yes Vote: Ashby, Barnard, Beale, Gaines, McDonald, St.John, Toth, Walschburger, Zoch. Abstain: Aldridge