Call to Order: President Bob Barnard called meeting to order at 9:50 a.m.
Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance: Chaplain Monty Montgomery
Welcomed New and First Time Members
Minutes of Previous Meeting:
* Motion by Ruben Armendarez, 2nd by Jim Montero to accept the minutes as printed. Voice Vote. Motion Carried.
Suspended Regular Order of Business
Anthony Kivela introduced the guest speaker, Sean Small, City of Houston Human Resources Department
* Kivela mentioned the HPROA has been meeting with the City H.R. Department for a number of years in an attempt to seek insurance discounts for officers who retire, yet who are not eligible for Medicare rates. The avenue sought to achieve this end was to institute voluntary Health Assessments for the officers in this gap period in order to soften the extremely high insurance premiums.
Sean Small – City of Houston Human Resource Department
* The City plans on rolling out voluntary Health Assessments on May 1, 2020.
* Initially a penalty was considered for those not completing the assessment. The HPROA opposed this penalty, and instead suggested a discount akin to what active officers currently receive. Accordingly, a discount has been approved, rather than a penalty.
* The Finance Department will later make a recommendation on how much the discount will be.
* The HPROA will be notified when further details are available.
Return to Regular Order of Business
President – Bob Barnard
* Main reason wanted to become involved with HPROA by serving on the Board and running for President was pension and insurance issues.
* Will spend one day each week working in the community to raise awareness of our organization.
* Investigating if there is any way for HPROA to become a 501C. The Assist the Officer Foundation is an offshoot of the HPOU and it is a 501C.
* Members also have an important role which is to come to meetings, serve on the board and committees, and work to advance the HPROA.
* Henry Chavez has agreed to become the Event Photographer and Videographer.
* HPOU highlights:
* HPOU has 5,265 members.
* HPOU is monitoring the Fire Fighter Lawsuit against the City.
* HPOU President Joe Gamaldi was elected Vice-President of the FOP.
* HPOU partnered with BARC’s pet adoption advertisements.
* Friday, October 18, 2019 is the Police Week Memorial Service and Reception starting at 5:30pm hosted by the HPOU, Honor Guard and HPROA.
* Police applications are down by 63% nation-wide.
* Houston Intercontinental Airport is expanding the TSA K-9 Division starting in October. Volunteers will be needed at IAH to act as passengers carrying prohibited items.
* Captain Dave’s Sailing Foundation, based in Clear Lake, has offered to take up to 150 retirees and families on a complimentary outing. More information will be forthcoming.
Executive Director – Anthony Kivela
* Letter of thanks was received from Forrest Turbeville for the plant the HPROA sent to his wife Sue’s funeral.
* HPOPS Report:
* After a national search, the newly hired Executive Director of HPOPS, Mr. Pat Franey, CPA & CFA Charterholder, was introduced and made comments. The HPOPS Board approved hiring him at an earlier meeting this day. He has worked with HPOPS for over 25 years, including positions as Director of Accounting, Benefits Manager and Deputy Director.
* Voting ends for the open active trustee position on Friday, September 20, 2019. It is important that everyone casts a vote. The HPROA has endorsed George Guerrero.
* The balance of the fund on August 31, 2019 was $5.62 billion, slightly down from the prior month due to volatility, but it has been increasing in September.
* This Fiscal Year there have been 32 retirements to-date, compared to 23 last FY.
* Retirees who wish to qualify should submit their paperwork to the Firearms Recertification Office a few weeks before their birth month. Retirees now qualify at the Academy Indoor Range, Mon-Fri, at 11am sharp. The range asks that retirees come earlier for paperwork completion.
* An update on the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset was given. Advice: Call your Congressional representative to get him/her on-board.
* Retirees who are enrolled in either the $5,000. or $10,000. City Discount Life Insurance Program are eligible for an open enrollment in October that allows them to upgrade to $15,000. of coverage with no medical examination. See the website for details.
* HPROA members are eligible for the affordable Police Officers Legal Defense Fund through TMPA. CLEAT recently issued a memo relating that the HPOU failed to provide TMPA or FOP legal coverage for one of their members. The HPOU was contacted and they advised us that their legal coverage is provided in-house, not through TMPA or the FOP. The CLEAT memo was extremely misleading. This was mentioned in order to counter the inaccurate statement in the CLEAT memo and stress to our members that the TMPA continues to provide excellent firearms coverage.
Treasurers Report – Ed Aldridge
* $227,983 in the bank. Always looking for new members and donations.
Retired Badge – Nelson Zoch
* Working on October-November paper. Articles due by September 20th.
* Police Week Memorial Service and Reception will be held at the HPOU building on Friday, October 18, 2019 at 5:00pm.
Membership Committee –
* 1,797 members as of September 11th.
* The board approved 8 new members and 3 new associate members. Received 1 new associate member application.
* Members may renew memberships with a credit card or make changes at any meeting.
Website Committee – Jim Ashby
* 16,119 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.
Entertainment Committee – Rosalie Potell
* The Hill Country Reunion in Fredericksburg will be Saturday, October 5, 2019 at Lady Bird Park from 10am-2pm, social at 9am. Please remember to bring your items for the silent auctions. Silent auctions are the only fund raising activity for the HPROA.
* Police Week Memorial Service and Reception will be Friday, October 18, 2019 from 5:00-9:00 PM at the Houston Police Officers Union Building. The service and reception is co-hosted by HPD Honor Guard, HPOU and HPROA.
PAC– Bob Barnard
* Received $3,300 in contributions.
* Paid $200 in administrative expenses, $100 TMPA Conference and $631.50 to Atchley and Associates (ethics work)
* Total PAC Fund Assets are $89,415.08.
Family Assistance Committee – Ron Headley
* 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
Tim Dillon (281-831-6771) Henry Chavez (281)-687-8962
* Friends we lost in August were Samuel A. Baker, Homer F. Harris, Victor Cozma and Michael Charrier. David Ryza’s mother, Julia Adelaide Schmitz Ryza, and Sula Faye “Sue” Turbeville, wife of Forrest Turbeville, also passed away.
Legislative Committee Chairman / Consultant – Bill Elkin
* The first day of September 2019 has come and gone. This is the day that newly passed laws and legislation, which was signed by the Governor or was not vetoed, took effect.
* There were 7 new laws placed into effect that impact firearms in Texas:
* HB 1143 allows school employees to come onto school property with guns and ammo stored in their vehicles.
* SB 535 struck down part of the Penal Code and now people can bring firearms into religious facilities, unless the facility posts a sign prohibiting it.
* HB 1791 states that local governmental entities cannot have more restrictive carry laws than the State.
* HB 121 eases prosecution of those who mistakenly carry into a place that prohibits the carry by posting a sign that the carry person did not see. A verbal warning must then be given.
* HB 302 prevents landlords and property owners from banning renters and guests from having firearms.
* HB 1177 says unlicensed people can carry guns for up to a week after a natural disaster.
* HB 2363 allows some foster parents to store firearms and ammo in the same locked place if the firearm has a trigger locking devise.
* Other new laws include raising the smoking or purchasing of cigarettes to 21 years of age which also includes e-cigarettes.
* Another new law prohibits sexting or sending sexually explicit pictures by social media making it a Class C Misdemeanor.
* Lemonade stands can now be operated without having to acquire a permit from a municipality or HOA.
* On the Houston scene, the upcoming City elections are looming and the number of candidates is setting a new record. There are a total of 126 candidates running for office, which includes the 12 running for mayor. There is a contest in every council district and at-large offices as well as the comptroller’s office. If you live in the City, you are encouraged to learn the candidates in your district or at-large office and find out if they support our issues, i.e., pension and health insurance.
* On the State level, there are elections to be held filling 3 Representative vacant offices. Those are HD28 vacated by John Zerwas, HD100 vacated by Eric Johnson, who was elected Dallas Mayor, and HD148 vacated by Jessica Farrar of Harris County.
* State wide there will be elections on 10 Constitutional Propositions:
* Prop #1 would allow Municipal Court Judges to hold more than one office.
* Prop #2 allows Texas Water Development Bonds to exceed $200,000.
* Prop #3 would allow for temporary tax exemptions following a disaster.
* Prop #4 Prohibits individual income tax in Texas. Read this carefully.
* Prop #5 dedicated sales taxes on sporting and use of facilities only to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Historical Commission.
* Prop #6 would allow Legislature to increase bonds for cancer research and prevention up to 3 billion dollars.
* Prop #7 would increase distribution to the school fund.
* Prop #8 would create a flood infrastructure fund.
* Prop #9 would exempt from taxation precious metals held in depository.
* Prop #10 would allow transfer of law enforcement animals to a private person or organization.
* Fees were removed from driver’s license ticket fines.
New Business – Bob Barnard
* Representative Dan Crenshaw, U.S. Congressman for the 2nd Texas Congressional District will attend the October 10, 2019 business meeting. A very interesting man who has led a life of service.
* Bill Flowers - $25 and 25th Anniversary Ballpoint Pen
* James Kravetz - $25 and 25th Anniversary Ballpoint Pen
* Joe Glezman - $25 and 25th Anniversary Ballpoint Pen
* Bill Wehr - $25 and 25th Anniversary Ballpoint Pen
* Ed Aldridge - Marine Plaque/ bottle opener
* Nelson Zoch - Army Plaque/ bottle opener
123 Members in attendance.
Motion to adjourn meeting at 11:30 a.m.