BUSINESS MEETING MINUTES
NOVEMBER 8, 2018
Call to Order: President Steve Rayne called meeting to order at 9:45 a.m.
Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance: Anthony Kivela
Welcomed New and First Time Members
Minutes of Previous Meeting:
Motion by Nelson Foehner, 2nd by Fred Walschburger to approve the August Business Minutes as printed. Voice Vote. Motion Carried.
President – Steve Rayne
Recognized all veterans and thanked them for their service. Wished everyone an early Happy Thanksgiving.
Suspend Regular Order of Business
Rodney Hill – Candidate for HPOPS Retired Trustee Position #4
Joined HPD in 1976 and retired in 2016. HPOPS has evolved and gotten better: in 1976 pensions were 30% at 20 years, 2% per year thereafter and could only get it at age 50.
Worked with Legislatures as an HPD Officer on police ability to track cell phone activity.
Wants to keep pension viable for new, current and retired officers.
Scott Sisco – Candidate for HPOPS Retired Trustee Position #4
Joined HPD in 1986, retired after 23 years to be a Harris County Prosecutor. Has been an attorney for 25 years. Represented HPD in Austin in 2009.
Attended the 2017 pension battle in Austin. Very concerned about the pension corridor and other changes HPOPS agreed to follow.
Craig Goralski – Candidate for HPOPS Retired Trustee Position #4
Unable to attend meeting today due to scheduling conflict.. He is currently Aldine ISD Chief of Police.
Return to Regular Order of Business
President – Steve Rayne
It is very important to vote in the HPOPS election. Retirees represent a large number of voters.
Chief Acevedo initiated a no-shave November for active officers if they donate $50 to cancer research.
Bill Elkin is retiring as HPROA Executive Director effective December 31, 2018. Bill has served in that position for 21 of the 24 years of the HPROA existence. Anyone interested in applying for the position of Executive Director should contact Rayne or any Board Member by the end of business Saturday, December 1, 2018.
Executive Director – Bill Elkin
HPOPS at $5.37B. 50 have retired this fiscal year with 16 in November and 3 scheduled in December.
HPOPS announced a DROP/PROP 5.3% interest rate effective January 1, 2019.
Voters approved Proposition B pay parity for fire and police. HPOPS Executive Director John Lawson stated he does not think the passage of Proposition B would have any effect on the police pension. HPOPS Website is addressing rumors with facts.
City will have Medicare Advantage Plans Seminars at the E.B. Cape Center, 4501 Leeland on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 and Friday, November 16, 2018 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon. If you did not get a letter from the City, call City Benefits at 832-395-4900 to make sure they have your current address.
HPOPS voting will be by paper ballot and electronically but not both. Paper Ballots must be returned to the HPOPS office no later than the close of business on Friday, November 30, 2018. If you did not get a ballot from HPOPS call them to make sure they have your current address.
Blue wave hit Harris County. Democratic straight vote was overwhelming. All Republican Harris County Judges were voted out of office.
There will be 83 Republicans and 67 Democrats in the House of Representatives. There will be changes in Austin. Many of the newly elected Legislators must be educated on benefits and structure of public employee pension systems.
Most legislation gets filed during the first and second months of a legislative session. We must keep a close watch on new bills and on what action the firemen take.
Mayor Turner is considering a lawsuit against Proposition B. He may try to make up the financial impact by taking it out of the Fire Department budget. Considering restructuring the Fire Department ranks, moving from 4 to 3 shifts, putting them on a 5-day workweek, and privatizing the ambulance service. We will have to wait and see what action the City and Firemen take.
Letters of appreciation were received from Texas Senator John Whitmire and Representatives Ana Hernandez, Ed Thompson and Sam Harless.
A thank you letter was received from Ila Adams, widow of Bobby Adams, for the medical equipment FAC delivered to her home after her fall. She donated $100 to the FAC. Thank you letters were received from the families of Paige M. Chevez, Oscar Farrell and from Lydia Tompkins.
Treasurers Report – Ed Aldridge
HPROA has a total of $ 225,474 in the bank.
Retired Badge – Nelson Zoch
Working on the December-January paper. Articles due Tuesday, November 20th.
Always looking for new articles and anyone may submit an article.
Membership Committee – Roy McDonald
1,801 members as of November 6th. 11 members were reinstated and this month’s 14 dropped members have been contacted.
The Board approved 5 new members and 1 associate member. 1 new associate member application was received.
Members may renew memberships with a credit card or make changes at any meeting.
Website Committee – Jim Ashby
20,386 visits to the Website last month.
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 Nelson Foehner
Please contact members of the FAC with any needs or concerns:
Nelson Foehner (281) 351-4669 Doug Bostock (281) 890-7610
Forrest Turbeville (713) 319-5466 Ray Smith (281) 731-1588
Ron Headley (713) 253-5749 Pat Kainer (281) 642-6645
Friends we lost in October were William W. Lundy, Billy Clyde Chaviers, Don A. Page, Anthony Paonessa and Aranthan Jones. Lottie Thurston Clark, widow of Deputy Chief Robert Clark, Jesus Resendiz, brother of Lydia Tompkins, Betty Dement, mother of D’Ann Kusak, and Lou Eloy Addis, mother-in-law of Steve Rayne also passed away. Margaret Kilty, the mother of Officer James F. Kilty who was killed in the line of duty passed away. Our condolences to the families.
Entertainment Committee –
The HPROA’s 25th Anniversary Reunion will be in Houston at the HPD Academy on Saturday, April 27, 2019.
The Hill Country Reunion in Fredericksburg will be Saturday, October 5, 2019.
There will not be a Surviving Spouses Luncheon in 2019. We will host a luncheon for Surviving Spouses every two years. The next luncheon will be in 2020.
PAC– Bob Barnard
$85,719.66 total PAC assets.
Received $3,010 in contributions.
Paid $1,075 in expenses.
Political contributions made to the campaigns of Dan Patrick, Robert Nichols, Angela Paxton, Kirk Watson, John Whitmire, Joan Huffman, Donna Campbell and Kel Seliger.
Good and Welfare –
Nelson Zoch –
o District Attorney Kim Ogg appointed a Special Prosecutor to look into the case of killed in the line of duty HPD Police Officer Charles Clark with the goal of getting the killer Alfred Brown exonerated. The HPD and Mayor are against the District Attorney’s attempt to overturn the conviction.
Anthony Kivela –
o City is hosting a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Seminar on Tuesday, November 13th and Friday, November 16th from 10:00 am-12:00 noon at the E.B. Cape Center, 4501 Leeland. Medicare should be contacted 3 months prior to the 65th birthday month and again 3 months after. You will be penalized if you do not do it right.
o City has a $2M in unfunded liability in Other Post Employment Benefit obligations. Medical, Life and Dental insurance is controlled by City Council. The most expensive to insure are retirees under are 65. City is passing more and more cost to the retiree.
o Kivela currently has 2 Fit Bit teams of 20 retirees. Information is posted on the HPROA Website and in the Retired Badge. Anthony may be contacted at email@example.com or 713-962-3508 if you are interested in the program.
o The Retirees’ City Medicare Plan F program is slated to be discontinued in January 2020 by the federal government. An article explaining this in detail will be published in the December 2018 Retired Badge. Also, the RETIRED LIMITED PLAN that only has approximately 70 members may be discontinued next year and members of that plan will be moved to the CIGNA Open Access Plan. Although this has not been completely finalized, if this will negatively affect anyone, they are encouraged to contact Kivela by email and he will take your concerns to the Health Benefits Advisory Committee.
o If you hear any rumors that impact retirees please email Anthony Kivela or any Board Member and HPROA will check it out for you. All Board Member’s emails are listed on the HPROA Website.
o John Lawson – HPOPS Executive Director
o The law changed in 1986 starting the end of Defined Pension Benefits Plans, the last bastions of defined pension benefits are governmental agencies.
o Does not think passage of Proposition B will have any effect on HPOPS. The City has never missed their bimonthly contribution to the pension. HPOPS will sue if anything looks like it will harm the pension plan.
o In order to meet the $50M shortfall, the Mayor may restructure the fire department. He stated they would look to the fire department to meet the shortfall. Should be many lawsuits.
o COLA, DROP and PROP are the 3 largest HPOPS expenses. The pension plan was only solvent for 40 years before the last legislative changes. He thinks they have corrected it with the last legislative session.
David Windham - $25
J. J. Morris - $25
M. D. Beale - Pappas Gift Card
Renee Stairhime - $25
Bill Wehr - $25
Anthony Kivela - Pappas Gift Card
Floyd Harmon - Pappas Gift Card
91 Members in attendance.
Meeting adjourned at 11:15 am.