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Board Meeting Minutes
November 14, 2019

Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance:  Ed Aldridge

Present:   Aldridge, Ashby, Barnard, Beale, Gaines, Kivela, McDonald, Potell, Rayne, St. John, Walschburger, Zoch                             Absent: Toth

 Parliamentarian – Bill Elkin

 Sergeant at Arms: Robert Crane

 Determination of Quorum: A quorum was present.

 Treasurer’s Report and Minutes of Previous Meeting:

                Motion by Rayne, 2nd by Potell to approve the Minutes and Treasurer’s Report as printed. Voice Vote.  Motion Carried.

 President - Bob Barnard

•             Acknowledged all the Veterans on the board.  Steve Benavidez will introduce all Military Veterans and make a flag presentation at the business meeting. 

•             City Council Member At-Large #1 Mike Knox is running for reelection and will attend the business meeting.

•             Robert Crane thanked the board and everyone for attending the going-home service of his wife Ora Dean Crane as well as the phone calls. 

•             Attorney Chris Tritico will attend the business meeting discussing the Capital Murder of HPD Officer Charles Clark by Alfred Brown, the attempt by Harris County DA Kim Ogg to exonerate Brown and the complaint of prosecutorial misconduct by then Chief Prosecutor Dan Rizzo. 

•             Still having problems with online new and renewing membership apps that appear to be a problem for our hosting company.  Kivela is working with Netsential to rectify this situation and report to the board.

•             Recommended forming a planning committee to study the organizations continuing needs of our members’ welfare, budgets, goals, recruitment, etc.  Committee members will provide individual written studies on a particular subject to the committee chairman, which will then be compiled into a final report to be presented to the board.  Scheibe and Beale have agreed to be committee members. 

•             Recommended a Website Committee be formed with Jim Ashby as the Chairman.

•             Requested each board member be thinking about a mission statement defining the purpose for forming the HPROA. A mission statement will better organize future plans and goals for the organization. 

•             Membership Chairman McDonald obtains a list of retirees from HPOPS and compares it to the list of HPROA members.  The non-member retirees are contacted by phone, email or mail.  There are six volunteer committee members assisting McDonald with making telephone contact.

 •             The main PAC focus is on the Mayor / City Council run-off races.  PAC vetted each candidate.  The endorsements and contributions are as follows:

Mayor Sylvester Turner $2,000, District A Amy Peck $500, District C Abbie Kamin $500, District D Carolyn Evans-Shabaz $250, District H Karla Cisneros $500, District J Edward Pollard $500, At Large #1 Mike Knox $1,500, At Large #2 David Robinson $500, At Large #3 Michael Kubosh $500, At Large #4 dual endorsement for Dr. Letitia Plummer $250 and Anthony Dolcefino $250 and At Large #5 Sallie Alcorn $500.  A $250 donation and endorsement to State Representative District 148 Anna Eastman. 

 •             Motion by Rayne, 2nd by Beale to approve the endorsement and contributions to the political candidates as recommended by the PAC Committee.  Voice Vote.  Motion Carried.

 Executive Director – Anthony Kivela

•             The Board previously discussed a credit card for the Legislative Consultant / Legislative Committee Chairman, which is to be used for political expenses.  The HPCU requires that this be written in the minutes and be approved by the Board.  Kivela will deliver the required letter he drafted to the Houston Police Credit Union.

 •         Motion by Beale, 2nd by Rayne to approve Legislative Consultant / Legislative Committee Chairman Bill Elkin a Houston Police Retired Officers Association credit card.  Voice Vote.  Motion Carried.

•             An issue came up when two widows, independently of each other, requested their deceased spouses’ badges.  HPD’s Employee Services Division was contacted and related that only one of each badge can be issued.  Retirees or surviving spouses with requests for badges in cases when they weren’t previously issued should send an email to TAPUnit@HoustonPolice.org.  The request will be researched by HPD and the requestor will be contacted by the concerned Command Office and advised on the correspondence that is required.

•             New letterhead has been printed.

•             AETNA Medicare rates have been reduced from $100. per month to $64. per month effective January 1, 2020.  The premiums for the other plans rates remain the same.  

•             Assumed Name certificates have been obtained for the Retired Badge, HPROA, and HPROA PAC from the Harris County Clerk. 

•             An inquiry as to the metal composition of the Memorial Plaques was made to the manufacturer.  The plaques are given to deceased retired members at the funeral or memorial service.  The Memorial Plaques are solid brass.

•             Barnard and Kivela met with the Executive Director of the Municipal Employees Union (HOPE) in order to strategize on working collectively on insurance and Medicare issues since all employee groups have identical City insurance plans.  This meeting was considered productive, and further meetings will be held.  The municipal employees have no dedicated retiree association and HOPE provides limited representation to municipal retirees. 

•             Letters have been drafted to welcome new and renewing members to the association after they electronically join or renew.  This has not been previously done. 

•             HPOPS issue discussed.  Information only.

•             Due to the upcoming run-off election, every city Council candidate that we are endorsing has been personally contacted and spoken with for relationship building purposes and for educating them on retiree issues. 

 Old Business –

•             An email theft attempt targeting the HPROA was made against several board members.  There was no loss incurred.  Based on a recommendation by the webmaster, all inquiries directed to board members will now go to the “Contact HPROA” link and be forwarded to the applicable board member(s), or to any other person who can assist.

•             Mike Gee, a member knowledgeable about audio, visual and Internet systems, offered to assist the HPROA after he noticed the sound system that is currently utilized (over 15 years old) should be upgraded.  Mike conducted independent research into available systems and offered to take the President, Executive Director and Event Photographer Henry Chavez to a vendor in order to show them what system he recommends.  It should be noted that Mike is doing this on his own without any connection to any vendor nor for any compensation.  The new system Mike recommends has a retail cost of $1,199 plus tax and carrier.  Competitive bids will be obtained and a system purchased. 

 •             Motion by Ashby, 2nd by McDonald to upgrade the HPROA sound system.  Voice Vote.  Motion Carried. 

 New Business –

•             Rayne –HPROA Bi-Laws require the Board of Directors approve the Budget each December.  Recommendation to postpone approval of the Budget until January 2020 so all 2019 expenses are recorded.

 •             Motion by Rayne, 2nd by Ashby to extend approval of the 2019 Budget until January 2020 so all the 2019 expenses are recorded.  Voice Vote.  Motion Carried.

•             Seven (7) new members were approved:

o             Randall Beaty

o             Charles Crum

o             James Goffney

o             James Hyden

o             Joe Ocasio

o             David Painter

o             James Price

•             Two (2) Associate Membership Applications were received:

o             Paul Cannatella – Sponsor Anthony Kivela

o             John Elliott – Sponsor Louis Elliott

•             Two (2) Associate Membership Applications were approved:

o             Deborah Pfunder – Sponsor Robert Gardner

o             Jeffery Webster – Sponsor Ron Headley

 Motion by Zoch, 2nd by Rayne to adjourn meeting at 9:35 a.m. 

  

                 Sue Gaines 
                 Board Secretary

 
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