BUSINESS MEETING MINUTES
MARCH 14, 2019
Call to Order: President Steve Rayne called meeting to order at 9:45 a.m.
Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance: Nelson Zoch
Welcomed New and First Time Members
Minutes of Previous Meeting:
Due to an error the February 14, 2019 Board and Business Minutes and the March 14, 2019 Board and Business Minutes will be presented at the April 11, 2019 meetings.
President – Steve Rayne
Mercedes Saenz is in the back with bottles of Alkaline Mineral PH Water. She may be reached at 800-203-0288.
HPROA By-Laws requires an annual financial review. A committee performed an internal audit of all income, expenses and disbursements. All documentation was found to be in order.
Requested and received 200 TMPA 2019 Booklets for our members with the TMPA Legal Defense Fund. Detailed instructions on what to do if involved in a critical incident can be found on page 15 including the 800-848-2088 number to call. Contact information and procedures to follow will be placed permanently on the HPROA Website and in each edition of the Retired Badge.
Board discussed members’ safety at the monthly meetings.
HPOU is sponsoring a fundraiser of Officers Alonzo Reid and John Daily March 15, 2019. Officers Dailey and Reid were driving a police cruiser December 24, 2018 when a drunk driver slammed into their vehicle causing a fiery crash and life-threating injuries.
Updates from the HPD:
o Chief’s plans for Education Base Discipline Course placed on hold.
o Legislation filed in Austin would forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for those applying to HPD Academy. State could remove up to 20% of debt per year over 5-year period.
o Violent crimes are down nation wide however the rate of law enforcement officers killed nation wide has increased.
o HPOU has a new public relations campaign where officers will pose with animals up for adoption.
o HPOU will host a Benefit Health Fair on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 8am-8pm.
Executive Director – Anthony Kivela
Publically acknowledged a card from Howard & Linda Parrott, wherein they thanked in general the Family Assistance Committee, and specifically Nelson Foehner and Bob Shields for delivering a power-lift recline chair.
o The fund is at approximately $5.48 billion as of March 13, 2019.
o The annual COLA disbursement has been set at 4%.
o There were 37 retirements in the first three months of 2018. In the first three months of 2019 there has been an increase of one retirement for a total of 38.
Discussion on the Social Security Act’s Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset:
o Kivela testified before the House Pensions, Investments & Financial Service Committee in Austin this week and described how these two measures negatively impact HPROA retirees. Statewide there were three persons testifying against this bill: the Teachers Federation Representative, CLEAT and Kivela. Many persons signed up indicating their support for the resolutions and urging its repeal.
o Kivela will write an article for the Retired Badge with more information on the WEP and GPO.
o The 2018 legislative bills filled by Rep. Kevin Brady and Senator Ted Cruz are dead.
o Rep. Davis (ILL) sponsors the current 2019 bi-partisan bill. HPROA members were encouraged to contact their Congressperson urging support of the repeal.
Proposal to Increase Medicare Premiums for Supplement Plan F:
o A City of Houston contractor conducted an independent study, with one of the intentions being to reduce Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB). OPEB includes health insurance (inclusive of Medicare rates), dental insurance, life insurance and any other related benefits.
o A proposal in this study was to set Medicare Supplement Plan F rates for retirees at the same City subsidy paid for the average of the Advantage Plans. If the proposal is approved, this will result in higher premiums to retirees, and lower subsidies from the City. The HPROA is against this proposal and has been working diligently to explain the negative impact this will have on its members. This effort will continue.
o Bill Elkin, Steve Rayne and Kivela personally met with two city council members thus far and are exploring how to best educate the full Council and Mayor on the impact of OPEB increases.
Treasurers Report – Ed Aldridge
Committee conducted an internal audit of each invoice, check, deposit and disbursement. No irregularities were found. Thanked Jim Bollig for lending his expertise and recommendations to this audit.
$230,393 in the bank.
Retired Badge – Nelson Zoch
Please submit articles before March 20th for the April-May edition.
Update on the KLD death of Officer Charlie Clark and his killer Alfred Brown. Harris County DA Kim Ogg hired a patent attorney to review this murder case and exonerate Brown. DA Ogg gave a press conference, without notifying family or police, exonerating Brown. Brown was released from prison and conviction overturned. Lisa Faulkenberg received a Pulitzer Prize for her articles on Brown’s innocence and the Houston Chronicle promoted her to Chief of Editorial Department.
Membership Committee – Roy McDonald
1,750 members as of March 12th.
The board approved 13 new members today and 23 new members were approved last month. 3 new associate member applications were received. 8 members reinstated, 9 members dropped and 5 of those have already been contacted.
The Membership Committee has contacted retired non-members by mail, email or phone.
Members may renew memberships with a credit card or make changes at any meeting.
Website Committee – Jim Ashby
14,052 visits to the website last month.
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 Nelson Foehner
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
Friends we lost in February were James E Tipton, John Loofs wife Sandra Gail and Barbara Turner’s sister Lauretta Braggs. Our condolences to the families.
Entertainment Committee – Rosalie Potell
The HPROA’s 25th Anniversary Reunion will be in Houston at the HPD Academy on Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The cost of the meal is $10 per person. Please don’t forget items for the silent auction. The silent auctions are the only fund raising activity for the HPROA. Volunteer are needed Friday, April 26th at 4:00 pm to help decorate.
The Hill Country Reunion in Fredericksburg will be Saturday, October 5, 2019.
PAC– Bob Barnard
Received $3,835 in contributions.
Paid $200 in administrative expenses and $575 to ethics reporting firm Atchley & Associates.
Total PAC Fund Assets are $76,382.58.
Legislative Committee – Bill Elkin
As of today, March 14th, the Texas Legislature has been in session for 66 days.
The first 60 days the House cannot hear any bills on the House Floor and the last day to file legislation was on March 8th.
As of March 13th there were 4,637 Bills filed by House members and 2,444 Bills filed by Senate members for a total of 7,081 Bills. This number does not include the many Resolutions filed in both houses.
A word search on the words pension or retirement plans provided 337 Bill containing these words. Many were for Texas employees or Texas Teacher retirement plans.
Our attention was directed to two Bills filed by our longtime nemesis, Senator Paul Bettencourt.
o SB 1335 which would allow certain local municipalities to control local public retirement systems.
o SB 2429 would allow certain municipalities to institute Defined Contribution pension systems by passing a City Council Ordinance or Rule. This would spell the demise of our Defined Benefit pension system.
o These Bills will be heard in the Senate’s State Affairs Committee and HPROA will begin talking against both bills with all committee members. HPOPS is actively working against both bills.
We signed up in support of 2 House Resolutions and your Executive Director Kivela testified for them in the Pension, Financial and Investment Committee which petitions the U.S. Congress to remove police officers, firefighters and teachers from the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision of the Internal Revenue law.
Had an informative meeting with Councilmen Dave Martin and Mike Laster regarding Other Post-Employment Benefits.
Good and Welfare –
Steve Benavidez stated the American G.I. Forum is hosting a Military Luncheon at the HPOU building on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 from 10:00am – 5:00pm. All veterans are invited.
Gerald Carter - $25
Gene Yanchak - $25
Albert Nichols - $25
Victor Landa - $25
101 Members in attendance.
Meeting adjourned at 11:05 am.