Wednesday, November 30, 2022 @ 11:00 am
The November 2022 General Membership meeting of the Dallas Police Retired Officers Association took place at Knights of Columbus Hall, 10110 Shoreview Drive, Dallas, TX 75238.
Present: President David Elliston
Vice President Sally Lannom
Secretary Ken Seguin
Director Boux Bland (via phone)
Director Crista Walker (via phone)
DFR Advisor Larry Williams
Communications Director Carol Richtsmeier
Absent: Treasurer David Potts
Director Joe Richtsmeier
- President Elliston called the meeting to order at 11:03 am.
- President Elliston explained to those present how he and Secretary Seguin first met Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn on September 20, 2022. He also advised that based on her suggestion, he had sent three emails so far to the Mayor and 14 councilmembers on the effects of HB 3158 which was passed in 2017.
- Councilmember Mendelsohn arrived and was introduced by President Elliston. She spoke from 11:10 am until 12:35 pm. She made these key points:
- This was not a “one and done” meeting and she wanted it to be the start of a continuing relationship with the DPROA.
- Description of her family and her personal working background.
- Elected within District 12 with 81% of the vote.
- Transparency is important to her. Doesn’t consider herself a “politician.”
- Statement that there are two City of Dallas pension plans for its employees (DPFPS and ERF) and both are in financial trouble. She encouraged the membership to watch and listen to:
- the 10/24/22 presentation to the Government Performance and Financial Management Committee (“Budget Committee”) regarding the ERF at https://dallastx.swagit.com/play/10242022-541?fbclid=IwAR127s3ldYftCReu7JUZetHMyE6w3fk2eSxUCAUaup59HLxAfYMBcP11-LM and
- the 11/15/22 presentation to the same committee regarding the DPFPS at https://dallastx.swagit.com/play/11162022-560?fbclid=IwAR1OtItqzZSAeMfGUZSVKgVjIO-ReNGB3jltK7seqthdh-6_PgdhPiAmHmg
- At this point, she feels she knows more about the issues facing the pension system than any of the other City Council Members. She also believes that retirees know more about the problems than the people at City Hall. On the other hand, ERF beneficiaries are not as aware of the financial issues with their own plan.
- Mayor Eric Johnson received recommendations from a task force he appointed but she is not privy to those recommendations on stabilizing the DPFPS pension. He may be holding onto possible solutions until the May 2023 mayoral election gets closer.
- She is pushing for “outside” attorneys to work with actuaries analyzing the pension.
- She is pleased with Dallas Police Officer Fred Frazier being recently elected as Representative to Texas District 61.
- She will set up a Facebook page to alert pensioners of important pension issues and news reports as they arise.
- According to DPFPS Executive Director Kelly Gottschalk at the 11/15/22 Budget Committee hearing, no more benefit cuts should be made to the Police & Fire Pension.
- No Annual Adjustment for DPFPS retirees is forecasted until 51 years from now (in the year 2073).
- Only one person of 15 members of City Council was on the council in 2017 when HB 3158 was enacted.
- She encouraged the membership to get involved with campaigns of councilmembers who are committed to fixing the pension and are running for reelection.
- According to Chief Eddie Garcia, 32% of active Dallas Police Officers are eligible to retire.
- The City of Dallas is doing everything it is legally obligated to do to fund the pension but it is not enough.
- She addressed the conversation she’d had with City Manager T.C. Broadnax about the $14 million he had earmarked in the new budget for a “pension stability fund” which was nothing more than a “slush fund” (in her opinion) to take care of pet projects for various council members. He admitted that he wasn’t “writing a check” for $14 million to be deposited into the pension fund.
- The Police & Fire pension fund currently has an unfunded liability of $3 billion and needs a large infusion of money but not necessarily $3 billion all at one time., and could be done incrementally
- As a Dallas resident and a council member, she is committed to no more “bridges” to fix the pension but rather, to a long-term comprehensive solution.
- After Councilmember Mendelsohn’s departure, President Elliston led the membership at 12:40 pm in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Former Director Place 3 Dale Erves delivered the invocation.
- The minutes from the November 9, 2022 meeting had been previously posted on the DPROA website. A motion was made by member Robert Gutkowski to accept the minutes as posted; seconded by member Frank Ruspoli. Motion carried by acclamation with none opposed.
- President Elliston provided an update from attorney George Vie on the DPROA lawsuit pending in the 5th Court of Appeals. Mr Vie filed his brief with the court and expects that the pension attorneys will file a reply by December 14, 2022.
- There were no police or firefighter deaths reported at this time on the DPFPS website.
- Secretary Seguin advised the membership that Candidate Application forms had only been received from David Elliston, Kenneth Seguin, Boux Bland, and Crista Walker for the positions of President, Secretary, Director 1, and Director 3, respectively. Secretary Seguin called for nominations from the membership present for any of the positions coming up for election in February. No nominations were made. By virtue of each of the four candidates being unopposed, they would be considered elected and would each take their oath of office in March 2023 at the General Membership meeting.
- Secretary Seguin reported that he had met with Constitutional Amendment committee members Robert Gutkowski and Thomas Moorman on October 28, 2022. They reviewed the DPROA Constitution and discussed proposed amendments. Those proposals were then reviewed at today’s Executive Board meeting and some were revised.
- A summary of the proposed changes were then read to the General Membership.
- At the conclusion of the reading, a motion was made by member Larry Eddington and seconded by member Frank Ruspoli to proceed with an election by the entire eligible voting membership in February 2023 on each of the amendments. Motion carried by acclamation with none opposed.
- President Elliston stated that the monthly Treasurer’s Report would be available for review after the meeting. Secretary Seguin has a printed copy of the report.
- President Elliston reminded the membership that 2023 annual dues are payable by January 31, 2023.
- The next General Membership meeting is scheduled for January 11, 2023 at 11:00 am.
On the motion of member Grant Lappin and seconded by member James Freeman, the meeting was adjourned at 1:15 pm.
Kenneth E. Seguin