The July 2021 General Membership meeting of the Dallas Police Retired Officers Association took place at the Dallas Police Association, 1412 Griffin Street East, Dallas, TX 75215.
Present: President David Elliston, Vice President Sally Lannom, Secretary Kenneth Seguin, Treasurer Crista Walker, Director Dale Erves, DFR Advisor Larry Williams
Absent: Director Boux Bland, Director Joe Richtsmeier, Communications Director Carol Richtsmeier
- President Elliston called the meeting to order at 11:03 am and led the membership in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Director Dale Erves delivered the invocation.
- The minutes from the June 2021 meeting had been previously posted on the DPROA website. A motion was made by member James Freeman to accept the minutes as posted; seconded by member Robert Gutkowski. Motion carried by acclamation with none opposed.
- President Elliston reported that attorney George Vie had said the hearing on the plea as to the jurisdiction of the Annual Adjustment / Benefit Supplement lawsuit was being delayed and reset in Travis County from July 2, 2021 to July 29, 2021. Mr Vie felt this was actually advantageous because he will be able to do his case presentation in person rather than via a Zoom meeting. President Elliston advised he intends to be present for the hearing.
- President Elliston reported that there was a DPFPS board meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 15. There was no new information as to the work or recommendations of the Mayor’s pension committee to date and that a Open Records request for minutes from the committee’s meetings may have to be made.
- President Elliston referred to the “straw vote” of the members present at the July 2021 General Membership meeting in which the members voiced their feelings about amending the DPROA Constitution. The idea being considered would allow Police widows/widowers of deceased members to switch to an “Affiliate Membership” status with no voting rights. Choosing this option would reduce their dues by half ($135.00 annually). Any spouse wishing to continue as a voting member could do so by continuing to pay $270.00 annual dues. While in agreement with putting this issue on an electronic ballot for approval or disapproval, the executive board felt that such voting should be delayed until February 2022 when it could be combined with the annual board election.
- President Elliston announced that the “Captcha” feature has been installed on the DPROA website to secure emails.
- In the Ratliff Company monthly lobbyist report dated July 12, 2021, it was noted that the Special Session called by Governor Abbott had halted because a quorum could not be reached in the Texas House due to a significant number of Democrats leaving and flying to Washington DC.
- President Elliston reported that in its Executive Board session just prior to the General Membership meeting, the board discussed specific strategies for educating the public, legislators, and City Council that the pension fund is still in jeopardy. DPFPS Executive Director Kelly Gottschalk has stated that the pension is only 37% funded. Pensioners are concerned that the fund needs to be bolstered prior to 2024. Ideally, it could be fixed internally before then by the City of Dallas and/or the Pension Board via such actions as Pension Obligation Bonds or the selling of city assets. Lacking that, it may need to be addressed in the 2023 legislative session in Austin.
- Treasurer Walker advised the total funds in various accounts amounted to $855,525.03.
- DFR Advisor Larry Williams addressed the membership regarding the Dallas Black Firefighters Retirees Association which has done a comparison of retired health costs. Expenses to retirees have been compared with other major Texas cities and Dallas leads in charging premium costs to its retirees by a significant margin. The DBFFRA intends to appear and speak to City Council in August.
- President Elliston reminded everyone that the annual DPD Retirees luncheon at the Double Tree hotel (Love Field) would be held on August 14 at 11 am – 3pm; $25 per person is due by August 1 to Hans Bryson or John Allen.
- President Elliston said that Chief Eddie Garcia would be unable to attend the General Membership meeting as originally planned because of being called to the City Manager’s office to discuss 2021-2022 budget issues.
- Secretary Seguin reported that he’d been in contact with Chief Garcia’s executive assistant, Susana Villalpando. She explained the following process for retirees obtaining LTC letters signed by Chief Garcia:
- Sr Cpl Kenetta Pate in Personnel (214-671-4470) prepares the letter for the retiree and sends it to the Chief’s Office
- Chief Garcia signs the letter and gives it to Ms Villalpando
- Ms Villalpando forwards the signed letter to Sr Cpl Pate who then coordinates with the retiree
This process will be posted on the DPROA Facebook page and the DPROA website.
- The next board and general membership meetings are scheduled for August 11, 2021.
- President Elliston stated that DPFPS Director Kelly Gottschalk is looking at the city’s staffing model and determining how it plays into the pension.
- President Elliston advised that Trustee Allen Vought resigned from the DPFPS board to take a position on another city board. It is unknown who may replace him in the vacancy created.
- Secretary Seguin announced that there were large posters of DPA badges (suitable for framing) available on the front tables, and they were provided by the DPA.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:47 am.
Kenneth E. Seguin