Wednesday, November 10, 2021 @ 11:00 am
The November 2021 General Membership meeting of the Dallas Police Retired Officers Association took place at the A.C. Garrett Masonic Lodge, 7119 E. Grand Avenue, Dallas, TX 75223. Meeting was recorded by President Elliston for the Secretary’s benefit to transcribe into minutes.
Present: President David Elliston
Treasurer Crista Walker
Director Dale Erves
Director Joe Richtsmeier
DFR Advisor Larry Williams
Absent: Vice President Sally Lannom
Secretary Ken Seguin
Director Boux Bland
Communications Director Carol Richtsmeier
- President Elliston called the meeting to order at approximately 11:00 am.
- President Elliston led the membership in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- President Elliston announced the names of the 9 police and firefighters who had passed away in October according to the DPFPS website.
- Wayne Karitis, Richard Bridges, Joe Poe, Billy Bateman, Michael Wilson, Scott Harn
- G. Tanton, John Wegley, B.C. Crenshaw
- Director Dale Erves delivered the invocation.
- Treasurer Walker advised that total funds in the bank amounted to $772,649.01. No monthly billing statement had yet been received from the Feldman law firm. She mentioned that she has received some recent payments from members for CY 2021 while others have already started paying for CY 2022.
- President Elliston advised that the minutes from the October 2021 had been posted on the DPROA website on November 1, even though there is a warning on the page that it may not be a secure site. He explained that it was due to the SSL certificate having expired but the site is secure. Some members in attendance stated they had reviewed the minutes. A motion was made by member Lucy Barnett to approve the minutes; seconded by member Jim Freeman. The motion passed with none opposed.
- President Elliston stated that Sean from Gift Camp was confident that he could facilitate the issuance of a permanent certificate for the website so that renewals would not be needed annually.
- President Elliston advised that he had received an update from attorney George Vie on the pending Annual Adjustment / Benefit Supplement lawsuit. Mr Vie clarified that December 6, 2021 was not a hearing date, but rather, a deadline set by the judge for responses. Mr Vie assured President Elliston that he had submitted everything needed and that the case can’t be dismissed. At this time, no new “discovery” steps need to be taken and he will be asking for a summary judgment. President Elliston said that as soon as he hears any news on the lawsuit, he will send out a President’s Update.
- President Elliston briefed that letters had been sent from the DPROA under his signature to Governor Greg Abbott and State Representative Yvonne Davis asking for their support in ensuring that the Dallas Police & Fire Pension be placed on firm financial footing in the next legislative session in 2023. He will reach out to leaders from other retiree associations to form a coalition to seek support.
- President Elliston also briefed that a DPROA endorsement letter will be sent to US Congressman Kevin Brady (R – 8th TX) who introduced the “Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2021.” This bill would eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) which is a recalculation and reduction of one’s Social Security benefit if he/she has a pension from “non-covered” work such as the City of Dallas (no Social Security taxes paid).
- President Elliston stated he had reviewed the monthly Ratliff Company report which stated the third Special Session of the state legislature had concluded and that Governor Abbott did not intend to call for a fourth Special Session. Four of the five items he wanted did get passed by the legislature.
- President Elliston advised that Secretary Seguin and the Election Committee would be meeting soon in anticipation of the February 2022 board election. He encouraged members with the time and desire to consider running for a board position.
- President Elliston reminded the members that some recent payments were received from members for CY 2021 while others have already started paying for CY 2022. He encouraged members to sign up for auto-deduction from their pension checks.
- A question from the membership was posed as to whether a Constitutional Amendment election would be conducted to reduce the membership fees of widows and widowers. President Elliston responded that would be dependent upon the number of persons choosing to run for any of the three open positions in February 2022. If no board positions are contested, it was the opinion of the board not to hold a costly election on that single item.
- President Elliston reported that the PayPal account had finally been successfully closed.
- President Elliston thanked the membership for attending at this new meeting location on such short notice. He said he had called the previous week to confirm use of the DPA facility and was told the DPROA normal time slot had been preempted by a DPA function for injured firefighters. Member Steve Ledbetter arranged for the Masonic Lodge as an alternate meeting location. With approval by the DPROA Board, an arrangement will be sought to use the Masonic Lodge in the future on a permanent basis with payment of $100 monthly for use of the lodge.
- Former Vice President Dwight Walker and member Larry Eddington both spoke about the need to financially fix the pension system and the opposition by the city’s Chief Financial Officer, Elizabeth Reich, to the issuance of Pension Obligation Bonds. It was proposed that the DPROA formulate and submit its own plan to fix the pension with Rep. Davis as a bill sponsor. A possible fix could include a mandate from the legislature to allow the citizens of Dallas to approve a plan including a water bill fee, selling of city assets, a tax increase, and Pension Obligation Bonds.
- The next General Membership meeting is scheduled for December 8, 2021 and tentatively will be at the A.C. Garrett Masonic Lodge.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:34 am.
Kenneth E. Seguin