August 17, 2023
I am writing today to inform you that our board has decided to endorse Mr. Heath Hyde in his run for District 2 of the Texas House of Representatives. This is the seat previously held by Bryan Slaton before he resigned and was later expelled from office. This will be a special election held on November 7, 2023.
Mr. Hyde is a former Dallas County Prosecutor. In his tenure with the DA’s Office, he developed many lasting friendships with Dallas Police Officers. During our interview with him he expressed his desire to support our retirees as we continue to fight for the benefits we earned during our careers. He is well acquainted with Frederick Frazier and we think this alliance could prove very beneficial in the coming legislative session as the legislature takes on the issue of re-capitalizing the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System. There are several other candidates running for this seat but none of them have reached out to us for support. We think he will be the best choice for any of our members residing in District 2. District 2 covers Hopkins, Hunt, and VanZandt counties.
This is an endorsement in name only. We cannot contribute funds to political campaigns, but members can choose to contribute if you wish and certainly ask your friends and relatives to vote for Heath.
For those who have written emails to the Mayor and Council, thank you for your support. I would like to explain in more detail why we chose to support this effort. Last Fall Council Member Cara Mendelsohn met with us and following that meeting she set up a Face Book Page for Pension News. It was on this page where she posted her call to action to write to the Mayor and Council. She then called me to explain her reasoning. The proposed budget includes a General Obligation Bond to pay for future capital projects. She said the City Manager is pushing to take this to the voters in March of 2024. The council member wants to delay this vote until November to give the DP&FP time to complete the audit being conducted by the independent actuary for the Texas Pension Review Board. If the vote happens in March, there may not be bonding capacity left for a Pension Obligation Bond, should one be needed. I know a POB is not going to fix this plan, but it could be part of a fix.
Another reason for supporting this move was to create more visibility. There are many on the council that were not here in 2016. I think they need to hear from all of us, and you need an opportunity to tell your stories about how you have been impacted by the pension reform of 2017. They need to hear how losing your annual adjustment and benefit supplement has impacted your life. Otherwise, we’re just a number on a sheet of paper. Please be polite and respectful, but here is your chance to let your voice be heard.
Thank you all.
Dallas Police Retired Officers Association