June 17, 202
For the benefit of those who could not attend our General Membership Meeting last week, I will recap the topics we discussed.
- On May 17th, Vice President Sally Lannom and I met virtually with Chief of Police Eddie Garcia. The purpose of this meeting was merely to introduce ourselves and provide him with an introduction to the Dallas Police Retired Officers Association. If his schedule permits, we hope to have him attend one of our meetings this summer. I briefly mentioned our pension problems of 2017 and he said he encountered similar problems with his previous department. We informed him that some retirees were not able to re-qualify this year because they were not informed of the scheduled times. He said he would schedule another date for qualifications. We have since received word that on July 21, 2021, the Firearms Training Center will be open for qualifications with relays starting at 8:30am, 10:00am, 1:30pm, and 4:00pm. Please call the FTC with any questions.
- HB 3375 sponsored by Representative Yvonne Davis in the House and Senator Nathan Johnson in the Senate was passed and Governor Abbott signed the bill on June 16th. It will become effective September 1, 2021. I have drafted two letters, one to each of our legislative supporters expressing our appreciation for their help in getting this law passed. Now surviving spouses/beneficiaries of DROP annuity holders will be afforded the same emergency access to distributions as members. While this is a small victory, it is a victory. We still have work to do before the next legislative session in 2023 and we are already at work. We are posting my letters to Representative Davis and Senator Johnson on our website. Please read them. You will see I have already laid the ground work for the next legislative session.
- HB 4068 sponsored by Representative Tan Parker in the House and Senator Royce West in the Senate passed and will now allow the 24 staff members of the DP&FP to enter the Texas Municipal Retirement System. I did oppose this move and addressed the DP&FP board of trustees during the January 2021 meeting. Anyone interested can hear my comments by going to DP&FP website and clicking on Board Minutes.
- The Executive Board has been considering making a change to our dues structure that will allow spouses of deceased members to switch to an “Affiliate Membership” with no voting rights. Choosing this option will reduce their dues by half or $135 annually. Any spouse wishing to continue as a voting member can do so by continuing to pay $270 annually. We asked the members present to show their support by raising their hand and it was unanimous. Making this change will protect spouses’ interest in the annual adjustment lawsuit. To execute this change will require a vote of the full membership with it becoming effective January 1, 2022. We will distribute more information on the election later.
- The next hearing on the plea to the jurisdiction of the Annual Adjustment/Benefit Supplement lawsuit is set for July 2, 2021, in Travis County. Hopefully once we get this jurisdiction issue resolved we can move more quickly into the merits of our case and ultimately towards the declaratory judgement we seek. Regardless of the outcome of this hearing, we must take steps to avoid being limited by statute. Our attorneys are addressing this issue and we will inform you when appropriate.
- The Retiree’s Banquet has been scheduled for August 14th at the Double Tree Inn on Mockingbird at Lemmon. You can find a copy of the flyer on our website under “Announcements.”
- From time to time I have people contact me with employment opportunities for retirees. You can those on our website under “Job Opportunities.” Please check out the two new opportunities that were recently added. (State Fair of Texas and Trinity Christian Academy) You may find your dream job.
–DPROA President David Elliston