Late  yesterday evening I received word from our attorney that the Court of Appeals, Fifth District of Texas at Dallas has reported their decision to “AFFIRM” the trial court’s June 1, 2022 Order. CLICK HERE for the link to see the report. We have not yet had time to fully analyze the court’s opinion or the impact of the dissenting vote.  In the coming days we will determine our strategy for moving forward.   Stay tuned for the next chapter. We are not finished advocating for the rights and benefits of our membership. You have probably seen news reports of the work involving the Ad Hoc Committee on Pensions.  This is a committee appointed by the Mayor Johnson to look for funding solutions for both the DP&FP as well as the ERF.  After watching the work of this Ad Hoc Committee on Pensions it became evident that the DPROA needed professional help getting “Our” story told.  Many council members and citizens alike have only heard the characterizations presented by former Mayor Mike Rawlings back in 2016.  They were not pretty or accurate, and we need to change that perception.  We reached out to trusted partners involved with media relations and interviewed three different firms recommended to us. Following these interviews, we have settled on two firms that working together will give us a two-pronged approach aimed at lobbying city leadership to help shape their decisions regarding restoration of the DP&FP and shape public opinion around the needs of retired public safety officers.  This effort will take the form of both print and electronic media.  Your board was unanimous in approving this strategy for moving forward, but to make the absolute most of this opportunity we will need help from you, our membership.  We need to identify members willing to tell their personal stories of how the “pension reform” of 2017 has changed their lives.  You don’t necessarily have to be identified in the story, but just be the source for us to quote.  This could include things like having to downsize your home, take another job, not be able to send kids to college, not be able to afford healthcare for you or family, or unable to care for elderly parents or special needs family.  If you think you have a compelling situation, we want to hear from you.  Our media partners will help us choose the most appropriate stories to tell.   Please read this summary prepared by Secretary Ken Seguin of yesterday’s presentation from Cheiron to the Dallas City Councils’ Ad Hoc Committee on Pensions:AD HOC COMMITTEE ON PENSIONS – Today DPROA President David Elliston, Secretary Ken Seguin, and Firefighter Advisor Larry Williams attended a 3:00 pm presentation by Cheiron, a 3rd  party independent actuary selected by the Texas Pension Review Board and paid for by the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System.  The presentation was made to the Ad Hoc Committee on Pensions chaired by Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins.  The committee is composed of: Tennell Atkins, Cara Mendelsohn, Paula Blackmon, Jesse Moreno, Jaime Resendez, Kathy Stewart, Chad West and Gay Willis.  All were present except for Resendez.   Also in attendance were DPFPS Executive Director Kelly Gottschalk and Pension Attorney Josh Mond, former Trustee Ken Sprecher, and outgoing DFFA President Jim McDade.  Media members present were Ken Kalthoff (Channel 5) and Lori Brown (Channel 4).   City CFO Jack Ireland introduced the three Cheiron presenters (Bill Hallmark, Elizabeth Wiley, and Jake Libauskas).  Their analysis focused on: (1) Does the system meet funding guidelines of Chapter 802 of the Texas Government Code, and (2) Making recommendations regarding changes to benefits, changes to member contributions, and changes to City contributions.  Their presentation concluded with three Recommended Alternative Scenarios all of which said that City’s fixed rate contribution [currently in force statutorily and monetarily inadequate] needs to be moved to an Actuarial Determined Contribution formula: (1)Graded Actuarial Determined Contribution(2)Graded Actuarial Determined Contribution + Adjustable EE Rate(3)Graded Actuarial Determined Contribution + Adjustable EE Rate + Partial COLA  CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK to the full PowerPoint presentation.  All three scenarios projected that the pension fund would not reach 100% funding until the year 2054 (21 years from now).  Members may find slides 10-15, 17, 19, 20, 25 and 28 especially informative of the PPT presentation highlights. President Elliston was interviewed by reporter Ken Kalthoff of Channel 5 NBC.  CLICK HERE FOR THE the story and interview.