Another year has come and gone. A new year arrived with new thoughts, hopes, and goals. Our loved ones were remembered on Valentine’s Day, we honored our country’s past president, and we have celebrated Easter. Boy, time flies.
Wow, the roller coaster of so-called pension reform continues with all the hill climbs and the big drops. As we all were getting on track to deal with the attacks of Mr. Reed and Mr. DeMaio, they decided to pull their initiative. So, we are back at the loading station waiting for the next train. While all the information shows that the initiative would have had an uphill battle, and the funding for moving it through the ballot process wasn’t there, it hasn’t stopped them from continuing on. They now plan to run the initiative in 2018, and they continue to write articles and make appearances touting their “fix” to the pension systems and their costs.
CRCEA’s Retirement Security Committee continues to work tirelessly with those in Sacramento on the impact and ramifications of all of this. While Mike DeBord, from Sacramento County, has taken advantage of this down time, he continues his tasks of getting information and documents for us to understand what is happening, and the “what’s next” situation.
I recently made a trip to the high desert to meet with the San Bernardino County retirees. It was the first time RESBC has met in that location. They had the local leadership explain their association’s purpose, and had a representative from the San Bernardino Retirement system explain SBCERA. I spoke on what CRCEA is and its interaction with SBCERA. I also briefed them on several statewide issues, and had an opportunity to speak with many of them individually. I found it a worthwhile opportunity for explaining CRCEA and what we do, since many of them had no idea.
Okay, here I go again. CRCEA continues to reach out for Affiliates. Those are businesses that provide services to retirees, or otherwise support public employees and retirees, that we can approach to be affiliates of CRCEA. Since our last conference, we have picked up a new affiliate, and you will see an “introduction” to that firm elsewhere in this newsletter. We are also working on yet another that may provide assistance and a benefit to the local associations. If anyone has any idea, or potential affiliate, that would be of benefit to CRCEA and its members, give Bill de la Garza, or any Executive Committee member, the information and we will follow up.
I cannot let this message go without a reminder that the Spring Conference is right around the corner. Kern County has been working to put the program together with some assistance from our Vice President, Mike Sloan. Of course, in the fall we will head up to Contra Costa County, so Mike will be working with his members to get everything done for their conference.
The past few months are traditionally the highest retirement months in our counties. If any of you know any retirees who are retiring, and are not signed up to be members of your local retiree association, talk with them and encourage them to join. Only through numbers do we have strength, and only through our strength can we obtain success, and we need to remind them that CRCEA is the only organization looking out for the retirees of the ’37 Act counties on the state level.
Let me close with a wish for each of you for good times and good health as we continue this year. Yes, we have issues to deal with, but with our combined efforts we can overcome the obstacles.
Until next time………
Skip Murphy, President