The year has come and gone. 2017 is history and it is now 2018. I am hoping that each and every one of you had an opportunity be with family and friends during the holiday season.
My last message in September/October talked about wildfires and now onece again it is plaguing California. Napa/Sonoma was ugly. As I write this, the fires in Ventura County and San Diego County and Los Angeles County are still being fought. I know some of you were displaced and may have even lost your homes. I can only hope and pray that things will be “okay” going forward and that lives and spirits will get everyone through the ordeal.
The last quarter of 2017 has been quiet. That is with the exception of the Conference in Emeryville. A lot of work by the folks in Alameda County provided us with another absolutely fine conference. A big thank you to Jerry and Liz and all the others I met that took time to man the table and coordinate everything.
California Legislature went on its Christmas break without any real damage being done to retirements and the retirement issue. Several items were held over until they come back in January for the second half of the 2-year session. There are a number of issues still “hanging” out there that will be taken up as the session moves along. Senator Moorlach still has a couple of bills that would impact pensions for those still working. They were pulled from hearings in the fall, but very well could be attempted to move forward. A keen eye on all of this will be maintained by us and out consultant.
I think that our upcoming conference in Alameda County will be a time for discussion on many of these issues as we review the Sacramento Scene.
The CalPERS LTC issue is slowly moving forward. Slowly being the operative word. Dave Muir from LA County is monitoring the matter for us and will keep everyone updated as appropriate. The pensions cases from Marin County, Alameda County and CalPERS are proceeding and could be showing some action this year. Attorney Ashley Dunning gave us a good update at the October conference and I am certain that those directly involved will keep us up to date.
As I have said often, we continue to keep our eyes and ears open to what is or is not going on. The earlier we know about something, the sooner we can research it to see its impact and what (if anything) we should be doing. There is no good reason to go “chasing ghosts”, but we still need to be vigilant in order to be in a position to react when it is appropriate.
Back to conferences, our next Spring Conference in April will be in beautiful Santa Barbara. It’s not too early to think about making your hotel reservation. The venue (Fess Parker Double Tree) is a great location. I will probably fill up fast. Check out our website for all the information you need to make a reservation.
The record has a scratch in it, so it repeats and repeats. Not even so much as a change of wording. 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. All of our affiliates believe that they have something of benefit for your members, and the local associations will be looking at each of them to evaluate at the local level. You can check on the basic information on each at our website under the Affiliate tab. If you have a question on their service/product do not hesitate to give them a call in order to see if that affiliate can be of benefit to your association. As always, if anyone has any idea or potential affiliate that would be of benefit to CRCEA and its members, give Mike Sloan or any Executive Committee member the information and we will follow up.
There is always the need to increase our local association membership roles. Following some discussion in October, we will be trying to set aside a block of time to talk about membership and how different approaches by different associations has either worked or not been successful. Only through our numbers do we have strength and only through our strength can we obtain success. Try to make an effort to get those newly retired (and the long time retirees as well) to join your locale association. Clearly our dues are much lower than the dues they paid while working, and a simple reminder that your association is looking out for their continued peace of mind in retirement.
I wish each and every member the absolute best. Last time I asked you for your good thoughts for those in the hurricane areas. This time I am asking for those same good thoughts for all who have been through the wildfires in California. I have friends that were evacuated, but so far have not lost their homes. I know, however, that there are others that have lost a lot. Let’s all say a little prayer for all those in those areas.
Until next time………
Skip Murphy, President