City of San Diego Retired Employees Association
August 13, 2019
Board Meeting Minutes
NOTE: All votes were unanimous unless otherwise noted
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Jim Baross at 9:30am.
Board Members Present: Jim Baross, Mike Bresnahan, Karen Butler, Shirley Hall, Joan
McNamara, Ty Rogers, Mary Ann Stepnowsky, John Tsiknas, Dave Twomey, Richard Wilken,
Janet Wood, Charles Hogquist and Joan Hernandez
Guests Present: Joe Flynn and Art Brown
MINUTES: The minutes of the July 2019 Board meeting were approved.
COMMUNICATIONS: A member contacted the Board about the wording on a REA flyer that
is distributed with the SDCERS health packet. The Board reviewed the wording and felt it was
not a serious problem, but may update the flyer when next printed.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Discussion regarding member dues received from SDCERS. More
revenue expected due to recent increase in membership. Not clear we fully understand how
SDCERS processes new member applications and how quickly we may expect to start receiving
dues. Plan to discuss at next RITF meeting.
Jim B. pointed out that Percent of Budget reported for Net Operating Income was confusing.
Karen B. agreed to remove this field from the budget report.
Discussion about the member application form. Might consider an update when due to be
M/S/C to accept the July 2019 Treasurer’s Reports.
Investment Committee. John T. reported that we had another good month.
M/S/C to accept the Investment Committee Report.
RETIREMENT BOARD REPRESENTATIVE’S REPORT
Charles H. reported that Carol Broad was elected President of SDCERS. Two remaining openings on the Board should be sworn in by September. The City plans to continue to fund the retirement system appropriately. City Council has suggested they will work with the union regarding Prop B matters when appropriate. Firefighter union has found private disability retirement insurance that can be purchased to protect the fighters. Not clear who pays for the insurance.
1) Dave updated the Board on his proposal for improving the image of REA and public retirees.
He met with Trudy Sopp, REA member and pro-bono consultant. She will conduct workshops at
the Advocacy Committee meetings in September and October. These workshops should help us
identify our goals and the budget needed to meet them. How to fund will be an issue for the
retreat at the end of the year.
2) A Nominating Committee of three was formed. John T. and Ty R. volunteered for the Board
member positions. An issue was raised whether Ty R. could be on the committee, given his term
is up this year. It was agreed there was no significant conflict of interest and he could be on the
committee. Clay Bingham was brought up as a possible candidate from the general membership.
At the general membership meeting, he agreed to be on the nominating committee.
3) Joan M. reported on the investigation regarding fix indemnity health plans not being
reimbursed by the City. CareCounsel looked into the matter and agreed with the City that fixed
indemnity plans are not reimbursable through an HRA (Health Reimbursement Account). One
member is appealing her denial of reimbursement. We learned at least three other members were
denied this year. The main argument for appeal is that the City did not provide notice that fixed
indemnity health plans were not reimbursable. Furthermore, the City offers an indemnity health
plan to Medicare recipients, which further confuses the matter. The Board agreed to send a letter
in support of the member’s appeal. Richard W. helped out significantly with the investigation.
4) Joe F. proposed waiving REA dues for widows and widowers of deceased REA members. A
concern was raised whether they were eligible to be REA members since they are not City
retirees. John T. pointed out we currently have several members in this category. Also, the
surviving spouse continues to receive a pension from SDCERS which should make them
eligible. The matter was referred to the Advocacy Committee to determine whether dues should
be waived for surviving spouses.
5) Classy name badges. Jim B. suggested badges with magnets on the back. Charles H. will find
out what company the Old Town Trolley uses for similar badges.
6) Joan M. reported that the next REA outing will be a tour of the Marston House on October 4.
Advocacy: Mike B. reported on his meetings with Councilmembers. They have been going well.
Councilmember Moreno even offered to speak at one of our general meetings. Councilmember
Kersey is the last one to be seen. After him, Mike will try to set up a meeting with the mayor.
The next Advocacy Committee meeting will be August 29 at the Mission Valley Library.
Retiree Issues Task Force (RITF): Next meeting September 5.
Other Retired Public Employee Associations: No report regarding the Retirement Security
Roundtable. Meeting with MEA’s Michael Z. should take place in September.
Active Employee Associations: Ty R. was approved to continue to represent REA on the MEA
Membership: Membership is 1613
Sunshine: No report.
Newsletter: Deadline for the next issue is August 20 or earlier.
Website: Mary Ann S. reported there had been difficulties posting pictures on the site. Thisproblem has been resolved.
General Membership Programs: The September meeting will be a reprise of our hands-on
workshops for the SDCERS website and other social media.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:58am.