City of San Diego Retired Employees Association
March 14, 2017
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 9:38am.

Board Members Present: Jim Baross, Karen Butler, Mike Bresnahan, Charles Hogquist, Joan McNamara, Ted Myrus, Ty Rogers, Mary Ann Stepnowsky, John Tsiknas, Dave Twomey, Joan Hernandez, and Janet Wood

Guests Present: Shirley Hall

AGENDA: There were no changes to the agenda.

MINUTES: The minutes of the February 2017 Board meeting were approved.


TREASURER’S REPORT: Karen Butler handed out a sample of a proposed balanced budget. She expressed concern about the Board’s decision to adjust the budget so that income and expenses are balanced. If we were to do this, it would virtually deplete the Operating Fund Savings Account. Charles Hogquist explained how businesses typically have a proposed budget, not necessarily balanced, and a separate statement of financial position that shows funds available to satisfy the budget.

After much discussion, it was proposed that the budget format remain the same and within it to create a separate section entitled: Statement of Financial Position (or something equivalent), under which the savings (to be renamed “unallocated reserve savings account”), checking, and legal fund accounts would be listed. The goal is to keep everything on one page.

A question came up about the cost of the gift radio awarded at the Holiday Party. It did not appear in the Awards and Recognition section as an expense as expected. Karen Butler explained since it was paid in December out of the checking account funds, the cost of the gift radio would be reflected in an audit of that account. Not necessary to show it as an expense in the 2017 budget.

M/S/C to go forward with the proposed changes to the budget format to be designed by Karen Butler, with help from Jim Baross, for presentation at the April meeting.

M/S/C to approve the February Treasurer’s Report re: income and expenses through 2/28/2017.


Charles Hogquist reported that the City’s pension fund is healthy. The first six months of this fiscal year (7/1/17 – 12/31/17) showed a return of 5.4%, approximately 354 million dollars. The fund is now valued over 7 billion dollars. He pointed out the question of whether the pension system is sustainable has nothing to do with UAL. It has to do with the ability of the City and the employees to pay their fair share. As plans mature, there will be years when payout is more than what is taken in. Built into the plan is this expectation.

He reported that SDCERS will be voting on COLA at their May meeting.

There was a discussion about past overpayment to some retirees. SDCERS is dealing with each case individually. Some are getting put on a payment plan, per IRS rules, but given the monthly amount asked for they may never pay back the full overpayment. The overpayments were discovered when the retirement benefit system was upgraded.

Mike Bresnahan discussed a problem SDCERS has regarding retirees with industrial disability. In their check they get money allocated as COL. The question came up whether the COL received is tax free or not. About 280 retirees are concerned. Charles Hogquist indicated it would be up to the individual’s tax preparer to make that determination.


  1. M/S/C to clarify the requirements for a Quorum by changing the language in the Proposed Rules of Order, Rule III, Quorum, Section 1 to read “Eight Board members, of which at least two must be officers, shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Board of Directors.” Jim Baross indicated the members will have to vote on this change and he will take care of it for the April meeting.
  2. Labor Solutions proposed web and email changes: Mary Ann Stepnowsky handed out copies of REA’s home page and the RESDC’s home page for our review.
  3. There is a vacancy on the Board and Jim Baross encouraged all Board members to try to find someone. The Board will discuss further at the April meeting.

INFORMATION ITEMS: Oral arguments on Prop B will be held on March 17 at the 4th Court of Appeals downtown. Arguments are scheduled for 9:00 a.m.


Advocacy: The next meeting is March 23, 9:30am, at the Mission Valley Library.

Karen Butler and Mike Bresnahan met with three members of Risk Management regarding health care benefits. The Silver Sneaker program was discussed. Some plans offer it. Risk Management agreed to ask health providers if they can make available acupuncture to retirees.

Every 5 years the City goes through a bid process for health care providers. They started 3/3/17. By end of April we  should know who the City’s health care providers will be for FY 2018.

Mike Bresnahan will talk about insurance options REA may consider offering to members at the next meeting.

Retiree Issues Task Force (RITF): The next meeting of the Retirement Security Roundtable, hosted by County retirees (invitation only), is March 30.

Other Retired Public Employee Associations: No report

Active Employee Associations: No report.

Communications: Mary Ann Stepnowsky reminded all that the Officers need to write up the description of their responsibilities. Ideally, they should provide enough information for someone new to effectively take over the position.

Membership: No report.

Sunshine: No report.

Newsletter: Deadline for next issue is March 20.

General Membership Programs: Still an issue regarding Medicare speaker for April to be resolved by Dave Twomey. The Zoo presenter has been confirmed for September.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:58am.

Respectfully submitted,

Joan McNamara
Secretary for a Day