City of San Diego Retired Employees Association

September 13th, 2022 

Meeting Minutes by Joan McNamara

President Dick Wilken welcomed members and announced that PEBA will be holding an in-person and virtual retiree Health Fair on November 2nd. More details will be forthcoming. He also announced that REA would be purchasing a new projector in that our current one is no longer working properly. The minutes for our last general meeting are posted on our website. Our Treasurer, Abby Salaiz, is currently out of town. Members wanting a copy of her monthly report can get one via her email address on the REA website. The Nomination Committee will present their recommendations for Board Members to fill expiring terms at the October meeting. Voting will occur at the November meeting.

Joan Hernandez announced that the California Alliance for Retired Americans (CAARA) was holding a virtual Senior Vote Forum for San Diego and Orange Counties on September 21st. Lorena Gonzalez was a key speaker. Although this forum has already passed, CARRA is holding other regional forums this month. The last will be held on September 30th. REA members can register on the Carra website at

Cynthia Queen informed members that with the health
care timing change, there will be open enrollment in November. If a member doesn’t want to make any changes, nothing will need to be done. Members will receive a postcard in October which will be followed by the full booklet of health care options. Next month will be SDCERS annual presentation for REA. As to Prop B, the retirement system now has approximately 3,200 new members. All of which are currently working for the City of San Diego. SDCERS now has over 25,000 members.

Gregg Rademacher reported that the final numbers are in for the fiscal year ending June 30th. Last year, the plan gained 25%. This year the plan lost only 1.7%, while most pension plans have lost 5-10%. Given the state of the economy, our pension plan is doing well with a value over $10.6 billion.


The program was presented by Dr. Mark Goldstein, a veterinarian for over 30 years. He was a director of zoos in Boston and Los Angeles, and more recently head of the San Diego Humane Society. Dr. Goldstein’s Book, Lions and Tigers and Hamsters, was published in 2019. He spoke about how much he has learned from animals and what an impact they have on our daily lives. In particular, he focused on the human/animal bond and how these bonds are the “fabric” of a healthy community. He pointed out the importance of unconditional love and that 9 out of 10 seniors who get pets report getting relief from loneliness. With great passion, he told several stories about animals that he has treated and the lessons he learned from them. Life lessons he shared included these: protect and celebrate your good health; treasure loved ones, two and four legged; and never stop dreaming.