President's Message

We hope that everyone had a good holiday, and we wish for you a safe and prosperous year.  For those of you who have had the opportunity to come to a meeting at the new hall (Columbus Gardens), we hope you enjoyed the food and friendly atmosphere.  We had a few minor issues at first, but they were worked out.

Our 2019 Distress Fund raffle was, thanks to you, a fair success.  Two hundred and one out of a little over four hundred and ten widows/widowers purchased tickets.  That’s almost 50%. Way to go!!!!  Give yourself a round of applause.  By comparison, six hundred and fifty seven out of sixteen hundred and eighty-four members purchased tickets.  But, we still are very grateful for everyone who sold/purchased tickets.  That money will go a long way towards helping those in need.

I want to send out a special thank you to some special people.  Eleven of our members sold over 2600 tickets.  That’s admirable and deeply appreciated.

Just an FYI.  We are very respectful of the fact that some    people do not believe in gambling and we would never push you to sell tickets.  Therefore, we are streamlining our mailing list for the raffle tickets and if you have never purchased a ticket in the past, we will be removing your name from the list.  This will be a relief to you, I’m sure, and it will be a great cost-saving move on our part and increase the profits we can use for our distressed members.

Most of you know that the Pension lawsuit is still with us.  You will see an article starting on the next page of this newsletter regarding the question and answer session with the lawyers at the FOP meeting on the 27th of January.  I hope they were able to help you.  We are also hoping to bring the lawyers to a BRPBA General Meeting. We will let you know as soon as we know more.

I know that the biggest question for everyone at the FOP meeting was whether you should opt out or stay in. Personally, I’m staying in the fight to the end because there is strength in numbers.  This is just my opinion, but I don’t want to see the City win by dividing and conquering us.  However, like I said, that’s just my opinion. Everyone’s situation is different, and you have to make your own  decisions.  In April, we will all be receiving letters with a guesstimate of what you should be receiving once the suit is settled.  Again, this is only a guesstimate and from my viewpoint, we are still about two years away from the end of this lawsuit.

We reported in a previous newsletter that we now hold a seat on the City’s Healthcare Committee.  We are currently looking into a different healthcare plan that could save us retirees a lot of money: for single member’s it would be a savings of $100 a month; couple’s $200.00 a month.  This plan would also offer better benefits than Blue Cross/BlueShield.  I don’t know about you but saving money while being treated better sounds like a win to me.  The question now is … will the City accept it?

The BRPBA began a Membership Drive this month and we are inviting our members to help us increase membership. For every new member an existing member brings on board, the BRPBA will pay $50.00 (up to ten new members).  But note, if you bring a new member on board, please have your name written somewhere on the bottom of the new members application so you receive credit for that member.

This newsletter is jam-packed full of articles and information.  Enjoy.   The next time I write to you will be sometime in the Spring. My old bones are looking forward to warm weather.