It’s Spring! Although to be fair, I’m not sure we really had a winter. A few small snowstorms and a couple of cold days. It wasn’t even cold enough to kill the fleas and they expect the east coast to have a banner year in bug infestation. Oh yippie!!
* If you belong to our email system or our Facebook page, you will have seen the updates on the Pension Lawsuit. The judge ruled this week “in favor” of the retirees, but that’s not saying much. The bottom line for the retirees is that the City’s elimination of the variable benefit breached its contract with the retirees. The Court will NOT restore the variable benefit. The Court will use the CITY’s experts to calculate our damages, i.e., what the City must pay to make us whole because the Court liked the City’s experts and did not like ours. There will be a status conference in June to determine the further course of the case. Stay tuned… we will keep you informed as things progress.
* The BRPBA organization made a recent decision regarding our dues that has created a bit of controversy and has cost us two members who decided to leave the organization. We are sorry for that and hate to see them go, but we really had no choice. Let me give you a bit of insight into the reason for our decision:
1. Lack of interest with the younger generation in joining. They have no desire to maintain contacts/friendships after retiring. As little as four years ago, we were closing in on 2,000 members (not including our widows). Now we are down to 1,700. It’s depressing.
2. Sadly, a lot of our original members are passing away. There have been 90 members who have died in the past eighteen months. That’s a disbursement of $90,000 in death benefits and a loss of $8,100.00 a year in dues. This does not include the significant increase in Bereavement Assistance we send out when a member’s spouse passes away.
3. Previously, we held our General Membership Meetings at an establishment where the owner was also a retired member of the BRPBA and graciously gave us a substantial discount on food and a free rental of the hall. Sadly, he had to retire, and we were forced to find a new place to meet. This cost increased significantly as a result.
4. Website costs have increased.
5. Our quarterly newsletters have increased in cost and we are addressing that issue also. Our newsletters will be smaller from now on unless there is a specific reason to increase its size. In addition, we sent an email to the 878 members we have email addresses for and 259 responded that they would like to receive the newsletter via email. That will also help with the cost. If you never responded and would like your newsletter emailed instead of printed, please write to us at email@example.com.
6. As with everything else, the costs of our office supplies and postage continues to rise.
None of us really wanted to increase the dues. We are very aware that some of our members live on a fixed income. In fact, we even had two members who graciously offered to help pay the dues for any member who needed the help.
* The 2019 Raffle will be mailed out in early September. We are forever grateful to our members and widows who purchase tickets. Bad things happen to good people and those good people are extremely appreciative for the help they receive, especially because it is coming from their Brothers and Sisters in Blue.
· On Monday April 15, 2019, at 5:00 p.m., the Baltimore City Council passed resolution #19-0147R. As of April 15, 2019, retirees from Baltimore City have a seat at the big boys table and a voice in the decision making about our healthcare. This was made possible because of the coordinated efforts of City Councilwoman Shannon Snead and our own Brother and Board Member, Dan Fickus, to give us representation. FYI, all City Council members signed the resolution except Ryan Dorsey. We can’t help but wonder why he refused.
· On April 16th, the BRPBA honored Officer Michael Dunn at our General Meeting. There is a full article on the next page detailing the reasons for this event. But I wanted to take a moment and express our extreme gratitude to Kathy Conrad for all that she did to see that this event was a success … and she did a lot. So much so, that she went to Florida for a week after the presentation to recuperate. Ben Brannock and myself were humbled to also be included in this celebration. Thanks Kathy! You’re the best.
Have a safe summer. Our next newsletter will be mailed in September.
Daryl J. Buhrman
BALTIMORE RETIRED POLICE
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