What a great Conference of Members this year at the Marriott Hotel and Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey. I would like to commend all of our PORAC staff for once again doing a fantastic job in putting on one of the best conferences PORAC has ever seen. More than anything, our staff works for each and every one of you to ensure that all of your needs are met throughout the course of the year. Our PORAC staff, led by Finance and Administrative Manager Kim Busman, did a fantastic job of providing us with a first-class Conference. Thank you all for a job well done.
I would like to thank the PORAC Conference of Members for once again electing me as President of PORAC. It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve the members of our great organization for another two years. Whether working alongside and networking with similar statewide organizations and their leaders or walking the halls of the Capitol meeting with legislators, I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work for each of you.
The PORAC executive officers, Executive Committee, Board of Directors and all of our trustees will be working hard to ensure that PORAC continues to be the leader throughout the state representing public safety. We look forward to working together with all association leaders to achieve the goals and maintain the professionalism of PORAC.
During this Conference we said goodbye to our retiring Secretary, Frank “Buddy” Magor. Buddy had a long tenure on our PORAC Board of Directors, from the position of local chapter director all the way through PORAC Secretary. Always calm, Buddy was a rock whom many of us frequently consulted when we needed a voice of reason. His vast amount of knowledge and logic will surely be missed. We wish him and his wife, Elaine, well in the next chapter of their lives.
Also leaving your PORAC Board of Directors were Duane Cornett, Tulare County DSA; Tim Petrachek, DSA of San Diego; Mick Boyd, Sacramento POA; Ken Westermann, Contra Costa DSA; and Shaun DuFosee, Sonoma County LEA. Leaving the PORAC Insurance and Benefits Trust was Mike Solis from Santa Monica POA, and departing from our Legal Defense Fund Trust was DeeDee Lundquist from Sonoma County LEA. We wish all of them the best of luck in their future endeavors.
One of the primary discussions at Conference this year was whether or not there would be an initiative filed against our pension benefits. Every speaker who addressed this specific issue during Conference or at the PORAC Board of Directors meetings had a similar answer: PORAC, along with our allies throughout many other state organizations, will continue to push back against any attempts by Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio to get any pension initiative on the ballot this year. With that said, all of us in PORAC and public agency associations across the state need to be cognizant that although we have been able to keep pension initiatives off of the ballot in the past, there is no doubt in our minds and the minds of our advocates that a similar initiative will be headed our way in the coming years. It is not a matter of if, but when, we will see these or other initiatives attacking our retirement benefits. PORAC will remain ever vigilant to fight off these atrocities against public employees.
This year’s Conference of Members is behind us. As I write this, we are now in the holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or another holiday, I hope you will be able to enjoy a quiet and safe holiday season with your family and friends. Please take the time to reflect on the members of our law enforcement family who are no longer with their loved ones, and keep them in your thoughts and prayers. From all of us at PORAC, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and a merry Christmas.