Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

PERS Investing in Unicorns and Rainbows


The California Peace Officers’ and National Law Enforcement Memorial ceremonies are fresh on my mind as I write this article. As always, they are somber occasions filled with grief and sorrow from the family members, friends and colleagues over the passing of fellow peace officers. Consequently, the events are a source of reflection on the inherent dangers of our profession. Regardless how long we have been peace officers and how invincible we believe we are, the ceremonies are a solemn reminder of our own mortality.

As the dignitaries spoke, I reflected on those officers’ last thoughts and interactions with their family and friends. Did they have time to share how they felt about their loved ones? Did they have the opportunity to share with their spouse, children or friends what each of them meant in developing them into the person they were? Do we take the time to do that today? It is important that we express as often as possible to our loved ones how we feel because we don’t really know whether that will be the last time we get to do so. As we focus on the families of our fallen officers in this issue, please take the time to reflect and strengthen your family ties.

The day following the California memorial ceremony, it was back to work. We were in the Capitol on our Legislative Day visits. During the legislative portion of the meeting, we had the opportunity to discuss PERS and its investments. It seems the Legislature is concerned with where PERS chooses to invest its money — whether the investments are socially acceptable. This ultimately means PERS is failing to meet its fiduciary responsibility to members. Yet, these legislators are quick to point the finger at CalPERS as the root of the pension evils when dismal returns are reported. This should be a simple discussion. CalPERS’ only responsibility should be to make as much money as possible for its member agencies and not worry whether investing in coal, oil, assault weapons or anything else is socially and politically unacceptable.

It is very interesting to note that the health of the fund is not the prevailing issue here, but rather the type of fund the money is being invested in. Unfortunately for our legislators, the “Unicorns and Rainbows” funds are not earning the returns needed to make PERS sustainable. However, since our state is beyond blue and potentially turning purple, we’re more concerned about what funds the money is in versus the return on those funds. Tobacco, oil, coal, weapons manufacturers may be politically incorrect, but they are generating positive returns, which is what PERS needs to achieve sustainability.

There is a silver lining in this picture. PERS is not required to divest from these funds. Even if divestment is mandated by law, PERS can argue that such actions would negatively affect its returns. However, everyone knows boards are susceptible to political pressure, which will ultimately affect the sustainability of their investment returns. As such, diminishing returns means an increased cost to the various agencies within PERS and, potentially, to taxpayers. I realize I am speaking to one segment of PORAC’s membership, because a good portion of our members are ’37 Act Counties or on their own systems. But, keep in mind that your county or separate retirement system occasionally follows suit or aligns itself with CalPERS’ actions. It’s incumbent upon all of us to keep an eye out and become vocal when our retirement system is making poor investment strategy choices.

AB 931 “Necessary vs. Reasonable” by Assembly Member Shirley Weber also was at the forefront of our conversations and member visits. Everyone in law enforcement is on the same page about AB 931 being extremely detrimental to our doing our jobs safely and successfully. Unfortunately, Assembly Member Weber is out of touch with reality and is a spokesperson for the ACLU (which supports the bill). She does not care about putting officers in harm’s way or meeting with us to discuss and create “reasonable” legislation that satisfies her constituents’ needs while ensuring the safety of our members. Plus, the majority of her so-called test cases is from out of our state.

Please remember to keep yourself, family and friends informed. It is imperative you do your part by attending your local chapter meetings and keeping yourself abreast of the ever-changing situation in our state. Information that affects us all is constantly flowing from PORAC and other sources. Your chapter meetings are the dissemination points for the information and your opportunity to get clarification on those issues. See you at your next chapter meeting.

Be safe and have fun.

Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

Social Divestment Is Socially Irresponsible

CalPERS has been in the limelight lately. Not only for its dismal returns in the past few years, but also for its investments in firearms. After the unfortunate act by a lunatic in Florida, there is a group out there stooping so low as to use shooting victims to try to shame CalPERS into divesting from firearms and other weapons. However, you can rest assured that our colleagues from the Corona Police Department have made it their mission to attend CalPERS meetings and express their dismay over divestment efforts. It seems that dismal returns are not enough for CalPERS to make decisions about what is warm and fuzzy versus what benefits its members and the agencies they represent. You, too, have the opportunity to express your dismay via the CalPERS website (www.calpers.ca.gov); simply click on “Contact” at the top of the home page and then share your concerns under the “Questions, Comments, & Complaints” option. Please take the time to send them your thoughts, as this issue also pertains to CalPERS’ efforts to divest from oil, the pipeline and other profitable investments based solely on the fact that they are socially unacceptable. This newfound effort by CalPERS to be a socially responsible investor has cost us billions. These are dollars that can be used to keep costs to cities and counties at reasonable levels.

Now that we have discussed the importance of keeping an eye on organizations that should be concerned with making money to help its members and their respective agencies, let’s talk about remembering our fallen brothers and sisters. We Must Not Forget our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice. All of us can honor their legacy by checking the box on our state tax form to donate to the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation Fund. It is imperative that we make every effort to contribute to this worthy fund, which helps the families of our fallen colleagues. Whatever amount you contribute is better than no contribution. Whether you prepare your own taxes or you have someone prepare them for you, please do not forget to check the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation Fund donation box. (See page 36 for an example.) If you are one of the early birds and have already completed your tax return, you can go online and donate at www.camemorial.org by clicking on the “Donate Now” button on the home page.

Finally, please don’t forget to attend your local chapter meetings. PORAC represents over 70,000 members, and the chapter structure was set up to be a source of information to our members. Chapter meetings provide the opportunity to visit with and gather information about what your colleagues and the Board have been doing to prevent CalPERS from playing with your money, and to meet with the trustees of the Legal Defense Fund, Insurance & Benefits Trust and Retiree Medical Trust. For more information on the dates and times of your chapter meetings and on issues affecting your profession, visit www.porac.org.

Be safe and have fun.

Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

As We Move Into Tax Season, Let Us Not Forget!

Wow, it seems as if it was yesterday that we were exchanging gifts and making New Year’s resolutions. Yet we’re now gathering receipts and preparing tax returns. Some of you may have filed your returns already and are using your refund constructively or you are preparing a payment plan.

As we long for football games and anticipate March Madness or the beginning of the baseball season, the space-time continuum keeps edging us closer to April‘s tax deadline. Try and contain your jubilee for Tax Day, which happens to fall on Tuesday, April 17, giving you an extra weekend and a couple of days to gather as many receipts as possible. Based on how you structured your withholdings, this may be a momentous occasion, because you might be able to make a withdrawal from your established savings account with the state and federal government. On the other hand, you may be wondering whether your calculations were accurate, allowing you to break even, or, worst-case scenario, having to make minor contributions to our government.

No matter which side of the fence you happen to fall on this year, Let Us Not Forget our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice. We can honor their legacy by checking the box on our state tax form to donate to the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation. It is imperative we make every effort to contribute to this worthy fund, which helps the families of our fallen colleagues. Any contribution is better than no contribution. Whether you prepare your own taxes or you have someone prepare them for you, please do not forget to check the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation Fund box. (See page 39 for example.) If you have already completed your tax return, you can go online and donate at www.camemorial.org by clicking on the “Donate to CPOMF” button.

Speaking of contributions and returns, I spoke with PORAC’s investment czar, Mark Sikorski from UBS, and discussed the health of PORAC’s investments. The overall health of our monies remains solid, based on the direction of your Board of Directors, PORAC’s investment policy and Mark’s guidance. PORAC’s investments are poised to continue making positive returns as soon as the market gets back on track after an official correction during early to mid-February, Mark said. The market had been making astronomical gains for some time and it was starting to be overextended, thus leading to the correction. Nonetheless, remember Mark’s words of wisdom: “We are in this game for the long run” and “It would not be a game if the market went up every day.” As always, Mark is available to assist you and your association with your investment needs. Feel free to contact me to obtain Mark’s information.

Finally, make every effort possible to attend your local chapter meetings. I realize for some folks, local could mean a few hours of travel. However, pension reform is still in the crosshairs of many of our opponents. This is why chapter meetings are your best source of information on how to deal with this and any other issues respective to your area. PORAC represents over 70,000 members, and the chapter structure was set up to be a source of information to our members.

Be safe and have fun.

Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

Start 2018 on the financial “right foot.” Early in the year is the best time to make sure your association and chapter’s financial business is in order.

If your association has a new treasurer, this is a good opportunity to make sure they are aware of your financial and reporting requirements. Tax season is fast approaching; therefore, consulting with a tax professional now is probably a good idea. Waiting until the last minute could result in penalties and fees assessed against your association. The last thing your association needs is to not meet its obligations with state and federal tax requirements.

It is just as important to review your association’s financials at your scheduled meetings as it is to make sure your agenda is in order before the meeting. While it is the treasurer’s responsibility to keep your association’s financial matters in order, it is the responsibility of the entire board to be aware of where and how your members’ dues are being spent. Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to their members. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your association’s financial practices, do not hesitate to email or call me. Many associations have found themselves in awkward situations where all or most of their money is gone by failing to make it a practice to review financials and bank statements and conduct an annual audit. Your association’s treasurer or chief financial officer should encourage, if not demand, everyone to review the organization’s financials. Doing so protects the treasurer and the rest of your association’s board.

Let’s shift gears from local financial business to your chapter’s financial business. A few years ago, the Board of Directors made some changes to the standing rules as they pertain to chapter reimbursement. Standing Rule Article VIII, section 7(B), states: “Chapter reimbursement checks will not be issued until the quarterly report is received and approved by the Treasurer or his designee. If the quarterly report is not received by 60 days after the end of the quarter, no chapter reimbursement check for the prior quarter shall be issued, absent approval by the Executive Committee or Board of Directors.”

Per our standing rules, the chapter expense reporting is required to be completed by each chapter’s treasurer no later than 60 days after the end of the quarter to receive members’ dues reimbursements. Your local chapter utilizes these reimbursements to conduct chapter business and manage its financial obligations. As chapters transition to their 2018 boards, I would like to maintain the positive direction established over the last several years. We do not want to create undue stress on our accounting staff, nor does your chapter want to deal with delays in receiving your regular reimbursements. While attending your next chapter meeting, please remind your current chapter treasurer of their requirement to file the chapter’s financial information with PORAC. You don’t want to get caught with very little to no money in your chapter account, especially as chapters are gearing up for 2018 expenses.

Don’t forget to attend your chapter meetings. This year we are looking at some looming court decisions that could have some detrimental effects on our pensions. Moreover, the folks seeking police transparency are still after us, and we at PORAC are working on creating sensible legislation on this issue. Your association’s input to your chapter director is paramount, since the chapter director’s job is to take your chapter’s direction to the PORAC Board, which is essential as we work toward creating legislation regarding transparency and other topics.

If you are not sure when and where your chapter meeting is held, please refer to www.porac.org and search the calendar for your respective chapter. If your chapter meeting is not listed there, email me at treasurer@porac.org and I will research the information for you. See you at the chapter meeting!

Be safe and have fun.

Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

Happy New Year — at Your Chapter Meeting

By now, most of us have stowed our holiday decorations (or maybe not) and are working on overcoming the overindulgence that inevitably accompanies the season. Some have probably already broken some well-intended, yet misguided, New Year’s resolutions.

No need to be alarmed, however — there is still time to make some resolutions that you may be able to fulfill for the rest of 2018. As your association’s board gears up for the new year by preparing meeting calendars and establishing new goals and resolutions, keep in mind your PORAC chapter meetings. As the president of the Inland Chapter, I can tell you that chapter meetings are an invaluable fusion center for dissemination of information to members. This year will be especially important as we work toward dealing with negative court decisions that will have a detrimental effect on union membership throughout the nation. Chapter meetings are a vital resource for networking with your neighboring POAs and DSAs.

As association presidents and boards are filling appointments for 2018, consider creating a PORAC chapter liaison position. Your PORAC chapter liaison does not necessarily have to be a board member; however, it does help, since they can speak from a position of authority. Nonetheless, the representative can be an aspiring board member who is active within your POA or DSA — but they must be an active member of PORAC. Remember, your appointee is going to represent your POA or DSA at the chapter level, so you want someone who has the authority to share pertinent information about your association. Chapter meetings are where “the rubber meets the road” regarding networking and information sharing. I have had the pleasure of witnessing new attendees at my chapter meetings who realize that their perils are currently, or were at some point, shared by other associations at the table. Hence, having a chapter liaison is extremely important. Ultimately, this person realizes that they do not operate in a bubble and there are other resources available to assist them with their concerns. In law enforcement, we are masters of not reinventing the wheel, and chapter meetings are a great resource to help your association with tried-and-true approaches to solving problems. It may be as simple as creating or updating your bylaws to deal with issues within your association, or as intricate as navigating the negotiations currents.

Your PORAC leadership in Sacramento is usually approached by associations seeking assistance from PORAC with issues affecting their members. One of the first questions we usually ask is “Did you attend your last chapter meeting?” Inevitably, the response is something like “We don’t have the time,” or “Why do I need to attend meetings to seek guidance from PORAC?” The answer is that you don’t have to attend chapter meetings to get assistance; however, most of the time there is another member present at your local meeting who has experienced what you are dealing with — or knows other members who have — and has invaluable insight on how to assist you at the local level.

Visit PORAC.org/calendar to find information about your next chapter meeting. If your chapter information is not listed, email me at treasurer@porac.org and I will research the information for you. See you at the chapter meeting!

Be safe and have fun in 2018.

Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

Annual Report

Following is an update for all members who were not at Conference regarding the state of PORAC’s finances. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

PORAC investments: As of a recent conversation with Mark Sikorski, our investments were up around 16%, and that is with 25% of our monies in fixed income/bonds. The S&P for the same period is up 16.88%, which means our accounts are doing very well. Obviously, we would be doing much better if 25% of our monies were in stocks; however, there needs to be some security built into our investments. Since Mark and I began managing these accounts, our reserves have increased from $2.05 million to $9.7 million. About $3 million is segregated for any pension issue that may arise.

The audit: Finance and Administrative Manager Kim Busman was very busy this past year. We realized a savings at the closing of last year’s books, which was welcome news since there were several unexpected expenses along the way. We dealt with the same points of concern as we have in the past — the prominent one being having just one person controlling our finances — but there are security measures in place to prevent fraud. Those security measures are your executive officers, Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Budget and Fiscal Management committees, and the auditors.

Last year the auditors were also concerned about the amount of monies being held by PORAC chapters, with varied methods of oversight. However, they were pleased with the progress made by our chapters in providing better reporting methods to show where and how the money is being spent, along with oversight on their respective funds.

The budget: PORAC’s Budget Committee, composed of Executive Committee Directors Barry Donelan, Randy Beintema, Anthony Sanders, Laren Leichliter and me, has been very busy through this budget cycle. The committee decided to take a look at portions of the budget where it felt the organization could be more efficient. The Budget Committee has taken its fiduciary responsibility very seriously and is not afraid to ask tough questions and make tough budgetary decisions.

That brings us to next year’s budget. Over the past few years, I have presented the members with an unbalanced budget predominantly in the red, but we have always ended up in the black. This year we put together a budget that is in the black right from the outset.

Fiscal Management Committee: Your Fiscal Management Committee (FMC), which is composed of board members from each region, met in May this year to review PORAC’s vouchers from last year’s Conference up to April 2017. Upon review of the vouchers, the Committee did not find any discrepancies as to how PORAC is reimbursing its directors. Besides reviewing the vouchers and contracts, the FMC is in place to deal with any other issues that may arise that affect how PORAC manages your monies. It is the committee tasked with looking at the issues raised by our auditors and finding working solutions to ensure the organization remains fiscally strong.

PORAC assets: The PORAC building continues to show its age. We have had to invest in a few fixes here and there. Unfortunately, due to the current sentiment about law enforcement throughout the nation, we felt the building needed additional security both on the exterior and interior. The Board authorized an extensive capital improvement project. To that end, we purchased a state-of-the-art camera system that provides excellent video security to our building; in addition, we are able to remotely access the cameras.

Last year, we also had to conduct some significant foundation repairs on the PORAC house. The repairs were completed last September. This year we made the cosmetic repairs, since the Board gave Kim and me direction to sell the house and purchase two condos. Kim conducted the lion’s share of the work and within a month had sold the house and purchased two condos. With the money from the house sale, the condos cost around $113,000. They are near headquarters, close to the State Capitol, and should provide very well for the housing needs of our president, vice president and treasurer for years to come.

Headquarters also needed to update its over 20-year-old phone system. The 2017 budget included funds to replace it, which occurred in August. The system is now more user-friendly and has several added features that help serve our members better.

From your Treasurer: Future conferences will be held at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada, in 2018; the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in 2019; and Disneyland in 2020. We will begin looking at venues to host our 2021 conference in the early part of 2018.

As 2017 comes to a close and we move into 2018, I am, as always, fully committed to being the fiscal watchdog of PORAC’s financial operations. I wish you and your family a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

Protecting PORAC’s “Mint” Financial Footing and Addressing the Auditor’s Concerns

As mentioned in a past article, PORAC fared well during our audit of prior years’ financials. However, we did receive a management letter from the auditor noting a couple areas of concern. Finance and Administrative Manager Kim Busman refers to the management letter as a report card of her ability to properly manage PORAC’s finances. Therefore, she equates anything above the segregation of duties issue as needing to be remedied immediately. Based on the size of our organization, we are not going to be able to avoid the issue of segregation of duties. It would require a much larger accounting department, which would be cost prohibitive and a luxury for our organization. However, we don’t take this issue lightly; as such, we have numerous checks and balances put in place to ensure the organization is protected from being defrauded by one of our own. Those checks and balances include the regular review of our financials by the PORAC president, vice president, Fiscal Management Committee, Budget Committee, Board of Directors and treasurer.

Consequently, we arrive at the second noted area of concern, which is PORAC’s management and oversight of chapter funds. Last year, the auditors were concerned that PORAC was not monitoring how chapters spent their reimbursement monies. Furthermore, the auditors noted that some chapters kept large balances of cash, which in the long run can increase PORAC’s risk of fraud. As a result, the issue was referred to the Fiscal Management Committee to evaluate and come up with a possible solution. The Fiscal Management Committee met and discussed the issue, and Kim and I developed guidelines for how PORAC can better monitor our chapters’ general fund income and expenses, along with how those items are documented and reported to PORAC. During the Board meetings, the topic of chapter spending became a lively one; however, we were able to agree on making sure that chapters are using their reimbursement monies for the betterment of our members. For example, the Inland Chapter will usually select an active small association to send to Conference or Symposium to help develop the association’s leadership to better serve its members, or we will cover the expenses of the chapter executive board to attend Conference or Symposium. Other options consist of practices that many of you are currently using, such as supporting member association fundraising events, socials or, everyone’s favorite, golf tournaments.

I realize that I am taking you back to events from a couple of years ago; however, I’m doing so to inform you that our auditors were pleased with our efforts in this year’s audit. With that said, I want to thank all the chapters for taking the auditors’ and your financial team’s concerns seriously and helping us show that we are diligently doing what is best for the organization. Please keep up the good work so that we don’t revert to stockpiling money that would be better served to benefit our members.

For the most part, everyone is doing a great job when it comes to the reporting process. We appreciate everyone’s diligence in completing the reporting form, which helps to provide us with additional information and justification for how your monies are being spent. Kim and I understand that chapter treasurers volunteer their time. Therefore, we need to ensure that we address the concerns of the auditors while not overly tasking our chapter treasurers with complex financial requirements. On the other hand, the chapter’s financial practices are not just the responsibility of the chapter treasurer. The chapter executive board and members should be reviewing the chapter’s financials to ensure the chapter is properly spending its monies.

From the results of the audit this year, it appears we achieved our goal of creating a better system for PORAC HQ to monitor chapter expenses. As such, we were able to provide our auditors with the steps taken to satisfy their concerns about how PORAC oversees chapter funds. It’s important to bear in mind that PORAC is ultimately responsible for monitoring its funds at every level and needs to be able to show that people tasked with handling members’ monies are being held accountable and that those individuals are being responsible with your monies.

The last issue brought up was looking for an insurance mechanism for our PIC/PAC monies. As we are all aware, PORAC has substantial funds in our PIC/PAC accounts. As such, the auditors were concerned those monies were not properly insured to prevent loss. Kim and I, along with our PIC/PAC firm, are working on a viable solution for insuring those funds.

Once again, thank you for your efforts. I look forward to providing you with an update on the progress of this issue at Conference, along with additional insight on the positive work being accomplished by your PORAC financial team. Over the past several years, I have made a commitment to be your fiscal watchdog, and I continue to stand by that commitment. PORAC has made great financial strides over that past several years, and we need to ensure that it continues being financially strong through prudent fiscal management and oversight.

Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

PORAC’s Budget Committee and financial team, composed of Executive Committee Directors Barry Donelan, Randy Beintema, Anthony Sanders, Laren Leichliter, President Mike Durant, Vice President Brent Meyer, Finance and Administrative Manager Kim Busman and I, have been busy through this budget cycle. The committee continued to focus on areas of the budget where we felt the organization could be more efficient. We have taken our fiduciary responsibility very seriously and are not afraid to ask tough questions or make adjustments as needed to ensure the financial health of the organization. The Budget Committee understands that our decisions are focused on doing what is best with your money. Therefore, some areas were targeted for potential cuts on the basis of whether PORAC is utilizing its money wisely and efficiently. The committee delved into a concept that is very hard to overcome, which is changing what is known as business as usual. Therefore, we looked at areas where the budget could be streamlined, along with increasing efficiency and reducing potential unnecessary expenditures. This requires a paradigm shift away from the concept of “That is how we have always done it.”

“How we have always done it” could eventually become a costly venture for our organization. While PORAC is fiscally strong and can continue to sustain practices along current lines, the real question should be “Why should we continue doing it that way, and is that based on best practices?” Moreover, I believe the Budget Committee is willing to bring forth this concept to the rest of the Board of Directors to make sure the Board members are asking themselves the same question. Ultimately, we want to ensure that the cost of the existing practice does not outweigh the benefit to the organization. This discussion brings to light the concept of cost-benefit analysis or return on investment (ROI). The areas that the committee looked at were evaluated for whether PORAC is getting the best ROI from them.

Unfortunately, budget decisions are not evaluated in a vacuum, and those who are affected by them may feel that the changes are personal attacks. However, budgetary decisions are not made with ill will or thoughts of retribution; they are made to ensure that those proposing the changes are fiduciary with the members’ monies. If it means that the organization can save a few hundreds or thousands of dollars by curtailing certain practices, then the organization needs to consider those changes. While those minor adjustments may seem insignificant in the greater scheme, over time they add up to significant amounts that can be used to strengthen the organization’s financial footing or toward other projects. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind while making budgetary adjustments to consider the overall impact, and not just to make changes because it saves money.

On another note, remember that if you are on your POA’s or DSA’s board, you have a fiduciary responsibility to your members. Your members have elected you to keep their best interests in mind, especially when it comes to financial matters. If you fail in your responsibility, you are subject to legal ramifications. Please take your responsibility seriously, and make sure to review your POA’s or DSA’s financial statements, ask questions, and ensure that there are checks and balances in place to avoid fraud and deception.

I am proud of the work being done by the Budget Committee and the rest of the PORAC financial team. Everyone is working diligently to ensure that PORAC is a force to be reckoned with, as well as protecting your money. I look forward to having the final draft of the 2018 budget for your review at Conference, along with the opportunity to provide you with additional insight on the positive work being accomplished by your PORAC financial team. I have made a commitment to be your fiscal watchdog, and I continue to stand by that commitment. PORAC has made great financial strides over the past several years, and we need to ensure that it continues to be financially strong through prudent fiscal management and oversight.

Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

Gearing Up for Conference

Last year’s audit is now completed, and PORAC fared well. We had the usual challenges discussed by the auditors, which were delineated to the Board of Directors. The concerns were discussed, and the Board understands the reason for these challenges. I was provided with direction to resolve those issues that are within our sphere of influence.

The Budget Committee met and finalized the 2018 proposed budget. The budget was presented to the Board of Directors at the August meeting. The next phase is to have you and the rest of our members review the budget at the Conference of Members.

Last year at this time, we were discussing making some capital improvements to the office building pertaining to the area of additional security. As always, Kim did some great work in obtaining bids to ensure the Board was getting a range of choices when deciding how to approach providing enhanced security to our building. Those improvements were made, and the new security camera and building access are working perfectly.

This year, we conducted a comprehensive salary and benefits study to ensure we were doing the right thing by our employees (a study we usually perform every six to 10 years). As a bit of a historical context, we normally look at a two-year window when considering adjustments for staff. Kim and I are also working on a plan to make sure that our employees feel they are being taken care of during the years we don’t conduct a salary survey. We are exploring performance-based bonuses for the interim years. Now back to the comprehensive study. The assessment reaffirmed what PORAC has been doing all along, and that is taking care of those who serve you. We had to make some minor modifications on certain employees’ salaries, while others were Y-rated for the time being. PORAC has taken a firm stance of ensuring our employees are well compensated and that their salaries are not negatively impacted when there is an overall market decline in a certain classification.

After reviewing the results of the comprehensive salary and benefits study, the Compensation Committee met to discuss making positive adjustments to a few employees’ salaries. The Compensation Committee will recommend to the Board that the salary adjustments be approved in order to put them into effect at the beginning of the 2018.

Our investment tsar, Mark Sikorski, made a presentation to the Board of Directors about the outlook of the market. Interestingly, based on how the market has been performing throughout the year, his assessment of what is going to happen was clear as mud. But keep in mind, the market has done some interesting things this year. Ultimately, the feeling in the financial world is that we are looking at an adjustment and/or correction in the market. However, the geniuses believe the market could potentially reach record highs at the year’s end.

Please don’t forget to attend your local chapter meetings and keep yourself informed as to what is occurring within your city, county and state, especially in the anti-police environment we find ourselves today. It seems there are many out there who profess to know how to do our job without ever having donned a uniform. Yet it is those who condemn us who are also the first to expect our help when things go sideways. Please be sure to attend your chapter meetings and take an active role in helping to further the goals of your association and PORAC throughout the state.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the Conference of Members in San Diego and providing you with the opportunity to review your 2018 PORAC budget as well as addressing any other financial questions, suggestions or comments you may have about PORAC’s financial health.

Be safe and have fun.