Hello, friends! It’s been a while since my last article. I hear from some of you who tell me stories of how you survived the COVID lockdown — some even learned to cook after decades of Jack in the Box or King Taco on the hood of your car! Many of you spent the past year getting to know your better halves even more when the golf courses, beaches, theaters and even hiking trails were closed. And just when it appeared that it was safe to go back in the water, Delta hit, so we are creeping down the same trail again. This is not what retirement was supposed to be about!
As retirees who always put others first, I imagine you are still doing the same: sucking it up, and taking care of others as you can. This too shall pass is what I keep telling myself.
During the past year, we have seen a district attorney who is incredibly unpopular with those who prefer justice over what some are saying is “downright crazy” make some decisions that baffle our minds, as cops who actually did the job and dealt with victims. I cannot claim to have personally seen Jesus or any other divine entity in my life, so maybe his decisions are based on some fact or knowledge that us mere mortals are not privy to. Regardless, there is an active recall movement in the works and we will see how that goes.
The governor is also facing a recall in short order, and we will see how that goes. We all have strong opinions and I will just say that we need leadership for everyone, not just one side of the aisle.
I have received calls about CCWs, and we hopefully fixed the 49 state qualifications issue. (The Department was great here when we needed them to step up, and they did.) I know many of you are concerned about the cap on the Blue Cross plans still being at a million dollars for so many years. It seems that for some reason the County CEO and the Board just have not entertained the fix. We are hoping recent rumors out of LACERA indicate they may be putting something together as a proposal to the County. This impacts all County retirees, not just PPOA or ALADS members, so there may be a huge number of retirees affected. Let’s just hope the County doesn’t come up with a harebrained solution that looks good on paper but in reality cuts our benefits. Bottom line, we were guaranteed health insurance once we retired. It was not based on where we choose to live. We have already seen current active members’ health care decimated for their families, and their pensions are a whole new ball game, all while the County continues to bring in incredible revenues and chooses to support other questionable welfare programs by taking benefits from its own employees.
The Department has begun hiring again. Last year the attrition was well over 400. I am not sure if that is a record, but it has to be close. Seems like I get more calls from active members asking about how the 457 plan works, etc., so they can retire as soon as possible. The public is definitely not supportive of law enforcement the way it has been in the past. We seem to go from hero to zero with changes in the wind nowadays or depending on who has the loudest tweet. Gone are the days of “Let’s see what the investigation shows” and in are the days of cancel, cancel, cancel!
I am hearing good things about the Retiree Roundup moving forward, and that is great news. I hope to see many of you there!
In closing this short reintroduction article, I really hope you and your families have made it through the COVID mess as best as possible. Being part of what is considered a vulnerable group myself on a few levels, it was not a fun year. But so far, we have made it through and look forward to once again enjoying retirement to the fullest.
If anyone has any concerns about retiree issues, please email me and we will look into what we can.
Take care, until next month!