SUMMER, POLITICS, RETIREMENT, NEW HIRE AND OP&F
by Thomas Austin, Executive Director
Nicer weather has finally arrived and the OPBA’s Family Days are SOLD OUT! The OPBA’s membership has again responded with a great turnout. This year’s attendance facts are: OPBA Day at Progressive Field Cleveland Indians 83 member departments attended.
OPBA Day at Fifth Third Field, Toledo Mudhens 15 member departments will attend.
OPBA Day at Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati Reds 28 member departments will attend.
In total 126 member departments will attend OPBA Family Days for 2015.
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The OPBA is excited to announce our annual golf outing is back for 2015. This year’s outing will be held at Lake Forest Country Club in Hudson Ohio on August 31st. The outing will be limited to 144 golfers on a first come basis. Look for future details at opba.com.
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On May 13th the OPBA continued to be mindful of its interest at the Federal level of government. I along with Counsel to the Board Andy Douglas and OPBA Attorney Dan Leffler traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby on behalf of the OPBA membership. The OPBA’s representatives spoke on Capitol Hill with the offices of Senator Sherrod Brown, Congressman Jim Jordan and Congressman Steve Chabot. Senator Rob Portman was also scheduled to meet with the OPBA representatives but was testifying on the floor of the Senate at the OPBA’s scheduled time. Fortunately, Andy Douglas was able to schedule another meeting with Senator Portman. I and Attorney Leffler along with two OPBA members were able to personally meet with Senator Portman for approximately an hour and a half. The OPBA representatives spoke about five key legislative priorities which we believe are important to ALL OPBA MEMBERS.
These priorities are:
Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program (BVP)
Government Pension Offset (GPO) & Windfall Elimination Provision Reform (WEP)
National Blue Alert
Public Safety Officers Benefits (PSOB)
“Cadillac” Health Insurance Plan Tax
I want to thank all the Congressional Staff and especially Senator Portman who really took extra time to consider the OPBA membership personally.
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Kevin Powers who has been representing the OPBA and its members for the last 22 years is retiring effective June 26th. I want to thank Kevin for all his hard work and dedication to the OPBA’s members.
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George Gerken has been hired to replace the vacancy left by Kevin Powers. George is a Toledo area attorney and former police officer. George has experience in collective bargaining, criminal defense and family estate planning. George will be based out of the OPBA North Royalton office and will officially begin June 1st. Welcome to the OPBA team George!
Just a reminder for active members in the OP + F retirement system, your pension withholding will increase .75% to 12.25% July 1st. This was part of the last pension changes and is the third increase in as many years.