Held in beautiful and sunny, yet smokey Wenatchee, the 48th RPEC Convention this past September was an eager return to in-person meetings. With COVID precautions in place, 138 delegates, along with Council Office staff and a handful of visitors and vendors, came together to conduct the business of steering the Council forward for the next two years.
The Convention began on Tuesday, September 27th with registration check-in and several committee meetings throughout the afternoon. The PAC Raffle room also opened to begin receiving the many baskets and assortment of items that would entice prospective bidders. That evening, there were a couple of hospitality rooms hosted by chapters and individuals, where members could find an assortment of food and beverages, along with much needed social interaction.
General Session convened on Wednesday morning, kicked off by a warm welcome from Wenatchee City Mayor Frank Kuntz and 12th LD Representative, Mike Steele. Mayor Kuntz declared by proclamation that September 28th, 2022 was “Retired Public Employees Council Day” in Wenatchee. The colors were presented by American Legion Post 10 and the invocation was done by Pastor Marty Fenton of the Cornerstone Christian Church.
Business for the day was dealt with swiftly and purposefully with the passage of legislative priorities for 2023-2024, six resolutions and four constitutional amendments. Speaker Ann Widger, AFSCME Retirees Director presented information on federal legislation; Dr. Ashby Wolfe, Regional Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services spoke about Medicare and ACO REACH; and Jackie Boschok, WSARA President gave information on Medigap; all three speakers joining by Zoom to address the delegation. Noreen Brisson of the SHIBA program under the Office of the Insurance Commissioner spoke in person about the volunteer program and Congresswoman Kim Schrier sent the convention a pre-recorded message about recently passed and upcoming federal legislation.
Lunchtime music was performed by the Wenatchee High School Mariachi program. A special thanks to Chapter 27 – Chelan-Douglas County area, the host chapter, for making that possible. The day wrapped up with an evening banquet, a few awards, and some lively entertainment by the Fabulous Orchids from Carnation. Many banquet attendees danced the night away.
Thursday morning kicked off with elections for four RPEC Executive officers, then followed by the elections for the ten RPEC Executive Board District representatives. The results are as follows, your 2022-2024 RPEC Executive Board:
President: Clair Olivers
Vice-President: Maurice Garrott
Treasurer: Johanna Standish
Secretary: Nancy Heley
District Board Members:
District #1: John Smith (Ch. 6,7,8,37)
District #2: Betty Rae Adams (Ch. 15,27)
District #3: Kandy Kraig (Ch. 13,14,32,44)
District #4: Steve Gamble (Ch. 11,16,21,39)
District #5: Penny Hall (Ch. 9,17,20,40)
District #6: Mike Marston (Ch. 18,19,22,23,24)
District #7: Katrina Wynkoop Simmons (Ch. 2)
District #8: Carol Dotlich (Ch. 1,10,12)
District #9: Alma-jean Marion and Claude Burfect (Ch. 3,28,30,35,46)
The new Executive Board was sworn in and convention adjourned.
The following are the resolutions and amendments as dealt with by the convention body:
Resolution 1 – Minimum Benefit for Plan 1 Retirees – Passed as amended
Resolution 2 – Social Security Earned Benefits – Passed as amended
Resolution 3 – Stop Privatizing Our Medicare System – Not passed
Resolution 4 – Stop ACO REACH – Passed as amended
Resolution 5 – Financial Policy Implementation Related to RPEC Chapter Merges – Passed
Resolution 6 – Membership Recruitment Strategy – Passed as amended
Amendment 1 – Duties of Executive Director – Passed
Amendment 2 – Special meetings call by other than President – Passed as amended
Amendment 3 – Special meetings call by other than President – Not passed
Amendment 4 – Notice for meetings – Not passed
RPEC 2023-2024 Legislative Priorities – Passed as amended