|All for one, One for all
It has been a while since I’ve posted anything, and I apologize for the delay. Your Officers and Board of Directors have been working behind the scenes for a while now trying to strengthen our Association, increase our numbers, and make good on the promises we’ve made to you. Today, I am happy to say, one of those promises became a reality.
First, I’d like to touch briefly on the General Meeting held on August 3rd. We had a fantastic turnout and for the first time had several of our member agencies there. It was good to see them there, and I hope that this continues to grow. We would like to see every member in attendance, but at the very least, every agency represented! We discussed the website, which is our primary method of communication with you, the member. We have had several conversations in which members have expressed the opinion that the website needs to be more user-friendly, and more attractive. To accomplish this, we are comparing and considering a couple of different vendors and will let everyone know once we decide which direction we are going. There is a new message board on the website at www.mcleatx.org for you to review some of the things each website offers, as well as a place for you to post your opinion.
We also discussed the changes coming to the Sheriff’s Office in the year 2020, which is when we become eligible for Sheriff’s Civil Service. I highly recommend each of you take the time to research the difference between County Civil Service and Sheriff’s Civil Service. There have been suggestions recently that it may be beneficial to Sheriff’s Office employees if we split MCLEA into two distinct associations; one for the SO and one for the other member agencies. After many discussions and debates, it is the consensus of the Officers and the Board of MCLEA that we will not split the Association. We want a unified organization that supports all county-employed Law Enforcement personnel, both certified and civilian. With great numbers comes great strength. We would like to see greater participation from the members who are not MCSO employees; DA’s Office, Fire Marshal’s Office, and all five Constable’s Offices. Constable Cash was present for the meeting and expressed his support for MCLEA, and encourages his employees to be a part. In the spirit of garnering more participation from the non-MCSO member agencies, we have decided to create one board position for each member agency. This is a change from the old way, which required each member agency to have either 50% of their employees or 10 members, whichever is less before that agency could have a board position. This will require us to change the rule in the by-laws before it can go into effect, but we are working on the re-write now anyway, so this is the right time to do the right thing!
I saved the best news until last. This morning, Vice-President Todd McCoy, Sgt. at Arms Cory Arnold, and I made a statement before Commissioner’s Court asking them to revert the STEP plan back to its original method of paying on the anniversary of your commission, rather than paying it in the following budget year. As many of you know, if the anniversary of your commission date fell after Oct 1, you would not receive your
STEP increase until the following budget year, whereas anyone hire prior to Oct 1st received their under the current budget. Some of our members had to wait a full year to receive the increase. This not only affected your salary, but also your retirement. MCLEA has been working on getting this changed for some time, and was one of the first conversations we had with Sheriff Henderson after he took office. Sheriff Henderson expressed his support during that conversation, as did MCSO Finance Director Carol Thompson. The number of supporters to this cause grew when County Treasurer Stephane Davenport became involved, and not only voiced her desire to stand with MCLEA on this, but put in a lot of real work with Ms Thompson to help make it a reality. After our presentation to the Commissioner’s Court, Sheriff Henderson, Precinct 3 Constable Ryan Gable and Pct 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden each spoke to the Court, asking that the change be approved in support not only of MCLEA, but all the men and women who put their lives on the line every day.
I want to extend a special thank you to Sheriff Rand Henderson, County Treasurer Stephane Davenport, and MCSO Finance Director Carol Thompson for all of their hard work behind the scenes in getting this to pass.