Dave Schmidt, Secretary/Treasurer
Brothers and Sisters,
I apologize for not getting this article to Secretary Chiaramonte prior to him finishing the latest edition of Harrisburg Happenings. However, by the time the addition of Harrisburg Happenings reaches you the holidays will be over. I hope everyone had a safe and joyful holiday season.
Last year, again, for the third year we ended our fiscal year with a small surplus. Keep in mind if we didn’t have resources from fund-raising this could not have happened. As we speak of fund-raising our income from this source once again is down from previous years. There seems to be a continued downturn of revenue from fund-raising. This Executive Board came to convention asking the membership for a substantial increase in per-capita in hopes of getting away from a reliance on fund raising. YOU, the members came through and gave us the resources needed to get on tract to getting our fiscal house in order. We, as a Board, decided to step up to the plate and do our part. Through aggressive fiscal management and keeping spending down we did. I am happy to say for the first time since becoming treasurer I was able to present a balanced budget to the Executive Board for fiscal year 2010/2011, all the while maintaining and improving services. Although, this upcoming legislative session may prove to be quite challenging fiscally, the league of cities has drawn their line in the sand. They are going to attack Act III, come after our pensions (that we worked hard to negotiate and maintain), and they want changes to our heart and lung benefits.
As we reflect on the past two years the PPFFA has dealt with many challenges some more successful than others. Fact is the PPFFA, YOUR, organization fared well in dealing with these challenges, from pension reform, entire departments being laid off, organizing efforts, to legislative issues. This organization will continue to stay the course and remain on the front lines to protect our membership now and well into the future.
Now, I don’t know about you but I am tired of listening to Mayor’s tell the public that all their fiscal woes are the fault of the firefighters and police contracts, pensions, benefits, etc. Seems they never tell the public how for years they failed to contribute their share into the pension funds, (every two weeks we made our contribution). They fail to admit when it comes to arbitration the continually present a weak case to say the least, and they fail to admit their own fiscal mismanagement. It is much easier to point fingers and blame the working man.
Lastly I’d like to say if we are going to beat these bastards in a fight this upcoming legislative session we are going to need all the help we can get. That help has to come in the form of money. If your local doesn’t already have a Pac Fund, I implore you to start one, if we could get just one dollar a pay from each of our members think what that can do. We need to keep our friends who’ve stood with us in Harrisburg and we need to foster new friends if we are going to succeed. Remember it is our (your) future we need to protect and preserve.