NARFE - West Virginia Federation
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WV Federation Newsletter August 2018

 

NARFE WEST VIRGINIA FEDERATION

NEWSLETTER

AUGUST 2018

 

The following was taken from an email message from

NARFE Executive Director, Barbara Sido

“Please take this opportunity to exercise one of the most important responsibilities of your NARFE membership and vote in the 2018 NARFE elections. Because the presidential election in June did not yield a majority for any candidate, we are conducting a runoff election. NARFE is offering members the opportunity to cast a vote online or in print (using a print ballot included with the September issue of NARFE Magazine). Please choose the voting format that is most convenient for you.

Voting is now open for the NARFE 2018 election until 11:59 p.m. ET on September 30, 2018.

Your ballot contains a list of the three presidential candidates who have chosen to continue in the runoff election. Please mark them in order of your preference—1st choice, 2nd choice, and 3rd choice. Mark one and only one choice per candidate.

To vote, you will need your member ID number and unique voting PIN number.

Go to https://www.esc-vote.com/narfe2018 to access the login page of the secure voting website for the NARFE 2018 election. 

      Your NARFE member ID number: 10540445 

Once you have logged in, follow the online voting instructions. 

The voting website has background information for the candidates. Or, refer to the September 2018 issue of NARFE Magazine for details. 

Complete election information and FAQs can be found at www.narfe.org/2018Balloting

Need Assistance? Please email narfehelp@electionservicescorp.com or call 1-866-720-4357 on Monday - Friday between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET. 

YOUR VOTE MUST BE RECEIVED BY 11:59 P.M. EASTERN TIME ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2018." 
********************

William Shackelford

Region X Vice President

Notes

National Executive Board (NEB)

Go-To-Meeting

NEB motion – Second Ballot Instructions

  • If a ballot does not have all preferences marked, it will only be counted for the 1st tally to determine if a majority vote was achieved. Ballots that do not contain a mark for each candidate expressing preference for any candidate on the 2nd tally (if needed) will be discarded

James Marshall – Federal Benefits Institute – has chosen to return to the private sector. He remains under contract through the end of 2018.

  • Search for new Federal Benefits Institute Director is ongoing 

OPM mailing lists of recent retirees will no longer be used by OPM to advise retirees of benefits of belonging to NARFE

  • NARFE was only agency to benefit from OPM mailings
  • Decision made by OPM Director Jeff Pon
  • As a result of OPM decision, new recruiting tactics are being aggressively developed

NEB discussion

  • 2016 negotiations left 2019 open for NARFE at Westin/Scottsdale as long as same room rate as 2020 NARFE Conference was available even with knowledge that group in 2019 would be smaller
  • Westin/Scottsdale agreed to $155.00 room rate with $35K - $40K food and beverage minimum was met
  • Three other properties were considered to re-locate 2019 Federation Presidents’ Meeting

         Charleston, South Carolina

         Richmond, Virginia

         Norfolk, Virginia

  • Motion made to allow negotiations with Sheraton for comparison to Westin/Scottsdale

                        Tie vote – 2019 Federation Presidents’ Meeting to remain in Scottsdale

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Second Vice President

Barbara Kuennecke

2nd Vice President (Legislation)

On 18 July, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the proposed government reorganization. The Deputy Director of Management for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Margaret Weichert, was the committee’s only witness. One of the proposals is to privatize the Post Office. Members of the committee worried that such a move would have a major impact on the quality of postal service in rural areas affecting quality of life and economic development.

Don’t forget that August is NARFE’s Grassroots Advocacy Month. The three key issues for this year are the proposed 2019 federal pay freeze, postal reform, and federal benefit cuts. If you want more details, read Molly Checkfield’s article in the August edition of narfe; the article will provide specifics on each area. If you can’t meet in person during August, please sign on to the NARFE Legislative Action Center to let your representative and both senators know how you feel about the proposals and how they will impact you.

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Secretary

Judith Cross

Secretary 

Remember to let NARFE Headquarters and me know when your chapters have any officer changes. Contact information for all Federation Board Members can be found at the end of the newsletter. 

The next Federation Executive Board meeting will be held on October 25th.

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Treassurer

Shirley Campbell

Treasurer

Since our last audit performed at the 2017 convention, our WV Federation has had an income of $10,587.19. Earnings have come from dues, per capita and two chapter closings. Our expenses have been $9239.88. We continue to keep a balance in savings of $10.03 with no activity. If you have any questions on the Federation finances, please contact me at sjcampbell2001@aol. com.

I have often been asked what happens to the funds when a chapter closes. Funds remaining in the chapter bank account are transferred to the Federation for distribution to chapters where a member chooses to transfer. If a member does not choose a chapter, the funds remain in the Federation. It not only benefits a member to remain in a chapter so they can have personal contact with other members, but it benefits the Federation. If the member transfers to a chapter, the "per capita" would continue to be paid annually to the Federation as well dues from the national treasury.

Should the member of the closing chapter not choose a chapter but instead become a member of NARFE, we will continue to collect dues from their annual membership payment but no "per capita.".   Should they not choose a chapter nor choose to renew their membership we have not only lost income but something more valuable…we have lost a member in NARFE.

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Public Relations

Bill O’Field

PR Officer

A tip for writing effective newsletter articles is to think from an audience perspective, according to My List, an online service that provides infrastructure to assist with marketing newsletters.

What would you enjoy reading? Why would you be reading it?

NARFE members want to learn something new that is important and relevant to them such as information, tips, advice, resources, or benefits. Use direct quotes from the speakers at your meetings. Supplement your article with interesting facts and statistics. This will offer useful information to NARFE members and add credibility to your article.

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Immediate Past President

Robert Hardesty

Immediate Past President

I have been asked to serve as the District 2 Legislative Liaison for the West Virginia Federation. As many of you know, District 2, is served in Congress by Rep. Alex Mooney. I have also been asked to serve temporarily as liaison for District 1 (David McKinley) and District 3 (Evan Jenkins). This position is part of an ongoing effort by NARFE to bring grass-roots activity directly through the interaction between your member of Congress and the federal community. These Liaisons will be the “Face of NARFE” to your Congressman and his/her District staff.

On July 23 I met with Chad Story in Rep. Mooney’s Charleston office, along with two other members of our Charleston Chapter. We discussed the various bills pending before Congress involving federal employees and retirees, the same bills listed each month in your NARFE magazine. We also provided position papers, which are readily available in the legislative section of the NARFE website. At the end of the meeting Mr. Story said: “I want to understand that Rep. Mooney is a very conservative member of Congress”. I then explained to him that NARFE is an a-political organization which supports those who support our causes. I also explained that whether Rep. Mooney was conservative, liberal or centrist did not matter. What matters is that the 37,000+ members of the federal community in West Virginia are his constituents. Perhaps more important, federal employees are the people that he must depend on to provide the services of the Federal Government which he represents to his constituents. 

I will be visiting the offices of Rep. Jenkins and Rep. McKinley in the near future. If any of you have issues you want me to raise with them, please call or send an e-mail. And if anyone wants to serve as Legislative Liaison for District 1 or District 3, please contact our Federation President Steve Sosson.

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Alzheimer’s Report

Robert Hardesty

Alzheimer’s Chair

I am pleased to report that in the NARFE Alzheimer’s donation cycle for 2017/2018, which ended June 30, 2018, the West Virginia Federation donated a total of $18,303.87. Although we are one of the smallest federations in number of members, we were one of the largest contributors to Alzheimer’s Disease Research from among NARFE’s 54 federations. 

During this donation cycle, nine chapters made contributions. This means that six chapters were not heard from during this period. Please remember that Alzheimer’s Disease Research is the ONLY charitable organization formally supported by NARFE, and that NARFE members have contributed nearly $13 million to this cause. A great deal of research has been funded directly through your contributions. If your chapter has not been participating in this worthy cause, please raise the issue at your next chapter meeting. No donation is too small.

For those chapters who have been contributing, please keep up the good work. If I can be of help to any of you, please contact me.

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Service Officer Report

John Sheeley

Service Officer

What is written below I've covered before but both are important, especially the first item.

This is another reminder about the Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Reimbursement Account. I previously provided a full report on this in the Federation newsletter published in May of this year. I suggest you re-read that article by going to: www.narfe.org/wv and click on the newsletter or, simply access the following web address: www.fepblue.org/medicare-reimbursement-account. Or, if you do not have a computer or you have any questions or concerns, call 1-888-706-2583 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time, excluding holidays.

Service Officers, please make sure your chapter members take full advantage of this BCBS program. It's not often an insurance plan wants to give money back but, it's possible for a couple to receive up to $1200.

The other item I've written about are the webinars that NARFE headquarters has available for members to watch at their leisure. If you don't own a computer try your local library, most have them to use free of any charges.

NARFE'S webinars are free to members and provide a wealth of information. A few of the webinars titles are: Claiming Social Security; Survivor Benefits - Key Decisions for Feds of all Ages; What's Your Best Retirement Date; 5-Year Countdown to Retirement (there are some important decisions that must be made at least 5 years before retirement); From Federal Employee to Annuitant - Master the Process; FEHBP and Medicare - Make the Best Choice; and, Will You Be Ready for Retirement. 

In addition, if you have a Thrift Savings Plan account and, have turned or will be turning 70 1/2 years of age soon, you might want to watch the webinar titled Exploring TSP Withdrawal Options. Seventy and one half is the magic age under IRS rules when a person holding a retirement account such as an IRA or a TSP "must" start taking money out of those accounts.

The webinars are also a great item to mention when you are recruiting a new member.

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DISTRICT REPORTS

DISTRICT I

Barbara Kuennecke

District I Vice President

Chapter 1236, Eastern Panhandle, held its regularly scheduled meetings on the first Wednesday of May and June. I was able to attend the May meeting to hear the presentation about Berkeley County parks and recreation.

Chapter 2263, Morgan County, held it meetings on the third Tuesday of May, June, and July. In May and June, we discussed the upcoming NARFE vote. We also presented a donation to the local Boys’ and Girls’ Club and to the Morgan County Emergency Assistance Team. In July, we discussed the results of the NARFE election and the required new vote to elect a president.

Chapter 2288, Potomac Highlands, mourned the passing of President Linda Baer.

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DISTRICT II

David Nicholson

District II Co-Vice President

Chapter 0174   Parkersburg--Chapter members decided at the May meeting to meet every other month at 11:00 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at Jimmy Colombo’s Restaurant in Parkersburg.

Chapter 1579 Central WV (Clarksburg) --Chapter continues to have a monthly luncheon meeting with speakers at the Eat n Park Restaurant in Bridgeport on the second Tuesday of each month.  

The June 12 meeting was held at the Brookdale Senior Living Facility. Fourteen members were present. The PDF Video which provided a visual step by step guide to ballot completion was shown. Bill O’Field showed a video on Preferential Voting which showed an example on how Preferential Voting works. Members were asked to bring the June issue of the NARFE Magazine to the meeting. After a question and answer period, six members completed the paper ballot in the magazine and mailed the ballot at Brookdale’s Post Office.

According to the National Office, West Virginia had 103 members out of 1350 members that voted for a 7.63 percent voting rate. Chapter 1579 had 12 members of 105 members that voted for a 11.437 voting rate. Out of 202,553 members nationwide only 13,720 voted for 6.777 voting rate.

Chapter Picnic was held on July 10, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park in Clarksburg. Twenty-two members and spouses attended. Karen Gum, member, played the guitar and sang several songs. 

Chapter 2287 Tygart Valley – Elkins--Chapter meets quarterly at 1:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Randolph County Senior Center. Next meeting will be August 23, 2018.

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DISTRICT II

Jeffrey Merz

District II Co-Vice President

June

Fairmont – regular meeting.

Morgantown - presented NARFE Webinar – “TSP: Maximizing your Retirement Savings” using the wide screen TV in Shoney’s meeting room.

July

Fairmont – regular meeting – 10-12 attended.

Morgantown – Jason Jenkins, CPA, spoke about the new Tax Laws and what we as Federal employees need to prepare for our next tax return. Six members attended.

On July 18, in the evening, the Morgantown chapter sponsored a presentation of the NARFE Webinar – “TSP: Maximizing your Retirement Savings” for working non-members as a recruitment effort. The presentation was advertised in the local newspapers and in flyers at local offices. 15 M-2 cards were turned in: from several retirees, about half from one agency where a member invited her co-workers, and the rest from various offices. The presentation was well received and applications were handed out. At least two new members joined.

August

Morgantown – The topic was the NARFE Webinar "Survivor Benefits", seven attended.

Fairmont – regular meeting, discussed FedCon18 and election results.

Future

Morgantown is considering an evening presentation in October or November using one of the upcoming Webinars on FEHB options. Again, this presentation would be aimed at current Federal employees as a recruitment effort.

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DISTRICT III

Shirley Miller & Betty Jo Monday

District III Co-Vice Presidents

May 9, 2018 – Visited Beckley Chapter 0950. The new president conducted the meeting with seven members present. Informed the group about the Annual Meeting held at Bridgeport in April and told them that this might be how future annual meetings/conferences will be held.

Members were told about the changes made in the NARFE Districts and that we are now District III with the addition of Charleston and Point Pleasant Chapters. Betty Jo Monday and I will be Co-VP’s for District III. Betty will be visiting each chapter soon.

May 24, 2018 – Visited Appalachian-Bluefield Chapter 1584. There is much sickness among the members and attendance is very low. In the absence of the president, 1st VP Billy Mills conducted the meeting. There were only four members from a possible 31 in attendance.

June 28, 2018 – We attended the Appalachian-Bluefield Chapter 1584 meeting. As before the only officer present was the acting secretary. I conducted the meeting and Betty Monday expressed her enjoyment traveling around to the various chapters.

Since both Bluefield and Princeton have small chapters and few members attending the meetings, it was suggested that Bluefield and Princeton meet jointly in August at the Princeton site. We will request that Betty Jo Monday and state president Steve Sosson attend.

July 11, 2018 – We attended the Beckley Chapter 0950 meeting at the Raleigh County Senior Center. There were eight members and two visitors present. The guest speaker for the day was Lisa Wright with the WV Alzheimer’s Association. She gave a very informative program on the number of Alzheimer’s patients in WV as well as how much money has been collected for research.

The president reported on the Solid Waste Facility for Raleigh County that was visited during last month’s meeting. Those who had visited the site were very impressed with the facility.

July 19, 2018 – Princeton-Mercer Chapter 2226 was visited by Betty Jo Monday. There were eight members and three visitors present. Sierra Browning, a representative from the Chuck Mathena Center in Princeton, gave an interesting talk about the upcoming attractions and invited everyone to plan to attend some of the scheduled events.

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West Virginia Federation Executive Board

 

President

Steven (Steve) Sosson

slsosson@comcast.net

 

1st Vice President (Membership)

Daniel (Dan) Duckwall

duckwall@frontier.com

 

2nd Vice President (Legislation)

Barbara (Barb) Kuennecke

bkuennecke@yahoo.com

 

Secretary

Judy Cross

judithcross@frontier.com

 

Treasurer

Shirley J. Campbell

sjcampbell2001@aol.com

 

PR Officer

William (Bill) O’Field

wroconsulting@gmail.com

 

Immediate Past President

Robert (Bob) Hardesty

rharde1946@aol.com

 

Sergeant at Arms

Gary Bailey

glbfarm@aol.com

 

Chaplain

Larry Lilly

hghspgs@gmail.com

 

Alzheimer’s Chair

Robert (Bob) Hardesty

See Above

 

Service Officer

John L. Sheely

wvskibum@aol.com

 

District I Vice President

Barbara (Barb) Kuennecke

bkuennecke@yahoo.com

 

District II Co-Vice President

David (Dave) Nicholson

304-745-3176

dnicholson1@cebridge.net

 

District II Co-Vice President

Jeffrey (Jeff) Merz

Merz136@juno.com

 

District III Co-Vice President

Betty Jo Monday

bjmonday@suddenlink.net

 

District III Co-Vice President

Shirley Miller

shirleym.miller@suddenlink.net

 

Region X Vice President

William Shackelford

RVP10@narfe.org