Retirees District Minutes

Summer Social

Aug. 1, 2017

Attending: Lonny and Mary Louise Arnell, Lennis and Myrna Anderson, Bruce and Colleen Boggess, James Stearns, Tom Sharpton, Don and Vonda Bahr, Sheri Briggs, Tom Scoville, John H. Jones, Robert and Yvette Steele, Curtis McCarthy, Gale Pace, Norman and Patricia Rentschler, Gary Bowen, Suzie Yeates, Maurice Wells, Deon Corkins, Max and Peggy Collotzi, Jerry and Jeannie Buttars, Arlyn and Ann Proctor, Kevin and Nedra Green, Robert and Gin Strong, Dave and Heidi Clark, Elaine Bonham, Mel Provost, Todd Losser, and staff.

Lonny welcomed everyone and asked them to be sure to sign the roll. All were invited to get their lunches and enjoy the social time together.

After lunch Lonny announced the next meeting would be on Sept. 12. The program will be presented by Brian Judd Tours.

Due to a resignation, the district needed to elect another second vice president.  Norman Rentschler was elected by acclamation.

The meeting was adjourned.


Sept. 12th, 2017

Attending: Lonny and Mary Louise Arnell, Mel Provost, Myrna and Lennis Anderson, Bob and Yvette Steele, Norm Rentschler, Sheri Briggs, Max Collotzi, James Stearns, Lenny and Gay Michaelsen, Jerry and Jeannie Buttars, Craig Webb, Steven Dickson, Don and Vonda Bahr, and Alene Schwei (UPEA staff).

Lonny welcomed all. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and lunch was served. Lonny asked everyone to sign the roll and the card for Elaine, who recently broke her hip.   The minutes for May, June, and August were approved.

Craig Webb, a new member, was introduced and welcomed. Max reported on the Advisory Council meeting recently held.  Norm and Steve made additional comments.   Norm also encouraged members of the district to join the standing committees of UPEA. Lonny explained that due to a communication problem, Paul Judd Tours would not be present today.

Instead, an activity called “Getting to Know You” was presented.   All attendees stated their names, where they were born, where they worked, and shared a few more items about themselves. Everyone got to know each other better because of this fun activity.

The next meeting will be on Oct. 3.  James Stearns will be in charge of the program, which will be on computer information for ensiors.



District 10 Update – Tooele County Leave Policy Changes

The Tooele County Commission has approved a new personal time off (PTO) program, which means that employees hired after July 1st, 2017 will no longer have annual and sick leave banks, but all of their leave will be taken as PTO. Employees hired before that date will have the option to remain subject to the original policy.

The decision was made June 20 at a meeting during which only Tooele County employees were allowed to speak.  UPEA Executive Director Todd Losser and Field Representative Alene Schwei attended the meeting, but weren’t allowed to read a statement because commissioners said the new policy only affects county employees.

UPEA had previously met with Tooele County employees about the policy, and also sent a letter to all three county commissioners, but never received a response.

Rules Corner: Documenting Your Employment

Documentation is often viewed as a record of all the inappropriate activities occurring in your office. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The primary reason for documenting your employment is to establish a chronological time line of both the positive and negative events during your tenure. Just as good documentation is the cornerstone of effective discipline, it may also provide the key to an employee’s defense.

While positive events normally speak for themselves, negative events tend to require a little more work. It is critical that notations include any explanation that may negate or mitigate the circumstance(s) around negative events.

Key bullet points about why documentation is important, the types of documentation and what your documentation should include provide an understanding of the need to maintain a historical record of your employment.

Documentation may establish or provide:

  • A lack of notice
  • Evidence supporting a claim that an allegation is false or has beenmitigated
  • A lack of consistency in treatment
  • The sanction imposed is too severe
  • The discipline was based on Title VII or other discrimination
  • Assist in accurately recalling conversations and/or events

There are two types of documentation:

  • Documentation that occurs even though there is no specific issue related to behavior or performance known to the employee
  • Documentation regarding specific issue(s) through an employee’s performance evaluation or through verbal discussion with a supervisor

Documentation should include:

  • Annual copy of your personnel file
  • Performance evaluations
  • Copies of awards, pertinent emails and memos
  • Factual evidence of compliance with a corrective action plan should one be implemented
  • Statement of events occurring around you to include: who, what, when, where, and/or how
  • Maintain an organized method of documentation and remember: Documentation is essential!

*Know your rules and document your employment*

If you have any questions, please contact your UPEA representative at 801-264-8732.


Retiree Retirement Membership Council Seat

UPEA has an open seat on the Utah State Retirement Membership Council. This seat has a four-year term, which begins immediately and ends June 30, 2021. The individual who fills this seat will represent the interests of all public employees. The duties of the council members are as follows:

  • recommend to the Utah Retirement Systems (URS) Board and to the Legislature benefits and policies for members of any system or plan administered by the URS Board
  • Recommend procedures and practices to improve the administration of the systems and plans and the public employee relations responsibilities of the board and office
  • examine the record of all decisions affecting retirement benefits made by a hearing officer submit nominations to the URS Board for the position of the executive director if that position is vacant
  • advise and counsel with the URS Board and the director on policies affecting members of the various systems administered by the office
  • perform other duties assigned to it by the URS Board

There is no stipend for this position. However, the URS Board may decide to reimburse council members for their travel and expenses when attending meetings.

UPEA encourages any retiree member who would like to be considered for this position to apply. You must be a current, active UPEA member. Interested individuals should apply by sending, faxing, or emailing a letter of intent as well as a resume no later than Sept. 1 to:


Attn: Mike

1000 W. Bellwood Lane

Murray, UT 84123

Email: Mike@upea.net

Fax: 801 264-8879

Retiree Minutes

May 2, 2017

Attending: Lonny and Mary Louise Arnell, Elaine Bonham, Mel Provost, Myrna and Lennis Anderson, Bob and Yvette Steele, Alene Schwei (UPEA staff), Norm Rentschler, Don and Vonda Bahr, Ron Velasquez, Pete Negus, Steven Dickson, James Stearns, Max Collotzi, Sheri Briggs, John L Rasmussen, Bruce Boggess, Gary Bowen, Leonard Michaelson and wife, and guests from CNS—Steve Love, senior vice president,  and Teresa Gordon, patient coordinator.

Lonny welcomed all, the pledge was recited, and lunch was served. The treasurer’s report was accepted. Alene reported the Legislative Interim Committee meetings would start on May 15.

Gary Introduced Steve Love and Teresa Gordon and they gave an explanation and report on the hospice program provided by Community Nursing Services (CNS). They explained how patients get on the program and the many facets of service provided.

The next meeting will be on June 6. Lonny is in charge of the program, which will be on investment counseling. We will not meet in July. The August meeting will be our summer social. It will be held on Aug. 1 at the Chuck-A-Rama, 12344 Minuteman Drive, Draper.

June 6, 2017

Attending: Lonny and Mary Louise Arnell, Elaine Bonham, James Sharp, Mel Provost, Lennis and Myrna Anderson, Max Collotzi, Sheri Briggs, Gus Garzarelli, Pete Negus, Norm Rentschler, Gary Bowen, Bruce Boggess. Gale Pace, Robert and Yvette Steele, Maurice Wells, and Alene Schwei (staff).

Lonnie welcomed those attending. The pledge was said and lunch was served.

The treasurer’s report was given. Approval of the minutes was postponed to the next meeting.

Max and Norm reported on the Advisory Council meeting heldJune 3.

Norm also encouraged members to join the standing committees of UPEA.

Alene introduced the newest UPEA staff member. She also reported that Mountainlands had changed the date of its September meeting to Sept 26. Because of this change, the Retirees District may not meet with them but will plan a September meeting on  Sept 12. More information will follow on this change.

Lonny then introduced his son, Darrin, who provided information on investing. He pointed out the difference in dividend from regular bank certificates of deposit (CDs) and market-linked CDs,which are handled by investment firms.

UPEA/MACU Public Employee Salute Winners

UPEA is proud to participate in the Public Employee Salute Program.  The idea for the program began in 2009, when a past UPEA executive director noticed that KSL Radio had a special segment to recognize Utah teachers.  The segment is commonly known as the “Teacher Feature.”  However, there was no feature recognizing Utah’s public employees.  The following year, the UPEA and MACU Public Employee Salute program began.

Please consider nominating a co-worker for the Public Employee Salute.  Utah taxpayers need to know about the people who do great things behind the scenes.  You can let them know by nominating an outstanding public employee.  Along with public recognition, winners are honored at a semi-annual Public Employee Salute Luncheon.

Click here to nominate someone!



Mark Austin is the state payroll coordinator.  He has worked for the state for25 years.  Throughout his career, Mark has done many remarkable things.  He has upgraded the entire payroll system to today’s system.  In order to successfully complete this project, Mark had to obtain approval from the administration and also request funding.  Mark was also tasked with making sure that the new upgrades included adding employee portals to the payroll system, along with travel time and attendance changes.  Mark also established a remote location to complete payroll in the case of a natural disaster, as well as created an additional capability for visually impaired employees to access the employee portal.


John Moody is a project manager for the Utah State Tax Commission in the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  While he has only worked for the division for the past eight years, John has quickly become an expert in this field.  As a project manager, John oversees testing of the DMV’s new implementations and updates.  He has to be extremely patient and teach new skills to employees testing out the new protocols.  Along with making sure employees understand the changes being implemented, John must keep in constant contact with taxpayer groups to ensure that any implementation of new changes happens smoothly.  For these reasons and many, more, John has become a Taxpayer Access Point (TAP; the state’s tax online filing and payment portal) expert for all different types of taxes and is the “go-to” person for all things TAP.


Sgt. Cole McAfee is a law enforcement officer for the Utah State Tax Commission’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division.  In this position, he makes sure that Utahns abide by the law.   Cole uses software that scans vehicle license plates and runs them through the DMV’s vehicle registry to verify vehicle registrations.  Two Tax Commission employees were given the opportunity to ride along with  Cole to observe the software in use.  During the ride along, both employees were impressed by Cole’s mastery of the software as well as his professional demeanor when he encountered routine traffic stops.  One employee said, “Citizens were treated with respect and courtesy. Citations and warnings were given in a very professional manner…It is my opinion that Sgt. McAfee is a true professional.”


Jeff Oaks is the bureau manager of food protection for the Salt Lake County Health Department.  Jeff has worked for Salt Lake County for the past 18 years.  As the bureau manager of food protection, Jeff oversees food permits for temporary events, child-care facilities, permanent facilities, and food trucks.  Jeff and his team are responsible for making sure that the food being served to Salt Lake County residents is properly prepared in kitchens that are up to code.  This may seem as a daunting task for some, but Jeff sees it as a challenge.  To his coworkers, Jeff is an excellent example of what it means to be a public employee.


James Piper is a training manager for the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS). He  has worked for the state for the past 25 years.  In his position as a training manager, James is responsible for planning and organizing training programs for DCFS employees.  James also is responsible for ensuring that the division fulfills all of its training objectives and more importantly, complies with any state or federal laws.  One important federal law that DCFS must be compliant with is the Indian Child and Welfare Act of 1978.  The law’s intent is to preserve and strengthen Indian families and Indian culture.”  Each year the state holds a conference that highlights the law’s intent, and James has helped lead it.   Multiple agencies from across the nation attend this conference, creating the perfect venue for James to showcase Utah’s state agencies.  As a result of James’ efforts with Indian and Child Welfare Act (ICWA) conference, the White House invited Utah’s ICWA representatives to Washington, D.C.



Linda Bright is a records specialist for the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) for the Northern Region.  Linda has worked for the state for more than 20 years.  As a records specialist, Linda makes sure that the Bountiful, Clearfield, and Ogden offices all comply with various federal and state laws.  She is also in charge of the numerous Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) requests that come to those three offices.  To be in this specialized position, Linda completed years of training to become familiar with different records, laws, and confidentiality issues that may be taken for granted.  Linda is a vital part of DCFS and we applaud her for her dedication to the state.


Dave Blackhurst is a field auditor for the Department of Workforce Services (DWS).  He has worked for the state for the past five years.  As a field auditor, Dave audits businesses that employ workers who qualify for state unemployment insurance.  He reviews any 1099 forms issued by an employer and determines if the individuals receiving the 1099s were classified correctly.  All of Dave’s audits are randomly selected per federal guidelines to ensure the Employment Security Act is being followed. Dave also conducts status investigations to verify wages of individuals applying for unemployment.  Over the past several years, Dave has volunteered at the Utah State Prison, where he has taught religion classes.  Each week, he spends 10 to 20 hours counseling and mentoring prisoners to prepare them for life outside of prison.  Simply stated, “Dave goes the extra mile assisting those who want to change their lives.”


Simon Bolivar is a child care licensing administrator for the Department of Health.  He has worked for the state for the past nine years.  As the administrator for Utah’s Child Care Licensing Program, Simon supports Utah’s working parents by guaranteeing regulated child care programs.  Always striving to help improve communication between employees, child care providers and parents, Simon thinks outside the box.  Most recently, Simon made some improvements to a computer system that is used by employees, child-care providers and parents, making is easier to use and accessible to those in need.  Simon asked for input from those who use the computer program as well as input from other child-care agencies in other states.


Trenton Grandy is a senior forensic scientist for the Department of Public Services, Bureau of Forensic Services.  Trenton has worked as a public servant since 1991.  Trenton began his career at the Department of Corrections, then worked for the Salt Lake City Police Department before arriving at the Bureau of Forensic Services in 1999.  One of Trenton’s area of expertise is fingerprints. Specifically, Trenton is an expert in latent print analysis.  He has logged in more than 1,500 fingerprint cases.  Many of these cases involve a level of expertise that many analysts do not have, especially when it comes to recovering a fingerprint from bloodied evidence.  Along with being a fingerprint expert, Trenton is a highly regarded expert in footwear and tire-tread impressions.  Trenton has been an expert witness in 200 different cases involving footwear and tire treads, and his testimony has led to convictions in many of these cases.  is also certified in each of these areas by the International Association for Identification (IAI).  The IAI is a highly regarded association in the forensic science field; only 98 people in the world are certified.  Trenton has also taught more than 60 courses for the IAI’s local and regional training sessions.  He has also trained all of the bureau’s current fingerprint analysts, as well as the Salt Lake City Police Department’s footwear and tire tread analyst.  In his spare time, Trenton volunteers with his church group along with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America.



Brenda Ralls is an epidemiologist/evaluator for the Environment, Policy & Improvement Clinical Care (EPICC) Program at the Utah Department of Health.  Brenda has worked for the state for the past 17 years.  The EPICC program was created in July 2013 by combining four different Bureau of Health Promotion programs. These include three well-established programs (Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program (HDSPP); Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (DCDP); Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity (PANO) and a new program (School Health Program).  This new venture was fully funded through the Centers for Disease Control.  As an epidemiologist/evaluator, Brenda’s responsibilities include collecting and monitoring health data, analyzing the data, and informing stakeholders, as well as the public, about the program’s overall effectiveness.  Brenda’s dedication and investment in the EPICC program goes far beyond the typical 40-hour work week.   In order for the EPICC program to reach the different ethnic populations throughout Utah, Brenda collaborates with different organizations and individuals to develop programs designed to help with diabetes management and heart-health, among other conditions.  Brenda is seen as an amazing mentor to those who work with her.  When last-minute data requests by the media are received by the program’s office, Brenda is the first person to begin working on the request, even if it takes her a couple of hours to compile the data.  Outside of her work with the EPICC program, Brenda sits on and/or assists with various community health organization boards, including several for the health department.  These include the National Tongan American Society, the Coalition for a Healthier Community-Utah Women and Girls, and the Community Faces of Utah.  Brenda’s humbleness, positivity, and dedication to the community make her a model public employee.


Tami Jones is a senior assistant caseworker for the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS).  In her position, Tami wears many different hats depending on the situation.  One moment she may be assisting directly with new DCFS clients, while at another moment she may be helping a team member with case documentation.  Tami has many different responsibilities, but she treats each one with the same dedication, always going above and beyond.  Last year a mother who Tami knew from child and family meetings came to the DCFS office fearing for her own safety.  The DCFS case worker assigned to her was not in the office. In her absence, Tami helped the distraught mother find a safe place to stay.  She also found her clothing and personal items, as well as a ride to the shelter.


Robin Matthews is the utility, permit and licensing clerk for the city of Perry.  Robin has worked for the city for the past 14 years.  When citizens want to build a new home or start a new business in Perry, Robin is the person they go and see.  Every citizen that leaves the Perry office always remarks on how friendly the office staff is, especially Robin.  Robin’s warm and caring nature is infectious with every person she meets.  “Thank yous” of homemade treats and bouquets of flowers are a normal sight around Robin’s desk; all from local businesses, both new and old.  She forms long-lasting relationships that have increased citizen participation in city projects and helped resolved issues.  One of her coworkers said it best: “Robin is definitely the light of our office.”



Blake Foard is an eligibility specialist II for the Department of Workforce Services (DWS).  Blake has worked for the state for the past three years.  As an eligibility specialist, Blake has a variety of responsibilities, from verifying eligibility of customers using DWS services to mentoring fellow DWS employees.  Blake goes above and beyond when working with new customers.  Whether it be face to face or on the phone, Blake makes sure that each customer is given outstanding customer service.  His accomplishments do not go unnoticed by his supervisors, who frequently ask Blake to mentor newly hired employees. From time to time, he is appointed “in charge” when his supervisor is out of the office.  Blake’s accomplishments don’t end at work. In his spare time he volunteers with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Utah Chapter. He is also a full-time student.  


Sonja Kingery is a paralegal for the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.  Sonja has worked for Salt Lake County for the past 20 plus years.  As a paralegal, Sonja must be professional and prompt when working with law enforcement, fellow co-workers, and the public.  Efficiency in her job is Sonja’s priority and allows her to provide timely resolutions to cases that are important to the victims and the public.  Sonja’s efficiency is also beneficial to law enforcement officers who are working cases.  Sonja’s devotion to her job extends to organizing training about domestic violence crimes for the office.


Cap. Gary Larsen is a captain at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison.  He has worked for the state for more than27 years.  Currently, Gary supervises the Elm Housing Unit in the Boulder Complex.  The Elm Housing Unit is quite unique; the population it houses includes newly incarcerated inmates and inmates who are in lock-down situations.  Over the years, Gary has held numerous positions within the prison, including officer, correctional facilitative specialist and programming lieutenant, and housing captain.  In each of these positions, Gary helped develop initiatives for the prison.  One of these initiatives was the HOPE Substance Abuse Treatment Unit, a flagship program that still thrives today. Gary also helped develop a field training manual for all newly promoted correctional specialists.  It’s no wonder that current employees, when faced with a challenging situation, ask themselves, “What would Gary do?”  Outside of work, Gary dedicates his time to his church and the Boy Scouts of America.