The HPOU election last month ended with the election of a new president of the Houston Police Officers Union.
I cannot be more pleased that this membership saw the same things in Joe Gamaldi that I saw many years ago and voted him as our next President with 91 percent of the votes cast. He will assume the duties of HPOU president at the Jan. 4 general membership meeting.
Joe was first brought to our attention when we were signing up his class when he was a cadet. We explained our Political Action Committee and requested that each cadet sign up to contribute $5 per month. We already had the form printed with the $5 figure inserted. Joe Gamaldi raised his hand and asked if he could sign up to give more. He did and we never forgot his name!
When the first vacancy occurred on the HPOU board, Gamaldi was appointed to that position and he has never looked back. I can honestly say I could not have done this job for the past six years without his support and that of Doug Griffith and Tom Hayes, the 1st and 3rd vice presidents, respectively.
While our entire board does great work, those of us assigned full time at the Union understandably carry the bulk of the work. Joe has truly carried his fair share.
Our constitution gives the newly elected president the authority to appoint the outgoing president to a six-month Immediate Past President position that allows for a smooth transition.
Joe has asked me to fill that position and I have agreed to do so. In that position, I will have no voting rights and will complete tasks assigned by him. I look forward to that role and have no doubt that Joe Gamaldi, Doug Griffith, Tom Hayes and the new board will take the HPOU to new heights.
Congrats my friend!
HPOU Board Members
Last month’s vote also ushered in a new board for next year. In odd-numbered years, we elect the odd-numbered positions to two-year terms and in even-numbered years, we elect the even-numbered positions.
Congratulations to incumbents Debbie LaHaie and Joseph Castaneda who won their contested races. Kawanski Nichols, David Riggs, Don Egdorf, Rosalinda Ybanez and Luis Menendez-Sierra won their uncontested races.
Steve Turner won the Director 7 position and David Vasquez won the Director 13 position. Congrats to both! Thanks to Colten Peverill and Chad Crawford for your service in those positions.
Director 17 was open with the retirement of Bill Booth. That race had three candidates. The top two vote-getters were Frances Dominguez and Jason Alderete. They will face off in a runoff, conducted solely online at hpou.org.
In odd-numbered years we also elect the 3rd vice president and secretary. Incumbent Tom Hayes had no opponent and thus will continue in his position as 3rd vice president. Current Secretary Will Reiser chose not to run for re-election. Marco Lopez won the secretary position and will be sworn in at the January meeting. Congrats to both Tom and Marco and thanks to Will for his service to the HPOU!
None of the elected positions receive compensation for their services. I truly regret not being able to get compensation for the position of president like every other major police union in the country does. I ask that each of you respect Joe’s time outside of work when he takes over the presidency in January. I assure you he will put in way more than 40 hours per week.
In closing, I want to thank each of you for the support you have given me these last six years. I also want to thank Past President J. J. Berry for his mentorship while he served our Board. I especially want to thank my wife Amy for putting up with all the after-hours functions and activities. I know that Joe’s wife Alexa, also an HPD officer, will be just as supportive of him.