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 Trust Matters, August 2016 

A Career of League Service

Farewell to Friends and Colleagues, by Bob Haynes

Keeping Officers Safe: Davidson PD Shows Value of New League Risk Assessment

Claims Corner: Land-Use Training

Naturally Slim

Underwriting Departure

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A Career of League Service

After more than 26 years of service to the League’s insurance pool members, Associate Director of Risk Management Services & Member Services Bob Haynes has announced his retirement.  Bob began his service to municipalities while working for the Centralina Council of Governments, providing risk management consultative services to the members of the COG. In 1986, Bob served as a contractor to the Property/Liability pool to advise members regarding their risk exposures and how best to mitigate and insure those risks.

Bob took a position with the League in April 1990 as the manager of risk management and loss control services. His responsibilities grew quickly, as he became the assistant director of risk management services in 1995, and was promoted a year later to his current position of NCLM Associate Director for Risk Management Services (Director of Risk Management Services). 

Under Bob’s leadership, the insurance pools continued to grow into strong and stable resources that have been there for our members for more than 25 years. He was immediately tasked with the responsibility to build the organization with a staff skilled in handling the unique exposures that are associated with municipal operations. In 1997, Bob started the process of moving the claims and underwriting functions of the workers’ compensation and property/liability pools to a centralized operation. 

Through the vision and dedication that Bob had for the insurance pools, they have grown to an operation that is recognized around the country as one of the most stable public insurance pool programs. A service that started in response to the inability of municipalities to find insurance from private insurers has developed into pools that provide workers’ compensation to 456 members, property and liability for 383 members, and health insurance for 5,000 insured lives. 

Bob’s dedication, leadership, and friendship will certainly be missed by staff and our members.  We are grateful for everything Bob has done for the League and wish him the best in his retirement. Here are just a few thoughts our members wanted to share about the service Bob has provided over the years.

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When I started in Risk Management, I had no background other than having attended a NCPRIMA Conference.  Bob being the infinitely patient person that he is became my “tutor” in Risk Management, and so helped me to provide those services to the City of Washington.  The years have gone by, but on occasion I still call on him when I have a risk that I am unsure about, and his advice is as good today as it was in the past. I appreciate all that he has done for me over the years and wish him all the best in his retirement. – Bill Lurvey, Risk Manager, City of Washington

When I think of “public servant,” Bob Haynes face comes up in front of me. Professionally competent. Dedicated. Steward of the public trust. Honest as the day is long. Ethical. He is golden. His service to the League has made lives better.  We will never be able to thank him for all that he has accomplished. – Roger Stancil, Manager, Town of Chapel Hill

I feel like we're partners in good government for the 28 years it's been my privilege to work with him. The Town of Manteo is truly a better place as a result of Bob's efforts on our behalf. – Kermit Skinner Jr., Manager, Town of Manteo

Bob was always a pleasure to work with.  He was very professional and, at the same time, just a good, caring person, such a gentleman. I don’t think he ever forgot a face or a name. I am sure the League team will miss him as will all the League members that had the good fortune to know and work with Bob Haynes. – Debbie Diaz, Manger, Town of Kill Devil Hills

Farewell to Friends and Colleagues, by Bob Haynes

When I joined the League in April of 1990, I came hoping that I would one day retire from the organization. That hope will be realized on October 31st.  This will be a bittersweet day, as I say goodbye to so many friends and colleagues.

The League motto when I joined the staff read, “In unity there is strength.” As I have had the privilege to work with the three insurance programs, I have found this to be a powerful maxim. These programs exist because the members came together to solve their insurance problems. Through “unity,” these programs have thrived over the years, such that today these programs provide unparalleled risk management services specific to municipal needs. Examples include police driver training, innovative weight loss programs, and expert claims service in areas such as land use and policing. Additionally, the programs’ financial strength will enable rate stability for many years to come. Through unity, much has been accomplished!

As I exit the organization, there are many people that I would like to thank: the RMS trustees that serve our insurance programs and over the years have supported, encouraged and challenged me and the staff; a team of amazingly talented co-workers that have worked together to meet our many challenges and celebrate many victories; and of course the individuals who gave me the opportunity to serve the membership here – our original RMS Director, Harvey Mathias, who hired me way back in 1990, and the late David E. Reynolds, who promoted me to the role of RMS Director in 1996.

My greatest pleasure has been getting to know so many municipal officials over the years and forming lasting friendships that I will carry with me. I have utmost respect for the elected and appointed officials who serve their communities so well. I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with each of you and can say with confidence that North Carolina is a better place because of the sacrifices our public servants make day in and day out. 

Keeping Officers Safe: Davidson PD Shows Value of New League Risk Assessment

The people of Davidson have a saying, according to Police Chief Jeanne Miller: "Every place should be like Davidson."

In one sense, that applies to recent work that Chief Miller's department conducted with the League to ensure its police training and practices are the gold standard for reducing risk to officers and the public.

A key way that they have reached that standard is the Davidson Police Department's pilot participation in the League's recently launched Law Enforcement Risk Management Review, of which many law enforcement agencies in North Carolina are now taking advantage.

According to Chief Miller, whom the League recently presented a plaque for being the first to complete the review, the process "makes us reach for the highest standards and strive to meet best practices in our profession." That's even as the department had already obtained national certification from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

Reducing risk, on its face, is an obvious, never-ending goal. But it's especially huge for police departments, said Bryan Leaird, the League's director of risk management field services, an originator of the review.

"From a pool standpoint, these measures are put in place to reduce costs, to lower expenses for everybody in the pool," Leaird said. "If you can bring down costs in one area, it makes the pool a more healthy insurance pool. That's from the business perspective. But I would say that an even more important aspect, from the League perspective, is about the safety of our officers and the citizens that they serve. And that ultimately is what this is about. The added benefit is we reduce cost."

The idea for the comprehensive risk management review sprouted in 2013 when Leaird examined impacts on the League's insurance pool and saw law enforcement areas in need of attention. An advisory committee of police chiefs formed to talk about it, review claims and discuss ideas to reduce injuries, accidents and future liability claims.

The chiefs determined that they could use a new tool that would allow their departments to inventory their current practices and policies – on police pursuits, use of force, stop-and-frisk and other risk areas – and weigh them against the potential risks.

The resulting risk-management review, endorsed by the N.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, is "a well thought-out product that is designed to address the areas where we were seeing problems," said Leaird.

He and League Public Safety Risk Management Consultant Tom Anderson recently visited the Davidson City Council to highlight Chief Miller's involvement with the assessment.

"We're very proud to say that the Davidson Police Department met and exceeded most of those (best-practices) categories," Anderson told the council. He added: "The things that we've done here in Davidson, the lessons learned here in Davidson, I will take forth across the state, and great things will be happening for North Carolina law enforcement."

Shortly after, Anderson and Leaird met with the Havelock Police Department, one of several others now involved with the review, which is meant to be a living tool that grows with new top-standards and measures in areas not previously covered. In one update from the original version, the review now includes best-practices with the deployment of spike strips, devices placed in the roadway to stop fleeing motorists. Deployment of the devices has led to officer injuries and deaths.

Beyond reducing insurance costs and protecting officers' lives, Leaird said a third plus of the review is to show the public how hard local police agencies are working toward efficiency. "Success to me is ... giving the departments the means to be able to say to their managers, say to their councils, ‘My policies and my practices are within the industry's best standards for these high liability areas,’" he said.

This is just one of many League offerings to local law enforcement agencies, which include onsite consulting, risk online training classes and soft body armor grants. To learn more, visit rms.nclm.org.

Claims Corner: Land-Use Training

Recently, Director of Claims Steve Lee and Manager of Property and Liability Claims Willie Wilson had the opportunity to sit down with Professors David Owens and Adam Lovelady of the UNC School of Government.  The topic of discussion was the best possible use of the training modules on the subject of Land Use Planning and Zoning that they developed in cooperation with the N.C. League of Municipalities.

We had seen a huge spike in the defense of claims in the land use and zoning arenas, caused by decisions that were made improperly or those that were thought to have been made improperly. This had given us the incentive to work with these two learned professors, who are well-respected experts in the field of land use at the School of Government.

These 14 training modules, each lasting 20 to 25 minutes, are accessible free of charge if you are a member of the Property Liability Pool program that we manage on behalf of the local governments of North Carolina.

They are accessible through the On-Line Learning Network that we use known as First Net Learning or through the School of Government. Again, they are free to you as a member of the Property-Liability Program. If you have a member login, you can go here to find the sessions. If you do not have a login, please contact us to obtain one.

So if you are a newly elected official, a new employee in the planning or zoning department of your community, a recent appointee to a planning or zoning board, or just want to refresh your knowledge, this is a very thorough 14-module program that covers the key concepts. We urge you to take advantage of this resource. 

The School of Government uses these same modules in their training programs, and they are also for sale through its book store if you are not a member of our program.

Naturally Slim

We have 174 individuals signed up for our second run of the MIT Health Benefits Trust of NC Naturally Slim program this September.  This is a 10-week skill building program that is based on new understandings of what thin people do naturally and is free to our MIT medical participants. The program teaches mindful eating, nutrition, physical activity and captures those that have a Metabolic Syndrome, which means they have more than one risk factor.  They may suffer from one or all of the following ; high blood pressure, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood sugar and high waist circumference.  Our first run of this program started in February of 2016, we had a total of 61 individuals complete the program and they lost a combined total of 543.3 lbs. 

Some of the great things people are saying about this program:

“Oh my goodness!!! I have lost 14.6 pounds in 8 weeks, but even better, I have lost over 15 inches off my entire body! 11.5 inches off my waist, hips and thighs (all of a woman’s “trouble spots”).  I have way more to lose to my ultimate goal, but this is the best I have felt about myself in years!”

“So far, after almost 2 weeks into the program, I am down 8 lbs…Food still tastes as good as it usually does and that just makes me want to eat more.  But following the 10-5-10 does get me fuller a lot quicker. I will stick with the plan and change my life.”

“Nine weeks – and I’ve lost 12.5 lbs.  I’m well on my way to my 15 lbs. goal at the end of 10 weeks.”

“Holy Cow! My 10th day of this wonderful concept and I’m down 8.5 pounds! Call me amazed!”

“I have tried diets after diets and they all failed.  NS has given me an entire different outlook on every aspect of eating that I have ever learned.  I spent 31 years in the military and weight was one of my major problems, I just wished I had this program while I was in.  I have met my weight loss goal and am so happy.  I really believe that I can go beyond that goal now with the principles that I have learned.  Thank you, NS.”

Underwriting Departure

Property and Casualty Underwriting Supervisor Ryan Ezzell has taken an opportunity with the Joint Underwriting Association for the state of North Carolina. His last day at the NC League of Municipalities was July 29th.  Ryan joined NCLM in 2006 and was instrumental in assisting our members in a number of areas. While his primary responsibility was to supervise our property/liability and workers’ compensation underwriting staff, he had also become a trusted resource for our members when they needed help with any number of insurance and risk management-related issues. In the future, please contact our underwriting staff directly with your questions. For Property and Liability questions/requests, please contact Ariele D’Angelo (adangelo@NCLM.org) or Patrice Adams (padams@nclm.org).  For Workers’ Compensation questions/requests, please contact Steve Hulme (shulme@nclm.org) or Gary Burkhardt (gburkhardt@nclm.org).