Saturday, December 14th, 2019
   

Abridged Report Executive Committee Meeting

NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION

Kenilworth, N.J. Saturday, February 20, 2016

 

The meeting was called to order by President George Heflich, Sr. at 9:00 A.M.. in accordance with the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act.  He stated notice of this meeting was posted on the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association website as required pursuant to the provisions of the Open Public Meeting Act (Chapter 231, P.L.1975) and sent via mail to all local relief association secretaries.

Vice President Frank Gunson led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

Executive Committeeman Konrad Mellert (Warren) gave the invocation and led everyone in a moment of silent prayer.

 

OATH OF OFFICE FOR OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:

Counsel Frank Cavallo administered the Oath of Office to Executive Committeemen Eugene T. Minell (Morris) and Daniel F. Speigel (Cape May).

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held.  First Assistant Secretary Jake Genovay announced that all members were present with the exception of Executive Committeeman James Reeves, Cumberland County, who was excused.   Also in attendance was Past 2nd Assistant Secretary H. Lee Baker.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT:

President Heflich opened the meeting to public comment by stating the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association welcomes comments from members of the audience.  He further stated that the secretary will note all comments and that because of this he asked that anyone speaking to state their name and address before speaking and to keep their comments to a 3 minute time limit.  Concerns stated or actions requested by the public will be taken under advisement by the Executive Committee for investigation, discussion and action or disposition at a later time and date.

New Brunswick Chief Robert C. Rawls spoke of a twenty-one year member of their Department who was not a member of the State Association.  If he joins now, he will accrue 4 years before he retires and will not be eligible for the death benefit nor relief.  The department has records to prove he was a member of their department for the previous twenty-one years such as timesheets, pay records, call lists, etc.  Chief Rawls was looking to see if the individual could get back time. 

Dean Wournell, Deputy Chief New Brunswick Fire Department stated that they will be looking into other solutions to change the By Laws of the State Association.     

President Heflich stated that we do not give back time.  Time starts accruing when the application is accepted by the State Office.  He suggested that they send a letter to the Advisory Committee for their opinion.   

There being no one else present that wished to be heard, Public Comment was closed.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES 

The Abridged minutes of the November 14, 2015 Executive Board meeting were approved as read on a motion by Mr. Mc Nulty, seconded by Mr. Scheuer.  Motion carried.

 

COMMUNICATIONS:

From:   Cassmiro A. DeLaurentis, Jr.

To:       Mr. Hugh Flood, N.J. Firemen’s Home

From:   Dick Mercora

To:       Vicki Schwarz

From:   New Jersey Firemen’s Home

To:       Mr. Hugh Flood, N. J. Firemen’s Home

To:        Mr. Harry T. Strube, Board of Managers

From:   Sussex County Firemen’s Association

Secretary Finnegan read the correspondence.  A motion was made by Mr. Phillips that the communications be filed.  Second by Mr. Pelaia.  Motion carried.

 

LIFE MEMBER REPORT:

None

 

OFFICER REPORTS:

President Heflich reported: Written report distributed.

Regarding the member from New Brunswick that is not a member of our Association, there was an Open Window period which would have allowed him to join in 1998.  Letters were sent to all Secretaries’ and returned that all potential members were notified.  

He stated in your folders is a draft of an affidavit acknowledging that all eligible firefighters have been notified about joining our Association.  This was brought up at the Officer’s Meeting on 2/18/16.  This is to be signed by the local Association President and Secretary and returned to the state office.  Please submit your comments by next week.

He stated that the Firemen’s Home Budget did not go to the Commissioner of Insurance before being approved.  He said that the Home was allowed to become a nursing home in order for the Managers to justify their existence. The last manager of Cape May told him that.  He said that not one manager asked for a copy of the letter about the stolen items.  Included in your folder is the ACTS OF INCORPORATION for the Firemen’s Home for your information.

150 Financial reports were still out as of Friday.  They are due today.  The Committee-man must tell the locals that they must change the officers if they aren’t doing their job.  251 green sheets are still out; they are due the 28th

We have four Associations remaining that had the Tax Exempt problem.  Hopefully, they will be resolved in a couple of weeks.  He asked the Executive Committeeman from each county to contact the four associations as the accountant feels we should have heard or received something from the IRS by now.

Vice President Gunson reported:  Written report distributed.

He stated that he, the President and Secretary Finnegan made a tour of possible buildings. We have to be out of this building by early ’18.

He asked the Committeeman from Atlantic & Gloucester counties to contact Estelle Manor and Newfield to find out what they are going to do.  The state office has had their books for over a year and we would like to return them.  The financials for the year are done; 990’s are next.

He mentioned the 2016 Caucus Schedule is in your packet.  Please get in touch with him ASAP if your county is not listed.

As mentioned in the Officer’s minutes from 2/18/16, new voting machines and equipment would cost no more than $35,000.  We will need a vote on that.

He would like to compliment Cape May Committeeman Speigel for preparing a PowerPoint presentation about the Association’s forms that are used.  He presented it at a workshop and it was very well received.  It was also well attended.  The workshop lasted about two hours. 

Secretary’s report:    Written report distributed.              Secretary Finnegan would like to thank the Officers’ for doing his job while he was out after his gall bladder surgery.  He would also like to thank all those who sent cards, emails, calls, etc.

Treasurer Osborn reported:  Financial reports have been distributed.

 Field Examiner Kenny reported: Written report distributed.

He stated that there were still 100 financial reports still out.  He gave a reason why these reports should be certified/return receipt as it took 10 days to receive it in Kenilworth from Boonton.  He concluded by stating that the 990 is due on May 15, 2016.

Counsel Cavallo reported:

We did file an appeal to the State Supreme Court pertaining to the Carter matter.  Briefs have been filed and it’s a matter of waiting. 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

ADVISORY COMMITTEE – report distributed no verbal.

SPECIAL RELIEF – report distributed.  The committee will be proposing changes to the relief scale for the May meeting.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – report distributed.

PENSION COMMITTEE – nothing to report.

FINANCE COMMITTEE – report distributed.

SALARY COMMITTEE – Chairman Dreby stated they will be reviewing salaries during the next few months and have a report for the May meeting. 

RESOLUTION COMMITTEE - nothing to report.

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE – Chairman Mc Nulty stated that a meeting was held on January 25th and the results of that meeting are in the Executive Committeeman’s packet.  After a brief discussion pertaining to the new voting procedures, it was decided that it will be brought up under Old Business.

CONSOLIDATION COMMITTEE – nothing to report.

DELEGATE AND LIFE MEMBER COMMITTEE – A written report has been submitted.  The committee recommends keeping the expense payment the same as last year due to the low price of gasoline and total expenses exceeding the amount of relief being paid in 2014.

BUILDING COMMITTEE – given in Vice-President’s report.

LONG-TERM RELIEF COMMITTEE – Chairman Hankins stated a meeting was held

In February and they will be looking to send out a survey to associations to see if they currently have any members who may benefit from long-term care relief.

APPLICATIONS:  None.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

At the Compendium meeting held on January 25th a number of changes were proposed, especially regarding the voting procedure,  These changes were presented to the Executive Committee and now it’s time to discuss and hopefully adopt the changes to the Compendium.  The main change is that candidates for office must get a petition to run for office and get ten signatures from members of the Association and return it by June 1st of the election year to the Secretary. 

A number of questions were presented by various Committeemen and all were answered by Counsel Cavallo.  He stated that if you approve these changes, there is no more nominating process at the ConventionWrite-ins are still acceptable at the Convention.  This procedure will be in effect for the 2016 Convention.

NOTE:  A copy of changes to the Constitution and By-Laws is attached.

A break in the proceedings took place between 11:10 and 11:15 AM.

Committeeman Phillips made a request to have Raritan Township Relief Association removed from under review and placed back in good standing now that they have new officers and have straightened out.  Motion made by Committeeman Ordway, seconded by Committeeman Mellert.  Motion carried. 

Committeeman Dreby made a similar motion to reinstate Eastampton Township.  Second by Committeeman Ordway.  Motion carried.

Committeeman Kelly stated he had modified his previous proposal regarding Crimes against the Association and has resubmitted it.  These acts include convictions for various acts of arson and failure to control or report a fire, as contained in N.J.S.A.2C:17-1.  Convictions for false public alarms as contained in N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3 and convictions in violation of N.J.S.A. 15:8-1.1

Also, Any Member of this Association who commits acts of theft or other criminal acts of financial malfeasance against the NJSFA, upon conviction or otherwise being found guilty, following due process in the established court system, shall immediately be stricken from the Membership List of the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association regardless of their accrued time or membership status with the complete and total loss of any and all benefits and considerations afforded to members of the Association.

Any Member of this Association, who is known to having committed or admits to having committing acts of theft, or other criminal acts of financial malfeasance against the NJSFA; but is not prosecuted in the established court systems, they shall be subject to the filing of charges and specifications, investigation, a hearing and examination of the charges and related facts, resulting in a determination of probable cause (as outlined in Our Compendium under N.J.S.A. 43:17-27 in addition to any penalties therein outline),  then that member shall immediately be stricken from the Membership List of the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association, regardless of their accrued time or membership status, with the complete and total loss of any and all benefits and considerations afforded to members of the Association.

A motion was made by Committeeman Speigel to accept Mr. Kelly’s proposal as is.  Seconded by Committeeman Scheuer. Motion passed with 19 in the affirmative and one in the negative.

Chairman Hankins made a motion that the Long Term Care Committee be allowed to send out a survey to the local associations.  Second by Committeeman Lane.  Motion carried.

Committeeman Scheuer was asked to bring up from the Sussex County Firemen’s Association regarding recruitment and retention of firefighters in New Jersey.  While it was stated that it is not our Association’s main goal, a number of possibilities were offered by other Committeemen.  Committeeman Kelly suggested that the groups that attend the convention and have tables in the hallway bring materials pertaining to retention and recruitment, etc.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Secretary Finnegan stated we have a request from the NJ State Exempt Firemen’s Association requesting an ad in the 2016 Convention Journal.  Motion made by Committeeman Pelaia, seconded by Committeeman Lane.  A roll call vote showed all in the affirmative.

Secretary Finnegan said the next item up was the bids for badges for the convention.  We received three bids with Classic Incentives being the lowest.  A motion was made by Committeeman Phillips and seconded by Committeeman Dreby.  A roll call vote showed all in the affirmative.

A motion was made by Committeeman Schoenstein and seconded by Committeeman Ordway to approve the Firemen’s Home budget of $8,358,000.  Motion passed with 17 in the affirmative and 3 in the negative.

A motion was made by Committeeman Ordway and seconded by Committeeman Pelaia that Delegate and Life Member Expenses be the same as last year.  All votes in the affirmative.

A motion was made by Committeeman Speigel and seconded by Committeeman Ordway to not seat associations that do not have their financial reports and/or membership reports in on time.  All votes in the affirmative.

A motion was made by Committeeman Kelly, seconded by Committeeman Figueroa that those associations not having their Officer Listings Report in on time not be seated at the convention.  Motion carried 19 in the affirmative to 1 negative.

Committeeman Walker asked when the Legislative Committee meeting will be held and he was informed by 1st Assistant Secretary Genovay that it will be on April 23rd @ 9 A.M.

 

GOOD OF THE ORDER:

Vice President Gunson thanked everyone for their expressions of sympathy on the passing of his mother-in-law.

Committeeman Figueroa thanked VP Gunson for coming down to Hi Nella.

Being no further business, a motion was made by Mr. Dreby and seconded by Mr. Phillips that we adjourn.  All in favor!

 

The meeting was adjourned at 12:43 P.M.

 

Respectfully Submitted,
Kevin B. Finnegan Signature
Kevin B. Finnegan
Secretary

 

Compendium Changes

Petition Instructions

Election Petition

 

We request that this report and all future reports be reviewed at your local relief meetings and so noted in your minutes.

 

 
 
 

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