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Abridged Report Executive Committee Meeting




Kenilworth, N.J. Saturday, November 18, 2017

The meeting was called to order by President Frank B. Gunson, 3rd at 9:00 A.M. in accordance with the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act. He stated that 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. The fire exits were pointed out.

Vice President Robert Ordway led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

Committeeman Mellert gave the invocation and asked that we remember all who have answered their last alarm including Gloucester County Executive Committeeman William Mc Nulty and he asked that the Lord watch over our military. He concluded by asking for guidance during this meeting.

President Gunson asked all Committee people and Officers to remain standing and be administered their oath of office by Counsel Cavallo.


Roll call was held. First Assistant Secretary Genovay announced that all members were present with the exception of Burlington County Executive Committeeman Dreby who was excused. Also in attendance was Past Executive Committeemen from Union County Thomas Miller.


President Gunson opened the meeting to public comment and asked First Assistant Secretary Genovay to read the following: 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 possible action or disposition at a later time and date.

Jim Phillips, Treasurer from West Orange, stated he was here as a follow up to their Field Exam and hoped to gain some insight at the meeting.


The Abridged minutes and the Verbatim Minutes of the September 14, 2017 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Committeeman Lenarski, seconded by Committeeman Scheuer. Motion carried.


From: Richard Dreby, Burlington County Executive Committeeman

Secretary Finnegan read the correspondence. A motion was made by Committeeman Lane and seconded by Committeeman Florio to accept the correspondence. Motion carried.

LIFE MEMBER REPORT: A motion was made by Committeeman Mellert and seconded by Committeeman Florio to grant Life Membership to the 331 members who achieved Life Membership at this year’s convention. Motion carried.


President Gunson reported:

  • He thanked the Vice President for filling in for him while he has been home recuperating from his knee replacement surgery.
  • He stated that the location for the Gloucester County Special Caucus to replace Committeeman Mc Nulty will be changing and all will be notified where the new location will be.
  • He would like to thank the Committeeman and Officers who worked the Field Exams and to those who assisted the Field Examiner in reviewing relief applications received at the Field Exams..
  • He stated that no relief application should be approved without documentation of Income and Expenses.
  • Relief applications are going to have to be reviewed more often than every four years. We are going to have to develop a system to do this.
  • He is reviewing Third Quarter Bank Statements for all Associations.
  • He asked that under New Business that we approve the purchase of two additional voting machines.
  • He mentioned that he had been asked by an association to increase from $10,000 the Administrative Expense limit. This should also be brought up under New Business.

Vice President Ordway reported:

  • He thanked everyone who supported him during the election and he looks forward to working with everyone again this year.
  • He asked that anyone who has not passed up their Oath of Office and Financial Disclosure to do so before leaving.
  • He asked those who have not submitted their Caucus date and location to do so.
  • There is one outstanding county who needs to submit their Legislative Committeeman.
  • He asked that the Convention Committee appointments be reviewed to insure that those assigned are able to perform their duties.
  • Unfortunately, we have one association that did not submit their Pink/Blue forms on time and will not be seated at next year’s convention, Glassboro.
  • There was a 100% response in submitting the Third Quarter Relief Forms.
  • He reminded everyone of the forms that are due in January and February.
  • He stated that the Officer’s Listing Report, Annual Financial Statement and Green Sheets will be mailed out shortly to all Associations.

Vice President Ordway reported (continued):

  • Included in today’s packet are meeting dates for next year.
  • He stated that Bruce Horvath was elected at the Special Caucus as Home Manager from Middlesex County.
  • He concluded by stating that the Special Caucus for Gloucester County will be held on December 7th and that three exec’s have stepped up to work registration that evening.

Secretary’s report: Secretary Finnegan stated that his written report has been distributed, nothing verbal.

Treasurer Osborn reported: Treasurer Osborn stated that his written report has been distributed, nothing verbal.

Field Examiner Kenny reported: Written report has been distributed with the following verbal:

He stated that included in your packet is a list of findings in review of the 381 Relief Applications received during the Field Exams. Please pass this information along to your local associations to insure that they will be in compliance when we do Field Exams for your county.

Counsel Cavallo reported: You received an email stating that we won the appeal on the Carter case which will insure that anyone applying for Relief will be kept confidential.


ADVISORY COMMITTEE – Chairman Osborn stated the report has been distributed, no verbal.

BUILDING COMMITTEE – Vice President Ordway stated there is a handout in your packet updating you on work completed and projected to be worked on and any outstanding items.


FIREMEN’S HOME/MEMORY CARE – Vice President Ordway said at the October meeting they adopted their proposed budget. The proposal for the Memory Care unit was handed out to their members five minutes before voting on it. Included in the budget was $2.3 million to renovate a wing for Memory Care. Early next year they should be able to take in patients with a “pic”.

HEALTH CARE – Chairman Mellert said a copy was distributed.

LEGISLATIVE – First Assistant Secretary Genovay stated the report has been distributed. There has not been a voting session since July 31st. He stated bill 3458 increasing the membership from 21 to 27 on the Fire and Safety Committee was approved.

PENSION – Treasurer Osborn reported that they will have a meeting after this one.

SPECIAL RELIEF – Chairman Mellert said the report has been distributed showing that we have 147 applications totaling $316,732.00 so far this year compared to 90 applications last year, a noticeable improvement.

WEB PAGE – Chairman Mazzarella stated that he is looking to place plans for the new building and photographs on the web keeping the membership updated on the progress. The Compendium and Red Book have been placed on the web page. He encouraged the local associations to do their reports online and make use of the web site.

Committeeman Naylis asked if access to forms could be expanded to include other officers. President Gunson it will be looked into.

APPLICATIONS – An application for membership was received from Bamber Lakes Fire Company # 3 to join Lacey Township, FRA # 451 in Ocean County. They have fulfilled all requirements. A motion was made by Committeeman Hankins that it be approved. Second was made by Committeeman Reeves. Motion carried.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – Jerry Naylis, Committee Chair of the Relief Application Update, thanked all officers and committee people for their input. A discussion followed on wording of the document with all members participating. A motion was made by Committeeman Speigel and seconded by Committeeman Scheuer to approve the changes as presented. Motion approved.

EXECUTIVE SESSION – A motion was made by Committeeman Florio to go into Executive Session for approximately fifteen (15) minutes to discuss Personnel Matters. It was seconded by Committeeman Otterbein. Motion approved at 9:50 A.M. to go into Executive Session for approximately fifteen (15) minutes.

A motion was made by many and seconded by many to come back from Executive Session. Motion approved at 10:00 A.M.

NEW BUSINESS – A motion was made by Committeeman Mellert to nominate Burlington County Committeeman Richard Dreby as Executive Committee Chairman and Monmouth County Committeeman Robert Kelly as Executive Committee Secretary. Second was made by Committeeman Figueroa. As there were no other nominations a vote was taken and they were unanimously elected.

Secretary Finnegan read Resolution #1 referencing Delegate Credentials and Resolution # 2 referencing Exempt Delegate as presented. A motion was made by Committeeman Otterbein and seconded by Committeeman Florio to accept the Resolutions as read. Motion passed.

A motion was made by Committeeman Figueroa to purchase two additional voting machines not to exceed $10 thousand dollars. Motion was seconded by Committeeman Hankins. On a roll call vote, motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Committeeman Lane and and was seconded by Committeeman Hankins to adjust the 2017/2018 salary for the Second Assistant Secretary to $9,493.00. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously.

A motion was made by Committeeman Kelly and seconded by Committeeman Mellert to keep Administrative Expenses at the current maximum of $10,000.00. On a roll call vote the motion was unanimously passed.

Committeeman Lane offered a suggestion to be taken under consideration and discussed at the next meeting about changing the statute that allows the election of the Executive Committee from one year to two years. This would have to be staggered. Committeeman Kelly stated that there is a disparity with the terms of office for the Home Managers as there terms are four year terms to our one. President Gunson said that this would require a statute change. He will appoint a committee in the New Year.

Committeeman Naylis mentioned that a member from Camden recently passed away as a LODD due to complications from 911. He stated that there is not one group to assist the family in a LODD in applying for the Federal benefit. Committeeman Speigel stated that there is a small group within PSOB that assists. Committeeman Naylis suggested that this information be added to our website.

Committeeman Naylis said that with the recently approved Relief Guidelines that they be placed on the website and that outreach programs will be needed to instruct the membership on what is needed on the applications. This may also be accomplished via webinar, slide show, how to do form, etc. In may also be presented at county workshops.

Committeeman Mazzarella asked if the $2.3 million in the Home’s Budget for a Memory Care Wing considered a capital item and was a Feasibility Study done. He was informed by Vice President Ordway that it isn’t considered capital as their description of capital is new construction; if it is within the current building then it is not capital. Regarding a Feasibility Study, VP Ordway stated one was done by the Home; they had a purpose for the study and it was accomplished. The need is there. Our representatives thought that the study could have been done differently.

Committeeman Mazzarella asked why don’t we ever see a “Carryover or Surplus” line on the Home’s budget? Committeeman Naylis stated our representatives suggested looking at outside sources to be more fiscally responsible and we offered a consultant who would do this for no charge and their suggestion was ignored. Committeeman Naylis fears the cost of construction and future costs will grow exponentially. The Home is currently staffed for 92 but only has 65 guests but with the new wing, they will need more staff. Committeeman Otterbein asked was their budget available for review prior to being submitted to the State. We will ask if it can be accommodated.

Committeeman Otterbein asked could someone sign a signature for someone else on the Pink/Blue sheets if the individual was not available to sign themselves? President Gunson said it could be done with the person signing, sign the recipient’s name and then initial after it. Committeeman Reeves suggested that the Pink/Blue sheets be sent to both the local’s association Secretary and Treasurer.

Committeeman Kelly, getting back to the Home Budget, stated that the people with the checkbook don’t have any say in the Home Budget. It is an insult to the Executive Board that we have no say in their expenses when we are expected to fund it. He suggested having a discussion on this at the February meeting and looking into the possibility of a change in the State Statute.

Committeeman Naylis said that he and the Vice President attended a meeting last night and a secretary of a local association asked if more information can be looked at online for their local members. He was advised that most of the information is available to the secretary.

A motion was made by Committeeman Scheuer that Glassboro Association not be seated at next year’s convention due to late filing of the Pink/Blue sheets. It was seconded by Committeeman Reeves. On a roll call vote, motion carried.

GOOD OF THE ORDER – Committeeman Mellert suggested going to a one day convention to be held at Rutgers and moving from Wildwood. President Gunson said this would have to be looked into.

Committeeman Speigel thanked Secretary Finnegan for his help in getting the new badges.

Committeeman Lenarski stated he will not be sending Christmas cards this year but will instead be making a donation to the Coast Guard Academy and wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Vice President Ordway thanked everyone for the cards for his wife after her recent surgery. He too will not be sending Christmas cards but will be making a donation to the Bergen Firemen’s Association and wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

President Gunson thanked everyone for the cards sent to both he and his wife after their recent medical issues.

ADJOURNMENT – A motion was made by Committeeman Walker to adjourn. A second was made by Committeeman Florio. Motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 A.M.

Respectfully submitted,


Secretary, NJSFA



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