Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

1711 Route 34 South
Wall Township, New Jersey

Phone (732) 798-8137
Toll Free 1-800-852-0137
Fax (732) 938-2580

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Abridged Report Executive Committee Meeting

Abridged Report with Attachments




The meeting was called to order by President Ordway at 9:00A.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 website as required pursuant to the provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act (Chapter 231, P.L. 1975). The fire exits were pointed out.

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

Prior to Executive Committeeman Mellert giving the invocation a moment of silence was observed for Mary Phillips, mother of John Phillips who passed away on May 16, Former Executive Committeeman and Home Manager Charles Voorhees who passed away on February 26 and prayers for Past Executive Committeeman Neil Gallo who is hospitalized.


Roll call was held. First Assistant Secretary Brian Martone announced that all members were present with the exception of Committeeman John Phillips who is excused, and George Morris Esq. from Parker McKay was present representing Assistant Counsel Stacy Moore. Also in attendance were Past Secretary Kevin Finnegan and Past Executive Committeemen Kenneth Wigglesworth and Thomas Miller


President Ordway opened the meeting to public comment and asked First Assistant Secretary Martone to read the following: The New Jersey State Firemen’s Association welcomes comments from the members of the audience. He further stated the secretary will note all comments and that because of this he asked 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.

There was no Public Comment.


The Abridged Minutes and Verbatim Minutes of the February 23, 2019 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Scheuer seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane. Motion Carried.


Secretary Pelaia announced the following Communications that were entered into the record:

A Letter from the Aberdeen Relief Association regarding the increase in age for admittance.

A motion was made to accept the correspondence and Communications by Executive Committeeman Mazzarella, seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio. Motion carried:


Vice President Hankins report: In addition to his written report his verbal remarks were:

1) Caucus worksheet is included in everyone’s packet. There are a couple of changes that have to be made and he will send everyone a revised worksheet.

2) The new Laptops for Caucuses and Convention and the New Servers have been received and tested. A new software program for printing of the delegate and life member cards needed to be purchased to talk to the new servers

Secretary’s Report: In addition to his written report, his verbal remarks are:

There are 2 resolutions in your packet that need to brought up under New

Business for the State Treasurer to release the monies from the 990 account.

First Assistant Secretary Report No Report

Second Assistant Secretary Report: No Report

Treasurer Report: Treasurer Osborn reported that the CPA reports will be sent out to the Executives as soon as they are received. President Ordway mentioned that the Budget will be voted on under new business and also an Actuarial Study.

Field Examiner Report: In addition to his written report, his verbal remarks were:

1) The Relief Assistance Scale is in your packets and will be brought up under New Business.

2) The Field Exams for this year are finished. He stated that the results are much improved over the past audits. He asked that the executives whose counties were audited to please review any deficiencies that they had and continue to follow up with them

Counsel Cavallo reported: Nothing for Open Session

President’s Report: In addition to his written report he reported the following:

1) The old phone number at the Kenilworth Office has been disconnected. If you call that number you will receive a message that the number has been changed. The old fax number will be disconnected on June 1.

2) We have had 3 workshops this year and they were successful. Any Executive Committeeman who would like to have us present one should contact Vice President Hankins.

3) He reminded all that the IRS 990 forms were due to the IRS by May 15. A copy is due in our office by June 14. If an Association has filed an extension then a copy of the extension is due in the office by June 14 also.

4) On May 15,2019, $15,265,389.31 was wired to the Associations. There was one deposit that was rejected by the bank. We are attempting to rectify that. The advices for the payments were mailed out to the Treasurers of the Local Associations.

5) The President is still investigating the use of webinars for instructing local officers on the proper way to submit forms, keep records etc.

6) at the recommendation of the Hudson County Executive Committeeman, the President appointed William Oser to fill the vacancy on the Board of Managers of the Firemen’s Home due to the passing of Manager Voorhees. The Managers position for Hudson County expires this year and an election will be held at their caucus in August.

7) he thanked all members for “Stepping Up” during the recent issue with the State Budget, He stated that the officers met with the FMBA and the IAFF during this time and we will continue to meet with them in the future, We will also be meeting with State Legislators after the State Budget is approved. Committeeman Lane thanked President Ordway and Vice President Hankins for reaching out to the other associations.


ADVISORY/ SPECIAL / SUPPLEMNTAL COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Mellert stated that the reports are in your packet

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: In addition to his written report that was distributed Chairman Lane reported the following:

1) A new Application for Membership has been approved by his committee. He went over it with the Executive Committee, and he is presenting it to the full Executive Committee for approval under New Business

2) He noted that the letter from the Aberdeen Firemen’s Relief Association and they voted that the age should remain the same. Much discussion ensued and Some of the Executives questioned if we knew the number of over age firefighters there are. It was explained to the Executives that all associations do not submit applications for over age members because thet realize that it would be rejected. President Ordway suggested that we send the Local Associations a letter asking them to submit those numbers to us.


FINANCE COMMITTEE: Reports are included in the packets.

FIREMEN’S HOME COMMITTEE: Chairman Otterbein submitted a report that was in everyone’s packet. He reviewed the report and answered questions that the Executives had. He reported that the Bids were opened for the new Memory Care Wing. The Bid was awarded to Belmont Construction at a cost of $5,943,000.00. This is above the original estimate but that estimate was raised to $6,400,000.00 therfore bringing the cost below the estimate. He also mentioned that this price did not include the ingress and egress security system. That cost has yet to be determined..

HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE: Written report has been distributed. Chairman Reeves reviewed the report with everyone.

LEGISLATIVE: First Assistant Secretary Martone stated the report has been distributed. He also stated that the Legislative Committee meeting was held on March 23. He thanked all that assisted him with the meeting; He also mentioned that since the Meeting, Assemblyman Bucco introduced a new bill ACR 232 to protect our funds.

Long Range Planning Committee: Chairman Speigel thanked President Ordway with his assistance in preparing the report that is distributed in your folders. He stated that this committee will be working with other committees since some of the items discussed will cross over to those committees. He also stated that there will be 2 items discussed under New Business which are raising the Burial Benefit to $12,000.00 and raising the Health Care Reimbursement Benefit to $1,000 a month.


RESOLUTION COMMITTEE: 2 Resolutions have been submitted and are in your folders. One was from the Clementon Relief Association and the other was from the Manchester Township Relief Committee. A conference call has been scheduled for May 29 with the Committee to discuss them.

SALARY COMMITTEE: Salary Committee report is in your packet and will be discussed under Executive Session.

WEB PAGE: Chairman Mazzarella reported that since the committee members on the Web Page Committee are also members of the Long Range Planning Committee, that The web Page committee be part of the duties of the Long Range Planning Committee.

FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION – Executive Committeeman Naylis who is a member of the Commission reported on the Commission. Topics were:

1) LEA received their quarterly rebates,

2 New Jersey Weekend at the National Fire Academy is set for Jun 1-2, 2019,

3) The Firefighter Skills portion of Firefighter 1 & 2 is being updated,

4) The commission has been invited to participate with the Wood Products Advisory Council where there is a proposal to allow wood construction up to 18 stories,

5) The IMS is being updated to mirror FEMA’s requirements,

6) Updating the bulletin on Smoke Detector requirements with 10 year batteries,

7) Clarifying Junior Firefighters Training, whereby Junior Firefighters can and should be trained. This should happen in Fire Academies.



1) A status on the Frenchtown Relief Association (out of accord) will be deferred due to Executive Committeeman Phillips not being in attendance.

2) There will be a Workshop in Camden County on Thursday June 20. Anyone wishing to have a workshop should contact Vice President Hankins.

3) The Advisory Committee and Officers interviewed and have chosen the Kaufman Zita Group to be our Government Affairs Representatives. Formal Action will be taken under New Business.

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla and Seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein to go into Executive Session at 9:51am. Motion Passed

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Scheuer seconded by Committeeman Kelly to return to Regular Session at 10:51am. Motion Passed


1) A motion to confirm the non-seating of Port Republic (Atlantic County), Bayonne (Hudson County), and Washington Township (Warren County) was made by Executive Committeeman Speigel, seconded by Executive Committeeman Mellert Motion Passed 20-0

2) A motion by Executive Committeeman Kelly, seconded by Executive Committeeman Roemmich to accept Compendium Committee’s recommendations on the updates to the Application for Membership Passed 20-0

3) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Walker, seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio to accept any member who has 20/50 corrected but was denied in 2019 because their eyesight was not 20/30 corrected. Passed 20-0

4) a Motion was made by Executive Committeeman Speigel, and seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves to confirm the Advisory Committee and Officers decision to hire the Kaufman Zita Group for our Government Affairs Representative at $4,000.00 per month to be our Government Affairs Representative. On a roll call vote passed 20-0.

5) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Minell and seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein to send a Resolution and Requisition to the State Treasure to release the 990 account monies to us. Passed 20-0

6) A motion was made by Executive Committee Lenarski, seconded by Executive Committeeman Mellert to re-appoint James Kenny to the position of Field Examiner for the 2019-2020 Term. Passed 20-0. President Ordway then thanked Jim Kenny for his work especially this past year when the Financial Forms were revised and the internal procedures were changed, so with these revisions he was able to prove all of the reports without the need for help from the other officers. Mr. Kenny remarked that it was only possible with the help of the girls in the office.

7) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Fazekas, seconded by Executive Committeeman Figueroa to appoint Frank Cavallo as Counsel, and George Morris as Assistant Counsel. Passed 20-0

8) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Roemmich, seconded by Executive Committeeman Kelly to increase the Burial Benefit on July 1, 2019 from $11,750.00 “up to” $12,000.00 and the Line of Duty Benefit from $35,250.00 to $36,000.00. Treasurer Osborn felt that there would be no problem raising this benefit by $250.00. Executive Committeemen Lenarski questioned if it would be feasible to raise it higher than $250.00 and Treasurer Osborn felt it should not be raised any higher at this time pending an Actuarial Study. On a Roll Call Vote, Passed 20-0

9) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Naylis, and seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane to increase the Health Care Reimbursement benefit from $700.00 per month up to $1,000.00 per month effective July 1, 2019. There was some further discussion on expanding the benefits to family members. President Ordway stated that the Long Term Planning Committee (see Report) is currently reviewing this. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 20-0

10) A motion by Executive Committeeman Speigel seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheuer to adopt 2019 Relief Assistance Scale. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 20-0.

11) President Ordway said that the Budget for 2019-2020 was distributed. Treasurer Osborn noted that even though we are no longer paying rent since we now own the building, the Occupancy Category is for the maintenance of the new building, ie: Landscaping and Snow Plowing. A Motion was made by Executive Committeeman Mazzarella, seconded by Executive Committeeman Fazekas to accept the budget as presented. On a Roll Call Vote passed 20-0

12) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kelly seconded by Executive Committeeman Lenarski to approve an Actuarial Study be conducted not to exceed $9,000.00, On a Roll Call Vote, Passed 20-0.

13) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Otterbein, seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheuer to accept the Salary Proposed effective October 1, 2019 as presented, On a Roll Call Vote Passed 18-0*

14) President Ordway brought up a topic regarding reducing percentages for Qualification (see attached proposal). He asked all of the Executive Committee to go to their Locals, discuss it with them, and inform their Fire Departments that even if we reduce our requirement to become “Qualified” this does not affect Fire Department/Municipal Requirements. He asked that they bring back some feedback so that we can hopefully change it next year.

15) Executive Committeeman Scheuer asked if there was any word or progress with the State of New Jersey’s Recruitment and Retention Committee. Vice President Hankins received word that he has been appointed to the committee but nothing further,

16) Executive Committeeman Mitchell inquired if there are any expected changes to the rule on appeals to non-seating. There are no plans at this time to change the rule.

  • Executive Committeewoman Badger and Executive Committeeman Speigel had to leave early and were excused


1) Executive Committeeman Mellert thanked the officers for their assistance at his workshop.

2) Executive Committeeman Kelly informed everyone that the Washington Engine Company of Matawan Fire Department is celebrating 150 year Anniversary and would like the Association to present them with a Congratulatory Resolution

3) Executive Committeeman Otterbein thanked everyone for their condolences in the loss of his Mother-in-Law

4) President Hankins is exploring ways for members to receive Cancer Screening similar to the Captain Buscio Physical which we have for Cardio-Vascular disease. More information will follow on this in the future.

5) Executive Committeeman Lenarski thanked everyone for their condolences in the loss of his brother.

ADJOURNMENT: On a motion by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla, seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio the meeting was adjourned at 11:33am.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas J. Pelaia



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