Sunday, May 26th, 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 he asked for prayers for Former Middlesex County Executive Andrew Mazzarella, Sussex County Executive Daniel Scheuer and President Emeritus Ernest Greenwald who are presently ill.

OATH OF OFFICE: Assistant Counsel Morris administered the Oath of Office to Executive Committeeman Otterbein who was excused from the November Meeting.


Roll call was held. First Assistant Secretary Brian Martone announced that all members were present except for Executive Committeeman Andrew Mazzarella, Executive Committeeman Daniel Scheuer and President Emeritus Ernest Greenwald who are excused. Also, in attendance were Past Executive Committeeman Thomas Miller and Past Secretary Sanford Weinberg, Ocean County Legislative Committeeman Jeff Baer and New Jersey State Fire Chiefs Association Vice President William Smith.


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.

  1. Ken Galvich from Port Reading Fire Department spoke regarding Burial Benefit Claim #86696 for Michael Gulick from 1987. He was requesting that the executive Committee revisit this Claim. President Ordway then read a letter that was sent to the Port Reading Secretary in 1987 that the Executive Committee had denied this claim.
  2. The next speaker was Vice President William Smith of the New Jersey State Fire Chief’s Association. He mentioned that this year they are celebrating their 115th He then reminded everyone that they are preparing for our convention in Wildwood in September. They will be sponsoring their Annual Seminar on Thursday September 17 beginning at 8:30am followed by their meeting at 1:00pm. He then reminded everyone of their purpose and the activities planned for this year, especially the Stair Climb on April 4.


The Corrected Abridged minutes and the Verbatim minutes of the November 16, 2019 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed with one correction on a motion by Executive Committeeman Lane seconded by Executive Committeeman Fazekas. Motion Carried.


Secretary Pelaia announced that all communications received were in their packets and there were no new items. Motion was made by Executive Committeeman Otterbein. Seconded by Executive Committeeman Kelly. Motion Carried.


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

  1. Caucus Schedules and locations are in their packets and on the web site, Gloucester County’s location has been changed and he is awaiting on the locations for Bergen County.
  2. Any Executive Committeeman wishing to hold a workshop should contact him with a date and location.
  3. He is working with First Assistant Secretary Martone on the Convention Committees. Convention Committees are being revamped so make sure that your Committee members can perform all jobs at the Convention.

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

  1. He notified everyone that any transfer of members that happened after the Active Membership Reports were printed are being held until all of the Active Membership Reports are submitted and finalized. This is being done to eliminate any confusion as we had in the past.
  2. The Secretary Treasurer Manual is now online. It can be accessed by a tab on the left side of the home page. Once the Manual is accessed you can scroll through the entire manual or click a chapter on the Table of Contents. The manual is continually being updated.

First Assistant Secretary Report: A form is in your packet asking for your convention workers for this year. The number of workers from each county has not changed. It is due back by the next Executive Committee Meeting. The Legislative Committee will remain the same unless an Executive Committeeman wishes to change them.

Second Assistant Secretary Report: No Report

Treasurer Report: Nothing Verbal, Financial Reports are in the packets.

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

  1. The 2020 Field Examination schedule is in your packets. Executives are reminded that their help is needed to make this a success.
  2. As of the close of business yesterday (February 21) there are still 20 Financial Standing Reports not in.
  3. President Ordway also mentioned that beginning 2021 the IRS is making it mandatory that all 990’s must be done online. He reiterated that this is the IRS mandate not the Associations

Counsel Cavallo reported: Nothing for Open Session

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

  1. Reports – when due;
    1. 4th Quarter Relief Paid Reports – 100% in
    2. 2020 Officer Listing – 100% in. Please review them and if there are missing emails and phone numbers, please try and get them and forward them to Secretary Pelaia so that he can add them to our system.
    3. As mentioned before there are 20 Financial Standing Reports still out.
    4. The Active Membership Reports are due by February 28. There are still 118 out
    5. The first quarter ends on March 31 and the 1st Quarter 2020 Relief Reports are due on April 30.
    6. The Convention Delegate forms are due in the office by May 1, 2020
    7. Anyone having trouble with online reports should call the office for assistance.
  2. Website Updates:
    1. There is now a tab for “Executive Committee Use” where you can view Local Association Membership, Relief Officers, the new year to date relief reports and other items for individual Associations.
    2. There is a new tab for Presidents, Vice Presidents and Chiefs to be able to view information concerning their Associations. They cannot make any changes.
    3. Several items have been added to the Secretary and Treasurer Reports Screens.
    4. Secretary / Treasurer Manual tab has been added.
    5. There will be a demonstration regarding the web site changes after the meeting,
  3. As mentioned in past meetings and earlier in this meeting:
    1. There has been a change in the Field Examination Schedule. The rotation is now a 3-year schedule as opposed to a 4-year schedule. We need help from the Executives to make this a success
    2. Once again, we will be collecting 3 years of Relief Reports at the Field Exams to be reviewed in the office and returned.
  4. The fourth Quarter Relief Paid Reports had only 72 manually completed submissions. This is down from 82 last quarter. As a reminder, it will be mandatory to do the reports online and finalize them electronically beginning in 2021.
  5. In 2019 Special Relief increased 272% from 2018, Supplemental Relief increased by 63% from 2018 and Health Care increased over 269% from 2018.
  6. We have had over 330 reports emailed to us so far this year.
  7. Executive Committee Kelly has been involved in getting a piece of 911 steel from MONOC. We will put it in an appropriate place in our Lobby.
  8. There are 5 Home Manager positions up this year.
  9. Deborah Hospital has parted ways with the Captain Buscio Program. If your members want to go to Deborah, they will still be providing physicals for free. You may also want to go to the one of the 4 Captain Buscio sites. Please contact either program directly.


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

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: Chairman reported that everyone received a copy of his report and we will be voting on the 4 items under new business.

DELEGATE AND LIFE MEMBER COMMITTEE: The proposed schedule is in your packet. The committee’s recommendation is that a flat dollar rate increase is proposed. After much discussion it was tabled for more information.

FINANCE COMMITTEE: Reports are included in the packets.

FIREMEN’S HOME - MEMORY CARE: There are 2 reports in your packet. There were 2 meetings so far this year, the second meeting was strictly to do with the Memory Care unit. There was a discussion by the Managers to hire the Architect as a third-party consultant. There was some discussion by the Managers as to why they didn’t hire an Independent party for the job. The explanation was that the job is behind and that it was reasonable to have the person from the Architect’s firm. Chairman Otterbein also mentioned that we sent a letter to the home inquiring as to the large increase in salaries. We have not received a response yet; At the second meeting it was discussed on what type of a Dementia person will the home be able to handle. It was stated that it would be limited. Executive Committeeman Reeves inquired and would like to know what happens to a patient whose condition becomes progressively worse. It is unknown at this time. Executive Committeeman Handlin asked what the next step for us will be. President Ordway stated he will inquire about this and the response to the letter regarding the salaries. Executive Committeeman Handlin then inquired about the hiring of a Medical Director. He was informed that the stipend and affiliated costs will be available at the next Managers meeting.

HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE: Written report has been distributed. Chairman Reeves stated that the applications for Assistance are increasing in number.

LEGISLATIVE: First Assistant Secretary Martone stated the report has been distributed. He also stated that the Annual Legislative Meeting will be April 18 at 9am here at the office. All Executives are invited.

LONG RANGE PLANNING: Chairman Spiegel announced that there will be a meeting in the near future.

PENSION COMMITTEE: Nothing to report


SALARY COMMITTEE: Salary Committee will meet soon and make a recommendation at the next Executive Committee Meeting,

FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION: Chairman Naylis reported that the Junior Firefighter Bill was heard in Senate Committee where they voted to send the bill to the Full Senate where it was voted on and passed. It has now been sent to the Assembly to be voted on and then to the Governor for his signature. There is a possibility that this could be law before the summer. He also thanked the Vice President for attending the Senate Committee hearing.



  1. President Ordway asked Executive Committeeman Phillips if there was any movement with Frenchtown. He said there was none. President Ordway then asked him if he recommends that they become an inactive Company. Executive Committeeman Philips agreed. On a motion made by Executive Committeeman Naylis seconded by Mr. Reeves. Passed 19 yea-0 nay
  2. Anyone wanting a County Workshop should contact Vice President Hankins. Field Exams are scheduled, we need workers, please see Mr. Kenny and The Caucus schedule is in your packet. Please get back to Vice President Hankins if you can work at the Caucuses.
  3. Only 1 association is not seated at the convention so far this year
  4. Executive Committeeman Lenarski asked how the repairs to the building are coming along after the Storm on Halloween. Vice President Hankins said the building has been power washed and that they are awaiting the remainder of the supplies to finish the repairs. Also the company needs to have a constant outdoor temperature to complete the repairs.
  5. Executive Committeeman Naylis said there will be a Benefits Workshop in East Bergen County on Tuesday February 25. All are invited.

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Otterbein and Seconded by Executive Committeeman Naylis to go into Executive Session at 9:50am. Motion Passed

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Scheuer seconded by Committeeman Kelly to return to Regular Session at 10:02am. Motion Passed


  1. Compendium Committee Chairman Lane explained to the Executive Committee that we have received many requests to study the age requirement for admittance to the State Association. A survey was sent out last year and Vice President Hankins reviewed the surveys and presented his findings to the Compendium Committee. The Compendium Committee then voted to approve this and recommended to the Executive Committee that the maximum age of 57 effective February 22, 2020. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Roemmich seconded by Executive Committeeman Philips to approve the Compendium Committee’s recommendation. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 19-0. This must now go to the State Legislature for passage and the Governor for his signature since this in the State Statute.
  2. Compendium Committee Chairman Lane then presented to the Executive Committee a change in the Burial Benefit Scale for unqualified members. Presently the minimum payment goes from $6,000 to 12,000. The new scale goes from $1500.00 and increases by $1500.00 every year until the member is qualified. It was noted that although the first 4 years are lower, the remaining years are higher than the present scale. The Compendium Committee approved this new scale and forwarded it to the full Executive Committee for a vote. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Fazekas and seconded by Executive Committeeman Kelly, to approve the Compendium Committee’s recommendation. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 17-2.
  3. Compendium Committeeman Lane then brought forth that the Compendium Committee discussed that when a Career Firefighter gets laid off which is no fault of his, this is the time he needs relief. The committee feels that the member should stay on the rolls for a period of 1 year beginning with the date his layoff takes effect. The Compendium Committee approved this and forward it to the full Executive Committee. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kelly and seconded by Executive Committeeman Figueroa to approve the Compendium Committee’s recommendation. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 19-0
  4. Compendium Committee Chairman Lane then spoke on Resolution #1 that was passed at the 2019 Convention that asked the Compendium Committee to investigate changing the By-Laws regarding removal from the Association for theft to include theft and malfeasance from a Fire Department/Fire Company. The Compendium Committee approved this at their October Meeting and sent it to our Counsel for wording. The wording has been received from Counsel and approved by the committee. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla and seconded by Executive Committeeman Figueroa to accept the Compendium Committee’s Recommendation. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 19-0.
  5. The Delegate Life Member Committee presented to the Executive Committee the Scale of Allowances for Delegates and Life Members. There was some discussion regarding the proposal. It was determined to have the Committee review it and bring it back for action at the next Executive Board Meeting.
  6. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Handlin seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves to take a full-page ad in the Exempt Ad book this year. On a Roll Call vote Passed 19-0.
  7. President Ordway then spoke about the stipend for Convention workers. Delegates and Life Members receive their convention from the local Association and then submit receipts from the convention in order to lower the threshold for receiving a 1099 at the end of the year. He mentioned that Convention workers who receive their allowance from the State Association cannot submit these expenses because there is no avenue for the State Association to accommodate this. He said that we are looking into having the workers receive their convention allowance paid to them from their Local Association as to what they would receive if they were a Delegate or Life Member so that they then can submit the receipts to their Association to lower the threshold. The State would then give them a stipend for their work at the convention. The stipend will be less than the threshold for the worker to eliminate a 1099. President Ordway reiterated that this is presently being investigated and when a decision is made, he will bring it to the Executive Committee,
  8. President Ordway then stated that we have 2 reports, Financial Standing and Active Membership Reports due later this month and asked for a motion that any Association who does not meet the deadline for these reports will lose their convention privileges for the 2020 Convention.. On a motion made by Executive Committeeman Kelly, seconded by Executive Committeeman Mellert for the Officers take this action. On a Voice vote 19 ayes and 0 nays.
  9. Executive Committee Lane mentioned that Convention Delegates who are Government Employee are to receive a Leave of Absence to attend the Convention. President Ordway mentioned that the State Statute regarding this is on our web page under FORMS. Executive Committeeman Lenarski asked if we can propose that a Board of Education employee can be covered by this Statute. President Ordway said that we can investigate it. Executive Committeeman Otterbein then asked if a letter needs to be given to an employer prior to convention sating that the member is a delegate. There is nothing in the statute stating that, but we do issue a letter at the convention to those who need one stating they attended the convention.
  10. Executive Committeeman Naylis brought up that he received an opinion piece from a person who advises Counties and Municipalities regarding Workers Compensation and the Presumptive Cancer Law. He reminded everyone that if you do fall into his category you are covered by Workmen’s Compensation.
  11. Vice President Hankins mentioned that the Governor is scheduled to present the State budget on February 25. He said that there is talk that he may once again try to use our funds, this time for the broken 911 system. He said that if he does try and do it that we would vigorously oppose it and we will notify everyone to join us in this endeavor.


  1. President Ordway thanked all the committees for their hard work this year. He also aske everyone to Remember President Emeritus Greenwald and Executive Committeemen Mazzarella and Scheuer in their prayers for a speedy recovery. He then mentioned that all of the present officers are going to run for re-election in September.
  2. Executive Committeeman Otterbein thanked President Ordway for excusing him from the last Executive Committee meeting so that he could attend his nephew’s promotional ceremony at Camp Pendleton.
  3. Executive Committeeman Handlin mentioned that Bill Bergen from Hoboken passed away. He is well known throughout the state teaching Fire Prevention and up keeping the Fire Museum in Hoboken.
  4. Executive Committeeman Kelly thanked Secretary Pelaia for preparing 2 Resolutions for his members.
  5. Secretary Pelaia mentioned that three of our Executives were honored over the past few months for the length of service to their Departments, Konrad Mellert (60 Years), Richard Otterbein (50 Years) and John Lane (50 Years).
  6. Executive Committeeman Naylis urged everyone to contact Senator Bucco in support of SCR 33 which protects our funding not being used for the State Budget.
  7. Executive Committeeman Kelly thanked Executive Committee Spiegel for the Challenge Coin that he gave everyone at his retirement dinner from the Wildwood Fire Department. Executive Committeeman Spiegel also thanked President Ordway for attending he Retirement Dinner and everyone for their well wishes.

ADJOURNMENT: On a motion by Executive Committeeman Florio, seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein the meeting was adjourned at 10:53am.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas J. Pelaia



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