Monday, August 3rd, 2020
   

Abridged Report Executive Committee Meeting

Abridged Report with Attachments

ABRIDGED REPORT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION

VIRTUAL MEETING ORIGINATING FROM WALL TOWNSHIP NJ

May 16,2020

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.

A Moment of Silence was observed for our deceased members and everyone was also asked to remember President Emeritus Ernest Greenwald who is hospitalized. Also remember Treasurer Barry Osborn, Executive Committeemen Dan Scheuer, and Andy Mazzarella in your thoughts for a continued speedy recovery.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held. First Assistant Secretary Brian Martone announced that all members were present or online.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

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.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Abridged Minutes and Verbatim Minutes of the February 22, 2020 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Figureoa seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane. Motion Carried.

COMMUNICATIONS:

Secretary Pelaia announced the following: All communications received were forwarded to the Officers and the Executive Committee and will be made part of the record.

A Motion was made by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein. To accept the communications. Passed

OFFICERS REPORT:

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

1) Packets for this meeting were mailed out on Monday May 11, 2020. If anyone did not receive a packet, please let Secretary Pelaia know.

2) Proof of Claim forms for the Burial Benefit (Forms 301-302-and 303) are now being sent to the secretaries via e-mail. This should help in expediting the process for payments.

3) Executive Committeeman Handlin asked what the $3,354.06 expense from the Storm Damage to the building that the Insurance Company did not cover was for. Vice President Hankins explained it was for the deductible and for the clean- up of the property which was not covered by insurance.

4) Executive Committeeman Kurdyla inquired about a meeting with Senator Doherty about the change in the statute for the age. Vice President Hankins said that they have not met with him yet but are anticipating one soon. Executive Committeeman Kurdyla offered to assist with this. Executive Committeeman Mellert said that he visited Senator Doherty’s Office to arrange a meeting with him and the Senator has been overwhelmed with Covid-19 issues.

Secretary’s Report: Secretary Pelaia had no written report due to the limited action due to the current pandemic. His verbal remarks are:

1) There are 2 resolutions in your packet that need to be voted on under New

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

2) There is a list in your packets notifying which counties have Firemen’s Home

Manager Elections this year.

3) We received no resolutions to the Convention submitted by the deadline date. Therefore, there will be no Resolutions at the Convention

Secretary’s Report continued:

4) Delegate Cards and replacement Life Member Cards for the Convention are in the process of being made and will be sent out to the local secretaries prior to the office closing for summer break at the end of June.

5) He reminded everyone that all changes to Delegates and Alternates must be submitted to the State Office by August 31.

First Assistant Secretary Report: No Report

Second Assistant Secretary Report: No Report

Treasurer Report: Treasurer Osborn reported that due to the current Covid-19 virus the auditors have not been able to meet and issue the current Financial Report. He will forward it to the Executives when it is completed.

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

1) the Field Exams have been cancelled and hopefully we will be able to do them this fall. Relief Applications for the Associations that were scheduled, have been collected by the Executives and are being reviewed in the office. Some of the Applications have been finished and returned. He thanked everyone for their cooperation. He asked the Executives when they return them to their Associations that they review the results with them.

Counsel Cavallo reported: His report was sent to all the Executive Committee and Officers

President’s Report: The President had no written report due to the limited action due to the current pandemic. His verbal remarks are:

1) The State Office will be closed on May 25th for the Memorial Day Holiday.

2) Congratulations to all Local Officers and Executives for having 100% of the 2019 Membership Reports, 2019 Financial Reports, First Quarter Relief Reports, and the 2020 Delegates Report received on time. At this time, we only have one Association not being seated at Convention this year.

3) He asked if the Executives have missing Email and phone numbers for the Local Officers please get them to Secretary Pelaia.

4) With any of online reports, if anyone has a problem, no matter how minor it may seem do not hesitate to call the office so that we can assist you in having the problem corrected. We do a lot of BETA testing but that never catches every issue or problem. The website is a work in progress. There is more to come

5) Last year’s 3RD Quarter Relief Paid Report had 82 manually completed submissions and this year’s 1st Quarter Relief Reports we are down to 46. President Ordway reminded everyone effective with the fourth quarter reporting that it will be mandatory that they be submitted online.

6) He stated that we have received 390 copies of IRS Form 990. There are approximately 150 to go. He also reminded everyone that effective next year the IRS is requiring all 990 submissions to be done online. The IRS will not accept them by US Mail.

7) The President gave year to date comparisons for Healthcare, and Special and Supplemental Relief (see attached sheet). As he previously stated that we will probably have to change the percentage split on Insurance Check next year. These preliminary numbers reaffirm that statement and we will keep everyone advised.

8) The president acknowledged that many members continue to use bankstatements@njsfa.com and localreports@njsfa.com to submit documents and encouraged everyone to use those methods to submit their documents.

9) The President thanked MONOC for their donation of their 911 Memorial. MONOC went out of business and this memorial is a piece of 911 steel and through the efforts of Executive Committeeman Kelly they donated it to us and Vice President Hankins made the arrangements and It now stands in our lobby.

10) He also reminded everyone that there was a memo in their packet reminding the Executives of the counties that will have manager elections at their caucus this year. They are Camden, Monmouth, Salem, Somerset, and Warren. Also, there may be 1 more for an unexpired term.

11) President Ordway also reminded everyone the “Gift from Captain Buscio Program and Deborah Hospital have parted ways. He emphasizes that both programs are still doing physicals for firefighters and you need to contact which ever one you wish to go to.

12) Back in April we found out that FEMA was not going to reimburse Firefighters who had to quarantine themselves in a Hotel/Motel due to COVID-19 exposure. We developed a program to reimburse those costs and reviewed it with the Advisory Committee. FEMA originally recommended 11 days and are now recommending 14 days. Under New Business we will be asking you to affirm the creation of this program and modifying it to 14 days.

13) President Ordway informed everyone that all the current Officers are running for office again and he asks everyone to support them so that we can continue to move the Association in a positive direction.

14) During New Business we will be voting on the Field Examiner and both Counsel and Assistant Counsel.

16) On May 1 we wired May 1 $11,843.000 to the Firemen’s Home for the 2020-2021 budget, a decrease of about $400,00 and on May 15 we wired $16,629,993.86 to 538 Local Associations an increase of about $1,300,000 over last year. 39 Associations received subsidy this year.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

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

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: No Report

DELEGATE AND LIFE MEMBER COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Kelly reported that there is a report in your packet. There will be a recommended increase in the Delegate and Life Member allowance and that will be brought up under new business

FINANCE COMMITTEE: Treasurer Osborn reported that the report has been deferred until such time that the members of the committee can meet in a safe environment. He also mentioned that the Actuarial report has also been deferred due to the same circumstances.

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 Hugh Flood notified the Managers that he will be retiring August 1, 2020. He also mentioned that the 2 individuals who worked in the Finance Office at the home will also be retiring at the same time. He reviewed the following items in his report:

He mentioned that operations at the Home are slowly returning to normal and the Home is still under quarantine. Regarding the construction of the Dementia Ward there are still issues with the construction of the access bridge between the old and new building. There are no applications pending currently. There was a Search Committee formed to hire a new Superintendent and for the other 2 employees who are retiring. There were questions as to is there going to be an audit by an independent auditing firm with the retirement of the Superintendent and the finance department employees. John Veras the Bergen County Manager has been appointing Acting Assistant Superintendent. In his report he informed everyone that the response to our inquiry regarding the percentage increase in the salaries were answered by the Managers and he asked that everyone read them. That was the conclusion of his remarks. Executive Committeeman Handlin asked if several guests left the home to go reside with their families and the answer was yes. Executive Committeeman Handlin then asked if they can just return to the home or do, they need to re-apply, Chairman Otterbein did not know but will find out for him. Executive Committeeman Handlin then asked if we ever received the salary increases at the home over the past 3 years. He was informed that we have not received it, but everyone was e-mailed a copy of the budget and we do have copies of past budgets, but no further information was received. Executive Committeeman Kelly then inquired about the hiring of a new Superintendent. He states that the past Superintendent was not a licensed Health Care operator and if in their search they will require the new Superintendent to be licensed. His reasoning is that with a Dementia Unit going in that someone should be licensed. President Ordway remarked that it is not a requirement and to his knowledge they have not said that it would be a requirement.

HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE: Written report has been distributed. Also in your packet is a proposal to increase the benefit to $5,000.00 per month. This will be discussed and voted on under New Business. Also, it was mentioned that the program being made available to spouses is still being considered, but we are not ready to move on it as of yet.

LEGISLATIVE: First Assistant Secretary Martone stated the report has been distributed. He also mentioned that the Annual Legislative Committee Meeting was cancelled and has not been rescheduled yet. President Ordway stated that he and Vice President Hankins met with Assemblyman Burzichelli prior to the Covid 19 outbreak and he was receptive to our pending legislation.

Long Range Planning Committee: No Report

PENSION COMMITTEE: No Report

RESOLUTION COMMITTEE: There were no Resolutions submitted for this years Convention

SALARY COMMITTEE: Salary Committee report is in your packet a recommendation will be made under New Business.

FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION – Executive Committeeman Naylis who is a member of the Commission reported on the Commission. He stated that there was no meeting in March and a virtual meeting will be held next week.

APPLICATIONS: None currently. President Ordway mentioned that Hamilton Township in Mercer County is going forward with their consolidation and it will probably be ready by the first of the year.

OLD BUSINESS:

1) As everyone was aware of the Field Exams were cancelled. The Counties that were involved should have been notified by their Executive Committee member that their Relief Applications should have been given to them to forward to the State Office for their review.

NEW BUSINESS:

1) A motion was made by Executive Committee Mazzarella, seconded by Executive Committeeman Mellert to re-appoint James Kenny to the position of Field Examiner for the 2019-2020 term. Passed 21-0.

2) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kelly, seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane to reappoint Frank Cavallo as Counsel, and George Morris as Assistant Counsel for the 2019-2020 term. Passed 21-0

3) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Scheuer and seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein to adopt a resolution to requisition the funds from the State Treasurer for the 999 account. Passed 21-0

4) President Ordway said that the Budget for 2020-2021 was distributed. Executive Committeeman Otterbein seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane to accept the budget as presented. Executive Committeeman Lenarski asked if the Burial Benefit was going to be increased. President Ordway responded not at this time. He stated that this year we hope to increase the Health Care benefit to help those still living, with their care. On a Roll Call Vote passed 19-2

5) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Fazekas, seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein to accept the Salary Proposed effective October 1, 2020 as presented. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 21-0

6) A Motion by Executive Committeeman Kelly, seconded by Mr. Florio to increase the Delegates Allowance $26.00 and Life Members $13.00. On a Roll Call Vote passed 20-1.

7) A motion by Executive Committeeman Figueroa and seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheurer to adopt an increase in the Health Care Program to up to $5,000.00 per month beginning July 1, 2020. Executive Committeeman Handlin questioned if the budget could handle the increase. President Ordway said it could.

Executive Committeeman Naylis then asked if this should be referred to the Long Range Planning Committee since it a large increase and that there was other items relative to the Health Care program that they were looking at such as spouses being included. He feels that we should not rush into things and should have the Long-Range Planning Committee investigate this further. Vice President Hankins responded that in speaking with Field Examiner Kenny there are few members taking advantage of the full amount and that there are the funds to cover this increase. Executive Naylis responded that some insurance companies are giving discounts at this time due to the down turn of the economy and that may affect our 2% monies in the future and that is why he is recommending that the Long Range Planning Committee review this. He does not want to have a situation whereby we would have to walk back this increment. Executive Lenarski also agreed that he did not want to see us walk this back if necessary and that it should be studied more. Executive Committeeman Kelly said he was originally in favor of this, but after hearing the comments he too would like to see it studied some more. Executive Committeeman responded as Chairman of the Health Care Committee that at this time this increase only pertains to members of the Association and there is enough funds to go forward with the increase. Executive Committeeman Spiegel, Chairman of the Long-Range Planning Committee said he also agrees with Executive Committeeman Naylis that his committee should review it. President Ordway noted that this was discussed by the Health Care Committee and they feel that this is sustainable.

On a Roll Call Vote Passed 16-5.

8) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Mellert, seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio to amend the Covid-19 reimbursement to those members who need to quarantine in a Hotel/Motel from 11 to 14 days at $100.00 per day. Second Assistant Secretary Dreby commented that this reimbursement should be secondary to any other reimbursement such as FEMA. President Ordway responded that this program is secondary. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 21-0.

9) Executive Committeeman Kurdyla inquired if there is any information regarding Caucuses and Convention. President Ordway responded that there is a meeting scheduled this week with the Officers and Chairman of the Executive Committee John Lane to discuss this and Counsel Cavallo is looking into the State Statutes regarding the Caucuses and Convention. Further information will be coming by the end of May. He reminded everyone that we do not have any control over anything other than our convention in Wildwood. The Motels, Restaurants and the like are private enterprises and we have no control on what they do.

10) Salary Committee Chairman Phillips stated they have a committee meeting Thursday May 20 and if anyone has any suggestions or input to contact him before the meeting.

GOOD OF THE ORDER:

1) President Ordway thanked everyone who participated in the meeting and apologized for any “hiccups” that occurred with this Virtual Meeting. The officers are looking at improving this type of meeting if we need to do it again. He also asked everyone to keep Ernie, Dan, Andy, and Barry in their thoughts.

2) Executive Committeeman Mazzarella and Executive Committeeman Scheuer thanked everyone for their well wishes while they were ill.

3) Executive Committeeman Mellert thanked everyone for assisting in bringing the meeting into the “Space Age”

ADJOURNMENT: On a motion by Executive Committeeman Florio, seconded by Executive Committeeman Figueroa the meeting was adjourned at 10:33am.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas J. Pelaia

Secretary

 
 
 

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