Tuesday, July 23rd, 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.

President Ordway asked for a moment of silence. He asked everyone to remember President Emeritus Greenwald who could not be with us today, Vice President Hankins, Executive Committeeman Scheur and Mazzarella for continued recovery. For the Family of Executive Committeeman Fazekas whose father passed away, and the family of Former Executive Committeeman the late Joe Liberton on the passing of his wife Elizabeth. And all First Responders and members of the Armed Services for their safety.

Executive Committeeman Mellert gave the invocation.

OATH OF OFFICE: Counsel Cavallo swore in the Officers and Executive Committee for their current term.


Roll call was held. First Assistant Secretary Brian Martone announced that all members were present except for Treasurer Osborn and President Emeritus Greenwald who were excused. Also present was Past Present Frank Gunson, Past Secretary Sanford Weinberger and William Smith, President of the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs Association and 9 others.


The Abridged Minutes and Verbatim Minutes of the September 12, 2020 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Handlin seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheuer. Motion Carried.


Secretary Pelaia said there was no current Communications other than those in your packet. A motion was made to accept the correspondence submitted, by Executive Committeeman Fazekas seconded by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla. Motion carried.

LIFE MEMBERS: A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Lane and seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein to grant Life Membership to all members who attained it at this year’s caucuses /convention. Motion Carried. A list of those members is being prepared and will be distributed to all Associations.


Vice President Hankins report: He had no written report but reported the following:

1) He thanked everyone for their assistance at the caucuses this year while he was not available due to his surgery

2) He and Second Assistant Secretary Dreby met with Senator Singleton regarding the age bill. Senator Singleton stated that the bill will probably go to committee in December. He also mentioned that there is a report in your folder with the number of over-age applications that we received awaiting enactment of the bill.

3) He asked all Executives to send him the dates, time, and places for their 2021 Caucuses so that he can put them on the website.

4) He asked the Executives to review the pension paperwork in their folders and if there are any errors that they notify him right away.

5) He along with Executive Committeewoman Hollingsworth met with Barnegat Light Fire Department regarding joining the Association. It was productive. He encourages all members of the Executive Committee to seek out any Fire Department who are not members of our Association and meet with them regarding joining.

6) The Health Care Form 114 has been updated to include spouses. We will also be repopulating our data base to add in the deceased members Line Numbers for assisting Local Secretaries when filling out both Health Care and Relief Applications.

Secretary’s Report: He had no written report but reported the following:

1) We are running out of Life Member pins. An RFQ was sent out to 5 vendors with 3 sending in quotes and a sample pin. All samples were identical, so we went with the low bidder and ordered 2500 pins.

2) With the requirement that certain forms only be submitted via the web site, we are putting tutorial videos on the web site to show the local officers on the proper way to submit them. The first tutorial is online which is for Quarterly Relief Reports. We anticipate having tutorials posted for Officer Listing submissions and Report of Delegates Elected posted within a week or 2.

3) We are working closely with Executive Committeeman Lenarski and Past President Gunson on the Hamilton Township Consolidation of Associations.

First Assistant Secretary Report: No Report

Second Assistant Secretary Report: He reported the following:

1) He stated that we are moving in the direction to make our Law Library digital.

2) He attended a meeting with Senator Singleton and Vice President Hankins regarding the age bill.

Treasurer Report: No Report

Field Examiner Report: His report is in your packet. He has 2 verbal items:

1) There is an IRS bulletin that requires Form 990 to be submitted online in 2021. Form 990EZ will be required to be submitted online in 2022.

2) The IRS has also sent out letters to Associations stating they have not filed their 2019 990 yet. Apparently, due to the current Covid situation the IRS is backlogged entering the receipt of those returns. A computer program then looks to see who is not entered and generates the letter. Jim spoke to the IRS and they said anyone receiving the letter should follow the instructions on the letter and forward a copy of the letter to the State Office.

3) He notified everyone that since we could not do Field Exams this year due to Covid, we are anticipating doing the 2020 exams in the spring and the 2021 exams in the fall. This is contingent on the status of the Covid virus.

Counsel Cavallo reported: No Report.

President’s Report: He had no written report but reported the following:

1) He reminded everyone that the office will be closed on November 26th & 27th for the Thanksgiving Holiday and will also be closed beginning December 23rd and will reopen on January 4th for the Winter Break. The office will also be closed on January 18th for Martin Luther King Day and February 15th for Presidents Day

2) All IRS 990s have been received, all Convention vouchers have been received and all 3rd Quarter Relief Reports have been received on time. Only 24 Local Associations did their 3rd Quarter Relief reports manually and each local was sent an e-mail reminder that it is mandatory online for the 4th Quarter.

3) He reviewed the schedule for reports that will be mailed out and their due dates for the beginning of the year.

4) He then spoke about the new Computer updates: OFFICER LISTINGS – This report must be done online. Also, edits to existing information can be made on each line without having to enter the entire Officers information. Quarterly Relief Reports – We are in the process of restoring the detail information for members who passed away prior to 1985. This will help when reporting relief paid to widows so that relief can be entered easily on the website. WEBSITE – There are 2 new tabs on the website. They are Annual Memorial Service and the other is Form Submission Tutorials. The Annual Memorial Service will now be videotaped and posted on the website. This begins with the 2020 Memorial Service and will continue in the future. The Form Submission Tutorials are videos of how to submit reports online. There are presently 2 videos available and several more are planned to be available by the end of the year. Health Care Reimbursement – Applications are now updated to include Spouses and Qualified Surviving spouses which will begin in January. The computer system is now being upgraded to track the type of recipient ( Member or Spouse). Annual Financial Report – the import of Relief Recipients is still being worked on but will probably not be available until next year. In the meantime, Treasurers should be able to print out a year to date Relief Report and attach it as Insert B.

5) He reminded Secretaries to notify the office promptly of any changes to local officers information especially change in phone numbers and E-Mail addresses.

6) A reminder that anyone having a problem with submitting reports on-line should call the State Office so that we can identify the problem and get it corrected.

7) A reminder that the following reports will become mandatory to submit them online as of January 2021. THEY ARE: Officer Listing, Quarterly Relief Report, Initial Notice of Death (Form 300), Maintenance Forms and Report of Convention Delegates Elected (both Relief and Exempt). He also reminded everyone that on the Officer Listing Reports and Report of Delegates Elected, that a member’s line number should only appear once on these reports ( Delegate, Alternate and Chief). 8) He mentioned the following statistics: Special Relief increased 100%, Supplemental Relief increased 12.36%and Healthcare is up 366%.

9) He reminded everyone that last November it was mentioned that we probably will have to change the Insurance check percentage split this May. We will keep everyone advised as we get closer to the date. 10) Based on the current vaccine reports for Covid 19, we are anticipating that we will have a normal Caucus season and Convention in 2021. As things develop, we will keep everyone informed. Dates for the 2021 Convention will be September 17-18. 2021.


ADVISORY/ SPECIAL / SUPPLEMNTAL COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Mellert stated that a change in the relief scale will be voted on under new Business.

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Lane reported the committee met and the minutes are in everyone’s packet and will be attached to these minutes Executive Committeeman Naylis then said that he was disappointed that the committee did not increase the amount of drills allowed on the Membership Report percentages. He feels that training is an important part of the Fire Service and that he feels that they should be recognized


FINANCE COMMITTEE: The Finance Committee Report has been submitted (attached to the minutes)

HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE: The Report has been submitted. We have received many cards and letters of appreciation from the members and families involved.

Investment Committee: President Ordway formed this new committee in response to questions asked at the last meeting during the Public Session. Executive Committeeman Handlin is the chairman. Executive Committee Handlin said that the committee did not meet yet but will be meeting soon. Executive Committeeman Otterbein asked what the difference is in the Finance Committee and the Investment Committee. President Ordway explained that the Finance Committee reviews the Payments made and to whom. The Investment Committee will review where our money is invested and make recommendations accordingly. Executive Committeeman Kurdyla inquired if the Executive Committee will get a report from the investment committee. President Ordway said “ABSOLUTELY”.

LEGISLATIVE: The Junior Firefighters Bill was signed by the Governor, As reported previously, we are meeting with legislators regarding the age bill. The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee will be meeting on December 10, and we are pushing that the bill be heard in committee that day. There will be a Legislative Committee Meeting on December 3 via Zoom. The link to the meeting will be posted on our website. Vice President Hankins mentioned that there is a report in your folders with the number of over-age applications that we have received awaiting the enactment of the bill. Executive Committeeman Naylis asked what happens to a member whose application that has been received and waiting for the Statute to be changed. Is there any issue with the physical expiring? President Ordway responded that the date the application was stamped received by our office is the date that the member will be admitted to the Association. Executive Committeeman Scheuer inquired how the percentages will calculated while the applications are being held for these members. President Ordway responded that the secretaries should keep track of those percentages and hold them until the statute is passed. At that time, they will be notified to send us their percentages via a Maintenance Form.

LONG RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE: Chairman Speigel reported. that there will be a meeting within the next month on some issues that he received,

PENSION COMMITTEE: Vice President Hankins reported for Treasurer Osborn that the committee met this morning, and they issued to the Executive Committee, Officers and employees their pension information. They are to review them and get back to him or Treasurer Osborn with any mistakes that need to be corrected.



FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION – Chairman Naylis reported that all DFS meetings are cancelled for the time being due to Covid 19. CEU Classes are being given online.

He also stated that the Division is still requiring that Life Hazard Uses (LHU) must be inspected by the end of the year. The State will withhold funding if these inspections are not completed

FIREMEN”S HOME COMMITTEE – Chairman Otterbein reported that although he has no written Report, he has some verbal items. A new Chairman of the Board of Managers was elected. The new Chairman of the full Board of Managers is Anthony Frato from Sussex County and the new Vice Chairman is Anthony Grenci from Essex County. The Budget for the 2021-2022 year was passed at their November meeting. Executive Committeeman Handlin who was on the meetings conference call reported that there has been some new legislation passed which affects the Home. He asked Superintendent Veras for a copy of them and he said he will forward them to him. He said that President Ordway who was also on the call asked a question regarding the surplus. It was mentioned that is retained for the following years budget. The current census at the Home is 42 guests and there are 8 people on the waiting list for the Memory Care Unit. He then brought the members up to date regarding the resignation of Manager Oser from Hudson County. He stated that he received a call that Manager Oser was resigning from the Board. Executive Committeeman Handlin reached out to Manager. He then notified President Ordway of Manager Oser’s resignation and President Ordway asked Committeeman Handline to see if anyone from his County would be interested in the position. Committeeman Handlin sent an E-mail to all 12 of his Associations, He received a response from Past President Heflich who said he was interested. He did receive a call from a Jersey City member and Committeeman Handlin reached out to him and he received no response back. Committeeman Handlin then talked with Past President Heflich several times and then sent President Ordway an e-mail stating that the only person interested was George Heflich. Committeeman Handlin then recommended that President Ordway appoint George Heflich as the interim Manager. President Ordway then appointed George Heflich as interim Manager. Prior to the Board of Managers Meeting of October 12, the Home received a letter from Manager Oser rescinding his resignation. Much discussion followed.

APPLICATIONS: President Ordway received a call from Executive Committeeman Badger stating that Fire Department in Estelle Manor is up and running again. He will be entertaining a motion under new business to reinstate them on January 1, 2021 provided that their paperwork is in order.


1) President Ordway informed everyone that under New Business we will be voting on the consolidation of the Hamilton Township’s Relief Associations.

2) President Ordway also mentioned that Vice President Hankins and Executive Committeewoman Hollingsworth met with Barnegat Light FD to hopefully begin the process of that Department joining our Association.

3) President Ordway informed everyone that we will probably be voting at our next meeting for the removal of a member.

4) There is also an investigation ongoing about 2 members who received payment for attending the convention who did not actually attend.


1) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Otterbein, Seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheuer Handlin to have the Secretary cast 1 ballot for the election of Executive Committeeman John Lane as Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Passed 21-0

2) ) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Lenarski, Seconded by Executive Committeeman Handlin to have the Secretary cast 1 ballot for the election of Committeeman Robert Kelly as Secretary of the Executive Committee. Passed 21-0

3) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kelly seconded by Executive Committeeman Fazekas to accept Resolutions 1 and 2 which call for Associations to elect Delegates and Alternates to the Convention and Exempt Associations to Elect a Delegate and Alternate to the 2021 Convention. Passed 21-0

4) A motion by Executive Committeeman Naylis, seconded by Executive Committeeman Speigel to have the President and Vice President attend the 2021 CFSI Dinner in Washington, DC and the 2021 League of Municipalities Convention in Atlantic City On a Roll Call Vote Passed 21-0

5) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Speigel, seconded by Committeeman Florio to accept the recommendation from the Compendium Committee that no member can hold 2 Local Officer Positions in an Association. Passed 21-0

6) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Speigel, seconded by Committeeman Roemmich to accept the recommendation from the Compendium Committee that 9999 Chiefs and Exempt Delegates receive credit towards Life Membership Passed 21-0

7) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Walker, seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio to accept the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to increase the Relief Scale effective January 1, 2021. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 21-0

8) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Fazekas, seconded by Executive Committeewoman Hollingsworth to reinstate Estelle Manor Relief Association provided that their Application and Paperwork are in order. Passed 21-0

9)A statement (attached) was made by Executive Committeeman Lenarski regarding the Consolidation of Fire Companies in Hamilton Township A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Lenarski seconded by Executive Committeeman Phillips to accept 2 new Companies into the Hamilton Township Relief Association #186 and the consolidation of the remaining 4 Associations.. The new Career Company will be Company 5 and the New Volunteer Company will be Company 6. Passed 21-0

10) President Ordway the advised the Executive Committee that Field Examiner Kenny is not a Life Member. Mr. Kenny has attended over 20 conventions as a worker or as Field Examiner but was never a Delegate. The Compendium Committee recommends that Mr. Kenny be awarded Life Membership similar to the way Officers and Members of the Executive Committee who are not Life Members get awarded Life Membership upon taking office. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Mellert, seconded by Executive Committeeman Speigel to grant Life Membership to Field Examiner Kenny. Passed 21-0

11) Executive Committeeman Naylis stated that he has received calls from Associations informing him that due to Covid that they could not hold 5 meetings. President Ordway informed everyone that if an Association cannot meet due to Covid that the Local Secretary enter into the Secretary’s Minutes Book that the meeting was cancelled due to the pandemic.


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.

Michael Cleary, Treasurer of the Jersey City Firemen’s Relief Association inquired why the abridged minutes of the last Executive Committee was not on the website. This was overlooked and the minutes will be put on the website on Monday.

James Bainbridge of the Pennington Firemen’s Relief Association asked if a generic letter was going out regarding overage applications. These were sent out and we will send him another copy. He also asked if they should write in the names and percentages of overage members whose applications are being held in the office on the Active Membership Reports. The answer is NO. Local Secretaries should keep the records internally and when the statute is passed and becomes law, we will issue them a Line Number and at that time the Local Secretaries can forward that information to us,

There were no further public comments.


1) President Ordway thanked all committees and the Executive Committee for their participation today. We got a lot accomplished. He hopes that future meetings will be held here at the office. He then wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays.

2) He mentioned that all the current State Officers will be running for reelection this year

3) Executive Committeeman Fazekas thanked everyone for their condolences on the passing of his father .

4) Executive Committeeman Otterbein asked if we could ask for CORRECT E-MAIL addresses when we send out the Officer Listings. President Ordway responded to him saying that we are aware of the problem issue and we will be asking for CORRECT E-MAILS.

5) Executive Committeeman Kelly remarked that what makes this Association great is how the Officers and Executive Committee come together and can discuss, disagree, and resolve issues together.

6) Vice President Hankins mentioned that the Officers Listings can now be edited line by line rather than having to enter everything again for a simple change

ADJOURNMENT: On a motion by Executive Committeeman Florio seconded by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla the meeting was adjourned at 11:10am.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas J. Pelaia



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