Saturday, April 10th, 2021
   

1711 Route 34 South
Wall Township, New Jersey
07727-3934

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Abridged Report Executive Committee Meeting

Abridged Report with Attachments

ABRIDGED REPORT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION

Wall TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY February 27, 2021

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, and Treasurer Osborn for their tremendous contributions to our organization. He also asked all to remember Second Assistant Secretary Dreby’s sister who passed away, and all First Responders and members of the Armed Services for their safety.

Executive Committeeman Mellert gave the invocation.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held. All Officers and Executive Committee members present

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Abridged Minutes and Verbatim Minutes of the November 21, 2020 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Scheuer seconded by Executive Committeeman Fazekas. Motion Carried.

COMMUNICATIONS:

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 Handlin seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane Motion carried.

LIFE MEMBERS: None

OFFICERS REPORT:

Vice President Hankins report: He reported the following:

1) He mentioned that the online Notice of Death page has been updated. This will enable us to begin the paperwork process in a more expeditious manner. He also reminded everyone that the President, Secretary, Treasurer and Chief can file a Notice of Death.

2) 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.

3) He stated that we are updating our personnel files and he will be forwarding updated forms for all Officers, Executive Committee Members. Please make sure that you return them in a timely manner.

Secretary’s Report: He reported the following:

1) He stated that he sent out 5 Requests for Quotes for Convention Badges. He stated that he received 2 quotes and they are in your packets. We will vote to accept the quote under New Business,

2) He stated that he has been assisting local Secretaries and Treasurers with filing reports online. He reminded all that if anyone has a question or problem submitting reports online, they should call the office for assistance.

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

4) He reminded everyone that Convention Resolutions are due into the Office by May 1, 2021.

First Assistant Secretary Report: The Convention Committee workers list will be sent to the Executives in May

Second Assistant Secretary Report: He thanked everyone for their expressions of Sympathy, cards and phone calls on the death of his sister.

Treasurer Report: President Ordway mentioned that the draft of the Financial Reports from the Auditors are in your packet. They have been reviewed and the bound copies will be sent out later this week.

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

1) There is a report in the packets showing what Associations have sent a copy of their bank statements and those who have not.

2) He reminded everyone that the Health Care Program is a reimbursement program. We do not pay 3rd parties. Also, if the Health Care Agency has a dba (doing business as) name, he needs that also. An example is if Visiting Angels in Wall Township has a dba as Wall Health Care, he needs that dba name to check with the state for licensing information.

3) He reminded everyone that the Form 990 must be filed online his year. At this time, you may need an accountant to do a 990 return as the IRS has not given the public the ability to do it online. The 990ez can be done manually and submitted, but that also will be mandated to be done online in 2022. The 990n has always been done online,

4) Field Exams. Due to the pandemic, we did not do field exams in 2020 and we also need to do the 2021 Field Exams. He asked the Executives to see if it would be possible for their Associations if they can come in a Saturday. Vice President Hankins also stated if we went to the counties, we probably would just require the Secretary and Treasurer to attend and not the other officers due to social distancing. 2nd Assistant Secretary also asked that when a check is written if the treasurer can put in the memo area on the check what it was written for (relief etc.).

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 April 2 for Good Friday.

2) All Officer Listings and Quarterly reports have been received on time. There are still 3 Financial Standing reports not received yet and currently there are 32 Membership reports still out with the deadline date of Monday March 1 since February 28 is a Sunday. Convention Delegate Reports are due May 1 and IRS 990s are due to the IRS by May 15 and a copy to our office on June 14.

3) Programming Changes have been done to the Quarterly Reports online. You must have a line number for all entries. There is now a pull-down menu if you do not have a line number to assist you in finding it. This change will enable the Relief recipients and payments to be automatically imported to the Financial Standing Reports. We also have made programming changes to the health care program to enter and receive reports of members and spouses receiving the benefit.

4) He reminded everyone who has a problem entering data with on-line forms should call us immediately. We do have a few “hiccups” when people enter information so you should call us immediately so that we can assist you and get the problem resolved.

5) He reminded Secretaries that on the delegates reports, members should only be listed once. If a member is a delegate, he cannot be an alternate also. Also, the Chief listed on the Officers Listing is automatically the Chief Delegate. The Chief Delegate cannot be changed unless you have a new Chief. Then when you inform us to change the Chief on your Officer listings the new Chief’s name will appear on your delegate Roster.

6) We will be looking at the percentage of manual reports that are submitted. Depending on the numbers of manual reports submitted, we may vote at the May meeting to mandate both Membership and Financial Reports be done online in 2022.

7) Increase in payments for the following programs vs last year are: Health care up 377%, Special Relief up 103%, Supplemental relief up 16% and Burial Benefits up 11.75%. He stated that this year, the percentages of monies distributed to the Associations may change. He stressed that the reason is what just has been stated which are the increases given in the above-mentioned programs.

8) President Ordway then began a discussion on the 2021 Caucuses. He began the discussion by stating that at this time he does not think that restrictions will be totally lifted by August. Depending on the situation come August, will determine if we have a caucus with a meeting, or just a walk through for electing an Executive Committee Member and a Home Manager (Atlantic, Bergen, Gloucester, Ocean and Sussex). He wants the Executive Committee to assess the situation prior to the May Executive Committee meeting, so that it can be discussed further, and a decision made. He would like to see all caucuses use the same format (Meeting or Walk through). He also mentioned that in your packets are copies of the petitions that we used last year. Using the petitions went well and we will be voting under new business to continue the practice. He also mentioned that we will be preparing information packets this year as we did last year, no matter if the caucus has a meeting or walk through. It worked out very well last year and many members requested if it could be done every year.

9) President Ordway then spoke about the Convention. WE WILL BE VOTIING ON GOING TO WILDWOOD ON SEPTEMBER 17-18, 2021 under New Business. The format still needs to be determined due to the status of the pandemic, but at a minimum we will have a walk through for electing State Officers and Resolutions. This decision was made partly because many Associations had their lodging deposits for the 2020 Convention moved to 2021. We do not know what would happen if we canceled it again. NOTE: Delegate and Life members going to Wildwood will receive the expense allowance that will be approved later in the meeting. Since allowances will be made for going to Wildwood, no Delegate and Life Member will receive an allowance for attending the caucus. Penalties for Delegates not attending the caucus ($100.00) will be accessed this year as in the past. The white lodging and commuting sheets must be filled out by those attending the Convention and held by the Secretary or Treasurer with their records The President and Vice President have been and will continue to be in touch with the Convention Center and more information will be forth coming.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Naylis and seconded by Executive Committeeman Handlin at 10:05am, to discuss litigation and personnel matters.

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Florio and seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves to return to Regular Session at 11:00am. Passed.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

ADVISORY/ SPECIAL / SUPPLEMNTAL COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Mellert stated that to date we have paid twice as much Relief compared to last year.

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Lane reported the Compendium Committee met and the minutes are in everyone’s packet and will be attached to these minutes.

1) Executive Committeeman Lane then reported that there was a discussion regarding a vacancy in the Executive Committee or Home Board of Manager. It was determined that another meeting of the Compendium is necessary before any changes are made in order to review the final wording of the change.

2) A recommendation was made that we continue the practice started last year whereby the Candidates for Executive Committee and Board of Manager submit a petition by June 1 of the year of the caucus to have that person’s name printed on the ballot. This does not prohibit any other member from running. It is used solely to have the name pre-printed on the ballot. If another member wants to run after the petition deadline, those voting can write the name on the ballot.

DELEGATE AND LIFE MEMBER COMMITTEE: The Delegate and Life Member Expense Committee recommends that the payment schedule approved last year for Wildwood would remain the same. This will be voted on under New Business.

FIREMEN’S HOME COMMITTEE: There is no written report. His verbal report included:

1) A-5210 is the Assembly Bill which we have been following. The Chairman of the Executive Board of the Managers of the Firemen’s Home has sent a letter to the sponsor to hold the bill in abeyance until all parties concerned can discuss it with the sponsor. Executive Committeeman Lane stated that the Chairman of the Board of Managers contacted him and would like a meeting with him and Home Committee Chairman Otterbein prior to this meeting. Mr. Lane told him that he was unavailable prior to this meeting and it will be scheduled shortly

2) The Memory unit is in the final punch-list phase. They are hoping for a May opening.

3) The current census at the home is 44 guests with a total number of beds at 73.

FINANCE COMMITTEE: There is no Finance Committee Report due to the death of Treasurer Osborn. The new Treasurer will meet shortly with the Finance Committee.

HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE: The Report has been submitted. Chairman Reeves mentioned that the program continues to be successful, and he is happy about it. President Ordway reminded everyone that it is a reimbursement program. There also was much discussion on how successful it has been. President Ordway mentioned that the figures on the attached report goes to show that we are using our funds to help our members. He also reminded everyone that there is no retroactivity to the program. The month that the application is approved by the Advisory Committee is when the reimbursements start.

Investment Committee: No Report. They will be meeting with the new Treasurer shortly.

LEGISLATIVE: First Assistant Secretary Martone reported that his report is in the packets. He mentioned that he has been following the Legislature via Zoom for Committee Hearings and Full Sessions. He along with President Ordway and Vice President Hankins have given testimony at the Committee Hearings on our Age Bills. The following is a status of the Age Bills:

A-4745 passed the Assembly 75-0

S-3277 is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee

A-3835 is awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee

S- 1534 passed the Senate 32-0

These bills are similar, but an Assembly Bill and Senate Bill need some small amendments so that they can be merged, passed, and sent to the Governor for passage. Executive Committeeman Kelly asked if Brian had a timeline and could not give a timeline. We have currently received over 250 Applications for Membership that we are holding while the Bill is awaiting its passage.

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

PENSION COMMITTEE: Vice President Hankins reported that there needs to be a correction with a pension recipient. This will be voted on in new business.

RESOLUTION COMMITTEE: Resolutions are due in the State Office no later than May 1. There will be 3 “housekeeping” Resolutions on the ballot. Two are the same ones as last year regarding the Secretary casting one ballot for uncontested positions, and the second being approval of the Red Book. We will have another Resolution for the selection of a Convention Site for 2025 and 2026.

SALARY COMMITTEE: No Report

FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION – Chairman Naylis reported the Minutes of the January 20, 2021 have been e-mailed. The 2018 Fire Code Revised should be out by years end. A memo went out to all LEA’s regarding Inspections must be done in all Health Care Facilities regardless of the pandemic, The Division is currently working on the Regulations for the Junior Firefighter Bill which has been signed by the Governor, and a Bulletin went out regarding the Lifeliner hoods that a problem has been found with them. They may cause health issues. If firefighters are using them, they should be checked, Executive Committeeman Otterbein mentioned that there is a problem with some Scott facepieces. All facepieces should be checked for stress cracks. This is specific to the AD3000 mask.

APPLICATIONS: Executive Committeewoman Hollingsworth said that Barnegat Light will have the application completed by the end of April. Executive Committeeman Fazekas also mentioned that Tabernacle has submitted a Township Resolution to form a new company. Since they are closing a Company, we are in the process of working to see if they need a new Company or if the former company can be used.

OLD BUSINESS:

1) Hamilton Township: President Ordway informed everyone that since we are completed with the Active Membership Reports, we will be finalizing the transfer of members. Also, once we have new treasurer is in place, we will distribute the funds received from the closed Hamilton Associations to the new combined Association.

NEW BUSINESS:

1) President Ordway recommends the appointment of Mr. Edward Mullen to the office of Treasurer. He has been an asset to our Association in assisting us with the Applications for Tax Exemption for the Associations that lost their exemption, and other tasks also. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Mazzarella, seconded by Executive Committeeman Figueroa to appoint Edward R. Mullen, Treasurer. On a Roll call vote: Passed 21-0. Mr. Mullen was then sworn in by Counsel Cavallo.

2) On our auditor’s recommendation a motion was made by Executive Committeeman Lane, Seconded by Executive Committeeman Fazekas to update the Association’s

Information on our Investments Passed 21-0

3) A motion by Executive Committeeman Phillips, seconded by Executive Committeeman Roemmich to have the officers assess penalties on the Associations who do not have their Membership and Financial Standing Reports submitted on time. Passed 21-0

4) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla, seconded by Committeeman Naylis to remove a member from the rolls of the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association for theft of funds from the Avenel Fire Company, Passed 21-0

5) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kelly, seconded by Committeeman Mazzarella to accept the settlement reached with 2 members for infractions with Convention expenses at the 2019 Convention.

The settlement calls for giving up their Life Membership, prohibits them from being a Delegate for future Conventions, running for a State Office, and a Local Office. Passed 21-0

6) President Ordway asked for a motion to have Executive Committeeman and Board of Managers who would like to have their name printed on the ballot submit a petition by June 1st as was done in 2020, This will apply to every year moving forward. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Speigel, seconded by Executive Committeeman Walker. Passed 21-0

7) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Fazekas, seconded by Executive Committeewoman Kelly to cease pension payments to a beneficiary that were made in error. Passed 21-0

8) A motion was made Executive Committeeman Mellert, seconded by Executive Committeeman Handlin to accept a 3-year bid to Turnout Fire and Safety, the lowest bidder for Convention badges. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 21-0

9) President Ordway the asked the Executive Committee that due to the change in Treasurers, the Officers hire an independent auditor to do a secondary review of the finances of the State Association at a cost not to exceed $30,000.00 . On a Roll Call Vote

Passed 20-0-1.

10) Executive Committeeman Speigel made a motion seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves that the Association will be in Wildwood on

September 17-18, 2021 for the Convention. As to the format of the Convention, a decision will be made at a future date. At a minimum we will have a walkthrough for the Election of Officers and a vote on the Resolutions. Everything else will be contingent on what is allowed due to the pandemic. Passed 21-0.

11) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Roemmich seconded by Executive Committeeman Walker that Caucuses will be a walk through for the Election of Executive Committee Person and Board of Managers. Passed 21-0

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 later.

There were no public comments.

GOOD OF THE ORDER:

1) Executive Committeeman Chairman Lane on behalf of the Executive thanked the Officers for the bunting and flying the flags at half-staff in respect for President Emeritus Greenwald and Treasurer Osborn. He also thanked them for the bunting and flowers placed at their seats where they sat at meetings. He mentioned that both members made great contributions to make this Association what it is today. He asked for a moment of silence .May they rest in peace.

2) President Ordway mentioned that all the current State Officers will be running for reelection this year, including Ed Mullen, who was just appointed Treasurer.

3) Executive Committeeman Lenarski and President Ordway thanked everyone for their Christmas Cards. They both informed all that they made contributions to charity this year in lieu of sending cards.

4). Executive Committeeman Roemmich asked if it is all possible that have the picture of President Emeritus Greenwald and Treasurer Osborn similar to the one on the monitors at the meeting displayed at the Caucuses. President Ordway said he will see if it is possible.

5) Executive Committeeman Otterbein questioned the I-9 form and W-4 Form in the packets. President Ordway ssid we are updating our personnel files.

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned on a motion by Executive Committeeman Florio seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein at 12:00pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas J. Pelaia

Secretary

 
 
 

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