Sunday, July 3rd, 2022
   

1711 Route 34 South
Wall Township, New Jersey
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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 NOVEMBER 20, 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 Association 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.

Executive Committeeman Mellert gave the invocation.

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

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held. First Assistant Secretary Brian Martone announced that all members were present except for Executive Committeeman Philipps who was excused. Also present was Past Secretary Sanford Weinberger, Roger Hull Firemen’s Home Manager, Ocean County, Bruce Horvath Firemen’s Home Manager, Middlesex County. President Ordway introduced Joseph Jubert the New Executive Committeeman from Ocean County. He also congratulated Executive Committeeman John Lane on his election for Mayor of Hawthorne and Executive Committeeman Allan Kurdyla on his reelection to the Bridgewater Council

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Abridged Minutes and Verbatim Minutes of the September 16, 2021 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Kelly, 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 Lane seconded by Executive Committeeman Mellert. 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 Convention. Motion Carried. A list of those members is in the packets and attached to these minutes

OFFICERS REPORT:

Vice President Hankins report: In addition to his written report, he reported the following:

1) He thanked all the Executives for their assistance with the Caucuses.

2) He asked all the Executives to send him the date and locations for the 2022 Caucuses.

3) He along with President Ordway and Executive Committeewoman Hollingsworth met with the officers and members of Barnegat Light, our new Association to review some of the officer duties and answer any questions which they may have.

4) He asked all Executives that if there is any Fire Department in their county who are not members of the Association, to try and get them to join. There are many benefits that they are missing by not being members.

5) He then mentioned that the Delegates and Life members voted overwhelming regarding the change of management of the Firemen’s Home.

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

1) At today’s meeting we will be voting on a New Application for a Company in the Lawrence Firemen’s Relief Association and to make inactive, Company #3 in the Bound Brook Association.

2) There will be 2 resolutions to be voted on under new business regarding the 2022 Convention. Both are the standard resolutions approved each year to have the Associations elect delegates and an Exempt Delegate to the Convention

3) Instructions for completing Officer Listings and Notice of Delegate and Exempt Delegates will be mailed out to all secretaries within the next month. These must be submitted online only, as they were last year also. Active Membership Reports (Green Sheets) will be sent to the secretaries and the Financial Standing Reports will be sent to the Treasurer towards the end of December. These reports can be submitted online or manually. Secretaries and Treasurers should take note and read the instructions carefully, since there are several changes to these reports. NOTE: This will be the last year that these reports can be submitted manually. Effective with the 2022 reports, these reports will have to be done online only, and then printed out for signatures, add documentation (if necessary) and sent in to the State Office.

4) The Compendium books and the Secretary Treasurer Manual will be updated online after the first of the year..

First Assistant Secretary Report: No Report

Second Assistant Secretary Report:

1) He mentioned that the Memorial Service is now online. To view it is on our Home Page under the Annul Memorial Services Tab.

2) The Law Library in our office is now available to the State Officers online.

Treasurer Report: He reported that the 2020 audit is in the final stages with our auditors, PKF. He hopes to have them within a few weeks.

Field Examiner Report: His report is in your packet. He has 4 verbal items:

1) The Local Relief Applications that were due for review have been completed. There were 344 Relief Applications reviewed. The main problem found was with documentation. All the Executives of the Counties reviewed have been notified of the results

2) A list of the Local Associations Bank Statements submitted has been reviewed. If a checkmark appears next to the Associations name, then the Bank statement has not been received.

3) All IRS filings for 2021 must be submitted electronically. The IRS will not accept paper copies. He says that the Local Associations should check with a Tax Preparer or check on the IRS Website for additional assistance.

4) All of the Field Exams for 2020 are completed. It is anticipated that the 2021 Field Exams will be performed in the Spring of 2022, and the 2022 Field Exams will be performed in the Fall of 2022. This will then put us back on the normal yearly schedule.

Counsel Cavallo reported: No Report

President’s Report: President Ordway reported the following:

  1. The State Office will be closed November 25th & 26th in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. The State Office will be closed starting Friday, December 24th and will reopen Monday, January 3rd for the winter break. We will also be closed Monday January 17th and Monday, February 21st.
  2. Field Exams – Thank you to all the Execs for setting up the locations and all the Officers and Execs that participated. A special thank you to Frank Gunson and Neil Gallo for coming in from the past officer bullpen to assist.
  3. Applications for Special Relief & Supplemental Relief need to be received in the NJSFA State Office by Wednesday, 12/1, to be processed for this calendar year.
  4. Reports being sent out and when due:
    1. The 4th Quarter ends December 31st and the 4th Quarter Relief Paid Report is available online and must be submitted/finalized by January 30th. Hard copies will not be accepted.
    2. Officer’s Listing report will be available online shortly and must be submitted/finalized online by February 1st. Hard copies will not be accepted.

  1. Annual Financial Report will be available online shortly. This is the last year that Local Association Treasurers can do the report manually. Regardless of how the report is done, online or manual, copies with signatures and supporting documentation must be received by February 20th. Next year it must be done online, balanced, finalized and then printed out. The word draft will appear on all online copies until they finalize the report. Do not send in copies with the word draft on them. Clean and legible copies of the Annual Financial report can be scanned and emailed in, mailed in or hand delivered. If using US Mail/Fed Ex/UPS, get and keep a tracking number.
  2. The Membership Report (percentage sheets) will be available online shortly. This is the last year that Local Associations can do the report manually. Regardless of how the report is done, online or manual, copies with signatures must be received by February 28th. Next year it must be done online, finalized and then printed out. The word draft will appear on all online copies until they finalize the report. Do not send in copies with the word draft on them. Clean and legible copies of the Membership Percentage report can be scanned and emailed in, mailed in or hand delivered. If using US Mail/Fed Ex/UPS, get and keep a tracking number.
  3. The Convention Delegate screens will be available online shortly. The reports must be done online and finalized. Hard copies will not be accepted.
  4. Start early in case you have an issue. With any of the online reports, it is imperative that if anyone is having any problems whatsoever, no matter how minor it might seem, that they call us to assist them or get the problem corrected. We have done a lot of Beta testing, but that never catches every issue or problem.
  1. The Year-end Relief Paid report consolidates the four (4) Quarterly reports into one year-end report showing the total paid per individual in that Association. Once the 4th Quarter is finalized, the Relief paid information can automatically be transferred over to the Annual Finance Report. The system will not let you transfer the data into the Finance Report until after you finalize the 4th Quarter report.
  2. The year-to-date comparison report is in your folder if you have any questions, please let us know.
  3. 2022 Convention – Unless something major occurs between now & next September, the 2022 Convention will be a two-day Convention on September 16th & 17th. If conditions change that are beyond our control, we may have to make changes to that plan. The last two years have given us some ideas on how to improve the Convention, and they will be discussed with the Compendium Committee and be presented to the full Board in February.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

President Ordway stated that there were some changes in Chairman of the Committees and Committee Members. This is being done to have the Executives get more involved and for them to get a feel of the business of all the committees.

ADVISORY/ SPECIAL / SUPPLEMNTAL COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Mellert stated that his report is in the packets. He also stated that a change in the relief scale will be voted on under new business. President Ordway then explained the increase in Local and Special Relief.

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Walker reported that he has a report in the packets. He said there are 3 items that they have been investigate and to bring back to the Executive Committee. They are:

1) looking to see if the Legislative Committee should receive credit for Life Membership, the same as the Convention workers have for attending the Convention.

2) a change in Statute 43:17-44 and Article III of the By-Laws related to the election and terms of the Officers and Executive Committee from 1 year to 2 years.

3) a Suggestion to find a way to further assist Local Associations on subsidy.

DELEGATE AND LIFE MEMBER COMMITTEE: No Report

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

FIREMEN”S HOME COMMITTEE – Chairman Otterbein reported there is a report in the packet. He stated there is a lot going on at the home. These items are in his report.

President Ordway then stated that he had a call from Anthony Grenci. Chairman of the Board of Managers. Mr. Grenci suggested that if possible that there be a meeting between a committee of the Managers and Executive Committee. This will be discussed under new Business.

HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE: His Report has been submitted. He stated that the format for the report has been changed so the Executive Committee can better understand it. He also stated that the committee met and will be recommending under New Business an increase for a member up to a $6,000 reimbursement a month and for a spouse or widow up to $2,000 reimbursement a month. Executive Committeeman Lenarski inquired if documentation should be sent in with an application. President Ordway explained that Bills and other documentation needs to be sent after the application is approved. Once the application is approved the reimbursement process starts. Sending bills and documentation before the approval may be for periods prior to when the application is approved and cannot be reimbursed. .

Investment Committee: Chairman Handlin said a report is in the packet. He thanked Treasurer Mullen for assisting with the meeting and getting the information to the members. Chairman Handlin said they are waiting for some questions to be answered for the next meeting. There was also some preliminary discussion regarding assisting the Associations on Subsidy, with some of their investments. This will be discussed with the Investment Companies at a future meeting.

LEGISLATIVE: Chairman Martone said that his report is in the packet, He also said that he is emailing his weekly Legislative Report to all Executives, and they should let them know if they are nor receiving them. Executive Committeeman Otterbein also mentioned how important it is to be alert on what the Legislature is doing during the Lame Duck Session. Chairman Martone said he is following up on all new legislation also and he also gets alerts when a bill that may affect us is introduced. Vice President Hankins then asked all of the Executives, when appointing members to the Legislation they should try to choose someone who will be active when legislation that affects us is introduced. Executive Committeeman Naylis mentioned that President Biden just signed legislation concerning Fire and Emergency Services. Executive committeeman Naylis will forward the legislation to Chairman Martone for distribution.

LONG RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE: No Report

PENSION COMMITTEE: Treasurer Mullen stated that the committee met prior to the meeting and will be bringing up under New Business a vote to reallocate some funds to decrease one of our premiums in the future.

RESOLUTION COMMITTEE: No Report

SALARY COMMITTEE: No Report

FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION – Chairman Naylis reported that the Commission met this past week and there is an increase in fire deaths and injuries in the State. The feel that the decrease in Fire protection devices is causing the problem. Also, President Ordway mentioned that at the meeting it was with the majority of fires starting in the kitchen that, if need be, the Commission may recommend that sprinklers be required in the Kitchen Area of the home.

APPLICATIONS: 1) On a motion by Executive Committeeman Florio, seconded by Executive Committee Lenarski to approve a new Company for the Lawrence Relief Association. PASSED

2) On a motion by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla, seconded by Executive Committeeman Mellert, that Company #3 of the Bound Brook Relief Association be made inactive. PASSED

OLD BUSINESS:

1) President Ordway discussed a request from an Executive that, if possible, they can get a NJSFA email account. President Ordway said it can be done but it will be a generic name such as MiddlesexExecutive@NJSFA.com. After much discussion about e-mails and OPRA (Open Public Meetings Act), Assistant Counsel Morris will draft a document explaining both and how the Local Associations should handle these requests.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

At 9:54am a motion was made by Executive Committeeman Naylis seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheuer to move to Executive Session for the purpose of discussing Legal Issues for approximately 1 hour. PASSED

At 11:05 am Executive Committeeman scheuer made a motion seconded by COMMITTEEMAN KELLY to resume the regular part of the meeting. PASSEd

NEW BUSINESS:

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

Passed 20-0

2) ) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Lenarski, Seconded by Executive Committeeman Naylis to have the Secretary cast 1 ballot for the election of Committeeman Robert Kelly as Secretary of the Executive Committee. Passed 20-0

3) Executive Committeeman Kurdyla reported on the decision of the Field Examiner Search Committee, and he strongly recommends and makes a motion to appoint Jennie Hollingsworth as Field Examiner effective January 1, 2022, seconded by Executive Committee Mellert. Passed 20-0

4) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Speigel seconded by Executive Committeeman Kelly 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 2022 Convention. Passed 20-0

5) A motion by Executive Committeeman Naylis, seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein to have the President and Vice President attend the 2022 CFSI Dinner in Washington, DC. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 20-0

6) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Mazzarella, seconded by Executive Committeeman Figueroa to accept the Health Care Committee’s recommendation to increase Health Care to $6,000 per month for members and $2,000 a month for spouses and widows effective January 1, 2022. There was a discussion if we had the funds in the budget and is an actuary going to review it. President Ordway said yes to both questions. Executive Committeeman Spiegel questioned if there was any discussion or thought of combining the total that a member and their spouse receive so that if the member passes away the widow could receive a larger sum. President Ordway responded it hasn’t been discussed and it could possibly be discussed in the the future. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 20-0

7) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Mellert, seconded by Executive Committeeman Walker to accept the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to increase the Relief Scale effective January 1, 2022. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 20-0

8) President Ordway then asked Treasurer Mullen to explain what the Pension Committee is requesting we do to lower our yearly premium. He explained that if we were to move 2 million dollars from the General Fund to the Pension Fund, we will cut our premiums this year close to 50%. He also said that if it is possible to do it next year also, it will cut our unfunded liability to zero. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Figueroa seconded by Executive Committeeman Roemmich, to make the transfer of funds. On a Roll Call vote Passed 20-0

9) Executive Committeeman Lane made a motion, seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheuer that Helmetta Firemen’s Relief Association #152 not be seated for the 2022 Convention and no Administrative Expenses for the Officers, Representatives and Trustees be allowed in 2021. On a Roll Call vote passed 20-0

10) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Naylis, seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein that The Washington Township Relief Association #455 (Bergen County) be placed under review due to the results of their Field Examination and remain under review until Executive Committeeman Naylis recommends that they be removed from review. Passed 20-0.

11) President Ordway then reviewed the election held in September:

  1. a) All of the current Officers were re-elected
  2. b) The Red Book from the 2020 Convention/Caucus was approved

c)The results of the County Caucus were affirmed

  1. d) The resolution regarding the change of management of the Firemen’s Home was approved.

12) Compendium Committee Chairman reported that there were several items in his report that need to be discussed and voted on:

  1. a) The first item is should a member of the Legislative Committee receive credit towards Life Membership for attending the Convention as a member of the Legislative Committee. There was discussion regarding the duties of the Legislative Committee and do they do any work at the Convention. The answer was that they do not, but they do have meetings during the year.

A motion was made Executive Committeeman Kelly, seconded by Executive Committeeman Roemmich, that members of the Legislative Committee do not receive credit towards Life Membership . On a Roll Call Vote PASSED 16-4

  1. b) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kelly, seconded by Executive Committeeman Roemmich that the Legislative Committee will not be required to attend future Conventions as Convention workers. On a Roll Call Vote PASSED 13-7
  2. c) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Florio, seconded by Executive Committeeman Walker that the Legislative Committee member who attends their County Caucus and gives a report, will receive an allowance .

On a Roll Call Vote PASSED 20-0

  1. d) Compendium Committee Chairman Walker said that he was asked to discuss if a 2-year term for Officers and Executive Committee is possible. It was stated that it would require a Statute Change. After some minimal discussion it was decided not to pursue it.
  2. e) The Compendium Committee also brought to the floor subsidy. Is there a way we can give more help to those Associations who receive subsidy? President Ordway then explained how subsidy works and said that there is a memo in the packets explaining this. He said that this is something that we need to look at it this year. He will wait until the Financial Statements from the Association come in and then have it reviewed.

13) Executive Committeeman Florio made a motion seconded it by Executive Committeeman Lane to move the May Meeting back to Wildwood as was it was in the past. After much discussion regarding the cost, meeting location, and the like, a motion was made by Executive Committeeman Fazekas to table the motion until more information can be had. The motion to table was passed 20-0.

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.

1) Michael Cleary from the Jersey City Fire Department has 3 questions:

  1. a) Can the Executive Committee meetings broadcast over Zoom so that more members can participate in the meeting. President Ordway said that he will investigate to see if it can be done.
  2. b) Can the handouts that are in the members packet and are attached to he minutes be made available to the guests at the meeting. President Ordway will check with Counsel to see if this is possible.
  3. c) Why wasn’t the additional money voted on to transfer funds from the Regular account to the Pension account that will assist in lowering our pension unfunded liability done in the past. President Ordway responded that we cannot answer that because unfortunately former Treasurer Osborn passed away and he was handling it in the past.

There were no further public comments.

GOOD OF THE ORDER

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 at the office. He then said that he had hoped to see former President Gunson at the meeting. He underwent surgery a couple of weeks ago and hope he is doing well. He then wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays. There will be a holiday luncheon on December 16 at the office for the members of the Executive Committee.

2) Executive Committeeman Mellert wanted to say thank you on behalf of the Executive Committee to retiring Field Examiner Kenny for his 10 years of outstanding service to the members of the Association.

3) Executive Committeeman Lenarski wished all Happy Holidays and that he and his wife will be making a donation in lieu of sending out Holiday Cards this season to the Coast Guard fund

4) Executive Committeeman Naylis thanked everyone for their well wishes and prayers regarding his health issues from the past six months. He said it was a great feeling to hear from his friends, the Officers and Executives.

5) Field Examiner Kenny thanked everyone for their assistance over the that 10 years. It was enjoyable and he is confident that Jennie Hollingsworth will do a great job as our new Field Examiner.

ADJOURNMENT: On a motion by Executive Committeeman Florio seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein to adjourn the meeting PASSED The meeting was adjourned at 11:30am.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas J. Pelaia

Secretary

 
 
 

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