Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024

1711 Route 34 South
Wall Township, New Jersey

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Abridged Report Executive Committee Meeting

Abridged Report with Attachments



Wall TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY February 26, 2022

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. He also stated that there will be an Executive Session towards the end of the meeting

Vice President Hankins led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

President Ordway asked for a moment of silence.

Executive Committeeman Mellert gave the invocation.


President Ordway asked Counsel Cavallo to administer the oath of office to Field Examiner Jennie Hollingsworth.


Roll call was held. All Officers and Executive Committee members present. President Ordway then formally introduced Field Examiner Hollingsworth who responded that she is thankful for everyone support.

President Ordway then asked Past Field Examiner Kenny to come forward for a presentation in appreciation for his work as Field Examiner for the past 10 years. The Executive Committee responded with a standing ovation. Mr. Kenny thanked all for their support throughout the years


The Abridged Minutes and Verbatim Minutes of the November 20, 2021 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Scheuer seconded by Executive Committeeman Fazekas. 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 Handlin seconded by Executive Committeeman Walker. Motion carried.



Vice President Hankins report: He reported the following:

1) He thanked all the Executives for submitting the Caucus dates and locations. They are now posted on our website.

2) He stated that he and First Assistant Secretary Martone are working on the Convention Committees, and they will probably need to revamp some of their duties

3) He stated that he is on the subcommittee from the Firemen’s Home. The committee is in discussions with the Home Managers subcommittee regarding our concerns. He said we will take no action on any concerns until we are satisfied.

Secretary’s Report: He reported the following:

1) He reminded everyone that Local Associations must use Membership Applications with a revision date of 5/19 or later. He stated when applications are received with dates prior to 5/19, that they are returned to the Secretary’s. The applicant does not become a member until the correct application is received and a line number issued.

2) He reminded all that election petitions to have a name printed on the ballot for Officers, Executive Committee and Firemen’s Home Manager are due in our office by June 1, 2022. Petitions are available on the Forms tab on the Home Page of our website.

3) Convention Resolutions are due in our office no later than May 1, 2022.

4) Our Statutes , Compendium, By-Laws, and Secretary Treasurer Manual are being updated this spring and will be posted on the website when complete.

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

Second Assistant Secretary Report: He stated that he is waiting for the Contract from the Video Company who will videotape the Memorial Service at this year’s Convention.

He also reminded the Treasurers that when they send their Bank Statements in that they include copies of the cancelled checks. Some banks do not provide them, and they should be asked if this can be done. He also requests that they put in the memo part of the check, what the check is for. This will expedite the review process.

Treasurer Report: The Final audits of the Regular Account and Retirement Accounts for the past fiscal year have been received and distributed to the Executive Committee. The Auditors have now started the quarterly audits for the current fiscal year. He also stated that he is working with the IRS on the penalties issued to Associations who filed their IRS FORM 990 manually rather then on-line in the 2020 filing. PLEASE NOTE: Effective with the 2021 filings for the 990N, 990EZ and 990 must be submitted virtually beginning 1/1/2022.

Field Examiner Report: Her written report is in the packets. She thanked all the Executives who signed up to assist with the Field Exams. There are a few more spots where help is needed. If an Executive can assist, please notify Jennie.

Counsel Cavallo Report: No Report for the open meeting but he will report on current litigation in Executive Session.

Assistant Counsel Morris Report: Counsel Morris informed everyone that there is a report in their packet regarding the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). If anyone has any questions regarding it is asked to see him after the meeting.

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

1) He reminded everyone that the office will be closed on April 15 for Good Friday.

2) Field Exams: He thanked all the Executives for setting up the locations and to all Executives who signed up for working at the Exams. We still need some more Executives to work. Please notify Field Examiner Hollingsworth if you are available to work.

3) Reports:

a)The first quarter Relief Paid report is due April 30. They must be submitted online. Hard copies will not be accepted.

b)Officer Listings were due on January 31. 100% were received on time.

c)The Annual Financial Standing report was due on January 20. There were 3 reports not submitted on time. Action will be taken under New Business.

  1. d) Membership Reports are due February 28. Next year it will be mandatory to do these reports online.
  2. e) President Ordway reminded everyone that Delegate and Alternate reports are due by May 1.
  3. f) IRS Form 990 are due to the IRS on May 15, and a copy to us by June 14. Form 990 and 990EZ must be submitted online with the IRS and you will need a CPA, Tax Accountant, or a Service Provider to file these for you. You can still file the 990N – postcard version online.
  4. g) He reminded everyone that the earlier that you start to prepare reports, the more time that you will have to contact us in case you need help.

4) There is a year-to-date comparison report in your packets comparing 2000 vs 2021 for which we paid out benefits.

5) We are anticipating a two (2) day Convention in September unless something major occurs. We will be discussing the agenda under New Business.

6) Since we are dealing with the Legislature more and more, he asked Counsel to investigate a DBA (DOING BUSINESS AS) the New Jersey State Firefighters Association. This will show the Legislature that we represent all genders in our Association.

7) There are 5 counties who will have elections for Firemen’s Home Manager. They are Cumberland, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Morris. These elections will be held at the County Caucuses. The procedure as done last year will be the same. If a candidate wants his name on the Ballot, he needs to fill out a petition and submit it to our Secretary by June 1, 2022. Petitions are available on the Forms tab on our website or by calling the State Office.

8) President Ordway then spoke about Caucuses. The Executive Committee needs to decide if we have a meeting or just a walk-through Caucus. He would like to see whatever way is chosen that it be the same for all counties. As was done in the past 2 years.


ADVISORY/ SPECIAL / SUPPLEMNTAL COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Mellert stated that there is a report in the packet

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Walker reported the Compendium Committee met and the minutes are in everyone’s packet and will also be attached to these minutes. We will be voting on several items under new business.

DELEGATE AND LIFE MEMBER COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Roemmich said he had no report for this meeting. There will be a report at the next meeting

FINANCE COMMITTEE: The Finance Committee Report is in your packet. The Finance Committee found everything in order.

FIREMEN’S HOME COMMITTEE: There is a report in the packet.

HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE: The Report has been submitted.

Investment Committee: There is a report in your packet. There will be further discussion under New Business. Executive Committeeman Naylis asked if we are aware of any issues with our investments due to the situation in Ukraine. Treasurer Mullen stated that they have not met since the invasion, but our investment brokers are watching the situation carefully.

LEGISLATIVE: First Assistant Secretary Martone reported that his report is in the packets. He mentioned that the Firemen’s Home Bill A6233 sponsored by Assemblyman Burzichelli was withdrawn from the committee agenda prior to being discussed. The Assembly Committee prior to the hearing received 732 registration forms opposing the Bill.


PENSION COMMITTEE: Treasurer Mullen reported that the committee met this morning and a change regarding the benefit to unmarried recipients was distributed this morning. This will be voted on in new business.


SALARY COMMITTEE: No Report and the committee will be meeting before the next meeting with a recommendation for the next fiscal year.

FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION – He reported on the highlights of the January Fire Commission Meeting. The updated Fire Code is expected to be released in the first part of this year. The Division also had a flyer made regarding sources that a firefighter can reach out to if they need help. Chairman Naylis had some made and they were distributed to the Executives.

APPLICATIONS: Paperwork was received from the Lakewood Firemen’s Relief Association for a new Company, and everything was in order A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Florio and seconded by Executive Committeeman Kelly to accept the new Company. Passed 21-0

OLD BUSINESS: There was a motion put on the table at the last Executive Committee meeting to have the May Executive Committee meeting held in Wildwood. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman and seconded by Executive Committeeman Kelly to remove the motion from the table. Passed 21-0. With the motion now off the table which said we should go to Wildwood; On a Roll Call Vote DEFEATED 21-0. The May meeting will be held at the State Office.


1) Compendium Chairman Walker reported that the Compendium Committee reviewed the Executive Committee’s decision at our last meeting that the Legislative Committee will not receive a Convention Allowance paid by the State. It was realized that the Compendium states that they will be paid. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman seconded by Executive Committeeman Spiegel to pay the Legislative Committee, a Convention Allowance for attending the Convention and a Committee allowance if they attend their Caucus and give a report. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 18-3

2) The Compendium Committee discussed the Burial Benefit paying the surviving Spouse, civil union partner domestic or common law partner at the time of death and what happens if they are not living with each other at that time. The Committee said that there would be no recommendation since the Compendium is specific on this matter.

3) A recommendation was brought forward that we change the Convention Agenda whereby we conduct all business including The Memorial Service, Reports, and Speeches, etc. as part of Friday’s Agenda. On Saturday we will conduct the Election of Officers and voting on Resolutions the same way as was done last year. President Ordway then said that Secretary Pelaia put together a spreadsheet (which is in the packets with the time of each session of the past 4 years. He stated that most of these reports are now included in the information packet that is given out at the Caucus.

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Mr. Mellert,

that we agree with change the agenda put forward by the Compendium Committee. Discussion on the motion were: is the Memorial Service going to be the same as in the past and the answer was Yes, Are the speakers going to be introduced by name only? The Congressional and State Leadership will probably say a few words. Finally, are the

Election results going to be available at the close of voting. President Ordway said that after the voting last year the results were posted online within 10 minutes, of the votes being counted. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 19-2

President Ordway then stated that the Agenda for the Convention will be worked out and available at the May Meeting,

4) President Ordway asked the Executive Committee if they would like to have the walk- through caucuses as been done the past 2 years or a meeting as was done before the pandemic. He stated that all caucuses should either be walk through or meeting type.

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Mellert that we have a full caucus which includes both a meeting and voting, Seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio

Ona a Roll Call Vote Passed 15-6

4) Vice President Hankins stated that a Resolution was distributed prior to the meeting regarding non married participants should they pass away while still employed. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kelly and seconded by Executive Figueroa Ona a Roll Call Vote Passed 19-0-1

5) President Ordway said there were two Associations who did not submit their Financial Standing report on time. They were South Harrison in Gloucester County and Washington Boro in Warren County. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Philips. Seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheuer that these 2 Associations, not be seated for the 2022 Convention. There was also discussion regarding a letter that was received prior to the meeting from Washington Boro requesting an appeal. The request was denied since there is no appeals allowed. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 20-1.

6) President Ordway then stated that Helmetta Association who is not being seated for the 2022 Convention for not submitting their Pink and Blue Vouchers on time, now have failed to submit their Financial Standing Report on time. President Ordway stated that they can be held Out of Accord. whereby the State Office would take control of their Association. This also means that no new members will be accepted, and current members will not receive percentages from the day they are put out of accord. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Naylis, seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves that we place Helmetta under review and if they do not submit the Financial Standing Report and Active Membership Report by March 15, 2022 ,that they be put Out of Accord. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 21-0.

7) President Ordway then asked Executive Committeeman Naylis if the Association in Bergen County that is under review, ready to come out of review. Executive Committee Naylis said that progress is being made but he feels they have a way to go before they come out of review. He would like to address this at our Next Executive Committee Meeting.

8) President Ordway stated that there is the Active Membership Report due on February 28 and the first Quarter Relief Paid Report due April 30. He asked for approval that the Officers can put anybody who does submit these reports on-time, not to be seated at this year’s Convention so they can let their members know that they are not seated. A motion was made by Executive man Kelly, seconded by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla to have the Associations who do not submit these reports on time not to be seated. Passed 21-0

9) President Ordway then said we are looking at our finances with the numbers approved for Special and Health Care. We feel that on the state level we may be at a deficit of 1.8 million dollars. We are estimating that the field this year has grown by approximately 6.3 million dollars this year. So, the recommendation by us is to go to a 60% that the State office holds and 40% to the This will no affect anybody receiving supplemental funds. This will not affect the smaller Associations as they will get a minimum of $10,000.00. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Naylis, seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves to have a 60%(for the State/and a 40% for the Local Associations) split. There was discussion on the motion. Executive Committeeman Handlin said he feels that it is the right move to make because the funds are going into our programs especially Special Relief and Health Care. President Ordway also mentioned that reviewing the State Office expenses over the past 5 years, they have remained steady. Executive Committeeman Otterbein then asked how the Association’s decrease would affect the Administrative Expenses for the Local Associations. President Ordway responded that it will not have any affect since Administrative Expenses are calculated prior to the split in funds. There was much discussion on this from the Executive Committee because some Associations aren’t aware that Administrative Expenses are calculated on the total funds and interest. On a Roll Call Vote, Passed 21-0

10) Executive Committeeman Naylis recommends that we take an active role in Cancer Screening for our members. First Assistant Secretary Martone stated that that the bill passed last year was only for Career Firefighters covered by New Jersey State Health Benefits. Some legislators are moving to have all firefighters covered for Cancer Screening. President Ordway said that he is awaiting word from one of the Major Hospital Corporations in the State who is developing a Cancer Screening program for Firefighters. The program has been delayed with its roll out due to the pandemic and is awaiting further news about this.

11) Executive Committeewoman Badger asked questions on a part-time career firefighter regarding percentages. President Ordway responded that this is a discussion we are having in the office presently and it is being forwarded to the Compendium Committee for review.

12) Executive Committeewoman Badger inquired id she can poll her Associations regarding the type of Caucus they want, being a meeting or a walk through. President Ordway responded that for fairness he feels that all the caucuses be run the same way, BUT. He said that the Caucus is the Executive Committee persons meeting and they will have the final say regarding the way the caucus will be run.


Prior to opening the meeting to Public Comment, President Ordway informed all that at the last Executive Committee a question was asked if the information in the Executive Committee’s packet can be made available to the guests attending the meeting. Counsel Cavallo said that since the information in the packet has not been voted on, it would be inappropriate to have it circulated before the vote.

President Ordway then 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) William Smith, the president of the New Jersey State Fire Chiefs Association brought everyone up to date with their future programs:

There was no further Public Comments.

Executive Session:

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Spiegel, seconded by Executive Committeeman Kelly to move to Executive Session. Executive Session at 10:47am.

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Lane, seconded by Executive Committee Otterbein to return to the Regular Session at 11:40am.


1)President Ordway said we accomplished a lot today and thanked the Executive Committee for all their hard work.

2) Executive Committeeman Lenarski requested that everything we need to vote on should be sent to the Executives prior in a timely manner. Secretary Pelaia responded that almost everything was sent out to the Executives including the items that were specifically mentioned. President Ordway stated that we will make sure those specific items will be in the packets in the future.

AJOURNMENT: With no other business to be discussed the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Executive Committeeman Fazekas seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheuer at 11:47am.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas J. Pelaia



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