Friday, August 12th, 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 NJ

May 21,2022

The meeting was called to order by President Ordway at 9:00am 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.

A moment of silence was observed for Kenneth Wigglesworth, Al Bailey and Dave Shatzel, all past Executive Committeemen. Executive Committeeman Mellert then gave the invocation.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held. First Assistant Secretary Brian Martone announced that all members were present except for Treasurer Ed Mullen, Burlington County Executive Committeeman Fazekas, Sussex Executive Committeeman Scheuer and Middlesex Executive Committeeman Mazzarella, who were excused. President Ordway introduced Matt McDermott, our legislative advisor, who was also in attendance.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Abridged Minutes and Verbatim Minutes of the February 22, 2022 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Speigel. 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 Kelly, seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane, to accept the communications. Passed.

OFFICERS REPORTS:

Vice President Hankins’ report: In addition to his written report, he spoke on the following:

1) He is working on the Caucus list and the Executive Committee worklist. He will be assigning executives to the same caucus that they worked last year.

If anyone has a conflict once the scheduled is sent out, he requested that the committee member let him know.

2) Based on the past 115 claims, the burial costs average out to $11,250.00 per

claim.

3) He asked if the Executive Committee would be willing to work registration at

the convention. He said Friday they would work up until the ten minutes

prior to the start of the session when the Legislative Committee would

relieve them so that they can be present at the meeting. Executive

Committeeman Naylis inquired if this will reduce the number of workers

appointed by the Executive Committee. Vice President Hankins said that

there will be two members from each county who will be workers along with

the Legislative Committee.

President Ordway then reminded the executives that it is their responsibility

to remind their local associations of the place and time of their caucuses.

Secretary Pelaia’s report: In addition to his written report his verbal remarks were as follows:

  • There are two resolutions in the packet that need to be voted on under

New Business for the State Treasurer to release the monies from the 999 account.

  • Election petitions for the Executive Committee and Home Managers are due June 1, 2021. Petitions are available online or here at the office. As of now, we have received petitions from all counties for Executive Committee and Board of Managers. We also have petitions for all officers.

3) We received 100% of the Report of Delegates and Alternates Elected.

Delegate cards are now being prepared and will be sent to the secretaries

along with the new and replacement Life Member cards prior to the office

closing for the summer break in July. Changes to delegates: Changes must

be in writing and sent to the State Office at least one week prior to the County Caucus. The changes for Convention deadline is August 31. An email is acceptable.

4) The Red Books were mailed or given to all secretaries. There are extras if anyone needs one.

5) We will be updating the Compendium and the Secretary – Treasurer

Manual in the very near future.

First Assistant Secretary Martone’s report:

He will be mailing out the request for the names of the convention workers within the next week.

Second Assistant Secretary Dreby’s report:

He stated that when he sends out letters regarding bank statements to the treasurers, he will also send a copy to the secretaries so that they can follow up as well.

Treasurer Mullen’s report:

  • The outside auditors will be in on May 24 to work on one of year-end reports.

  • The Finance Committee will be in shortly to review the third quarter.

  • IRS filing issues are continuing, but we have had good success with penalties

being abated. He reminded everyone that you cannot mail an IRS return

(990n, 990 EZ, 990) to the IRS. They must be submitted on-line by a CPA or

tax preparer.

Field Examiner Hollingsworth’s report: In addition to her written report, her verbal remarks were as follows:

  • The local Financial Standing Reports for 2021 have been received and were

sent to Trenton on May 4.

  • She thanked everyone for their assistance with the field exams. She realizes

there was a lot of work involved since they could not be done in the past

two years due to the pandemic.

  • The Health Care Program is growing. In May 2021, there were 149 active

claims and by May 2022, there are 243 active claims. By May 2021, $1.2

million was paid out and in May of 2022 there has been $2.6 million paid

out.

Counsel Cavallo’s report: No report for the regular session. He has one short item for Executive Session.

President Ordway’s Report: The President had no written report. His verbal remarks

were as follows:

1) The State Office will be closed on May 30th for the Memorial Day holiday. The office will also be closed for our summer break beginning on

July 4 and will reopen on July 11.

2) The second Advisory Committee meeting for June has been moved from

June 16 to June 23.

3) He reminded everyone that we will be selecting a Field Examiner and

Counsel during New Business.

4) He thanked all the execs for their assistance with the field exams. A

special thank you went out to past President Gunson, past Field Examiner

Kenny, past Secretary Weinberg, and past Executive Committeeman Gallo

for their assistance.

5) Local Reports that are due:

  1. a) Second Quarter Relief Reports- July 30. They must be submitted

online.

  1. b) a copy of your IRS filing, or extension must be submitted to the office by June 14.
  2. c) anyone having issues submitting reports online should contact the

office for assistance.

6) Unless something major occurs, the 2022 Convention will be a two-day

Convention on September 16 – 17. The question that needs to be decided

is what time the Memorial Service/Business session on Friday should

begin.

7) There are five Firemen’s Home County Manager positions up this year;

Cumberland, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Morris. They will be on

the ballot at the caucuses.

8) The NJ Fire Safety Committee met at our office due to a scheduling

conflict with their regular location. They asked if they could meet here

more often due to the central location. The President agreed and they

will discuss it at a future meeting.

9) Executive Committeeman Naylis has been putting an article concerning

the NJSFA in a monthly newsletter for a Bergen County organization. If

there are other newsletters out there the executives may want to

consider submitting articles.

10) If anyone is having our emails going directly to their SPAM folder, our

programmers tell us that this is caused by updates and parameters out in

the field. If you receive an email from us and it went directly to your

SPAM, after making sure it is one of our e-mail addresses you should

right click on the e-mail address and say it is safe.

11) On April 29, $11,991,500.00 was wired to the Firemen’s Home.

12) On May 13, $15,108,294.00 was wired to 534 local associations along

with one manual check for $10,812.27. There were 11 associations that

had issues that were corrected by Valley Bank. Six wires failed. After we

received updated information from those associations, the funds were

resent.

13) We need to look at the Subsidy Associations next year. The President

will work on a report and it will be discussed at a later date.

14) For several reasons, he does not see any changes to any of the benefit

levels at this time.

15) There are only three associations that are not seated this year; South

Harrison (Gloucester County), Washington Boro (Warren County and

Helmetta (Middlesex County).

16) With many changes specifically with reports that now are required

and especially the changing of officers, he recommends that we

return to giving workshops. Executives wanting to have a workshop

should contact the President and he will set it up. This will be a good

way to get our new and old Officers reeducated with programs which

have been updated through the past several years

.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

ADVISORY/ SPECIAL / SUPPLEMENTAL COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Mellert stated that the reports are in the packet.

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Walker said there was no report.

DELEGATE AND LIFE MEMBER COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Roemmich said there is a report in the packet. He stated for the first time since 2017, the lodging portion of the delegate allowance was increased. The travel allowance also increased from $.54 per mile to the updated IRS allowance of $0.58 per mile.

FINANCE COMMITTEE: Third Quarter review is pending.

FIREMEN’S HOME COMMITTEE: Chairman Otterbein submitted a status report which is in the packet.

HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE: Chairman Reeves said his written report has been distributed. He mentioned that from Jan 1, 2021 through May 1, 2021 there were 54 new applications for firefighters and 63 new applications for spouses. There have been 360 applications received from firefighters and 118 for spouses since the inception of the Program

INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Handlin stated that a report is in the packet. He spoke to Treasurer Mullen and expects to have a committee meeting shortly.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: First Assistant Secretary Martone stated he has no written report for this meeting, but he did send the Executive Committee his weekly reports. He also stated that the committee had their bi-annual meeting on May 17. President Ordway then mentioned that a bill has justbbeen introduced regarding cannabis use by Career Firefighters while off duty. No action has been taken. He just wanted to make everyone aware of this bill.

LONG RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE: No Report.

PENSION COMMITTEE: Vice President Hankins advised that the committee had a meeting this morning and there was some minor discussion on the budget. Officers and Executive Committeepersons will be receiving a report of their estimated benefits.

RESOLUTION COMMITTEE: There were two resolutions submitted from local associations. The one from Absecon did not have the Executive Committeewoman’s signature and was in violation of the State Statute, so it cannot be considered. The second resolution from South Harrison was received ten days after the deadline date. and will not be considered. President Ordway mentioned that there will be three ballot questions which have been on previous ballots. They are

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

FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION – Executive Committeeman Naylis who is a member of the Commission reported that Governor Murphy just allotted $10 million for the cleaning and care of firefighters’ PPE. There will be a grant process to receive these funds. The Commission also formed a committee to discuss the new cannabis law as it pertains to firefighters. They are also looking to work with Molly’s Fund, which addresses skin cancer, which firefighters are susceptible to.

APPLICATIONS:

  • Reactivation of Pemberton Township FRA #052 Company #3 Presidential Lakes- a motion was made by Executive Committeeman Mellert, seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein.
  • Application for a new company in Manchester FRA # 526 Station 76 Company #4-

a motion was made by Executive Committeeman Jubert, seconded by Executive Committeeman Handlin. PASSED.

OLD BUSINESS:

  • President Ordway asked Executive Committeeman Naylis for a status report on

Washington Township, which is under review. Executive Committeeman Naylis said that he has been reviewing their minutes and they are not ready to come out of review.

  • President Ordway said that each executive should make the decision whether they

want to have a full caucus or a walk through. Whatever the executive decides, they must inform us of their choice.

  • President Ordway spoke on the potential of a cancer screening program for our

members. He said that he has been moving slowly on this because there has been a case where the program was started, the company made money, and there were no results. The company we are looking at is Grail, who administers the Galleri test. This test looks for cancer tags/mitochondrial cancer cells in the blood. All internal cancers give off tags in the blood. You are currently notified of results through the Captain Buscio program. We Beta Tested 19 people receiving the screening and all came back negative.

President Ordway then discussed the cost. Currently the test costs $649.00. We would need to set up parameters as to who is eligible. One idea is to limit the program to a certain age and above and limit it to members who are qualified or exempt. One of the reasons for this idea is that if a member comes on at the age of 49 and he/she is eligible to take the test three months after joining, that person would not have the time on the job determine if the cancer was from firefighting. President Ordway then told everyone that what he is saying now is not going to be voted on at this meeting. He wants everyone to look at this program and come back and discuss it further at the July meeting. We will be discussing ways to pay for the program at the July meeting. One possibility is to have the local associations pay for their members. He also spoke on testing positive. A positive test does not mean that the individual has active cancer, but that there is a suspicion of cancer, and the individual would need a follow-up from a physician/screening center. It could be benign or even a false positive. More discussion will take place at the next meeting.

Executive Committeeman Naylis mentioned that there are tests that can be done by the Captain Buscio Program. He would like us to consult with Dr. Patel of the Buscio Program to see what they offer and come up with something that will be beneficial to our members with both tests. Executive Committeeman Reeves asked how long should elapse before being retested. President Ordway said that if you have a negative test, you should be retested in one year. Executive Committeeman Speigel asked where the testing site would be if we come on board. President Ordway said if approved, there will be dates and places throughout the state where it will be given. He also said that if the local associations are paying for this test, then you will not have to wait for a meeting to vote on the payment.

EXCUTIVE SESSION: at 9:50AM a motion was made by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla, to go into Executive Session.

PASSED.

At 10:37am a Motion was made by Executive Committeeman Walker and seconded by Executive Committeeman to return to Regular Session. PASSED

NEW BUSINESS:

1) A motion was made by Executive Committee Reeves, seconded by Executive Committeeman Walker to reappoint Jennie Hollingsworth to the position of Field Examiner for the 2022-2023 term. PASSED 18-0.

2) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Lenarski, seconded by Executive Committeeman Mellert to reappoint Frank Cavallo as Counsel, and George Morris as Assistant Counsel for the 2022-2023 term. PASSED 18-0.

3) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kelly and seconded by Executive Committeeman Handlin to adopt a resolution to requisition the funds from the State Treasurer for the 999 account. PASSED 18-0.

4) President Ordway said that the Budget for 2022 - 2023 was distributed. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Speigel, seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane to accept the budget as presented. Executive Committeeman Naylis inquired as to why the budget shows a deficit. President Ordway stated that there are unknowns e.g.: insurance tax received, burial benefits, Special Relief etc. paid. It is unknown currently if we have a deficit. He mentioned that that the cost of operating the office stayed flat and the Health Care and Special Relief funds have grown substantially. On a Roll Call Vote passed 18-0.

5) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Roemmich, seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane to accept the salary proposed effective October 1, 2022, with corrections. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 17-1.

6) A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Speigel, seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein to accept the Delegate/Life Member allowance . On a Roll Call Vote Passed 18-0.

7) President Ordway opened the discussion for the starting time of the Friday session at Convention. He said that there have been inquiries. Wildwood usually requires a 3-night stay and most attendees check in on Thursday. Since they will be there, we could start at 10am. We will have the Memorial Service first, followed by the business meeting. There will be a limited number of speakers. The Exempt Association, State Fire Chiefs Association and like organizations will be requested to submit a written report to go in the packets so they won’t have to give a verbal report. The health organizations, such as Captain Buscio, the cancer testing group etc. will speak because President Ordway feels that their reports are very important to our members. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Speigel to start Friday’s session at 10am. PASSED.

President Ordway then asked Executive Committeeman Speigel about the tram service. He responded that the trams will most likely be running. He also said that Wildwood is getting a jitney service this summer and he will follow up to see if it will be running

during Convention.

President Ordway also mentioned that the Red Cross will be holding a blood drive on Saturday from 8am-2pm. at the Convention Center.

Executive Committeeman Walker brought up a situation with a member in his county. The member was in two departments with two associations. The association that the member was in dropped him from their association because he was a member of the other department and assumed that he would be joining the other association. He requested back time, which was denied by the Advisory Committee. The department which he is member of now requests that we notify the Chief and Secretary of the association when he was dropped. They are also requesting that a change be made to the Maintenance form to include that he moved to another department. President Ordway said he would see if it can be done.

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Lane seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein to notify the Firemen’s Home that we will no longer meet on the Community Nursing Home, but we will still meet on other issues. PASSED.

Public Comment:

There was no public comment.

GOOD OF THE ORDER:

  • There was discussion by Executive Committeeman Speigel regarding the denial of a burial benefit to a member who resigned in in 1969 with 78 months of qualified service who had an Exempt Certificate. He felt that the member had six months of service in his final year which would have given him the 84 months. After much discussion it was determined that although this member had an Exempt Certificate, that does not prove qualifying time. If documentation can be provided to show this member performed enough in his last six months to qualify, a burial benefit will be granted.

  • Vice President Hankins stated that prior to the pandemic, he had been working with “Wills for Heroes,” a group of lawyers who come in and assist with wills and Power of Attorney. Now that things are beginning to open, he would like to restart this program. He will keep everyone advised of this.

  • Executive Committeeman Naylis asked that the Long-Range Planning Committee

investigate other benefits that can be offered to our members.

  • Executive Committeeman Kelly asked about the petitions for the Board of

Managers that were mentioned in Executive Committeeman Otterbein’s report. He wanted to find out if the managers were going to run their own caucus. President Ordway stated not at this time.

ADJOURNMENT: On a motion by Executive Committeeman Florio, seconded by Executive Committeeman Naylis the meeting was adjourned at 11:03am.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas J. Pelaia

Thomas J. Pelaia

Secretary

 
 
 

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