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

Phone (732) 798-8137
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Fax (732) 938-2580

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Abridged Report Executive Committee Meeting

Abridged Report with Attachments

ABRIDGED REPORT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION

July 22, 2023

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).

SALUTE TO THE FLAG: Vice President Hankins led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

INVOCATION: Executive Committeeman Mellert gave the invocation.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held. All Officers and Members of the Executive Committee were present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Abridged and Verbatim Minutes of the May 22, 2023, Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Handlin seconded by Executive Committeeman Fazekas. PASSED.

COMMUNICATIONS:

None

OFFICERS REPORTS:

Vice President Hankins report: He reported the following:

1) The caucus schedule and Executive Committee’s assignments are in the packets. He noted that the Union County Caucus was changed to a different location. All the Registration Cards have been tested as well as the laptops used for registration.

2) He asked the Executives to submit their Caucus minutes to Secretary Pelaia as soon as possible after the caucus so that they can be filed for future reference.

Secretary Pelaia’s Report: In addition to his written report, his verbal remarks are:

1) Petitions have been received from 20 incumbent Executives. There was 1 petition for Warren County Executive for the position being vacated by Executive Committeeman Mellert who is retiring. We also received petitions for the 6 Firemen’s Home Manager terms. There were 2 petitions submitted for Passaic County and 3 petitions submitted for Essex County.

2) Convention Credentials were mailed to all local secretaries on June 15. Anyone not receiving the credentials should notify me as soon as possible.

3) All changes for Delegates and Alternates must be submitted in writing no later than August 31, 2023. NO EXCEPTIONS

4) Executives were reminded that if they need a report printed for their caucuses, that they submit them to the Secretary as soon as possible

5) Due to the number of Resolutions submitted for the convention (5), the ballot at the convention will be 2 sided. The voting machines will read both sides of the ballot when entered the machines. A sample ballot is in your packet and will also be distributed at the Caucuses.

6) Executives were reminded to update their Emergency Contacts. A form is in their packets.

7) The Red books were mailed out on June 29, 2023. There is a Red Book in your packet. Anyone needing additional books should notify me.

8) New Business cards are being printed for all the Executives. A sample of the card is in your packets. Please review your information on the card and let Field Examiner Hollingsworth of any changes.

First Assistant Secretary Martone’s Report: A draft of the updated Secretary’s Manual was e-mailed to all Executive Committee members last week. He asked the Executive Committee to review it and let him know if there are any updates or corrections that need to be made. He is currently working on the Treasurer’s Manual. He will distribute a draft to the Executive Committee when it is completed. These Manuals will be replacing the former Secretary Treasurer Manual. He also mentioned that there will be a Trustee Manual forthcoming to assist Trustees with Relief Applications that they receive.

Second Assistant Secretary Report: He has been working on the Memorial Service for Friday September 15. All participants have acknowledged that they will participate. He reminded everyone that the those honored are the members who passed away during the past fiscal year which was July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

Treasurer Mullen’s Report: PKF our auditing firm has completed the independent audit for our Pension Fund. They are presently working on our 3rd Quarter Audit Report.

There is a written report in the packets.

Field Examiner Report: In addition to her written report, she reports the following:

1) She reminded everyone to check the sample business card in their packet and to submit any changes to her. There is a box on the dais that you can submit the changes.

2) There will be a Field Exam in Cape May County on September 13, 2023.

3) Relief Applications for those Associations not having a Field Exam in their county this year. have been asked that that they bring their 2022 Relief Applications to their Caucus, so that they can be reviewed prior to the Field Exam and returned to the local association at their Field Exam.

Counsel Cavallo reported: He stated he can now report on 2 litigations in Public Session.

1) he reported on the litigation with the New Jersey Division of Taxation. We were successful in this litigation. The Division of Taxation is in the process of reconciling the payments for the years from 2016 to 2022. That reconciliation should be complete by the end of the month. The Division of Taxation must report back to the court of their findings in September.

2)The second item is the litigation with our former landlord for damages caused by the faulty HVAC in our offices. The court then found the Installation contractor at fault and now the landlord can recoup costs from the installer and then negotiate with us for our damages.

Assistant Counsel Morris: Nothing to Report

President’s Report: He reported the following:

1) The Office will be closed on September 4 in honor of Labor Day. The office will close early on September 13 and all-day September 14-15 while we are in Wildwood.

2) He reminded all that the second Quarter Relief paid Report is due on July 30.

They must be done on-line. Hard copies are not accepted. Delegate and Life Member payment vouchers (Pink and Blues) must be submitted to the office by November 1, 2023. DO NOT SEND AFFIDAVIT FORMS.

3) Everyone should start their reports early so that if there is a problem you can get help from our office in plenty of time to meet the deadlines

4) Minor changes are being made to some of the forms and we will get them out to the Local Associations when completed.

5) As of this meeting there are 3 Associations not being seated.

6) The 2022 Convention will be 2 days, September 15-16. Registration for Friday’s Session will be 7am to 11:00am with the Memorial Service beginning at 11:00 am followed by Convention Business. Registration for Saturday’s Session will be 7am to 11am. Saturday will be strictly voting. Recommended times for voting are attached, although members may vote at any time between 7am and 11am.

7) County Caucuses and Workshop facilities must be ADA compliant

8) The packets today have a comparison report showing benefits paid for the first 6 months of 2023 versus the First 6 months of 2022.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

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

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: Chairman Walker reported work in progress.

DELEGATE AND LIFE MEMBER COMMITTEE: No Report.

FINANCE COMMITTEE: Treasurer Mullen reported that the Finance Committee met on May 15. Committee found that the financial records in good order.

FIREMEN’S HOME COMMITTEE: Chairman Otterbein reported that there is a report in your packet regarding the activities at the home.

HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE: Chairman Reeves reported that his written report has been distributed. He also reported that we will surpass the funds distributed compared to the same time last year.

Investment Committee: No Report.

LEGISLATIVE: First Assistant Secretary Martone stated the Governor has signed the Legislation regarding the PFRS 20 years of service bill, which is in the report that has been distributed.

Long Range Planning Committee: No Report

PENSION COMMITTEE: Treasurer Mullen said that the report is part of his Treasurer’s Report

RESOLUTION COMMITTEE: Chairman Cavallo said that as mentioned previously, we received 5 resolutions (Ballot Questions 4-8) from the field. They are in the packets and will be available at all the Caucuses, The Committee met and is recommending a NO VOTE on all five. Their decisions are noted in the Resolution Report. There will also be 3 Questions (Questions 1-3) on the ballot which are the three general questions on the ballot each year. The officers are recommending a YES VOTE for these questions.

Salary Committee: No Report

FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION: Executive Committeeman Naylis reported that there was a meeting Wednesday, July 20 in Surf City. He will forward a report as soon as he receives it. There were 2 items of interest that he shared. 1) The updated New Jersey Fire Code has been published in the New Jersey Register. 2) A National Fire Response Information System is being rolled out in 2025. This will replace the current NFIRS System. President Ordway attended the Commission Meeting and reported that the bulk of the meeting had discussions on Lithium Batteries and Charging Stations. There is current legislation regarding electric vehicles but nothing regarding the Charging Stations and their locations, which presents a danger to firefighters while fighting these types of fires.

APPLICATIONS: None

OLD BUSINESS: None

NEW BUSINESS:

1) There were 6 appointments for Professional Services at the last Executive Committee meeting which were moved to this meeting for more information. They are:

1) PKF O’Connor Davies – General Funds Auditor

2) Public Affairs Advisors – Zita Group

3) PKF O’Connor Davies – Pension Plan Auditor

4) National Professional Planning Group – Pension Advisor

5)Oasic Wealth - Investment Advisor’

6( US Bank – Pension Trustees Advisor

Items 1 and 2 are paid through the General Fund and 3-6 are being paid through the Pension Fund

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Philips, seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves to accept the appointments. Passed 20-0

(2) There was discussion regarding a joint actuarial study being done along with the Firemen’s Home. President Ordway spoke on the matter and said that the Firemen’s Home and the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association are 2 different entities. The Firemen’s Home is more like a “Brick and Mortar” facility whereby they are limited to the number of guests that the Home can accommodate. They are also responsible for 17,000 members who have left our Association prior to being Qualified. The Firemen’s Association is more like “Free floating”. We are not limited to how many members that we can serve, prior to being Qualified. He also mentioned that the only thing we have in common is that we both utilize the same funding source, which is the 2% tax. Executive Committeeman Walker then made a motion that we do not have any actuarial study done at this time. Passed 20-0.

(3) Executive Committeeman Mellert then mentioned that he is working on getting a new Association which is FrelinghuysenTownship. He is currently working on their application with Secretary Pelaia.

(4) Executive Committeeman Handlin then brought forward for discussion having the Executive Committee terms be increased from a one-year year to a two-year term. President Ordway mentioned that he was against it because there would not be an election each year at a caucus and members would lose interest in attending a caucus. Executive Committeeman Otterbein then asked if President Ordway would support a two-year term if the Firemen’s Home Board of Managers would also serve two-year terms. President Ordway then said yes to that proposal because then you can have an election each year at the caucus. Executive Committeeman Kelly then responded that he likes to see the firefighters in his county every year and he is not in favor of 2-year terms.

PUBLIC COMMENT: There were no public comments.

GOOD OF THE ORDER:

1) President Ordway informed everyone that the next Executive Committee Meeting will be 9:00am Thursday September 14, 2023, at the Wildwood Convention Center. He also thanked all the Committees for their work and thanked all the Executives for their participation at the meeting today.

2) Field Examiner Hollingsworth reminded all the Executives to turn in the information for their business cards as soon as possible.

3) Executive Committeeman Naylis asked if one of the Line of Duty Deaths that occurred this past month was not a member. President Ordway responded yes. He said that the firefighter was given 3 Applications that were documented by the local Secretary, and he never returned one.

4) Executive Committeewoman Badger inquired when the name change to Firefighters will occur. President Ordway responded that we are in the process of changing the names on the Incorporation papers due to the banks and IRS not accepting current documentations that we have which many of them are about 100 years old or older.

At that time, we will be changing the name to Firefighters. She also inquired about the Executives having access to all members in our database to check and see if a member is presently in another Association etc. President Ordway state he is working on that with the computer programmers.

5) Executive Committeeman Fazekas wanted to share some of the remarks he has received from his Associations commending the State office staff for their professionalism when inquiries are made. President Ordway agreed and stated we are very fortunate to have the office staff that we have.

ADJOURNMENT: On a motion by Executive Committeeman Otterbein, seconded by Executive Committeeman Fazekas to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 9:59am.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas J. Pelaia

Thomas J. Pelaia

Secretary

 
 
 

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