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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 WILDWOOD, NEW JERSEY SEPTEMBER 14, 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). 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.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held. First Assistant Secretary Brian Martone announced that all members were present except for Second Assistant Secretary Dreby Executive Committeemen Florio and Lenarski who were excused. Also present was Past President Frank Gunson. Past Executive Committeeman Wayne Kepler, Past Executive Committeeman Neil Gallo, Warren County Executive Committeeman elect Joseph Mecsey III, Camden County Firemen’s Home Manager Cassmiro DeLaurentis and Past Field Examiner James Kenny.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Abridged Minutes and Verbatim Minutes of the July 15, 2023, Executive Committee Meeting, both verbal and abridged were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Fazekas seconded by Executive Committeeman Mazzarella. Motion Carried.

COMMUNICATIONS:

Secretary Pelaia said there was no current Communications other than those in your packet.

Motion made by Executive Committeeman Lane, seconded by Executive Committeeman

Otterbein to accept Correspondence distributed. Motion Carried

LIFE MEMBER REPORT: Secretary Pelaia said there is no Life Member Report for this meeting.

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT:

Vice President Hankins :Vice President Hankins said he had no written report:

Secretary’s Report: His written report is in your packet.

First Assistant Secretary Report: He stated that the new business cards have been issued. Anyone

having a problem with them should see him after the meeting.

Second Assistant Secretary Report: No Report

Treasurer Report: He stated that the 3rd quarter outside review report of the General Fund and the calendar year audit for the Pension Fund were completed by PKF, our auditors, and were sent out to all the Executives. He is also working on getting the IRS

issues with the Associations who lost their tax-exempt status for not filing their 990’s

in a timely manner. He is also working with intuit to have direct deposit for our employees and retirees.

Field Examiner Report: Her report is in your packet. She thanked everybody for their assistance with the Field Exams this spring. . She advised the Executives who have Field Exams in 2024, that we will have a schedule for those after the first of the year. Also, she reminded the Executives that Relief Applications will be collected at the caucuses as was done this year, when they are being examined,

Counsel: Counsel Cavallo reported no report

Assistant Counsel Morris: No Report

President’s Report: President Ordway reported the following:

  • He introduced our new Executive Committeeman from Warren County, Mr. Joseph Mecsey III. The State Office will be closed October 9, November 7, and November

  • Special and Supplemental Relief Applications for 2023 must be submitted to the State office no later than December 1, 2023. This deadline is necessary because the Field Examiner needs to review the reports to make sure that they are complete and forwarded to the Advisory prior to their last meeting in December.

  • Third Quarter Relief ends on September 30 and Relief paid reports must be submitted online by October 31,

  • Pink and Blue forms are due into the State Office November 1, 2023.

  • If anyone has a problem with submitting reports online, please call the office. Some problems that you have could be systemwide and by you notifying us we can correct the problem.

  • President Ordway reminded everyone of the Convention times and thanked the Officers and most especially the office staff for their efforts to prepare for the convention.

  • He reminded everyone that there will be a workshop held on Saturday at 9am in the big room at Convention Hall.

  • Caucus and Workshop sites must be ADA compliant. NO EXCEPTIONS. We had to change the venue in a Caucus because it was not ADA compliant,

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Advisory Committee: Chairman Mellert that the report is submitted and in the packets.

Compendium Committee – Chairman Walker reported Work in Progress.

Delegate and Life Member Committee: No Report

Finance Committee: The report of the August 17 meeting is in the packets.

Firemen’s Home: Chairman Otterbein reports are in the packets.

Health Care Committee: Chairman Reeves reports that his report is in the packets, and he reported that so far this year we have surpassed what we paid out last year.

Investment Committee: Chairman that he has had discussions with Treasurer and Jim Rice our investment advisor, and they are investigating interest rates for future investments.

Legislative Committee: Chairman Martone reported that he has been speaking to members from Fort Lee and Edgewater regarding State taxes being exempt from stipends that members receive. The members from both Fort Lee and Edgewater have been in touch with Senator Johnson from Bergen County to sponsor the Bill. President Ordway inquired about the bill regarding exemption from State Income Taxes. Chairman Martone reported that the Legislators have not returned from Summer Break but when they do both the Income Tax Bill and Cancer Screening Bill will be on the Legislature’s agendas, Vice President Hankins then mentioned that when the Executives pick their Legislative committee member that they pick someone who will be in touch with their local Legislators. The Committee has been talking to some of the Legislators and they did not know we have a Legislative Committee .

Long Range Planning: Chairman Spiegel reported that his report is in the packets and one was mailed out last week to all Executives. At the committee meeting there were 5 actions discussed which do not need a vote and will be discussed under New Business. 3 items are still being reviewed which will be voted on at a future meeting, and 3 other items will be voted on under New Business.

PENSION COMMITEE: Treasurer Mullen said the committee met this morning. Our Pension Guarantee premium was lowered to $6,000.00 from $33,786 since our vested benefits are now fully funded.

RESOLUTION COMMITTEE: The Committee discussed the Resolutions at the July Executive Committee Meeting. He said the 5 submitted Resolutions will be discussed at the Convention session on Friday. A NO vote is recommended on these 5 Resolutions. President Ordway then mentioned that the 3 “House Keeping” Resolutions will also be discussed for a total of 8 Resolutions.

SALARY COMMITTEE: No Report

FIRE SAFETY COMMITTEE: Chairman Naylis reported that there will be a Fire Commission meeting at 10:00 this morning.

OLD BUSINESS: President Ordway asked if there was any report on the Associations that are under review. There were none. The First Assistant Secretary said the Secretary’s Manual is complete. There is a little tweaking that must be done and then it will be on the website. He is also working on the Treasurer’s Manual and be completed shortly and put online also.

EXEECUTIVE SESSION: None

NEW BUSINESS:

  • A motion was made by Executive Committeeman to allow the Officers to attend the

League of Municipalities Convention. On a Roll Call Vote – PASSED 19-0

  • A motion was made to have the Application for Membership made available online for the Local Secretary, Local Treasurer, and Local Officers. Executive Committeeman Spiegel then explained that the Committee’s reason is that the applications would be readily available, and they would be the up-to-date version. Executive Committeeman Otterbein then asked if there was any downside to doing this and President Ordway responded that a) the online Application will be 2 separate pages since it is presently one page (front and back), b) we will make the online application limited to be download by the Local Officers. We are limiting it so that people cannot download the Application and just send it in without the Local Association knowing it. On a motion made by Executive Committeeman Roemmich, second Executive Naylis to accept the committee’s recommendation.
  • The next item for discussion was to have Forms 106 and 107 (Pink and Blues) auto-populate the attendance at convention. The forms will be downloaded and made available in about 2 – 3 days following the Convention. When the treasurers receive the auto-populated form they would only need to list the check number, the amount of the check and the signatures of the local President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Also, it was emphasized that the white vouchers will still need to be signed by the Delegate/Alternate and Life Member and submitted to the local treasurer. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman to move forward with proposal. Passed
  • Executive Committeeman Spiegel reported that the Long-Term Planning Committee recommends that the Association issue either an I-pad or tablet to the members of the Executive Committee so that the packets for the meeting and other documents be made readily available to them at a meeting and other business. There was much discussion which included issues such as OPRA requests that are on the devices, memory and if Executives can still receive the information on paper. Counsel Cavallo and Counsel Morris said that each Member will need to have a NJSFA e-mail address, so that all the information will be both on the devices and our server should we receive an OPRA request,

President Ordway said that anyone wishing the information that is sent to the devices on paper, can still receive it that way. He also said that the devices will have enough memory to store the documents. A motion was made Executive Committeeman Fazekas and seconded by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla to purchase the I-Pads or tablets. On a Roll Call vote PASSED 18-1. Counsel Cavallo then stated that prior to receiving a device that an Acceptable Use Policy then be drafted and the member prior to receiving the device must then sign for it. Executive Committeeman Spiegel then reported on the other items that are still being discussed. They are a) No member who is a Delegate to the Convention can be an Alternate also, b) A 9999 Delegates (Chief ‘or Exempt Delegate) who is a member of different Association cannot be a Delegate in their own Association in the same year, c) The total administrative expenses allowable for a Local Association will now be printed on the Financial Standing Report. d) They are looking at changing the barcode on the Delegate and Life Member’s registration card to a QR code, so that code can be sent to a member’s phone enabling the member instead a card they can use their phone to register at Caucuses and Convention, e) Do we need the Red Book printed since it is our website? F) Eliminating the Convention Delegate and Life Member’s badges. g) Updating the “We want you to know” brochure, to include more of the benefits available to them. These items will be discussed at the next committee meeting which will be held after the first of the year.

PUBLIC COMMENT: None

GOOD OF THE ORDER:

1) President Ordway announced that the next Executive Committee Meeting will be on

November 18, 2023, at the State Office.

2) Executive Committeeman Spiegel reminded everyone that the National Fallen Firefighters

Event will be Friday Evening at the Seaport Pier beginning at 7pm.

3) Vice President Hankins thanked Executive Committeewoman Badger for the cake this

morning honoring Executive Committeeman Mellert on his retirement.

4)President Ordway then mentioned that this was Executive Committeeman Mellert’s last

Executive Committee Meeting. He thanked him for his 40 years of service. His remarks were

followed by a standing ovation for Executive Committeeman Mellert.

5) Executive Committeeman Mellert thanked all the Past Officers and Executive Committee

for their assistance and support over the past 40 years

ADJOURNMENT: On a motion by Executive Committeeman Mellert, seconded by all, the meeting was adjourned at 9:55am.

 
 
 

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