Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
   

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

WALL TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

FEBRUARY 24, 2024

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.

President Ordway asked Counsel Cavallo to administer the oath of office to Executive Committeemen Naylis, Walker, Florio and Mazzarella

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held with all officers and Executive Committee members present except for Executive Committeeman Lenarski, who was excused.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Abridged Minutes and Verbatim Minutes of the November 18, 2023, Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Fazekas. Motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS:

Secretary Pelaia said there were no current communications other than those in your packet. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Otterbein to accept the correspondence submitted, seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane. Motion carried.

OFFICERS REPORT:

Vice President Hankins reported the following:

  • He appeared in front of the Assembly Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee. He discussed the special task force report that he is Chairman of. He spoke with Assemblyman Danielson, who is very receptive to the Volunteer fire service with training issues. He did mention to the assemblyman that it is not this association’s job to recruit and retain members. We are a relief association. And, certainly that is the position that all executives should take as well.

Secretary Pelaia Reported the following:

1) He reminded everyone that the Active Membership Reports are due in the office or postmarked by February 28, which is this coming Tuesday. Of the Active Membership Reports already submitted, 10% had to be returned due to mistakes, mostly because the secretaries did not read the instructions.

2) Election petitions for Officers, Executive Committee, and those Firemen’s Home Managers whose terms are expiring are due in the State Office by June 1, 2024. Home Managers elections this year are for Camden, Monmouth, Salem, Somerset, and Warren County.

First Assistant Secretary Martone reported the following: A draft of the Treasurer Manual Trustee manual was sent to the executives for review. He will be posting the final manuals shortly.

Second Assistant Secretary Dreby’s Report: A letter was sent to treasurers regarding what he is looking for when he reviews the bank statements.

Treasurer Mullen’s Report: He thanked everyone for their well wishes during his health issue. He then reminded the executives that they must submit their receipts for their caucus to him. He also stated that he is working with the IRS on the penalties issued to associations who filed their IRS FORM 990 manually rather than on-line in the 2022 filing. PLEASE REMEMBER: the 2023 filings for the 990N, 990EZ and 990 must be submitted online. Everyone was reminded that a copy of your 990’s or a copy of your extensions must be submitted to the IRS by May 15, 2024, and to us by June 14, 2024.

Field Examiner Hollingsworth’s Report: The written report is in the packets. On the suggestion of Executive Committeeman Handlin, there is a report included in the packets showing what the million dollars associations are paying in Special Relief. She also mentioned that when she sends correspondence to a local association, she sends a copy to their executive, to keep them informed. Beginning this year, the local bank statements will be stapled to the financials, so that they will be available during Field Exams.

Counsel Cavallo’s Report: No report.

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

1) The office will be closed on March 29 for Good Friday.

2) He asked if any executive is not going to run for reelection? No executives responded.

3) Membership Reports are due on February 28, 2024.

4) First Quarter Relief Report is due by April 30. It must be done online. There are four associations whose Financial Reports have not been received. He has tracking numbers on three of them. The fourth has not done anything on their report. He will be asking under New Business to put them Out of Accord. The association is from Middlesex County.

5) The Convention Delegates submission must be completed online with a due date of May 1, 2024. As a reminder, he said that the Relief Delegates and Exempt Delegate are now on the same form.

6) He reminded everyone that sometimes the field has issues filling out forms online. He asked that if anyone has a problem, please notify the State Office immediately.

7) He felt that the workshop at the convention was poorly attended for what it cost. He would like to return to county workshops, anticipating that going forward, we will do 10 one year and 11 the following year. In the future, he would like to have one workshop for secretaries and another for treasurers.

8) Field Examination dates and locations are all set. Any association who cannot make

their Field Exam must notify the Field Examiner ahead of that night. Also, those locals

who will not be attending a Field Exam must notify the Field Examiner in advance of their county’s Field Exam.

9) He reminded all Executives that Caucuses and Field Exams must be conducted at an ADA Compliant facility.

10) He reminded everyone that if they receive an e-mail from him to please make sure that it is from him. There are a lot of scams out there and someone has been sending e-mails in his name.

11) This year, we will be removing any member who has five consecutive 0% runs and drills reported on their Active Membership Reports. Every local secretary who has a member affected will receive a letter from the office. Should the secretary have someone who was on Military Leave or another significant reason for not making the five years, they can call the office.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

ADVISORY/ SPECIAL / SUPPLEMENTAL COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Walker stated that there is a report in the packet. There were 12 Applications for Special Relief so far this year. There was $50,000 paid out, whereas $9,750.00 was paid by the locals. In 2023, $702,239.00 was paid out by the State Association and $107,260.00 was paid by the locals.

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: Chairman Roemmich reported that the committee met on February 1, 2024. Five items were discussed:

1) Resolution #6 from last year's Convention which was adding siblings to the burial benefit. This will be discussed further under New Business.

2) Resolution #5 from last year's Convention which was to notify the member who was dropped from the rolls of the association. The State Association does not have the addresses of all its members. They recommend that we notify all local officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Chief) and recorded in the Local Associations Minutes when a member is removed.

3) There was a discussion on laddering the structure for administrative expenses. The committee is taking that under advisement at this time. This will be addressed again at a future meeting.

4) There was some discussion on the tablets. President Ordway said that Counsel Cavallo has prepared a form that everyone must sign when receiving their tablet.

5) There was a discussion regarding credits for duty nights. Since associations do it differently, they decided not to discuss it at this time. They want to leave it to the discretion of the local associations currently and review it later.

DELEGATE AND LIFE MEMBER COMMITTEE: Executive Committeeman Florio said the committee met via Zoom meeting and the present Delegate and Life Member expense

allowance would be sufficient for the current year. There was also discussion that the host county does not receive a lodging expense. There was information received by the committee that there was a local association in the host county that was down to $6000.00, and they were debating on whether they could pay relief because they wanted to pay their salaries. Further investigation was that they were also paying $8000.00 in convention expenses when they are 20 to 30 minutes from Convention Hall. This will be discussed later chairman.

FINANCE COMMITTEE: Treasurer Mullen reported that the Finance Committee Report is in your packet. The committee found everything in order.

FIREMEN’S HOME COMMITTEE: Chairman Otterbein submitted his report. He reported the following:

1) After April 1, 2024, to apply to the Firemen’s Home, instead of being a member of a fire company for one year, you must have 84 months of service. This coincides with our qualification requirement. Any member not in our association must have a document or letter stating that the applicant has 84 months of service in good standing.

2) The Firemen’s Home Managers Executive Board has been dissolved.

HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE: The report has been submitted. A meeting was held on February 15. Since 2017 the Health Care program rose from $100,000 to

$10 million dollars. There was some discussion on temporarily freezing new Applications for Assisted Living and new applications for spouses. This will be discussed and voted on under New Business. President Ordway mentioned that his 17-year spreadsheet is in the packets, and you will be able to see the growth of the Health Care Program.

Investment Committee: Chairman Handlin said that everything is stable now and the committee will be meeting with Treasurer Mullen soon. President Ordway stated that we notified local associations about the number of banks who are offering much higher interest rates then what they were used to getting.

LEGISLATIVE: First Assistant Secretary Martone reported that his report is in the packets. He will schedule a committee meeting shortly. President Ordway reminded everyone that the weekly legislative reports are now on our website.

RESOLUTION COMMITTEE: We have received one resolution so far. The deadline for submitting resolutions is May 1.

SALARY COMMITTEE: No report. The committee will be meeting before the next Executive Committee Meeting with a recommendation for the next fiscal year.

FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION – Chairman Naylis reported that his report is in the packets. There are a lot of issues going on with the Fire Commission. One is to mandate physical fitness activities as part of Firefighter 1 and 2. Another item that was discussed is that Junior Firefighters can attend firefighter training at certified fire training facilities. All juniors and probationary members can ride apparatus if they confine their activities to what is permitted by law. This includes being insured and supervised.

LONG RANGE PLANNING: No report.

APPLICATIONS: Secretary Pelaia said that he, along with President Ordway and Executive Committeeman Mecsey, attended a meeting with the Mansfield Firemen’s Relief Association regarding the dissolving of a company. Members of the company will move to another company in Mansfield. All the paperwork is in order. Executive Committeeman Speigel made a motion, seconded by Executive Committeeman Handlin, to dissolve Company #2 from the Mansfield Firemen’s Relief Association. Passed.

OLD BUSINESS:

1) Field Examiner Hollingsworth reported that there is a list in your packet with the associations which are under review.

2) President Ordway said that we have one association, Helmetta, that did not submit their Financial Standing Report. He double checked and realized that they hadn’t started it yet. Executive Committeeman Reeves made a motion, seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio, to place Helmetta FRA#152 Out of Accord. Passed.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion was made at 10:45am by Executive Committeeman Lane, seconded by Executive Committeeman Kelly, that we move to Executive Session.

Passed.

At 11:10am, a motion by Executive Committeeman Naylis, seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio that we move back to open session. Passed.

NEW BUSINESS:

  • Secretary Pelaia stated that we had two associations request that members be removed from the rolls of our association for crimes of moral turpitude. Middletown Twp. FRA #215 requested that four members be removed. We just received the address of the fourth person, so we will be voting today to remove three of them: Edward Fallon, Vincent Falci and William Long as well as Donald Jervis from Bloomfield FRA #37. On a Roll Call Vote: Passed 20-0.

  • Vice President Hankins stated that there are two members from the Cherry Hill FRA #69 who have been given qualification due to line of duty injuries. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Phillips, seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio to grant qualification to Wesley Schall. On a Roll Call Vote: Passed 20-1. The second member is Matthew Dunne. Matthew Dunne is still waiting for the State of New Jersey’s Division of Pension and Benefits to approve his disability status. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Jubert, seconded by Executive Committee Scheuer, to grant qualification to Matthew Dunne once the Division of Pension and Benefits approve his disability pension. Passed 20-1.

  • President Ordway discussed subsidy associations. He stated that last year the subsidy associations were associations that had less than $50,000 in their treasury and their insurance check was less than $17,500. There was discussion on how we can reduce the number of associations under subsidy. President Ordway recommended that we raise the yearend balance from $50,000.00 to $52,500.00 and increase their insurance check to $20,000.00. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Phillips, seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio that subsidy be changed to $52,500 and their check would be $20,000.00. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 18-2.

  • A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane, to move the May meeting from May 11 to May 4 so that these changes can be further investigated prior to the assessment checks being sent to the local associations on May 15.

  • President Ordway recommended that the insurance check to associations be changed from 60-40 to 65-35. He also recommended the reinstitution of percentage of balance withholding that was initially used to fund the Special Relief Fund. He is recommending a .5% (1/2 Percent) X (times) their December 31 balance. Executive Committeeman Kurdyla asked the President to explain this special assessment. President Ordway explained that years ago if your December 31 balance was $200,000, they took 1% ($2,000.00) to put it in the Special Relief Fund. A lengthy discussion ensued, which also included freezing applications for assisted living and freezing applications for a spouse. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Fazekas, seconded by Executive Committeeman Speigel, to table this until the May 4 meeting. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 17-3.

  • A motion to freeze receiving applications for assisted living Applications in the Health Care program was made by Executive Committeeman Reeves, seconded by Executive Committeeman Kelly. There was a motion by Executive Committeeman Fazekas seconded by Executive Committeeman Speigel to table this to the May Meeting. On a Roll Call Vote Passed 15-5.

  • There was a discussion regarding adding siblings as potential receivers of the Burial Benefit. President Ordway reminded everyone that we will have to notify all siblings when a sibling is to receive the Burial Benefit. He also reminded all that this is for the basic benefit only. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Phillips, seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheuer, to add siblings as a potential receiver of the Burial Benefit. After some discussion, Executive Committeeman Naylis made a motion to table the motion. On a Roll Call vote the motion to table was rejected 4 yes – 16 no. Since the motion to table was defeated, the motion to add siblings as potential receivers was voted on. According to the Compendium, the vote must have 2/3 majority to pass. On a Roll Call vote, 11 yes-9.no DEFEATED since there wasn’t 2/3 of the majority.

The second part of the Compendium Report was if the member was killed in the Line of Duty, the difference between the Basic Benefit and the Line of Duty benefit will be paid in accordance with the Public Safety Officers Benefit (PSOB) guidelines. On a

Roll Call Vote passed 18-2.

  • From the Compendium Committee, there was a resolution at the convention that we notify those members that are removed from the rolls. President Ordway said that we do not have addresses for our members. Since we do not have addresses for all our members, a recommendation was made that we notify all five officers including the Chief and that it be put into the local association’s minutes. On a motion by Executive Committee Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla to notify all five officers when resignations and transfers are made and that they also be included in the local association’s minutes.

  • Secretary Pelaia said that sealed bids were received for supplying the ribbons/badges. The successful bidder was Turnout Fire & Safety from Jersey City for $1.06 per badge. They have supplied our badges for the last four or five years. The National Medal of Honor bid $2.76 per badge, which is $1.70 higher per badge. Due to the number of badges that we have left over, the Executive Committee asked if we could find out a price for a lesser quantity. The secretary will get that information and bring it up at the next meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Morris County Manager Keyser thanked President Ordway and Executive Committeeman Otterbein for their report from the Firemen’s Home regarding the qualification to enter the home. He noted that the qualification is a policy change rather than a By-Law change.

Mark Belles of Morris Plains FRA #228 asked that a template of the letter that we send out removing members who have had five years of 0% be placed on the Secretary’s Tab on our website.

GOOD OF THE ORDER:

President Ordway reminded everyone that the next meeting will be May 4. He thanked everyone for their participation at the meeting, He said that anyone who requested a tablet can pick it up after the meeting,

Vice President Hankins stated that there is information regarding stress in the packets. He reminded everyone that this information will be included in the caucus packets as well.

Executive Committeeman Speigel mentioned that he, along with President Ordway and Vice President Hankins, will be meeting on Tuesday, February 27 with the Convention Center and the Mayors of the Wildwoods regarding parking, transportation, and restrooms on the boardwalk. They will also be meeting soon with the Hotel/Motel Association.

Executive Committeeman Mazzarella reiterated that we went over a lot during the meeting with some very important discussions. He urged that the Executive Committee digest what was discussed and come up with a good decision for the betterment of our firefighters and our benefits.

Executive Committeeman Phillips thanked everyone for the cards and phone calls he received during his recent illness.

ADJOURNMENT: On a motion by Executive Committeeman Florio, seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane, the meeting was adjourned at 12:03pm.

Respectfully Submitted:

Thomas J Pelaia

Secretary

 
 
 

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