Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
   

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

WALL TOWNSHIP NJ

May 4, 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.

A moment of silence was observed for our deceased members and their families.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held. All members were present except Treasurer Mullen, Secretary Pelaia, First Assistant Secretary Martone, and Second Assistant Secretary Dreby, who were excused.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Abridged Minutes of the February 25, 2024, Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio. Motion Carried.

COMMUNICATIONS:

President Ordway announced that there were no additional communications that needed to be read. A motion to accept Communications sent to the Executive Committee by Executive Committeeman Speigel, seconded by Executive Committeeman Otterbein, PASSED.

LIFE MEMBER REPORT:

None

OFFICERS REPORTS:

VICE PRESIDENT:

1) He stated that he was still waiting for two counties to give him their caucus location.

2) He also stated that all the caucus workers’ dates are in the Executives folder. Anyone having a conflict with their assignments should notify him as soon as possible.

TREASURER:

The Treasurer’s report is in the packet

SECRETARIES:

Reports from Secretary Pelaia, First Assistant Secretary Martone and Second Assistant Secretary are in your Packets.

FIELD EXMINER:

Field Examiner Hollingsworth reported that her report was e-mailed to the Executives. She also stated she is recommending that the following associations be put under review based on their Field Examinations: Harding Township, Hanover Township, Mine Hill, Dumont, Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Allentown, Clementon, Brooklawn, Stratford, Linwood, Cape May, and Woodlawn. She also informed all that First Assistant Secretary Martone has uploaded the Trustees and Treasurer Manuals to the website under Manuals.

Counsel Cavallo and ASSISTANT COUNSEL Morris Report:

  • Counsel Cavallo has no report for the General Session, but he has one item for Executive
  • Counsel Morris reminded us that today is International Firefighters Day. Heereeee asked that we remember all our brothers and sisters around the country on this date.

PResident’s Report:

President Ordway reported:

  • We have received all Convention delegate reports on time. He reminded all that changes must be made no later than August 31. Changes made before the County Caucus must be submitted a week before the caucus and all changes for the Convention by August 31. All changes must be in writing and can be faxed, emailed or letter sent. Remember any of the at-large alternates can replace any at-large delegate. The only alternate for the Chief is the Chief’s Alternate. A chief cannot attend as a Life Member. The same is true for the exempt delegate. Only the exempt alternate can replace the exempt delegate.
  • All membership reports were received on time. All associations were notified of who is going to be removed from membership. A sample letter was sent to the local association secretaries so that they could notify the members that are affected. The secretaries must list the names of members who are removed in their local minutes. As was done this past year, in July or August, the State Office will be sending a letter to the local associations of the members who may be removed next year.
  • As of the date of this meeting, we have only one association that is not seated for this year’s convention.
  • On May 1, the State Association wired out $11,388,500.00 to the Firemen’s Home.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

ADVISORY COMMITTEE:

Chairman Walker Reported that as of year to date, there have been 43 Special Relief applications for a total of $205,288.00.

Out of the Special Relief payment, $35,750.00 was paid by the local associations.

Last year we approved 171 applications for a total of $702,239.00 and of that the locals paid out $107,260.00.

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: Chairman Roemmich has nothing to report.

DELEGATE- LIFE MEMBER REPORT: Chairman Florio has nothing to report.

FINANCE COMMITTEE: No report due to the meeting being held on May 6.

FIREMEN’S HOME: Chairman Otterbein reported that he attended two meetings. The report of the meetings is in your packet. There were a few things of interest that were reported at the meeting:
1) A contract for the new elevator was awarded for $235,000.

2)The contract for the new roof is being rebid. The first bid was not accepted .

3) There was discussion on the Application Committee’s revised qualifications to enter the Home. This will be revisited at their next meeting.

4)The Home received a preliminary Actuarial Study. They are looking at it and hopefully have comments concerning it by the end of the year.

HEALH CARE CO,MMOTTEE: Chairman Reeves reported that his report is in the packets. He also stated that in 2017 we spent $999,600 and last year we spent $13,770,000.

INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Chairman Handlin stated that the committee will meet via Zoom next month.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: In Chairman Martone’s absence, President Ordway stated that Brian is setting up a Legislative Committee meeting sometime in the next couple of weeks.

LONG TERM PLANNING COMMITTEE: Chairman Speigel reported that he will be bringing up under New Business having the Abridged Minutes online only, instead of mailing them.

PENSION COMMITTEE: Vice President Hankins reported that there was a meeting of the committee this morning and there was nothing to report.

RESOLUTION COMMITTEE: Chairman Cavallo reported that he has received over a dozen resolutions, mostly from Gloucester County on one topic. He is scheduling a meeting for the Resolution committee to make recommendations back to the Executive Committee.

SALARY COMMITTEE:

Chairman Fazekas reported that he would like to have some discussion on this topic in Executive Session.

FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION:

Executive Committeeman Naylis reported that his report has been distributed. There were two topics of particular importance that were discussed. One is pending OSHA Regulations. Comments are due back to OSHA by June 21. He stated that this has a major impact on the Fire Service. He asked that the local associations review these changes and make comments accordingly. He also stated that there was

much discussion at the last Commission meeting that had to do with a sub-committee recommendation, that physicals be required as part of Firefighter I and Firefighter II. He stated that there was a lot of opposition to this and that will be pending further discussion.

APPLICATIONS: Three Applications have been submitted.

  • An application was received from the Lakewood Firemen’s Relief Association that a new company was being formed for the Volunteer Company. All the paperwork was received and in good order. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Jubert, seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves,
  • Monmouth Junction Firemen’s Relief Association is adding a new company, Kingston Fire Company #3. All the paperwork was received and in good order. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Florio, seconded by Executive Committeeman Walker,
  • Field Examiner Hollingsworth then stated that Buena is adding a new company because they are closing two companies. We have received paperwork, and it is good order, A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Roemmich, seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves. Much discussion ensued and it was explained that this is a new company in Buena and the two former companies have been closed.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Otterbein, seconded by Executive Committeeman Scheuer to move into Executive Session at 9:27am. for approximately 45 Minutes PASSED. At 10:15am a motion was made by Executive Committeeman Fazekas and seconded by Executive Committeeman Speigel to return to open session. At 10:15am, A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane to go back into Closed Session for approximately 15 minutes . PASSED. The meeting was returned to the Executive Session. On a motion by Executive Committeeman Handlin

seconded by Executive Committeeman Lane to return to Open Session at 10:45am. PASSED

Old Business:

1) There is a list that the Field Examiner has distributed of associations that need oversight. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla, seconded by Executive Committeeman Walker that the Executives follow up with their local associations. PASSED.

2)Executive Committeeman Florio made a motion seconded by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla to remove Linden from oversight. PASSED.

3) President Ordway stated that at the last meeting, the Executive Committee voted to add siblings as a potential recipient of the burial benefit. It passed with a vote of 11 to 9, which initially was thought to have passed. Per our attorney, that vote was determined to be negative because it did not have two thirds majority. Several executives then requested that it be put up for another vote since we needed 14 for the motion to pass. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Roemmich, seconded by Executive Speigel to reconsider the motion. The motion to reconsider Passed 11 to 10. President Ordway then brought up again the motion to add siblings to the burial benefit. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Speigel and seconded by Executive Committeeman Roemmich. There was then discussion on the motion. Executive Committeeman Walker questioned the Chairman of the Resolution Committee that this resolution concerns mandating money and, in the past, a resolution mandating money was unable to be put in a resolution. Counsel Cavallo replied that the purpose of this resolution is just to add siblings to the potential list of recipients. Executive Committeeman Speigel stated that he finds it difficult that over 5,000 members of the Association voted to have this. He spoke to some officers and Executives, and everyone seemed to remember this happening once in the past five years. In answer to that, President Ordway stated that in the fiscal year 2023, nine siblings were paid as caregivers, and seven were paid for Burial expenses, which totals 16. This year so far, five siblings were paid as caregivers and six were paid for Burial expenses. Executive Committeeman Fazekas then asked if the member that passes only has siblings, do we still pay the burial benefit, and the answer is yes. Then what are the siblings looking for? President Ordway responded that it would be the anything over and above the value of the claim. President Ordway then stated that we always look at who paid for the funeral because it is a burial benefit. Subsequently, we look at the spouse first, then the children next and so forth. Executive Committeeman Roemmich then remarked that the only thing that they are asking for is to put the word sibling in the list of payments, so that this issue won’t affect people in the future. President Ordway then stated that there has been some good discussion on the matter, and that he hopes that it will pass. He also stated if it does pass it will solve a lot of problems and issues.

Executive Committeeman Speigel, made a motion, seconded by Executive Committeeman Roemmich to add siblings to list of recipients. On a Roll Call Vote 13 YES-8 NO. MOTION DEFEATED since the vote must be 2/3 in the affirmative. (14) Yes.

4) The next item being discussed was the Insurance split and special assessment percentage. Executive Committeeman Lane’s committee asked the Executive Committee to have a split of 68% to the NJSFA and 32% to the field and a point 5% (1/2 of 1%) Special Committee Assessment. President Ordway then said that this is a recommendation. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves. On a Roll Call Vote, PASSED 21-0.

5) At the last meeting, a motion by Executive Committeeman Naylis, seconded by Executive Committeeman Reeves, to table that we freeze the receiving of new applications for the spouse portion of all types of Health Care Assistance. The motion PASSED

A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Fazekas, seconded by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla to take this motion off the table. PASSED.

President Ordway then opened discussion on this motion which says: Freeze the receiving of new applications to the spouse portion of all types of Health Care Assistance effective June 1, 2024.

Those also currently receiving Health Care Assistance in the program would continue to receive Health Care Assistance. Executive Committeeman Walker then inquired if this is a temporary freeze until the Executive Committee unfreezes it. The answer was yes. On a Roll Call Vote, PASSED 21-0.

6)A motion was made and tabled at the last meeting to freeze the receiving of new applications to the Firefighter Assisted Living Portion of the Health Care Assistance Program. President Ordway reminded all that a yes vote means that we freeze applications, and a no vote means we continue receiving them. Those also currently receiving Health Care Assistance in the Assisted Living program would continue to receive Health Care Assistance On a Roll Call Vote, PASSED 20-1.

7) There was a recommendation to cut down the number of badges for this year’s Convention due to the overages the past two years. A memo from Secretary Pelaia on the reduction of badges is in the packets. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kelly, seconded by Executive Committeeman Handlin to order per Secretary Pelaia’s recommendation. PASSED.

NEW BUSINESS:

APPOINTMENTS:

FIELD EXAMINER- A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Lane, seconded by Executive Committeeman Roemmich to reappoint Jennie Hollingsworth. PASSED.

COUNSEL- A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Fazekas and seconded Executive Committeeman Lenarski to reappoint Frank Cavallo as Counsel and George Morris as Assistant Counsel. PASSED.

SALARY COMMITTEE – Executive Committeeman Fazekas made a motion, seconded by Executive Committeeman Spiegel that the salary scale presented in his report for Officers and Executive Committee accepted On a Roll Call Vote for the Office Staff PASSED 21-0. and a Roll Call Vote for the Officers and Executive Committee PASSED 18-3

BUDGET – A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Kurdyla. seconded by

Executive Committeeman Reeves to approve the budget for 2024-2025 as presented.

On a Roll Call Vote, PASSED 21-0.

Meeting Change – President Ordway asked if the May Executive Meeting should be changed to the First Saturday of May as it was this year to allow for any changes in the distribution checks, which go out on May 15. A motion was made by Executive Committeeman Handlin, seconded by Executive Committeeman Kelly to permanently move the May meeting to the First Saturday of May. PASSED.

REIMBURSEMENT: Executive Committeeman Fazekas seconded by Executive Committeeman Florio to reimburse the President and Vice President for the EZ PASS they use with the Association’s vehicles. On a Roll Call Vote, PASSED 21-0.

REIMBURSEMENT: Executive Committeewoman Badger inquired if the Field Examiner gets a stipend when she goes out at night to assist an executive. President Ordway said that she gets the normal stipend that the Executives get like attending caucuses and Field Exams. Executive Committeewoman Badger then made a motion that the Officers and Field Examiner who use their personal vehicles be reimbursed for gas and tolls when they go to out to associations with the Executive Committeeman. Executive Committeeman Naylis made a motion to table this to have counsel make sure that it doesn’t conflict with Employment Clause or regulations and that we set a policy. Seconded by Executive Otterbein. Motion to table, PASSED 11 to 10.

ABRIDGED MINUTES: Executive Committeeman Handlin and Executive Committeeman Speigel brought forward a suggestion that we continue to put the abridged report online rather than mailing it out. President Ordway suggested that we bring this up at the next meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Bob Sweeten, President of the NJ State Exempt Firemen’s Association. He spoke on the Health Care Program.

GOOD OF THE ORDER: Field Examiner Hollingsworth thanked the Executives for thinking of her. It was appreciated. She said she did not ask for reimbursement, and she is always ready to come into the field to help.

Counsels Cavallo and Morris also thanked everyone for their support.

Respectfully Submitted ,

Thomas J. Pelaia SECRETARY

 
 
 

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