Sunday, July 23rd, 2017
   

Abridged Report Executive Committee Meeting

NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION

Kenilworth, N.J. Saturday, February 25, 2017

The meeting was called to order by President Frank B. Gunson, 3rd at 9:00 A.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 Association website as required pursuant to the provisions of the Open Public Meeting Act (Chapter 231, P.L.1975) and sent via mail to all Local Relief Association secretaries.

Vice President Robert Ordway led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

Executive Committeeman Konrad Mellert, Warren County, gave the invocation and led everyone in a moment of silent prayer for those who have answered their last alarm followed by a prayer for our troops and veterans. He concluded by asking for guidance during this meeting.

President Gunson asked 2nd Assistant Secretary Pelaia and Essex County Executive Committeeman Otterbein to remain standing and be administered their oath of office by Counsel Cavallo.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held. First Assistant Secretary Jake Genovay announced that all members were present with the exception of President Emeritus Greenwald and Assistant Counsel Moore who were excused. Also in attendance were Past Executive Committeemen from Union County Thomas Miller and Hudson County Joseph Stauffer

PUBLIC COMMENT:

President Gunson opened the meeting to public comment and asked First Assistant Secretary Genovay to read the following: the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association welcomes comments from members of the audience. He further stated that the secretary will note all comments and that because of this he asked that anyone speaking to state their name and address before speaking and to keep their comments to a 3 minute time limit. Concerns stated or actions requested by the public will be taken under advisement by the Executive Committee for investigation, discussion and possible action or disposition at a later time and date.

Philip G. Picinich, President of Hoboken FRA (159), was here to ask for legal advice. He has a situation where they have a seventeen (17) year old minor who is the child of a fireman who has passed away. The fireman was never married to the mother. He is asking for legal advice on how long can Hoboken continue to offer relief to the child. President Gunson asked Counsel Cavallo to check into this and get back with information so that the Officer’s may respond to Mr. Picinich.

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APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Abridged minutes and the Verbatim Minutes of the November 19, 2016 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by William Mc Nulty, Gloucester County Executive Committeeman, seconded by Robert Kelly, Monmouth County Executive Committeeman with one exception, that being the location stated on the Abridged Minutes. Motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS:

From: Lincoln Park FRA

From: Dick Mercora, Goodwill Fire Co.

To: Gilbert W. Lugossy

From: Pennsauken Township

Secretary Finnegan read the correspondence. A motion was made by many and seconded by many to accept with two pieces of the correspondence to be reported on by the Compendium Committee. Motion carried.

LIFE MEMBER REPORT: No report.

OFFICER REPORTS:

President Gunson reported:

  • Written report distributed.
  • Would like to welcome and congratulate Tom Pelaia, 2nd Assistant Secretary and Rich Otterbein, Essex County Executive Committeeman, to their new positions.
  • Governor has approved the 2017/2018 Firemen’s Home Budget for $8,348,900.
  • Frenchtown FRA was placed out of accord in December and their accounts were frozen. We still have not received their books. Our attorney has sent a letter stating that if we do not receive them by the close of business Tuesday, February 28th, then we will go to court to get their records.
  • Would like to thank all the Executive Committeemen and Local Officers for getting their reports in on time.
  • He reminded Local Officers to follow up with the State Office if they have submitted membership applications and have not heard back from us.
  • Attended a Supreme Court hearing on NJSFA vs. Carter.
  • Voting machines were tested in January, and two more ordered, and there will be a realignment of machines in Wildwood that should allow for better flow and with an earlier start, things should go much smoother.
  • Working with the Wildwood Convention Center, everyone entering the Hall will be “wanned” for security reasons; no knives will be allowed into the hall. Last year they were collected as you entered.
  • Firemen’s Home is doing a feasibility study on a “Dementia Unit” and they asked for input from us. President Gunson, VP Ordway and Executive Committeemen Naylis and Lane will be on the committee.

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Vice President Ordway reported:

  • Written report distributed.
  • Congratulated Tom and Rich on their appointment and election to their positions as well as the Executive Committeemen for getting their reports in on time. So far there are no associations not being seated for the late submission of reports.
  • There are 120 associations still out for the Membership report as of yesterday.
  • There is a list of caucus dates, times and locations in your packet
  • Also included in your packet is the information for the May meeting.
  • Concluded by stating that there will be five caucuses that will be having an election for a Board of Managers this year: Atlantic, Bergen, Gloucester, Ocean and Sussex.

Secretary’s report: Written report distributed; no verbal.

Treasurer Osborn reported: Distributed; no verbal.

Field Examiner Kenny reported: Written report distributed; plenty of verbal:

  • Letters have been sent to Salem and Sussex Associations notifying them of their Field Exam. In addition, Field Exams before the Convention will be Middlesex, Burlington and Cumberland counties. Bergen, Monmouth and Essex Field Exams will be conducted after the Convention.
  • He will be asking for more participation by the Execs at Field Exams. Associations being reviewed will be told to bring the current year and the prior year’s Relief Applications to the Field Exam. They will be taken from them and brought back to the State Office for Review. A receipt will be given to the local association and after review at the State Office, the relief applications will be returned to the local. No Relief Applications will be reviewed at the Field Exam. The Association MUST BRING THE RELIEF APPLICATIONS TO THE FIELD EXAM WITH BACK UP DOCUMENTATION. FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL RESULT IN THE FIELD EXAM BEING CANCELLED FOR THE EVENING AND REQUIRE THE LOCAL ASSOCIATION TO COME TO THE STATE OFFICE TO COMPLETE THE EXAM.
  • On January 24th a letter was mailed to the IRS regarding the change over of the 15 associations that were reporting on a fiscal year and being changed over to a calendar year. We haven’t heard back from them as yet.
  • Associations are spending money on other administrative items that should not be: plaques, food, pizza parties, flowers, etc. In the Secretary/Treasurer Manuals on page T8 it spells out what things are covered under Administrative Expense. Letters are being sent out advising these associations that these expenses are not authorized and MONIES MUST BE RETURNED.

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Counsel Cavallo reported: He expanded on what the President said regarding the Carter case being heard at the State Supreme Court. He said that a couple of weeks after the hearing they asked Banking & Insurance what type of information they receive from the NJSFA and they were told what reports they receive from us.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

ADVISORY COMMITTEE – report distributed, no verbal.

BUILDING COMMITTEE – Chairman Dreby, Burlington County, said that there have been ongoing meetings with the Architect. We have had a preliminary meeting with the Planning Board. Our attorneys are in the process of developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for either a Construction Manager or a Clerk of the Works. The drawing of the building is in the front of the meeting room here.

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE – Chairman Mc Nulty, Gloucester County, said that a meeting was held on February 8th. Three items were discussed: Increasing the age, junior firefighters being eligible to join the NJSFA and payment of burial benefits.

The committee recommended keeping the age the same, not to allow junior firefighters eligibility in the NJSFA and to keep the order of payment of burial benefits as is, where survivors are paid before the funeral director.

Bergen County Committeeman Naylis disagreed with the committee’s findings regarding not increasing the age as we currently have firefighters in the association who are over 45.

CONSOLIDATION COMMITTEE – There haven’t been any meetings. President Gunson will appoint a new Chairman.

DELEGATE/LIFE MEMBER – Chairman Lane, Passaic County, stated a meeting was held and have made recommendations. A report has been distributed and included in the packet handed out. The proposed increase is included in the handout and will be voted on under New Business.

FINANCE – Treasurer Osborn stated the report has been distributed. No verbal.

HEALTH CARE – Chairman Mellert, Warren County, stated that report has been distributed.

LEGISLATIVE – First Assistant Secretary Genovay stated the report has been distributed. No Verbal.

PENSION – Treasurer Osborn reported that they met prior to the meeting to discuss normal business.

RED BOOK – Chairman Kelly, Monmouth County, submitted a list of questions and will be discussed under New Business.

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RESOLUTIONS – Counsel Cavallo said nothing to report.

SALARY – Chairman Dreby, Burlington County, stated that he will have a recommendation for the President and Vice-President’s salary under New Business. This recommendation will take into consideration their years of experience as Committeemen. Recommended starting salaries for the President will be $84,675, Vice President $65,900 and Second Assistant Secretary $9,307 retroactive to October 1, 2016. This will be voted on under New Business.

SPECIAL RELIEF – Chairman Mellert, Warren County, said the report has been distributed.

SUBSIDY – Chairman Mellert, Warren County, stated no report.

WEB PAGE – Chairman Mazzarella, Middlesex County, stated a brief meeting was held after the Compendium meeting. They will be concentrating on frequently asked questions and then have a draft of table of contents.

APPLICATIONS – None.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – John Lane, Passaic County, questioned about the change in the voting procedure for this year. He didn’t understand how if the actual voting time tested for this year takes 9-10 seconds, how will it be improved if last year it took 7 seconds? President Gunson explained that last year did not take 7 seconds with the overrides not being in place and with the two additional machines, a secured bin being available for members to drop their ballots into if they do not want to wait to vote, a new layout for flowing through the hallway to vote and an additional half hour of voting time available, he is confident that there won’t be any problem accommodating the voters. In addition, he will be asking the Executive Committee for additional help with the voting process.

A motion was made by Robert Kelly, Monmouth County, to accept the recommendation of the Compendium Committee on the increase in age and the junior firefighter issues as well as the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to keep the pecking order as is in the payment of burial benefits and that letters be sent to Mr. Mercora and Lincoln Park informing them of the Executive Committee’s decision. A second was made by Richard Dreby, Burlington County. My. Naylis suggested that the motion be amended to add that the Executive Committee has asked counsel to investigate if we are exposed to Age Discrimination as we are currently formed. Mr. Kelly agreed to the change as did Mr. Dreby. The vote passed on a roll call vote with 21 in favor and none opposed.

EXECUTIVE SESSION – A motion was made by Jerry Naylis, Bergen County, to go into Executive Session. It was seconded by Nick Florio, Union County. Motion approved at 10:00 A.M.

A motion was made by Jerry Naylis, Bergen County, and seconded by Nick Florio, Union County, to come back from Executive Session. Motion approved at 10:25 A.M.

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UNFINISHED BUSINESS (continued) – Frank Walker, Salem County, asked the President if there was anything to report on the Feasibility Study being done by the Home and was informed that there was a preliminary meeting and that the President, Vice President and Committeemen Naylis and Lane will be on that committee. Monmouth County Committeeman Kelly stated that it was a positive first step in renewing relationship between organizations.

NEW BUSINESS – A motion was made by John Phillips, Hunterdon County, and seconded by John Lane, Passaic County, that any association not having their Membership Report in on time not be seated at this year’s convention. Motion carried.

A motion was made by Robert Kelly, Monmouth County, to approve the State Association take out a $200 ad in the NJ State Exempt Journal. A second was made by Nick Florio, Union County. The vote passed on a roll call vote with 21 in favor and none opposed.

John Lane, Passaic County, made a motion to approve the Delegate/Life Member Expense as presented. Second was made by Nick Florio, Union County. A lengthy discussion followed on the pros and cons of the increase. The vote passed on a roll call vote with 20 in favor and one opposed.

A motion was made by Salary Chairman Rick Dreby, Burlington County, to approve the recommendation of the Salary Committee for increases in salary for the President, Vice President and Second Assistant Secretary. Motion was seconded by James Reeves, Cumberland County. The vote passed on a roll call vote with 21 in favor and none opposed.

A motion was made by Konrad Mellert, Warren County, to allow the officers to purchase an overhead projector and screen to be used at workshops up to $600. A second was made by Dan Speigel, Cape May County. The vote passed on a roll call vote with 21 in favor and none opposed.

Robert Kelly, Monmouth County, made a motion that the Red Book Questionnaire be distributed with the abridged minutes to get the local’s demand for the Red Book. A second was made by Nick Florio, Union County. Motion carried.

A motion was made by John Phillips, Hunterdon County, not to have our name on the marquee sign in front of the New Building. A second was made by William Mc Nulty, Gloucester County. The vote passed on a roll call vote with 21 in favor and none opposed.

Counsel Cavallo suggested doing a motion for a RFP for a Construction Manager for the new building as they would provide more services at the beginning of the building and then scale back to a Clerk of the Works. A motion to that affect was made by Jerry Naylis, Bergen County, and seconded by Norm Figueroa, Camden County. The vote passed on a roll call vote with 21 in favor and none opposed.

A motion was made by Rick Dreby, Burlington County, and seconded by William Mc Nulty, Gloucester County, to have our full name, New Jersey State Firemen’s Association, on the front of the building. Motion passed unanimously.

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GOOD OF THE ORDER – John Lane, Passaic County, thanked all officer’s and committeemen who came to Past Passaic Executive Committeeman Don Simmons wake and funeral. The family appreciated it.

Jay Lenarski, Mercer County, expressed his thanks for his excusal letter being accepted for the last Executive Committee meeting.

Thomas Pelaia thanked all for his consideration and appointment to the Second Assistant Secretary position and congratulated Rich Otterbein on his election as his replacement as Essex County Executive Committeeman.

Dan Speigel, Cape May County, notified the committee that the handicap parking for the convention is being worked on by the Five Mile Beach Group. They have increased the number of handicap spots, are trying to get the drop off points closer and have increased the number of carts to transport the handicapped..

Rich Otterbein, Essex County, thanked everyone for their assistance .

First Assistant Secretary Genovay brought up the topic of Convention Workers. He asked the Committeemen to be sure that the people you assign to a job are capable of doing the job. You should appoint someone who is willing and able to work.

ADJOURNMENT – A motion was made by William Mc Nulty, Gloucester County, to adjourn. A second was made by many. Motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 A.M.

Respectfully submitted,

KEVIN B. FINNEGAN

Secretary, NJSFA

 
 
 

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