Saturday, December 16th, 2017
   

Abridged Report Executive Committee Meeting

ABRIDGED REPORT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

NEW JERSEY STATE FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION

Kenilworth, N.J. Saturday, July 15, 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. The fire exits were pointed out.

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

Committeeman Mellert 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 as well as the Marines and Navy personnel that died in the recent plane crash. He concluded by asking for guidance during this meeting.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was held. First Assistant Secretary Genovay announced that all members were present with the exception of Essex County Executive Committeeman Otterbein who was excused. Also in attendance were Past Executive Committeemen from Union County Thomas Miller, Somerset County Neil Gallo, Hudson County Executive Committeeman Joseph Stauffer and Hudson County Executive Committeeman and Current Manager Charles Voorhees,

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.

No one wished to be heard at this time.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

The Abridged minutes and the Verbatim Minutes of the May 20, 2017 Executive Committee Meeting were approved as distributed on a motion by Committeeman Mc Nulty, seconded by Committeeman Kurdyla. Motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS:

From: Gloucester Twsp. F.R.A., Camden County

From: Stephen Fazekas, Judge of Elections

From: N. J. Firemen’s Home

From: Richard Otterbein, Essex County Executive Committeeman

From: New Milford F.R.A., Bergen County

Secretary Finnegan read the correspondence. A motion was made by Committeeman Dreby and seconded by Committeeman Florio to accept the correspondence. Motion carried.

LIFE MEMBER REPORT: A motion was made by Committeeman Mc Nulty and seconded by Committeeman Speigel to grant Life Membership to Daniel Mitchell, Jersey City. Motion carried.

OFFICER REPORTS:

President Gunson reported:

  • Written report distributed.
  • We have three associations that aren’t being seated at this year’s convention and one that is “Out of Accord”. I would like to thank the Officers and the Executive Committee for following up with their associations to insure they got in on time.
  • He would like to thank the Committeeman and Officers who worked the Field Exams and to those who will be working the Caucuses.
  • Frenchtown is “Out of Accord” and we are working with the Hunterdon County Prosecutor.
  • We have Estelle Manor’s books and the only thing that they can do is give the credit to those who are unqualified.
  • The Governor has signed a bill that will move $8 million from the Surplus Lines Insurance Guaranty Funds to the General Fund.
  • Working with Banking & Insurance on a 12 ½ % cap that some carriers are taking.
  • Caucuses will be starting the end of the month and a reminder that a copy of your Caucus minutes must be submitted into the State Office as soon as possible.
  • We have been working with Election Graphics and have purchased two additional machines at a cost of $9,947.00 and will have an additional two on loan available for the election for a total of 10. A sample ballot has been prepared.
  • As the Executive Committee approved the Consolidation Committee’s work back in 2013 regarding what happens when a Fire Company is closed within an Association, when a Fire Company is shut down completely or when several towns merge into one Association, when the North Hudson Regional was created we had no such rules. The North Hudson Regional Fire Association was created for a twenty-five year period and we are 75% of the way through that agreement. At this time everything is working well within the various local Associations. At the Officer’s meeting it was recommended that nothing be done with the various associations within North Hudson until the end of that 25 year period. I would like this brought up under New Business for a motion.

Vice President Ordway reported:

  • Written report distributed.
  • Second Quarter Relief Reports are due in by July 31st, 170 Associations are still out.
  • Included in your packet is a list of the workers for each caucus along with your parking pass for Convention Hall and Dinner invitation and Insurance certificates for your Caucus.
  • The website is in the process of being updated, the Link page and Home page is now under our input and has been updated. Within the next two weeks the Compendium will be put online.

Secretary’s report: Secretary Finnegan stated that his written report has been distributed, no verbal.

Treasurer Osborn reported: He stated that the financial report will be distributed at the September meeting.

Field Examiner Kenny reported: Written report has been distributed with the following verbal:

  • The fifteen (15) associations that were on a fiscal year basis have been converted over to the annual year. Two more have been discovered and we are working on getting them changed.
  • Field Exams have been completed for Salem, Sussex, Middlesex, Burlington and Cumberland. Counties scheduled for after the convention are Bergen – 9/21, Monmouth – 9/26 and Essex – 9/28.
  • On June 13 he submitted a memo to all Relief Secretaries stating that the Local Relief Applications that have been reviewed so far have been “sloppy”, meaning incomplete. We are taking the Relief Applications from the Field Examinations and reviewing them in the office and returning the applications to the locals.
  • He has a problem with New Brunswick as they did not bring their Relief applications to the county audit. He is requesting that if they do not bring them in by next Friday, July 21, that they be placed out of accord.

Counsel Cavallo reported: No report.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

ADVISORY COMMITTEE – Chairman Osborn stated the report has been distributed, no verbal.

BUILDING COMMITTEE – Chairman Dreby reported that Legacy Construction Management Services has been awarded the contract to handle the Management Services for the building. They will be on site until the building is out of the ground; after that it will be on a part time basis. Monthly fee is $16,800.00 for full time and $10,775.00 on a part time basis. On June 14, Wall Township approved our application for the building and the Resolution is on for this Monday’s Council meeting schedule for approval.

We received eleven (11) responses for the Construction of our Headquarters. They ranged from $4,948,182.00 to $5,570,000.00. The Attorney and Architect have reviewed the bids and recommend we award to the low bidder Woodward Construction, Matawan, N.J.

COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE – Chairman Mc Nulty reiterated what was stated in New Milford’s letter included in the correspondence regarding the increase in age for the association which was “enough is enough, keep the acceptance age at its current limit (45)”.

CONSOLIDATION COMMITTEE – President Gunson stated we haven’t had any meetings and that you have heard my recommendations and we will act under New Business.

DELEGATE/LIFE MEMBER – Chairman Lane stated that the pay scale previously approved is the Maximum Amount allowed to be paid to Delegates and Life Members. It is up to the local associations to set their own rate.

FINANCE – Treasurer Osborn stated there hasn’t been a meeting but one will be conducted in September.

FIREMEN’S HOME/MEMORY CARE – President Gunson stated that the Home is out getting prices on whether to build a new wing or retrofit a current wing. We are trying to get a meeting with them. We understand there is a need but we need additional information. Committee Member Naylis stated they should also look at other alternatives such as outside facilities.

HEALTH CARE – Chairman Mellert said a copy was distributed. They had an application for cleaning which was recommended that they apply for regular relief.

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

PENSION – Treasurer Osborn reported that they had no meeting but will have one prior to the September meeting.

RED BOOK – Chairman Kelly will bring up under Old Business the proposals to print 750 copies for distribution of one copy to each association and that it be available online for viewing or printing.

RESOLUTIONS – Counsel Cavallo stated that we had received one resolution from Gloucester Township Firemen’s Relief Association regarding Life Members to vote at local relief meetings. That Resolution has been withdrawn.

SPECIAL RELIEF – Chairman Mellert said the report has been distributed showing that we have 71 applications so far this year compared to 35 last year, a noticeable improvement.

WEB PAGE – Chairman Mazzarella has been working on the Compendium for the web page and now will begin working on the Red Book. He does not want to do it piece meal but when it is completed, he will notify everyone when it is updated

.

NEED FOR RELIEF DESCRIPTION – Chairman Naylis said that included in your packet is a description of what is Relief. He asked that all take a look at it and get back to him within two to three weeks with your comments. There must be NEED! He thanked the Officers for their input. Examples may be added going forward.

APPLICATIONS – None.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – Committeeman Kelly made a motion to decrease the number of Red Books printed to be 750 +/- subject to printing costs along with the elimination of the three hole punched copies and that it will be placed on the web site. On a roll call vote, motion passed 20 to 0.

Chairman Kelly thanked the members of his committee and made a recommendation that this committee be dissolved. President Gunson thanked Mr. Kelly and his committee for their fine work.

A motion was made by Committeeman Mitchell that we follow the recommendation of the officers discontinuing looking to try to consolidate Hudson Regional at this time until the twenty-five year period stops. On a roll call vote, motion passed 20 to 0.

Committeeman Walker asked for clarification on associations receiving an OPRA request, what are they to do? President Gunson explained that they are to notify us immediately and we will work with them in responding to any requests.

Committeeman Speigel brought up about the new badges he had proposed at the last meeting. Approximate cost is $90 per badge. These will replace the current badge. It was deferred until after Executive Session for a vote.

Committeeman Hankins stated he attended the last Home meeting as his name was brought up in their minutes which indicated there was a discussion about their money and our money. Committeeman Hankins stated that the money coming into the Association is for ALL the firefighters of this state. The Home committee met and made a recommendation to convert one of their dorms to a Memory Care unit and Mr. Hankins found it upsetting that they said they had a committee meeting and we weren’t invited. The last joint committee meeting, the FULL COMMITTEE approved $12,000.00 for two studies and the study hasn’t come back yet and it looks like they are moving ahead to convert a dorm. There are a lot of things going on and it appears they are jumping in head first without knowing how deep the water is. He just wanted to let the Executive Committee know that the Home is moving ahead without having all the necessary information. He believes that there are other firemen that can be helped without converting a whole dorm if it isn’t necessary. They said they were working with us and then they have their own committee meeting behind our backs. Another thing that was implied was that the Executive Committee has control over who gets elected as Manager and he doesn’t think that is appropriate or accurate as they work for the firemen of their county.

President Gunson stated that he had a conversation with Charlie Voorhees, Home Manager, this morning and asked him to set up a meeting before the caucuses start so that we are all on the same page.

EXECUTIVE SESSION – A motion was made by Committeeman Dreby to go into Executive Session for approximately fifteen (15) minutes to discuss Personnel and Legal Matters. It was seconded by Committeeman Florio. Motion approved at 9:45 A.M. to go into Executive Session for approximately fifteen (15) minutes.

A motion was made by many and seconded by many to come back from Executive Session. Motion approved at 10:09 A.M.

A motion was made by many and seconded by many to go back into Executive Session at 10:10 A.M. to continue discussion on Legal Matters.

A motion was made by many and seconded by many to come back from Executive Session. Motion approved at 10:25 A.M.

NEW BUSINESS – Building Committee Chairman Dreby made a motion to approve the contract to Woodward Construction at a cost of $4,948,182.00 and to allow the Executive Officers to sign contracts. It was seconded by Committeeman Naylis. Committeeman Walker questioned where the funds are coming from to pay for this and was informed by Treasurer Osborn it will be taken from Reserves. On a roll call vote, motion passed 20 to 0.

A motion was made by Committeeman Lane and seconded by Committeeman Dreby to allow the officers to proceed to closing as soon as possible after Monday night’s Council meeting in Wall Township. On a roll call vote, motion passed 20 to 0.

Field Examiner Kenny requested that a motion be made that if New Brunswick does not bring their relief applications in by next noontime, Friday, July 21st, that they be placed “Out of Accord”. A motion was made by Committeeman Scheuer and seconded by Committeeman Kurdyla to that affect. On a roll call vote, motion passed 20 to 0.

Committeeman Mellert inquired about Exempt Delegates if they haven’t paid their dues, is the Exempt Delegate still allowed to attend the Convention. President Gunson stated that if they are duly incorporated and their incorporation fees have been paid, then they are entitled to go.

A motion was made by Committeeman Speigel to pay the Five Mile Beach Association their requested amount of $5,000.00 to cover expenses for carts and security. It was seconded by Committeeman Figueroa. A question on the motion was made by Committeeman Mazzarella that it was stated on their letterhead that while they were improving the parking for the Handicapped to the North End of the Convention Hall, all of the golf carts used for that transportation will be located at the Southern End of the Parking Lot. Committeeman Speigel will look into this and get back to the Executive Committee. On a roll call vote, motion passed 20 to 0.

Committeeman Speigel talked about his proposal for new badges for the 21 Executive Committee and Nine Officers. He made a motion to procure the new badges for the above at a maximum cost of $3,000.00. It was seconded by Committeeman Florio. It was pointed out that the year on the badge should be 1885. Wording will be the same as the current badge. President Gunson stated that previously past Committeemen and Officers were given a badge. Committeeman Speigel amended his motion to include any past officers that request them.

Committeeman Walker made a motion to table this motion. It was seconded by Committeeman Kelly. Vote to table was denied.

Motion carried on a roll call vote with twelve in favor and eight against.

GOOD OF THE ORDER – Committeeman Lenarski thanked the Officers for sending out the letters complimenting the Association on starting the Home Health Care Program. He would like to thank Committeeman Hankins for initiating it. It is a great program and should grow as more people become familiar with it.

Committeeman Speigel inquired as to how an association can confirm that they are receiving their correct amount of insurance money. President Gunson stated that it is done by statute.

Committeeman Mellert read an article that was presented to him and he read from it showing the decline of participation in the Fire Department especially from 1997 thru 2017. Committeeman Naylis stated he has been working on programs to increase the participation of volunteers. Legislative Chairman Genovay stated the Senate passed Joint Resolution 23 which established a Task Force to study and make recommendations concerning stabilization and growth of the volunteer fire community.

Committeeman Kelly stated that his counterpart from Monmouth County Phil Valese has been having a rough year: he lost his wife and he has been in and out of the hospital a couple of times and we would like to wish him well.

Secretary Finnegan thanked everyone for their thoughts and well wishes for his brother-in-law after he suffered a heart attack.

President Gunson wished everyone well with their caucuses. He then went on to state that someone in this Association has reached a milestone, Fifty Years of Involvement in the State Association: he’s been Executive Committeeman, Vice-President, President and President Emeritus. Ernie Greenwald, congratulations! A standing ovation was given on this accomplishment.

ADJOURNMENT – A motion was made by Committeeman Mc Nulty to adjourn. A second was made by Committeeman Florio. Motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:57 A.M.

Respectfully submitted,

KEVIN B. FINNEGAN

Secretary, NJSFA

 
 
 

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