S.C.E.C.A. General Membership Meeting Minutes
There were approximately 48 members in attendance. Those Officers and Board of Directors present were: Rob Szalay, Dave Kennedy, Scott Eastman, Ralph Lambiase, Tom Orlando, Mahesh Panchal and Robert Tschoke.
Excused: Mike Krug, Brian McAuliff, Joe Mikulas, and Jack Morrell.
Called to Order: 7:17 p.m.
Rob Szalay led the Pledge of Allegiance. A motion to accept the General Meeting Minutes of 11/17/22 was made by Tom Orlando and seconded by Ralph Lambiase.
Rob S. had nothing to report at this time, will go over other items as we go down the list. Happy new year and it is great to see everyone here.
Treasurer’s Report: Tom Orlando
Tom Orlando reported we have to read the November report because we did not have a meeting in December. For the month ending November 2022 the income was $2,670.22 and the expenses for the month were $11,344.31. A big chunk of that money was a payment to the rebranding company. For the month ending December 2022 the income was $1,400.30 and the expenses for the month were $5,832.17. The TPSF is still open for donations. We just received a $20 donation tonight from Tom DiBella. Also, tonight’s food is sponsored by N&S supply and they graciously offered to pay for all our meals for all of 2023 which was a tremendous offer and expense on their part and we are very grateful. Thank you to them. All is well and we are fiscally healthy and we are all still here. A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made by Mahesh Panchal and seconded by Rob Tschoke.
Secretary’s Report: Dave Kennedy
Dave reported he has been going to the mailbox regularly but we do not get much mail. Very little junk mail and normal bills for the office. He thanked N&S. Also, Revco could not come tonight because of a conflict of interest with something they had to send their employees to. They will be here in March. Next month we will have UI Supply. Look forward to seeing you all here. A motion to accept the Secretary’s report was made by Ralph Lambiase and seconded by Mahesh Panchal.
Legal Counsel: Michael Ganz
Mike Ganz will start his presentation in 10 minutes. Rob S. said Mike gave out handouts of his presentation. He works for a large law firm now. Mike said he tries to put a legal article of interest in the “Light.” One will be out in February. If you have any questions, his email is on the business card he handed out and in the “Light.” If you want him to write about a certain topic, let him know. He is a construction attorney but he can go to other lawyers in the firm that handle other cases. One of his clients had a sexual harassment case and though he does not do that he has the law firm to recommend other attorneys. His firm is all over the country; not just in New York.
Insurance: Patti Muldoon from Borg & Borg, and Wally Boorum from Sunrise Benefits Solutions
Patty Muldoon was not present. Wally Boorum of Sunrise Benefits Solutions and they mainly do employee benefits. He gave updates on what is going on for 2023. If anyone is using Healthfirst Insurance Company for your business, they are leaving New York May 1st. If you renew before May 1st, they will keep your insurance for the rest of the year. After May 1st they will not renew your insurance. When a company tends to move out of the marketplace, the doctors flee when this happens because they have a tough time getting pre-approvals and getting paid. So, if you are using Healthfirst, talk to your broker and look for options. Also, Aetna and Empire Blue Cross have chosen not to compete in the NY market for the last 5, 6, 7 years. United Healthcare and Oxford have figured out how to make money so Aetna and Empire Blue Cross are copying them. So, they are now back in the NY market for smaller businesses. They have good products and prices now. We might be able to save you some money. Also, he hears all the time people are having a tough time keeping and or recruiting good employees. A good benefits package may be the answer. A company came out with a really creative idea called an ancillary exchange. Ancillary benefits are dental, vision, pet insurance, legal, life insurance. They have opened it up to the employer for $8 a month for each employee. So now every employee now has access to all the ancillary benefits and they can buy what they want. Now you have ten items you can offer to new employees. This may be a good idea. Any questions, please call him; his contact information is in the ”Light.” Rob S. asked Wally what his feelings are on the ACA. Wally answered it is not a terrible alternative. If you can manipulate your income, you may be able to buy at lower rates. Some guys do not want to buy a group plan so maybe the employer will let them go to the exchange. Be careful, the reimbursement to doctors is less. It could also require your employee to change doctors. An older employee may not want to change doctors but the younger ones would be more likely. Aetna, Empire Blue Cross, United Healthcare, and Oxford are good insurance. Emblem not so much. Oscar worse and Healthfirst was horrible. Rob S. said if you have any insurance questions, Wally is here.
PROGRAMS: Michael Ganz of Kaufman Dolowich Voluck gave a presentation on “Getting Paid for your Work.” He did give this program a number of years ago and has updated it. The presentation was interactive and questions were asked during each topic. He went over how to protect yourself from a bad contract. Select the right job – public (need to pay prevailing wage and benefits and NY is very strict – the employer is always wrong.) or private. Find out if the contractor and/or owner has lawsuits against them. Get a lawyer to go over the contract to avoid problems. Keep records of meetings, phone calls and documents. He then went over contracts, attorney’s fees, direct vs. consequential, liquidated damages. Try to cross out consequential damages; it does not benefit the contractor. The “pay if paid clause” (contractor only gets paid if owner pay contractor) is void in NYS but it is still in many contracts. The “Waiver of Right to File Lien” is also void in New York except waiver of lien to extent contractor receives payment. He went over mechanic’s liens and resolution of disputes. He also went over the difference between the American system and the English system. In the American system each side pays their own attorney feeds. The English system the losing party pays the winning parties fees. You can write that the prevailing party pays the legal fees but if you do not win as much as you wanted, you are not the prevailing party. You have to substantially win what you are suing for if you want to be the prevailing party. That is something to look out for. You can also go to mediation or arbitration to resolve disputes.
By-Laws & Nominating: Jack Morrell
Jack was not present.
Education/Seminars: Rob Szalay, Mahesh Panchal, Scott Eastman
Rob S. reported we have our CEH class January 28 and we have 1 more opening. Then we will close the registration. It is on grounding and bonding – one of the most misunderstood topics in the electric field.
Electrical Safety: Robert Tschoke
Rob T. reported that Ralph who is on our board had an incident where one of his employees fell 8 feet off a 10-foot ladder. He broke his heel. We can get so busy that we overlook checking ladders and equipment. Ralph said sunlight and rain will ruin a fiberglass ladder. So, inspect ladders on a roof.
Rob T. asked if anyone has ever been strong-armed, bullied or compelled by a general contractor or homeowner to do something you know is not allowed. He has. He wrote an article about it in the “Light.” He encourages everyone to read it. It happened to him on the job site. He will discuss this more at the next meeting. He wants to get feedback from members and inspection agencies.
Dan Sherry mentioned that OSHA violations are up to $14,500 per violation. They are following up on injuries and fatalities.
Rob S. said if you see something that is picture worthy, send it to us and we will put it in the newsletter.
Steve Danielson commented that most guys fall from ladders because they do not look behind them when they step down. Rob S. added we had a ladder rep here – Little Giant last year. Their program was all about safety. They have webinars on safety on their website.
Entertainment: Dave Kennedy, Scott Eastman, Mahesh Panchal
Dave had nothing to report.
Good & Welfare: Joe Mikulas
Joe was not present.
Certified Electrical Inspectors: #896-A Jim Smith was present. Rob Ceriello was not present.
East End Inspection Agency: #1193-A Ed Seltenreich was not present.
EII: NYBFU: #1109-A Philip Goehring and Rich Bivone were present.
Suffolk Bureau of Electrical Insp.: #856-A Gene Surdi was not present.
Long Island Electrical Inspectors: (Bay Shore): #1178-A Joe Deubel was not present.
Southampton Town: Ron Linsalato was not present.
Alliance Electrical Inspect. Ltd.: Michael Dumitru was not present.
Electrical Inspection Service (of East Patchogue): Not present.
Licensing: Jack Morrell
Jack was not present. Tom O. said they are chasing down guys that are doing work and it is not their primary business. Rob S. said when you are coming in for your renewal, you will be signing an affidavit that it is your primary business. They want to stop people from having a job like on the Railroad and then doing electrical work on the side.
PSEG Representatives: Joe Mikulas, Jack Morrell
Rich Inserra and Tom DiBella were present. Rich brought connectors for the members. He is having issues getting the larger ones so they only brought the smaller ones. They will try to bring the bigger one’s next month. They are coming out with a time of use rate – 3 pm to 7 pm, for residential. Do not use electric between those times. Use electric on the off hours. One of their presidents said the load on Long Island has been decreasing because of LEDs. They expect the load to go up this year and climb up because of electric vehicles. Tom DiBella commented that a lot of new units are going with electric heat now. It is more efficient now. In New York, after 2030, you cannot replace your gas or oil burner. That will increase the load also. You will have to go with Geothermal or a heat pump.
Membership/Plaques & Awards: Robert Tschoke/Brian McAuliff/Jack Morrell
Rob S. then announced new members: Joshua Carrick of Patriot Contracting Corp. in Westhampton, and David Jolly of Integrity Fire Solutions in Moriches. Dave swore in Joshua Carrick and Tom O. took a picture for the newsletter. David Jolly was not present.
Joshua Carrick – his company, Patriot Contracting, does underground utilities – missiling , directional drilling, trenching, utility poles, generator pads, propane tanks for generators, mark outs and fault locations. If it is in dirt, they do it.
Frank from PowerPro said he introduced Mike Ganz to NEL and SCECA 6 or 7 years ago. He reaches out to Mike all the time. He belongs to a big team now. You can get answers from him. Nothing is going on in the generator business. Could not get product or people to work all last year. We placed orders for 80 generators at a clip because lead times were more than a year. Finally, the stuff started to come in and now we have a lot of inventory. They have Generac, Kohler, Cummins, Briggs & Stratton. Generac and Kohler are their two mainstays. We have liquid cools on the way and liquid cools in-house. They are still anywhere from 30 to 45-week delivery. Air cool if he does not have it, he can get it in a month. Generac is pushing for battery systems. They did an article in the newsletter last issue before on battery systems. Kohler and Briggs & Stratton do battery systems also but Generac is on a big kick to do green energy. It is not the place to be yet but it is coming. PowerPro will try to bring everyone up to speed on the benefits and downside. Technically you cannot integrate a battery system with an AC generator yet. Right now, you can have a battery system or a generator. Based on pricing go for the generator. A question-and-answer session followed.
Rob S. mentioned the Electrical Training Center is here. John McGinn with his students. They want to get in the electrical trade. If you are looking for employees, speak to John. And students can also speak with the members; they have a wealth of information.
Nassau Electric League: Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase, Scott Eastman
Phil Zuardi reported their meeting is next Wednesday. The program will be on the Redbook (PSEG).
IAEI: Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase, Scott Eastman, Tom Orlando
Rob S. said Rob Ceriello texted him that their next meeting is 2/1 at 7 pm in Farmingdale at Allen Park. Right off Merricks Road on Motor Ave. Everyone is welcomed to attend.
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS: (Rob Szalay, Brian McAuliff – Co-chairs, Joe Mikulas, Editor – “Light,” and Jack Morrell
Rob S. reported the Marketing & Communications committee works on a new website. We are rebranding and the website is a big part of that. We made a lot of progress. You will be seeing it soon. You will see resources on it for members only.
Energy Expo: Rob Szalay, Jack Morrell, Dave Kennedy
Rob S. reported we are working on the Energy Expo. We need to find a venue. A couple of things fell through. If we have it, it will probably be in May.
Legislative Review: Jack Morrell
Jack was not present.
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
2 – $100 cash prizes were won by Scott Eastman and Dave Kennedy.
1 – $90 cash prize was won by Jim Smith.
$100 attendance award was drawn for Robert Schaefer (#439-CR) who was not present to win!
A motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m. was made by Ralph Lambiase and seconded by Mahesh Panchal.
Barbara George Dave Kennedy
Recording Secretary Secretary