5000 Express Dr. S, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
(Next to Red Lobster and Smokey Bones)
S.C.E.C.A. General Membership Meeting Minutes
There were approximately 35 members in attendance. Those Officers and Board of Directors present were: Dave Kennedy, Joe Mikulas Jack Morrell, Tom Orlando and Mahesh Panchal.
Excused: Rob Szalay, Robert Tschoke, Ralph Lambiase and Brian McAuliff.
Called to Order: 7:21 p.m.
Dave Kennedy led the Pledge of Allegiance. There was a moment of silence for Veterans in honor of Veteran’s Day. A motion to accept the General Meeting Minutes of 9/21/23 was made by Mahesh Panchal and seconded by Scott Eastman. There was no October general meeting.
Rob S. was not present. Dave Kennedy ran the meeting. Joe Mikulas read his two president’s reports. The November report talked about the success of the Energy Expo. They are in the October and November newsletters also.
Treasurer’s Report: Tom Orlando
Tom O. reported since we did not have a general meeting in October, he will read September and October income and expenses. For the month ending September 2023 the income was $31,945.42 and the expenses were $7,763.50. For the month ending October 2023 the income was $20,481.49 and the expenses were $8,837.05. The income is primarily from the Energy Expo and membership dues. They are coming in a little bit late. As a reminder, if you have not paid your dues the 3rd and final notice have gone out twice. You will be dropped at the December board meeting. The Energy Expo was a great success. The association finally made some money and so did NEL. Tom O. appreciates the Board putting in a tremendous amount of effort making the show happen, especially Rob Szalay who spearheaded the event. He had a lot of help from: Mahesh Panchal, Dave Kennedy, himself, Ralph Lambiase, Sal Grimaldi, Brian McAuliff, Joe Mikulas and the NEL who sold a lot of tables and put a lot of effort in. A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report for September was made by Joe Mikulas and seconded by Mahesh Panchal. A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report for October was made by Jason Goetz and seconded by Jack Morrell.
Secretary’s Report: David Kennedy
Dave reported there is nothing to report other than going to the Post Office Box for correspondence, bills and checks regularly. He also gets email correspondence. We get a lot of junk email.
A motion to accept the Secretary’s report was made by Joe Mikulas and seconded by Jack Morrell.
Legal Counsel: Michael Ganz
Mike Ganz introduced himself and his law firm is in Woodbury. He mostly handles construction law and the law firm does a lot of labor law. He is doing a presentation tonight on NY transparency law, construction wage theft act and contracts. If you have any questions, you can ask him after the meeting.
Insurance: Patti Muldoon from Borg & Borg, Wally Boorum from Sunrise Benefits Solutions, Diane Mullahey-Senior from Executive Ins. & Financial Svcs.
Patti Muldoon and Wally Boorum were not present.
PROGRAMS: Michael Ganz, Esq. at Kaufman Dolowich Voluck gave a brief overview of the new wage transparency act/construction wage theft act & a real time analysis of a general contractor and electrical subcontractor focusing on what each side wants. He passed out handouts for his presentation. First, he went over the NY new wage transparency act. It was originally enacted 12/22 but was amended and went into effect 9/17/23. The law says all employers with 4 or more employees in NY when advertising a job promotion or a transfer opportunity, must provide a salary or salary range for a position. The range should show a minimum or maximum annual salary or hourly rates that the employer believes in good faith to be accurate at time of posting. You can add experience. The amended act now includes remote workers. As long as the employee reports to an office, a worksite or a supervisor in NY, you are subject to this law. It doesn’t matter what state they live in. The disclosure of compensation is not required when you work 100% on commission. Originally you have to keep records but it was amended to say you are not required to keep records anymore. But it is a good idea anyway to keep records. The employee cannot sue the employer directly. They have to go through the Department of Labor and they bring the lawsuit. Jack asked if they are talking about adding a job description with the salary range. Mike answered there would have to be some kind of job description in the advertisement but it does not have to be detailed. Mike then went over the construction wage theft act which was passed in January 2022. This act imposes liability on contractors for wage violations. You are responsible for your subcontractors and the subcontractors’ subcontractors’ wages paid correctly. It does not apply to home improvement contracts and new construction with less than 10 houses. But it does apply to a lot of construction projects. The individual can sue the contractor directly. You can only go back 3 years for the wages you were not paid. The contractor has to keep records of subcontractors and the sub’s subcontractors: Names of all subcontractor’s employees, last 4 digits of each employee’s ss#, name of each sub-subcontractor, start date of each sub-subcontractor, name, address and phone number of a contact for each sub-subcontractor. Jack added this law is not only civil, but also criminal. He has read in Newsday last year there are about 20 people that have been arrested with less than $30,000 in wage thefts. It is the States’ way of going after certain people. A question-and-answer session followed.
Lastly Mike went over a standard contract between a GC and electrical contractor that the attorney for the subcontractor overedited the contract and took things out he shouldn’t have. The lawyer crossed out liquidated damages. If you are a contractor, there is such a thing as liquidated damages. This cannot be eliminated. You should not have cross outs on the contract also. It is also important to get a time extension because the owner may be at fault for you not finishing the project on time. It is also important to have a written and signed change order before you do the work because you are doing extra work (more money and time). You can have a zero-change order too. If you just had to change equipment and it costs nothing extra and there is no extra time, it should still be written and signed. On page 6 regarding withholding payments. Typically, a contractor can withhold payments if he feels the work isn’t being done right or someone is injured on a job. This attorney wrote solely responsible by the subcontractor. You cannot have that. You have to have broad insurance language. It is better to get an opinion on how much insurance you need from your insurance broker. Also, this lawyer tried to change the language saying if I pay you that means the work is 100%. But payment is never acceptance of work. It does not mean the work is 100% or approved. A lot of contractors have mandatory meetings and if you do not go you are fined. That is legal. Another item this lawyer took out is cancelation for convenience. You can always terminate for cause. For termination of convenience is different. You can just terminate someone and that is legal. It doesn’t mean they did anything wrong and you still have to pay them for the work they did. This cannot be taken out of a contract. All changes need to go in the body of the contract and initial and sign. Mike has each page initialed so no one can switch pages. Dan Sherry asked if a job has to be complete in order to put a mechanic’s lien on a house. Mike says your job does not have to be complete in order to do a mechanics lien. You have 4 months to put a mechanics lien on a home. Commercial buildings are 8 months. Think before you put a Mechanic’s lien on a home. They cost you money. Try to work it out first. Or get a letter from a lawyer to the owner to get the ball rolling.
By-Laws & Nominating: Jack Morrell
Jack had nothing to report on by-laws.
Education/Seminars: Rob Szalay, Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase
Mahesh reported we had a CEH class on 11/11. It went very well. We are not having a CEH class in December. The next one will be in January. We had 12 attendees and one was a no show.
Electrical Safety: Robert Tschoke, Ralph Lambiase
Rob T. was not present. Dave read his report. “Electrical safety is an ongoing concern and responsibility to us as master electricians/contractors. It’s our responsibility to educate our customers and the residents of Suffolk County. Keeping our eyes and ears open for any recalls or safety concerns regarding electrical. To date I have nothing to report as far as recalls however, I am open to anyone that has heard or has any information please email me to discuss. Well, that’s all, hope to see everybody at our Christmas party! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Enjoy being with family and friends. Robert Tschoke, VP and Electrical Safety Chair”
Entertainment: Dave Kennedy, Scott Eastman, Mahesh Panchal
Mahesh reported we are having our Christmas party at Smokey Bones. There will be no general meeting here. Dave said there will be food and a couple of drinks. Mahesh said it is Thursday, December 21st at 7 pm.
Good & Welfare: Joe Mikulas
Joe asked Tom DiBella to report on Rich Inserra. Tom DiBella said Rich is doing well. He lost 35 pounds after the surgery. He went to visit his son this week. Joe reported Treasurer, Tom O. had a birthday this month. Dave reported Tom Thomas is battling cancer and going through treatments. He is doing well and is appreciative of the basket SCECA sent him. He was a past president and a board member for many years. We wish him well.
Certified Electrical Inspectors: #896-A Rob Ceriello reported there are always grounding and bonding issues. In a detached garage putting a subpanel there you need a ground rod on the panel because it is a separate structure. He also gets service transfer switches with the bonding jumper in the panel. It is a green screw between the neutral bar and the grounding bar. You have to remove it and put a separate grounding bar in there. A discussion ensued on panels, neutrals and grounding. Rob C. also reported they had a CEH class 10/28 on 1 and 2 family dwellings and a 2-hour course on hazardous locations in Farmingdale. About 10 people attended – 4 IAEI members and a number of electricians. Would like to see younger people in the trade show up. We are getting some members. Does not think they will have a dinner in December but will still have a meeting because they are under a budget crunch but in January, they are having Mike Hofkin from the corporate board come out in February talk about changes because they are going solely online for training. Which is a detriment. We will talk about that and where we are going with ICC. He will put list of dates out for next year. Should have a meeting 1/3 and will tie it in with SCECA and NEL.
East End Inspection Agency: #1193-A Ed Seltenreich was not present.
EII: NYBFU: #1109-A Philip Goehring and Rich Jendzo were not 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.
Frank Navetta of PowerPro reported on wiring to transfer switches. The electrician sent out a mechanic who put 120 volts to the generator two wire start and 120 volts to the transfer switch two wire start which caused $4,000 in damage in PC boards. That was a problem because the electrician did not get the information to the mechanic correctly. There are a lot of changes the generator industry this year. More than half of the Kohler generator business has been sold to an equities firm. Kohler makes a 26-kw air generator now. We are seeing people switch from the 30-kw liquid cool to the 26-kw. The 26-kw generator has a 125-amp breaker now so you have to use number two. The Kohler factory is closing down from January through March. They are moving to Mississippi from Wisconsin. You will find that the prices will increase. PowerPro purchased a lot of Kohler generators because they knew the factory was going to close. If you are looking for a Kohler generator from 20-kw up to 60-kw, we have them. Generac also makes a 26-kw generator with a 110-amp breaker. Generac stopped making the 22s, 27s, 32s, 38s liquid-cooled because the blocks come from China. They just started coming out with their own. They are replacing 22, 27, 32 and 38 with a 32 and 40 liquid cool and they are making those engines. All of the Kohlers and Generac generators have an 18-inch rule now from the side of the house. But it is not always the same side; it is only on certain sides. Just pay attention to that. Regarding transfer switches, they now are authorized for Asco – service, sales and warranty. Because Eaton Cutler-Hammer deliveries are now 60 weeks. They are less expensive but you cannot get them. They are using Kohler, Generac and Asco for transfer switches. They have reasonable deliveries. A question-and-answer session followed.
Licensing: Jack Morrell, Rob Szalay
Jack had nothing to report. However, there will be changes coming in the next two years because of the changes in the Department of Labor in two months. If you want changes done, it has to be before the next legislator vote. We have two years to do changes and we want to change some laws but we want input from the organizations.
PSEG Representatives: Joe Mikulas, Jack Morrell, Rob Szalay
Dave announced we have connectors in the back. Member Dan Sherry commented that Neal Slattery from PSEG said they are getting a lot of whited out applications from a contractor – he wanted it explained. Rob Ceriello said he can only reiterate what Neal Slattery told him. They are getting a lot of service reconnects – temps or auto turn-ons and when they are reviewing it, they see that someone is messing around with the certificates. Maybe it’s flippers or builders that do not use licensed people. He thinks Neal said they are having a meeting to find out what is going on. Tom DiBella said they will discuss it at their internal roundtable meeting. Also, they are calling some electrical contractors to see if they are real and some are not. Tom DiBella talked about the sewers in Babylon and Mastic being hooked up to Suffolk County Sewer District. They don’t want to build a sewage treatment plant so they will put it at your house. Dan Sherry added a house will have a second meter, Suffolk County will own that 2nd meter and pay that bill. The purpose of the 2nd meter is to solely grind the sewage at your house and eject it. Rob C. said in Mastic they won’t supply a 2nd meter because they are concerned they will run out of meters; it will be one meter and payback by the County. Tom DiBella said there is a supply chain issues that is why. The homeowner will pay an annual fee for it. Rob C. said he got something from NEL that they are accepting Leviton meters. Tom D. said they are studying it as far as he knows. Dan Sherry said PSEG sent out to all the supply houses that it is accepted. Tom DiBella will find out about the Leviton meters. Joe will be updated so he can put it in the “Light”.
Membership/Plaques & Awards: Robert Tschoke, Brian McAuliff, Ralph Lambiase/Jack Morrell
Rob T. was not present. Dave read his report: “Membership is moving along well. We are settling into our new website and branding. Members are trickling in from campaigns that we are running to welcome nonmembers to our association. Remember, put the word out regarding this great association that we have. Robert Tschoke, VP and Membership Chair.”
Two former members – #1054-CR James Dougherty of James Dougherty Electric, Inc. in East Quogue and #1035-CR Bill Cavanagh of Cavanagh Electric in Commack (2-yr).
Four new members: #1247-C Daniel Martin of Phases Contracting Inc. in Massapequa, #1248-C Michael Single of Eastern Electrical Contractors, Inc. in Hampton Bays (2-yr), #1249-C John DeMaio of DeMaio Electric in Mastic and #1250-C Brian Quinn of BQ Electric in Hicksville (2-yr).
Only Daniel Martin was present.
Dave Kennedy swore him in and he was given his packet. Joe Mikulas took his picture for the newsletter. The other 5 will be mailed their packets.
Jack said he has a couple of plaques to make.
Nassau Electric League: Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase, Tom Orlando
Mahesh reported they will have a Christmas party next month at the Knights of Columbus.
IAEI: (Independent Alliance for the Electrical Industry) Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase, Scott Eastman, Tom Orlando
Rob Ceriello gave is report under Inspection Agencies.
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS: (Rob Szalay, Brian McAuliff – Co-chairs, and Jack Morrell)
Joe Mikulas, Editor – “Light,”
Energy Expo: Rob Szalay, Jack Morrell, Dave Kennedy
Dave gave congratulations to Rob S. who did a great job.
Legislative Review: Jack Morrell
Jack said hopefully in Suffolk County in the next two years we will be able to go forward and see what we can do to correct issues.
Jack reported that in his community (Great River) he was on the Board when they tried to bring in the sewer proposal. As far as he knows they are the only town that turned it down. It was about a $35 million grant. The reason it was turned down was because it’s all high-pressure small pipes – 4 to 8 inches The pipe that is 4 to 8 inches runs down the street and that can take care of 500 houses. They are putting in a pump within 3 feet of the curb. It is going in the ground. It goes from your waste pipe in your house into a 150-gallon reserve tank; chops it up and pumps it into the pipe in the street. What they don’t tell you is, you have a vent pipe in front of your house; you have a smell and you can hear the pump when it runs. If a 150-gallon tank is empty, you have 20 hours before it fills up and gets pumped out, so if you lose power, you cannot use the any water in 20 hours because it will not be able to be pumped out. Also, they will do work from the house to the tank, but if you have sidewalks, patio, shrubs, that cost is on you. You will get taxed 24 months after it is installed and are responsible if anything happens to the pump after a year. The County tried suing Great River for not approving it. They wanted explanations. They could not tell us at the time who will be paying the electricity. Jack added what happens if the pipe that is running down the street breaks? The whole community cannot use their bathrooms. Patchogue has this system in two areas south of Montauk highway. He drove through the area and could tell what houses were having issues by the smell. Jack and three others investigated this for 3 months. One was head council for Suffolk County water district and he knew everything. They spoke with every person on every level of the County and they were not truthful. But we get to the bottom of it. When we turned it down it was in Newsday that we are not for the environment. However, there was a study done in the Connetquot River and Great River only puts in 6% of nitrogen in the river. Oakdale puts in 83% and they are below sea level but they were not offered the sewer proposal. None of this makes sense. If you hear about this in your community, do your research because they will not be truthful. We were told if we refuse this it is going to be mandated in 5 years and we will be mandated to install it at the cost of $40,000 to $60,000. They try to scare you and intimidate you.
Frank asked if anyone knows about the gas moratorium that no new homes can get natural gas. Dan Sherry said he does not think it is an issue for a gas hook up if it is already in the street.
4 – $60 cash prizes were won by Glen Ayasse, Carlos Altagracias, Phil O’Sullivan and Mike Ganz.
$100 attendance award was drawn for Archie Cassino (#1169-C) who was not present to win.
A motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:07 p.m. was made by Joe Mikulas and seconded by Mahesh Panchal.
Barbara George Dave Kennedy
Recording Secretary Secretary