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December 2008

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT - MICHAEL CORDIELLO

With Thanksgiving past us now and Christmas on its way, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.

At this time I would like to remind everyone that Saturday, January 10, 2009 is our Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner. I would love to see everyone there for a great time and a fun filled night of food, drink, and good friends. Also, don’t forget to purchase your lucky Bricks ticket for the 10,000 Bricks Raffle.

ARRANGEMENTS - FRANK ALMONA

This is just a reminder that there is no general meeting for the month of December. We will resume general meetings after the New Year at the Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, NY on the third Wednesday, January 21, 2009.

We are getting some students attending our general meetings and I hope we are getting them interested in staying in the industry. If you have an opening for an apprentice or an intern, consider taking one of the students on. I have hired a SUNY, Farmingdale student and he is working out just fine in my Allison Transmission division. Call either Prof. Bob Lagnese or myself for more information.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

BYLAWS - TIM HARTE

We are accepting Bylaw change proposals in writing. The deadline to submit any Bylaw change proposal is the March meeting.

Excerpts from our Constitution and Bylaws:

Bylaw III Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall meet prior to each regular and annual meeting.

All Committee Chairpersons must report at the Executive and regular meeting and make annual reports.

Any Member of the Executive Committee absent from (4) four monthly meetings of the Committee without notification or a satisfactory excuse shall thereby cease to be a Member of the Committee.

The Executive Committee shall establish the "Standing" Committees and Special Committees as shall be necessary to conduct the affairs of the Society. The "Chairperson" on all Committees shall be chosen by the "President" of the Society. The Members of the Committee shall be chosen by the "Committee Chairperson" with the approval of the "President" of the Society. The Chairperson will announce the names of the persons on his/her Committee at the September Membership meeting. (Amended 5/17/95)

A Member may not serve as Chairperson or Member of more than (1) one Committee at a time. This is to actively involve more Members in Society functions.

The Executive Committee, headed by the President, shall be the final interpretation of all bylaws governing the Society of Fleet Supervisors.

DATA SERVICES - RICHARD CHAN

Congratulations to the following Members for attaining perfect meeting attendance for 2008:
Albert Buehler Jr.
Anthony Cavuoto
Leonard Huffmire
Robert Lagnese
Nicholas Markatos
Richard Merenda
Robert Spiotto

2009 Membership dues notices have been mailed on December 1, 2008.

Our present Membership is comprised of:
Members 106
Life Members 18
Editorial Members 0
Associate Members 36
Honorary Members 3
Original Equipment Manufacturer 3
Apprentice Fleet Supervisors 0
Student Members 7
Total Membership 173

Current consecutive attendance records are:
Honorary Member Bill Misita, Retired – 99, 9/92 – 2/05
Member Robert Lagnese, SUNY Farmingdale – 94, 1/97 –
Member George Pastor, H. John Davis, Inc. – 70, 5/94 – 5/03
Member Carl Orza, Advanced Fleet Maintenance – 70, 3/97 – 2/06
Life Member Nuno Tardo, Universal Ford – 63, 3/89 – 1/97
Member John Cigna, Retired – 50, 2/94 – 3/00
Life Member Nuno Tardo, Retired – 48, 1/02 –1/08
Member Robert Spiotto, Frank Siviglia & Co., Inc. – 47, 11/01 –9/07
Member Leonard Huffmire, Atlantic Express Inc. – 47, 11/02 –
Member Pat De Martino, Con Edison – 44, 10/90 – 2/96

Attendance at the November meeting:
Members 47
Guests 19
Total 66

EDUCATIONAL - CLEMENT DRUMMOND

Educational Committee Members Wanted
If you would like to become a member of the Education Committee, please let me know at the next meeting. Our first meeting would be on brainstorming ideas on providing education for our members. Once we have established a few interested members, we can have a conference call or meet at a convenient time. Feel free to give me a call (516 521-8892).

Sincere Thank you!
On behalf of the faculty of Bronx Community College’s Automotive Technology Program, we extend a sincere thank you to the Scholarship Committee, Carl Orza, Dennis Madden and Richie Chan and the Membership of Society of Fleet Supervisors for awarding Faith Xikis a Hank Hasiwar Scholarship. Faith will use the award to further her education in becoming a national fleet manager.

Watch for Flooded Damaged Cars
How do you spot these clunkers? The cars title should indicate whether it’s been damaged, but don’t count on it. Car sellers can get clean titles from states that have lax rules and can even fool the dealers. You can get an Experian or Carfax report, but there’s no guarantee that it’s fully up to date. In the end, smell for mold, look for rusted screws and listen for engine knock. The big danger with a car that’s been restored is faulty electronics, which can destroy everything from power window to air bag sensors.

JOURNAL - MARK KODNER

The Journal Ad Committee would like to thank one and all who have contributed to the 2008 Society of Fleet Supervisors Journal honoring our Member of the Year, Michael Cordiello.

Through your generosity you have once again helped to make this years Journal a strong testament of your support of our great Society and equally to our most worthy honoree, Mike. This year’s Journal (as always) will be distributed at our annual Scholarship Awards Dinner at Leonard's Of Great Neck on January 10, 2009. We hope to see you there!

Thanks again for your continued support and wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours!

LEGISLATIVE - MICHAEL CALISE

Federal Funds to Pay for Seat Belts in School Buses
New federal rules will make the nation’s 474,000 school buses safer by requiring higher seat backs, mandating lap and shoulder belts on small school buses, and setting safety standards for seat belts on large school buses, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced.  

"Even though riding in school buses is the safest form of travel in America today, any accident is still a tragedy," Peters said.  "Taken together, these steps are designed with a single purpose, making children safer." 

Peters said the new rule requires all new school buses in America to be equipped with 24-inch-high seat backs, instead of the 20-inch-high seat backs required today. Higher seat backs will help prevent taller and heavier children from being thrown over the seat in a crash, decreasing the chance of injury to them and the children in front of them. 

She added that all new school buses weighing less than five tons will be required to have three-point seat belts. She noted that the lap and shoulder belts better protect children in small buses, adding that smaller school buses are more vulnerable because they don’t absorb shock as well as larger buses. 

Peters said the federal government also was setting new standards for seat belts on large school buses. Standards will improve seat belt safety and help lower the cost of installing the belts. She cautioned, however, that to school, which is statistically more dangerous. 

"The last thing we want to do is force parents to choose other, less safe ways of getting their children to school," she said. That is why she said the federal government also would begin allowing school districts to use federal seat belts on larger buses can limit capacity and force more students to walk or ride in cars highway safety funds to pay for the cost of installing belts. 

"No school district should have to choose between books and safety," said Deputy Transportation Secretary Thomas Barrett, who outlined the new school bus rules during a visit to a Deatsville, Ala., elementary school with the state's governor, Bob Riley.   

Barrett noted that a phone call from the governor to Peters following a November 2006 bus crash in Huntsville helped prompt the new rule. "The fact that there are so few fatalities on buses every year is little solace for a grieving parent or a saddened governor," Barrett said. 

Federal Funds to Pay for Seat Belts in School Buses
New federal rules will make the nation’s 474,000 school buses safer by requiring higher seat backs, mandating lap and shoulder belts on small school buses, and setting safety standards for seat belts on large school buses, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced.  

"Even though riding in school buses is the safest form of travel in America today, any accident is still a tragedy," Peters said.  "Taken together, these steps are designed with a single purpose, making children safer." 

Peters said the new rule requires all new school buses in America to be equipped with 24-inch-high seat backs, instead of the 20-inch-high seat backs required today. Higher seat backs will help prevent taller and heavier children from being thrown over the seat in a crash, decreasing the chance of injury to them and the children in front of them. 

She added that all new school buses weighing less than five tons will be required to have three-point seat belts. She noted that the lap and shoulder belts better protect children in small buses, adding that smaller school buses are more vulnerable because they don’t absorb shock as well as larger buses. 

Peters said the federal government also was setting new standards for seat belts on large school buses. Standards will improve seat belt safety and help lower the cost of installing the belts. She cautioned, however, that to school, which is statistically more dangerous. 

"The last thing we want to do is force parents to choose other, less safe ways of getting their children to school," she said. That is why she said the federal government also would begin allowing school districts to use federal seat belts on larger buses can limit capacity and force more students to walk or ride in cars highway safety funds to pay for the cost of installing belts. 

"No school district should have to choose between books and safety," said Deputy Transportation Secretary Thomas Barrett, who outlined the new school bus rules during a visit to a Deatsville, Ala., elementary school with the state's governor, Bob Riley.   

Barrett noted that a phone call from the governor to Peters following a November 2006 bus crash in Huntsville helped prompt the new rule. "The fact that there are so few fatalities on buses every year is little solace for a grieving parent or a saddened governor," Barrett said. 

U.S. Congress Extends Biodiesel Tax Credit
U.S. President George W. Bush signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 into law Oct. 3, shortly after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation with a 263 to 171 vote, according to Biodiesel Magazine. The U.S. Senate approved the bill Oct. 1 by a vote of 74 to 25.

The legislation extends the biodiesel tax credits through Dec. 31, 2009, and qualifies all biodiesel for a $1 per gallon tax credit, including biodiesel made from non-virgin feedstocks, such as yellow grease. Prior legislation limited the tax credit for biodiesel manufactured from non-virgin feedstocks to $0.50 per gallon. The act modified the definition of renewable diesel, eliminating the requirement that the fuel had to be produced using a thermal depolymerization process, including biomass fuel that qualifies as a renewable jet fuel under U.S. Department of Defense military specifications and excluding fuel derived from co-processing biomass with a non-biomass feedstock.

In addition, the law closes the splash and dash loophole, which allowed foreign-produced biodiesel to enter the U.S., be splash-blended to claim tax incentives, and then shipped to a third country for use

Other Industry News

Brother, Can You Spare $25 Billion?
They sat in the hot seat before Congressional committees – perhaps wishing they’d stood in line with the rest of America’s travelling public, Southwest Airlines numbered boarding passes at the ready, rather than revving up those corporate jets. The CEO trio of this nation’s once mighty and seemingly invincible automakers, hats-in-hand, pled the case for an immediate $25 billion bridge loan to float their collective company boats through the end of the year.

In the end, the chiefs of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler were sent home to do some…well, homework, reporting back to Congress in two weeks with specific plans on how they would use the money they’re requesting.

Do you support a bailout / loan for Detroit’s Big Three?

To find out what fleet managers from private and public sectors felt about this critical issue, I conducted an e-mail poll, admittedly unscientific and promising anonymity.

Several responding fleet managers noted the question is complex, the issues sobering and weighty. On the one hand, bankruptcy might be the kick in the pants needed to produce much-needed change and new thinking required for the domestic automakers to emerge on the other side leaner, more flexible, and technologically better able to meet today’s mobility demands.

On the other hand, bankruptcy, even a “controlled” version, will most likely put thousands, perhaps millions, of people out of jobs and push thousands more small industry-dependent businesses over the brink.

One public sector fleet manager pointed to specific impact on the fleet industry if a bailout is not approved, despite his personal misgivings about such help, “The support we would lose from the manufacturers of the vehicles we have in our fleet, (which are primary the Big Three) if they went out of business would be devastating and I believe problematic to getting support and parts. The changeover to another brand could take 10 years for all my vehicles in my fleet due to our long lifecycles.”

In my informal survey, fleet manager responses were passionate on all sides, and the votes were nearly evenly divided for and against.

One comment from a public sector fleet manager summarized most of the no-votes. “A government bailout will perpetuate the existing corporate culture, which is not sustainable. If [the automakers] file for bankruptcy, they will be forced to restructure and rebuild a better product, affordable labor contracts, and supply chain systems to support a new manufacturer profile … They will be forced to restructure from top to bottom. This industry needs to change. Maybe this will be their wake-up call.”

Another thumbs-down respondent took OEM management to task. “There is absolutely no reason why the tax payers should pay for decades of poor management, inadequate strategic planning, poor negotiations and obscenely inflated costs. We have a Chapter 11 mechanism that is used for reorganization…they should use it.”

No Deal, But....

Other naysayers were more nuanced in their votes, calling for conditions if a loan or bailout was granted. “The loan should have very specific actions required of the companies that would ensure improved operating performance with employee buy-in. Otherwise, why would we expect their condition to change in the long term?” commented a commercial fleet manager.

Another called for concessions from the unions before a loan is OK’d, “While the bosses at the Big 3 need to take majority responsibility for their problems, the UAW needs to take part of that responsibility.”

Without a Loan, Cost too Heavy

The yes votes cited the heavy human costs in livelihoods and community survival. They also named other culprits in the meltdown.

“Many more jobs are at stake than what may appear on the surface and, for the OEMs to go under would be even more devastating to our economy. [Domestic automakers] are also the only auto OEMs burdened with age-old unions that have long out-served their usefulness. It’s time the government provides [domestic automakers] an equal playing field and also help by supporting the infrastructure required geographically for the AFV models consumers want. Everyone needs to work together to rebuild our economy. Greed is what got us here, and everyone is to blame at some level,” said a commercial fleet manager.

A public sector fleet manager agreed, “Whether it is mismanagement, greed, the economy or whatever caused the problem, we are where we are. The auto industry is too far-reaching, clear down to the neighborhood dealer and suppliers, to let fail. I'm also baffled by the anti-auto industry sentiment when my understanding is the plans call for loans that presumably would be paid back. Politics aside, it seems the United States sends so much money into the world, that we can certainly help our home-grown businesses.”

Unfair competition has been factor, according to another fleet manager, “Our OEMs are competing with foreign companies that have received government subsidies for many years. The auto industry in the United States is too important to allow it to implode.”

Another bailout supporter from a government fleet: “The current global financial crisis has impacted their ability to deliver that restructuring in a rational way. We believe individuals outside Detroit are really misinformed about the impact and importance of the auto industry on this country.”

MEETING HIGHLIGHTS - VANESSA MERCADO

Our thanks go to Stan Chiswell of Stemco-Kaiser for his presentation on wheel bearing adjustments and no ream king pin technology. We also thank Brake Service for sponsoring the cocktail hour.

We also thank Inez Quetant from the New York Blood Center for her presentation on the importance of giving blood.

The winner of the Big Draw of $50.00 was Member Leonard Huffmire who donated his proceeds to the Kiddy Picnic.

MEMBERSHIP - PAT DEMARTINO

We still are looking for potential Members and have not received many candidates in the last few months. Please, we need you help in recommending potential candidates to increase our Membership and support the Society.

I encourage all members to speak to their co- workers, friends, customers and anyone in the industry who may benefit from joining the Society. If anyone is interested they can contact me for a membership application.

Also, we are looking for recommendations for Member of the Month. If you know of anyone who has showed outstanding performance in the Industry you should send their name to me or Richard Chan.

Remember being a Member is important, but we must attend meetings to support the Society.

Members on the move:
Tom LaMano has accepted the position of Metropolitan General Sales Manager for Cummins Power Systems.  In his new role, Tom will be the account manager for the cities of New York City, NY, Newark, NJ and Jersey City, NJ.   In addition, Tom will also have the responsibility for the 5 Boroughs/Counties, Westchester/Putnam from an Industrial standpoint.

PROGRAMS - DON AULL

As we all know there is no program set up for December and in January Member Mike Calise‘s presentation will start off the New Year. I will be taking the steps to change our program criteria and start inviting OEM’s and different agencies in such as EPA, OSHA, DOT, Financial Institutions, etc. We need to change our direction with the Society in order to sign up new members and get them to come to the meetings.

It’s December 2008 and getting closer to the end of this decade. Since the mid 90’s when I first joined the Society, I have witnessed a lot of ups and downs that occurred during many presidents régime. We as a Society need to look at the trend that is happening. We should find ways of promoting the Society with technology and a membership worthy to ensure our survival in the next decade. The future of the Society depends upon a group effort. We need new ideas and new ways of delivering our message and help in any way we can to preserve the trucking and transportation industry that we have all come to love.

If anyone has suggestions and recommendations, then we need to hear them and try to build our membership and political position in the Industry so we all can prosper and survive.

SCHOLARSHIP - CARL ORZA

We are no longer accepting applications for the Society of Fleet Supervisors, Inc. Scholarships. We have received 16 eligible applications this year vying for the eight $2,000.00 scholarships that are available. The recipients will be randomly drawn at the Scholarships Awards Dinner on Saturday, January 10, 2008. Thank you for your participation in our scholarship program and good luck to all the applicants.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

SPECIAL ACTIVITIES - THOMAS MUNNO

Just a quick reminder, the Scholarship Dinner is Saturday, January 10, 2009.  I need to hear from everyone regarding tables.  The tables are going fast.  Also, there are only a few Brick Tickets left.  Please call me if you want your "Lucky" ticket.  I can be reached at (516) 510-2301 or email me at [email protected]

WELFARE & EMPLOYMENT - JOHN GUARRIELLO

Congratulations to Member Anthony Cavuoto on the birth of his two grandchildren. Granddaughter Hailey Rae Cavuoto was born on September 28, 2008 to his son Raymond and Jacqueline and weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and 19”. Grandson Matthew Henry Cavuoto was born on November 5, 2008 to his son Nick and Caroline and weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and 21”.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes for our following Members and their spouses:


01/02 Martin Mandel
01/02 Edward Williams
01/07 John Logerfo
01/12 Peter Domante
01/12 Mark Kodner
01/12 Carol Mirabella (William)
01/20 Henry Consiglio
01/20 Robert Fauci
01/21 Margaret Rogers (Michael)
01/22 Antonio Ceville
01/22 John Collura
01/23 John Davis
01/23 Arlene Konig (Matthew)
01/24 Victor Araujo
01/24 Marie Collura (John)
01/26 Patricia Davis (John)
01/26 Ira Reiter
01/28 Patricia Dejana (James)
01/28 Pasquale Taddeo
01/29 Carl Orza
01/30 Matthew Konig
01/31 Keith Bancke
01/31 Robert Crandall

 


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