Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

December 14, 1988

The meeting was called to order at the home of John and Peggy Thomson at 8:05 p.m. by President David Lyles. President Lyles reminded members that the December meeting is designated in our By-Laws as the "Annual meeting of the members."

Present were:
David Lyles, John Stapko, Peggy Thomson, John Lentz, Charlie Trammell, Mardy Burgess, Marion Schlefer, Jessie Bakeman, Mary Vogel, Al Brown, John Thomson, Philip Jones, Brad Coolidge, Betty Burchell, Peter Jones, Virginia Jones, Greg Super, Mark Schlefer

Since the minutes for November were not published in the December Islander, the minutes for both November and December will appear in the January issue.

Betty Burchell reported receiving a copy of the letter written by Robert Black concerning the environmental impact on the Palisades of a proposed subdivision. The letter will be discussed at the January meeting.


Mark Schlefer reported a balance of $20,000 at the beginning of November; deposits of $132.50; dividends of $113.28; expenses of $3,178, thus giving a balance of $17,098 at the end of the month. With 5-year CD valued at $15,000, total liquid assets are $32,098.

Financial Secretary:
Max Goepp sent in his report, noting initiation fees, $20; application fees, $30; donations, $50; large parties, $15; and guest card fees, $40.68, for a total income of $155.68.

Neither John Mathews nor his deputy was present. Caretaker Peter Jones reported a thin sheet of ice on the river, almost to Virginia, probably because the water is so low this year. David Lyles said we would not have the 3d-Saturday work session this Saturday because the ice made it too difficult to cross to the island (too thin to walk on).

Marcia Marks was not present but had sent word there were no resignations this month and nothing more to report.

Canoeing Supervisor:
John Lentz reported on measures taken to protect canoes on the island after discovery last month of two missing canoes. He strongly recommended that everyone label his boat as the missing canoes had no identification. He bought and put numbers on all boats, coordinating them with the racks and also logged their serial numbers. The missing boats were also not locked, and it was highly recommended by the canoeing supervisor that all canoes be locked, leaving a key or the combination with Caretaker Peter Jones. Peter Jones reported that in the last flood he did not have keys for many boats and had to cut the chains to take the canoes to safety.

Betty Burchell asked for volunteers to rake leaves on the island, weather permitting. Greg Super commented on members' suggestions on improving the view from the island, recognizing the fine line between providing a view and cutting too much vegetation. As a forester, he sees a problem of erosion if too much vegetation is removed, but trimming limbs, possibly removing some, would not hurt. John Stapko recommended that no trees be cut as they fall or die naturally. David Lyles suggested that Betty and Greg as Grounds Committee get together with Jack Sanders and set policy. Betty asked that no trees be trimmed or cut until policy is set.


David Lyles announced next order of business was election of new slate of officers, as reported by the Nominating Committee and published in the November issue of the Islander. (incorporated into the minutes). David thanked those officers retiring for their service to the club -- Max Goepp, financial secretary and Phil Stone, archivist, for his 27 years of service.

David Lyles read the new slate of officers and opened the floor to nominations. John Thomson moved that nominations be closed -- seconded and passed. Nominations were before the floor for discussion. Brad Coolidge moved that the slate be adopted -- seconded and passed.

Brad Coolidge moved that the club recognize the term of service of all officers relinquishing their positions tonight and so done.

Next item of business was discussion of adoption of budget prepared by Mark Schlefer and Ad Hoc committee. Members received copies of proposed budget (incorporated into minutes) and items were discussed with explanations by Mark. Items noted were the incorporation of House and Plumbing into Maintenance and Repair item to simplify budgeting. Grounds is now a separate line item, and health insurance is included in insurance category this year. Our insurance committee, which is reviewing all our policies has not reported yet, but we hope to have a report at the January meeting with an expert present to offer recommendations. This will be confirmed in the Islander. The budget was increased for the Islander as it is important to the spirit of the club. The contingency reserve is essential to have flexibility in paying essential bills, such as insurance and utilities.

Members discussed Capital improvement to caretaker's apartment of $4,000. Mark Schlefer pointed out this could be handled through our reserves. We should have a reserve of $30,000 going into next year, close to one year's expenses. Brad Coolidge suggested we ask for input from member John Wiebenson who had advised on previous changes to apartment. Members approved improvement to apartment in general but will wait upon Captain's report on how or what should be done.

Members approved proposal for Christmas bonus of $250 to the caretaker and 5 and 1/2 per cent increase in salary for coming year.

As stated in the new budget, dues are $170, regular and temporary; $05, senior; and $42.50, non-resident.

Charlie Trammell moved to adopt the present budget. Without objection the budget was approved.


Marion Schlefer brought up an environmental matter affecting the Potomac River. It seems the city of Leesburg is planning to enlarge its sewage plant with possible dumping of effluent into the upper Potomac. David Lyles suggested Marion draft a letter to print in the Islander to inform members and we can discuss approval of the text at the January meeting. Marion also brought up environmental problems involved in building a new stadium near the Anacostia River, and it was suggested she send this information to Bruce and Cathy Gaber who recently presented a program at the club on the Anacostia River.

President David Lyles suggested to members that in the coming months we may want to think about increasing our membership, not necessarily because we need more income, but because we have a very long waiting list with few resignations coming up monthly. Any proposed discussion will be reported in the Islander.

John Thomson reported that the Park Service is contemplating proposing regulations for paddling at Great Falls. There will be a meeting in January, and we should be aware of this.

David Lyles thanked Peggy and John Thomson for their hospitality and the meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Mary Vogel, Recording Secretary
19 December 1988