Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

November 9, 1994

Members present:
Warren Brown, Blair Bower, Brad Coolidge, Bill Eichbaum, Trip Reid, Mark Schlefer, Johnna Robinson, John Matthews, David Winer, Karl Kosok, Peter and Molly Morabito, Phil Jones, John Thomson, Kathleen Peters, Phil Thorson, Ellen Richards, Heddy Reid, George and Marcia Loeb, Holly Syrrakos and Peter Jones.

The meeting began at approximately 8 PM with Warren outlining goals that included completion by 10 PM, brief status reports on routine business, and concentrated discussion of the large party issue as previously announced.

Thanks went out to Jane and Paul Englestad for organizing the Fall membership party on Halloween that was well attended and a great success.

Treasurer Johanna Robinson provided a financial report showing that the club is generally still in good fiscal condition, but that capital improvements and utility costs had exceeded budget by a small amount. She expressed the hope that the 1995 budget can be passed in December so that the 1995 dues notices can be sent out promptly. The 1995 budget to be submitted will assume that dues remain at their present level to continue the capital improvements and major maintenance work initiated last year. Johanna noted that the budget also needs to include funds for the reserve as the club is self-insuring for fire damage.

John Thomson reported that a former member, Dori Conner had graciously sent a gift of $100 and John will send a note of thanks to the donor.

Membership Secretary Kathleen Peters reported that the waiting list has 132 people, including 8 additions within the past two months. Kathleen raised a question about whether the $20 fee for Islander subscription could be waived for people on the waiting list who might elect not to get our publication. After considerable discussion, it was agreed that the $20 fee is a general charge to cover administrative expenses for being maintained on the waiting list not just a subscription fee and that this question had been addressed last April. The letter to wait-listers will be sent as previously agreed.

Captain John Matthews reported that improvements to the clubhouse and caretakers quarters were essentially complete. Much of the work involves things like water pumps and utility upgrades that are not obvious to most visitors, but are essential. John suggested that the some of the junk, trash, etc. accumulated on the island might be removed in connection with the fall workfest, and Bill Eichbaum agreed to investigate potential haulers.

Brad Coolidge and Mark Schlefer reported on the responses to the draft easement points that were re-published in the last Islander. Six club members sent in comments, most questioning the need for an easement. Resisting the temptation to have an extended discussion again on the merits, the group agreed that the next steps were 1) draft a complete text in full legalese 2) publish the text in the Islander with an opportunity to comment, 3) revise the text as needed, and 4) present the proposal for a vote by the entire membership, probably by mail rather than in a meeting.

The discussion then turned to the major item of business -- large parties. Blair Bower circulated a very thorough paper defining the issues and policy options related to parties on the Island. Many of these points repeated and expanded on ideas that had been presented by the ad hoc large party committee that submitted a proposal earlier this year. The outline and following discussion touched several points including a) an appropriate limit on the number of people in a large party considering the carrying capacity of the island in terms of ecological factors including the septic system and the effect of numbers of people on other club members whose enjoyment of the island is disturbed by parties; b) the timing of parties, i.e. whether there should be limits on dates that parties should be allowed; c) the appropriate fees for large parties; d) the priority to be given to requests for large parties, and e) responsibility for behavior of large parties.

A lively discussion ensued by both party hosts and others who had concerns about these events. There was general agreement on the need to revise the current policy and procedures to address the concerns that have been raised about impacts on ecological and other values of the Island as expressed in previous meetings and the membership survey. However, there was no definite consensus on the details of what additional limits were necessary and appropriate. With the debate proceeding about how many "party" and "non-party" days might be allocated to each month or each weekend, (only on odd numbered days was one suggestion) it was agreed that Blair Bower's discussion paper and policy proposal should be published in the Islander for comment, revised as necessary, and submitted to a vote early in 1995 so that a new policy can be in effect before the Spring season.

Warren noted that a new slate of officers for 1995 would be presented for ratification by the membership at the December meeting. New positions are being proposed for Bill Eichbaum as Vice President and Peter Winkler as Membership Secretary. The desperate need for a permanent Recording Secretary was repeated with a plea for suggestions or volunteers. The meeting adjourned at approximately 10 PM after reminders about the November 13 workfest. The date for the next meeting was set for December 7 to avoid conflicts with holiday travel.

(Thanks to Trip Reid for acting as recording secretary for this meeting)