December 7, 1994
The December meeting of the Sycamore Island Club was held on Wednesday the 7th at the home of Peggy and John Seabury Thomson and was called to order by President Warren Brown at approximately 8pm.
John Krasny, Johnna Robinson, Bill Kugler, Brad Coolidge, Kathleen Peters, Jerry Barton, Peter Winkler, David Winer, Philip Jones, Blair Bower, Peggy Thomson, John Thomson, Jessie Bakeman, Greg Super, Sue Super, Jane Winer
Johnna Robinson, Treasurer, presented the proposed budget for 1995 and reported on the present state of our finances. For 1994 the capital improvements had exceeded projections by about $2,000, and this had been addressed by drawing on reserves that are expected to be replaced next year. The 1995 program includes $5,000 to continue capital improvements. With remarkably little debate the budget was adopted by unanimous agreement. A $500 Christmas bonus for 1994 for our Caretaker Extraordinaire also was approved after a great deal of praise for his work.
The slate of officers for next year was presented with only a few changes in the current line up. Bill Eichbaum has consented to stand for Vice President and Susan Garbini will replace Bill as chair of the House Committee. Kathleen Peters who has served with grace as Membership Secretary has recommended her own replacement: Peter Winkler. Many thanks were extended to Kathleen for her hard work. Other officers and committee chairs will continue as in 1994. Warren agreed to continue as President, but noted again that the position of Recording Secretary remains vacant and desperately needs to be filled.
Finance Committee Chair Phil Jones noted that there are at least 4 and perhaps as many as 7 people who have not paid their dues for 1994, creating a substantial loss of revenue. Kathleen reported that diligent efforts to reach many of these people had been exhausted, but the bylaws provide that expulsion for non-payment is supposed to occur automatically when dues are 60 days in arrears but after a personal warning. It was generally agreed that members who have not paid their dues, and had not responded to letters and reasonable efforts to contact them by phone, should be considered to have resigned. If the problem is due to a change in address or other unusual circumstances, they could apply for reinstatement. A motion that the bylaws be enforced for all outstanding 1994 dues was unanimously approved, after noting that those who are deemed to have resigned for non-payment should be notified that this action was taken with regret.
Archivist Jesse Bakeman raised a question about what materials should be retained and for how long, expressing concern about correspondence related to the proposed easement as one example. Retention of liability waivers and related membership information was noted as a matter of concern and it was reported that Mable Wallich, Financial Secretary currently keeps these forms for members, but may be missing some. The discussion concluded with the suggestion that we consult with our lawyers on how long waivers need to be retained, and establish clearer understanding of who is responsible for which forms.
Blair Bower presented an update on the proposal regarding tighter guidelines for large parties on the Island. Vigorous discussion continued about children, behavior, birthdays, septic systems, geese, and character of the island. It was agreed that some of the "pro-party" people should develop a specific alternative proposal to the one currently pending. Greg and Sue Super offered to draft one in consultation with others who may want a somewhat less restrictive policy than has been proposed. One or more options could then be presented to the membership for a final decision in the future.
Brad Coolidge presented an update on the easement proposal, noting that Minnie's Island had been donated to the Potomac Conservancy and circulated an article from the Washington Post on the the dedication ceremony. Brad distributed two draft easements (one for Sycamore, a different one for Ruppert's) prepared by club member Jim Snow, who is an attorney specializing in such matters with the Forest Service. It was agreed that these drafts should be published in the next available Islander, and that a vote of the membership should be taken after allowing a reasonable amount of time for questions and discussion. Members were encouraged to read the drafts carefully and discuss them with the easement committee if there are questions.
The meeting adjourned a little after 10 PM and most of us proceeded to enjoy the sumptuous refreshments set before us by Peggy and John Thomson. Thanks again for your hospitality.
And: Thanks to Jane Davidson Winer for acting as Recording Secretary for this meeting.
Jane Winer/Warren Brown