Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

June 12, 1996

The meeting was called to order at 8:10 p.m., on the Clubhouse back porch, by Warren Brown, subbing for Bill Eichbaum.

Warren delivered the Treasurer's Report for Johnna Robinson. A CD that matured was redeemed. A motion was passed granting the treasurer permission to place $15,290.00 into a repair fund.

Peter Winkler delivered the Membership Secretary's report: There are three new applicants on the waiting list A brief discussion concerning several membership issues followed: (1) Is there any sentiment to amend membership procedures to accommodate children of members who leave their parents' homes and must then spend years in the wilderness (on the waiting fist)? Those present seemed to think any such move was ill-advised. (2) Should the $20 Islander fee for applicants be maintained in its present form? (3) Should the bylaws be amended to permit senior members to host large parties? All Seniors and other interested members with an opinion are asked to convey their thoughts to Peter or John Thomson. We agreed to survey Club sentiment and decide this last issue later this year.

John Krasny, our large party supervisor, reported as part of the foregoing discussion that there were between 15 and 20 large parties last year. There will be fewer this year, at least in part owing to the flooding.

John Thomson reported that weather permitting, the Canoe Cruisers Association race would be held Sunday, June 16, followed by the Cruisers' 40th anniversary picnic on the Island. The Canoe Cruisers organization was founded on Sycamore Island.

Club Captain John Matthews reported that an electrician was coming to the Island a few days after the meeting in connection with our desire to replace the circuit breaker panel and check the wiring and outlets on the Island. There ensued a lengthy discussion of whether to authorize the expenditure of funds to hire a rubber-tired front end loader to bring in fill, to enable the electrician to bring his truck in on the towpath. A motion to permit the captain to use reasonable judgment to pay this sum was denied.

The general sense of the meeting, however, was to go forward with the electrical work. John also brought up the subject of what we should do with the old junk and somewhat hazardous litter now deposited at the end of the Island. This subject was discussed and will be pursued further. Those present agreed that the Club owes many thanks to John Matthews for his repair work since the flood, especially his temporary repair of the canoe shed.

David Winer gave the canoe shed committee report. An engineering firm working for us on a pro bono basis sent the Club a letter with certain recommendations concerning a new shed. It is anticipated that a new shelter would be similar in appearance to the old, and could survive the next flood. The committee met in June and decided to pay $1,200 to the firm for a basic design. A motion to permit that expenditure was passed. The sense of the meeting was that we clearly convey to the engineering firm our cost constraints and other requirements.

Brad Coolidge reported on the easement issue. We sent our proposed easement to the MD Environmental Trust and to the Potomac Conservancy. Both organizations, but particularly the MET, felt our draft was unacceptably loose. They would like stronger enforcement provisions. They are concerned about the effect adopting our language would have on others, and about their ability to enforce the easement against any successors of the Club. Apparently, the Potomac Conservancy is willing to negotiate. The possibility of other easement holders, including the Park Service, was discussed. The easement committee will continue their discussions with MET and Potomac Conservancy, and see if something can be worked out.

Warren Brown reported that the Club needs a successor for Relief Caretaker Coordinator Margaret Herring. Are you interested?

Canoes on the Island remain unprotected from the elements. Members are encouraged to take their canoes home for the time being.

It was reported that there will be more flights into National Airport, and more noise along the Potomac.

At 9:23, the meeting was adjourned.

Peter Winkler, Acting Secretary