Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

June 11, 1997

Bill Eichbaum, John Thomson, Peggy Thomson, David Winer, Doc Taliaferro, Phyllis Taliaferro, Nancy Metzger, Norman Metzger, Gerry Barton, Jinny Jones, Phil Jones, Ann Zahn, Blair Bower, Tryon Wells, Charlotte Brewer, Johnna Robinson, Betty Burchell, Katie Holdridge, John Matthews, George Loeb, Marcia Loeb, Melissa Andrews (guest), Holly Syrrakos

President Bill Eichbaum called the meeting to order at 8:07 p.m.

President's Report
Bill reported that he, John Matthews and Doc bought a new lawnmower with a mulcher attachment for $341.

Islander Report
Editor John Thomson thanks Elizabeth Rice for stuffing and mailing the Islander this month and reminds others that this is a good way to make a contribution to the Club.

Captain's Report
John Matthews said that he is thinking about a system for securing the canoes and boats during a flood. He is working on the idea of attaching a chain to the clubhouse and hooking the boats to the chain. Each boat would have a clip put on the front painter. John and Canoe Supervisor David Winer would like the system to be standardized for easy securing. If you object to this idea, please contact David Winer. John also noted that people running the ferry should be careful at the landings-remember, do not crash!

Canoe Supervisor's Report
David Winer is finalizing canoe rack assignments. There will be a diagram in this issue of the Islander showing the position of the boats. In the paddle department, David recommended buying 12 wooden laminate paddles for $360. He noted they are "hydrodynamic, ergonomic, and esthetically pleasing." The meeting approved the expenditure on an 8-5 vote and the paddles will be marked as Sycamore Island property.

Party Supervisor's Report
John Krasny was absent because he had a hip replaced. He is making good progress in his recovery. The meeting wished him well.

Relief Caretakers
Jane Winer has been organizing Sunday relief caretakers for a year now and she is ready for relief herself. If you are interested in talking to members on the phone and signing them up for Sunday duty, this is a good job for you and a very important one for the Club. Please call Jane to make your offer.

Caretaker's Report
Doc stated that the Club needs a new volleyball net, a ladder for the outer swim float and an air conditioner for the caretaker's apartment. He will discuss these expenses with Bill Eichbaum, John Matthews and Johnna Robinson. Tryon Wells noted that the outer swim float is metal and often too hot or cold to use. He will talk to Swimming Supervisor Al Brown about a covering for it.

Entertainment Committee
George and Marcia Loeb invite all to the Regatta on June 29.

Old Business
Standing Rules & Bylaws
Holly Syrrakos and Bill Eichbaum have begun the process of reviewing the rules and bylaws. By the end of the summer, they should have a version for membership approval/acceptance.

Blair Bower and Bill Eichbaum prepared a report on Club participation for 1996. In brief summary they discovered that about 41% of the membership made some work contribution to the Club and that about 10% did a large part of the work. There was a rather lengthy and wide ranging discussion that followed, taking up issues that had been discussed in previous meetings. Members had various opinions about the level of participation-some thinking it was good and others, low. Some noted that the Islander alone is not a sufficient link to the members in terms of getting people involved. Some want increased participation so that there is more of a "club-like" atmosphere while others want the work burden to be spread more evenly. There was concern that the "old guard" does a lot and whether the Club is successfully developing new potential. It was also noted that if there is an expressed expectation of a work contribution then more "activist types" will be attracted to the Club. The study does not look at who used the Club during 1996 so there is no correlation between work and use. Several people stated that It is the option of members to pay dues and not use the Club and not volunteer. Others disagreed with this position.

Bill and Blair will do a similar analysis for 1995 and the discussion will be continued.

New Business
C & O Canal Restoration
Guest Melissa Andrews of the newly-formed coalition for the preservation of the canal, and a resident of Brookmont, spoke about the Park Service (NPS) plan for the section of the canal from Lock 5 to Angler's Inn.

She said that NPS will issue a report on Sat., June 14 regarding the 2-year plan for repairs to the canal. The plan includes no real repairs to this section of the canal and there is concern that it is NPS' Intention to let the canal go to swamp. NPS argues that there are not enough funds to cover repairs. She pointed out that NPS solicited funds claiming they would repair the canal. Moreover, their position is a change in policy regarding canal preservation and it has been done without public hearings or input. She also stated that NPS employees have worked very hard on canal restoration at a time of budget cuts and low morale and that their effort is appreciated.

She requested that the Club join the coalition to press for real restoration of the canal, that the Club sign a letter to the Maryland congressional delegation reflecting this opinion, and that the Club make an unspecified financial commitment. The motion to become a member of the coalition passed unanimously on a voice vote. Bill Eichbaum will review the letter for the Club's signature, the Islander will have an article about this, and Bill will write a letter on behalf of the Club itself.

Police Report
There was a report of indecent exposure on the bridge over the towpath. The meeting reminds everyone that the Club is located in a busy, urban area with all Its attendant problems and that members should use the same good judgment in their travels to the Island that they use in their travels around town.

Next Meeting
The July meeting will be held on the 9th at 8 p.m. at the Island (river permitting).

The meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

Holly Syrrakos, Recording Secretary