Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

January 13, 1999

Tryon Wells, Bill Bays, Johnna Robinson, Phil Jones, Jinny Jones, Jane Winer, David Winer, Barbara Kraft, Bill Eichbaum, John Stapko, John Matthews, Brad Coolidge, Gerald S. Barton, Trip Reid, Renee Dunham, George Dunham, Betty Burchell, Peggy Thomson, Mary Anne Koromilas.

President Tryon Wells called the meeting to order at 8:02 p.m. The membership approved the Minutes of the previous meeting.

For Future Clarification:
The caretakers health insurance will be included with salary in the category of "Employment expenses." Repairs done this year included patches to the rubber roof, replaced windows in the caretakers quarters, rotted frames replaced. The Clubhouse interior (kitchen and upstairs) was painted last summer and the exterior painted in December, 1998. Foundation repair near the men's room was suggested for this year, but capital improvements should not be considered, due to the expense.

Captain's Report:
John Matthews is concerned that the weight of t he ice around the floats may be sufficient to break the restraining rope if a flowing river strains the rope before the ice around the float melts. There was discussion about protecting the canoe shed from flood damage by connecting the separate sections and anchoring the whole on the upper side.

The Newsletter:
David and Jane Winer are gratified by the interest and assistance given by the printer (Allied Printing in Bethesda). As a result, the Islander's format and the photographic reproductions are commendable. Did you notice the historic Sycamore Island Canoe Club emblem near your mailing address? It was drawn from an embroidered patch provided by John Thomson. Keep the articles and photos coming- a testament to the liveliness of our membership. It was suggested that there be a box in the clubhouse to receive captioned photos for publication. Entries in The Islander journal in the clubhouse are another possible resource. However, the Winers pointed out that entries would be more certain of inclusion if sent directly to them. Not all the newsletters arrived on time before the meeting. David suggested that FIRST CLASS appear more prominently.

Camping/Parties Report:
Bill Eichbaum reported that John Membrino's party of over 20 Boy Scouts on December 23, 1998 did not appear in the published list of parties in the December Islander.

Old Business:
Creation of the Personnel Committee (Proposed change to Bylaw 4) was unanimously approved. It now reads:

The standing committees shall be the following: Nominating, Safety and Personnel.

The Personnel Committee will establish the employment policy for the caretaker with regard to job description, salary, and benefits, and will conduct an annual employee review with the caretaker. The members of the Personnel Committee shall be the President, Vice President, Captain, Deputy Captain, Treasurer, Supervisor of Law, and Supervisor of Finance.

The description of the Personnel Committee (proposed change to Standing Rules, 4C) was unanimously approved. It now reads:

4C. Personnel Committee

a) Review the terms of the annual caretaker employment contract;
b) Conduct an annual employee review with the caretaker prior to the December meeting;
c) Submit a recommendation at the December meeting concerning conditions of the caretaker's employment in the coming year;
d) Compare and review health insurance providers' offerings each year to determine the club's level of health insurance coverage for the caretaker.

The proposal to adopt an amendment to Standing Rule 15 regarding large parties was approved by all but one. The wording is as follows:

In the event a member holding a large party or camping event violates a written rule regarding parties, or a standing rule, or a bylaw, and the Large Party Supervisor and the President determine that such violation does not warrant expulsion, then they may suspend that member's large party/camping privileges for up to two years.

Discussion followed about how the membership should be informed of violations of the large party rules. It was agreed that the events be described in the Islander, but no names named, the purpose being to alert the membership to problems that may arise when large parties are given.

The term and description of "Supervisor of Grounds" that was inadvertently erased is now replaced.

The proposal for a change in the camping rules prompted lively debate. It was determined that the idea will require more data and will be further discussed at the next meeting.

New business:

Betty Burchell reported that in the case of a medical emergency during a period when leaving the Island is hazardous or incredibly difficult (e.g. the frozen conditions in early January which trapped the caretakers on the island), the fire department would be able to assist with an airboat.

It is Johnna Robinson's opinion that the test balloons placed across the Potomac in November to mark the possible sites for cell phone transmitters were too visible. We recommend that club members who agree should state their concern and write to: Reginald Griffith, Executive Director, National Capital Planning Commission, 801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20576.

Johnna Robinson suggested that the Sycamore Island Club give a donation to the Potomac Conservancy. This is a gesture to show that, even though we have not accepted their proposal for scenic easement, we approve of their mission to preserve the scenic environment. The amount of $100 seemed appropriate and the suggestion was approved unanimously.

The Club thanked Renee and George Dunham for their hospitality.

The meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

-- Renee Dunham, Recording Secretary