Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

March 14, 2001

Al Brown and Mardy Burchess, Ann Marie Cunningham, Gerald Barton, Carl Linden, Peggy Thomson, Jeff Komarow, Marion Schlefer, Jane and Dave Winer, Johnna Robinson, John Matthews, Trip Reid, Karl Kosok, Ned Goddard, Renee Dunham, Brad Coolidge, Phil Thorson, Doc and Phyllis Taliaferro, Bill Bays, Alan Gelb, Anne and Brian Waidmann, Richard Bertaut.

The meeting - the first for the year on the Island - was brought to order at 8:15 p.m.

Captain's report:
John Matthews reported that the Club canoes are locked now to prevent their use in cold water. A sign at the canoe rack reading, "See caretaker for key," has been posted. This restricted use has come about as a result of the canoeing accidents which took place this winter.

Islander report:
David and Jane Winer are prepared to provide suggestions for Islander articles to those who may enjoy doing investigation and writing about local events or sites. David will be glad to assist with photography for these articles. The Editors ask that letters from members pertaining to Island business be sent to the proper officer or committee head and not to the Islander.

Website report:
Tryon Wells reported that the bill for our Website service provider inadvertently became overdue but is now paid up.

Treasurer's report:
Alan Gelb reported that "Everything is normal."

Membership report:
Jeff Komarow reported that there has been a resignation from the Club, enabling Edward and Margaret Tilman to be considered for membership. The members approved the motion for their admittance.

Old business:
Honor code: Ann Marie Cunningham passed out copies of a first draft of an honor code addressing safety and environmental issues on the Island. Additional comments were submitted by Sally Strain. During the ensuing discussion, the following topics were addressed:

-- The participatory nature of the Club
-- Methods for promoting awareness of safety and environmental responsibility
-- Guidelines and authority of the relief caretaker
-- The Club's liability for boating and other activities

The sense of the meeting was that an honor code could present guidelines for private canoe use, but Club canoe use is subject to rules. Publication of guidelines and rules is necessary not only for safety but in the light of Club liability. Other sources may be studied from which to derive our codes: Canoe Cruisers Association, American Whitewater Association, Maryland Department of Fishing. Our liability insurance needs legal scrutiny.

Anne Marie will revise her draft of an honor code for further consideration.

New business:
Phil Thorson reopened the topic of kudzu growth control that he first presented in the fall when seeking volunteers in efforts promoted by Montgomery County and other jurisdictions. English ivy is also rampant in Brookmont and along the canal. He described the complexity of ownership of the overgrown areas in nearby areas, methods of growth control, and various ways in which citizens can contribute (physical and political efforts). Tryon Wells noted that the Club can consider participation in this effort as one of the three volunteer activities needed to qualify waiting list applicants for Club membership.

Proposed Amendments to Standing Rules 7 and 10:
(The March issue of the Islander contained full text and descriptions of these amendments.) Amendment 2 to Standing Rule 10, pertaining to the right of a senior member to maintain rack space in the canoe shed, thus overriding the original bumping guidelines, has been tabled for further discussion. All other amendments were passed, with some minor corrections.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m. and members were floated back to the mainland under a beautiful night sky.

- Renee Dunham, Recording Secretary