Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

June 13, 2001

Tove Elfstrom, Alan Gelb, Dave Winer, Ann Marie Cunningham, Carl Linden, Terry Murphy, Al Green, Renee Dunham, George Malusky, Bill Bays, Star Mitchell, Blair and Nancy Bower, Al Brown and Mardy Burgess, Ken Fassler, Ned Goddard, Jim Drew, Richard Bertaut

The meeting was called to order by Carl Linden.

Membership report: Ann Marie Cunningham presented in Jeff Komarow's absence.
In keeping with the Club's spirit and tradition of honoring long-standing service from members, the following people wishing to withdraw from regular membership were recommended for Honorary Membership: Peter and Marilyn Morabito since 1984; Joe and Pauline O'Boyle since 1980. The membership approved unanimously.

Waiting list applicants eligible for filling four membership vacancies are: Stan and Virginia Fowler, Frances and Ronald Short, Robert and Penelope McNulty, and Thomas and Barbara Lott. The membership approved unanimously.

There are currently 155 regular members and 189 in the waiting list. This year 64 waiting list passes were issued, 9 resignations and 11 new members were accepted.

Treasurer's report:
Alan Gelb led the members through a detailed presentation of the financial standing of the Club in the past and present, with possible future scenarios for the purpose of determining how best to finance the construction of the caretaker's quarters. As background, Alan prepared a table giving an historic perspective on the budget from 1981 to the present, paying particular attention to amounts of reserve retained for safety, and suggesting that we should aim in the long run for a reserve of around 9 - 11 months spending. This is about the current level, and also the level in the late 1980s before a series of exceptional repairs depleted the reserve. Alan then posed three budget questions: At what point in the future would inflation require a dues increase? How should we pay for the construction voted at the previous meeting? How can we prevent the construction from depleting our reserve?

Five scenarios presented for discussion illustrated some of the alternatives (such as raising a loan, having a special assessment, or raising dues and fees). As construction payment will be expected by the end of September, a quick decision is necessary. These issues will be laid out to the entire membership of the Club, with decisions made by those attending the Club meetings.

Ken Fassler, former caretaker from 1980 to 1988 shared his experience and knowledge of flood dynamics and concerns about the construction with the membership. Ken pointed out that, despite the strong steel supports of the present Clubhouse, widening it by adding the new caretakers floor increases the risk of destruction in a flood. He advocated redesign. In the discussion that followed, the sense was to accept some risk in favor of a prompt solution to the serious problems faced by the caretaker in the present quarters.

After a lengthy discussion of all the above issues, a motion was passed selecting one of the scenarios and instructing the treasurer to determine exactly what dues increase is necessary (an increase of up to $100 is possible, with other charges pro-rated). Members would be invited, if they are willing and able on a wholly voluntary basis, to advance loans to the Club of $1,000 or more. The loans would be paid back over five years with a 5% bonus, comparable to a CD in return. The goal would be to raise about $50,000 in this manner to cover the cost of the addition and avoid a special assessment in 2002. The dues increase would also cover the cost of repayments over the five year period. Our hope is that members who are in a position to support this will be ready to do so.

Report on the CCA Whitewater Race:
Star Mitchell reported that all went well with the Sycamore Island participation in the 46th annual Canoe Cruisers Whitewater Race. It was noted that Sycamore Island members John Thomson, who died in 1999, and John Heideman were the authors of this race.

New business:
Ann Marie Cunningham moved that our caretaker be reimbursed the amount to date for out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred by multiple spider-bite incidents within the last few months. The motion was passed unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 10 pm.

- Renee Dunham, Recording Secretary