Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

December 12, 2001

Trip Reid, Carl Linden, Renee Dunham, John Stapko, Bill Bays, John Matthews, Gerry Barton, William Brad Coolidge, Johnna Robinson, George Loeb, Ann Marie Cunningham, Alan Gelb, Peggy Thomson, Jim Drew, Judy and John Lentz, Joan and Bill Kugler, John Noble, Jeff Komarow, Larry Heilman, Jane and David Winer.

Captain’s Report
John Matthews reported that architect Pat Berry looked at the canoe shed, which consists of separated structures. He recommended that one continuous structure would better withstand floods, but it will probably suffice as it is now.

Membership Report
Jeff Komarow reported that Blair Bower requested and was granted Senior Member status.

We are still reviewing the question of how to ensure that the septic system is acceptable to Montgomery County, considering that it is in a flood plain.  It is not clear that we have an immediate problem, but if this arises there may be a solution with intelligent redesign, and we have found some good resources for this.

Trip Reid reported that eight ironwood trees and six black willow trees were planted upstream from the clubhouse during the workfest. In addition, two more sycamores were planted on the downstream side. All were wrapped with chicken wire to protect from determined beavers. All are trees native to this region and grow well this Island terrain.

Old Business
Alan Gelb passed out a written report of the Island’s budget, showing status-to-date, expected status at the end of 2001, and the proposed budget for year 2002. The line items were discussed, and this offered an opportunity to set out what the Island’s needs and activities have been, what they have cost, and how expenses are likely to change in the future. Overall expenses for 2001 are about as anticipated, including expenses-to-date on the construction project. The impact of the project on the Club’s finances is still unclear, as the project is on hold pending a better understanding of permit requirements.

For year 2002, Alan recommended that we increase the entertainment budget in line with the welcome trend towards increased outreach and participation, in workfests, the summer party and the successful Orientation meetings.  We will create a list of authorized events, and use this to encourage involvement and plan expenses. Employee costs will increase for year 2002, as medical insurance has risen considerably.   Liability, and property insurance premiums are expected to increase as well, but it has not yet been possible to get quotes for 2002. The budget proposal for year 2002 was passed unanimously.

Officers and supervisors for year 2002
The slate of nominees for Officers and supervisors was unanimously approved. The office of Recording Secretary is still unfilled, however.

Caretaker’s salary and bonus
The Personnel Committee recommended that the Caretaker’s salary be raised according to the cost-of-living increase for Washington, along the lines reported by the Washington Post. There was some discussion about the exact value, so that rather than specifying an amount, Ann Marie Cunningham moved that we increase the Caretaker’s salary according to the index. The motion passed unanimously, and the Treasurer will review the index.

The Personnel Committee also recommended a bonus for the Caretaker. The Club moved to accept the recommended bonus amount and the motion was passed unanimously.

New Business
Numerous suggestions were made for future Club activities. Carl Linden offered to make a presentation on the Monocacy Aqueduct. John Lentz offered to give a presentation on Sir John Franklin’s expedition to the Arctic. The members also expressed interest in hearing about John’s own travels by canoe in the Arctic. Renee Dunham suggested a wintertime family games night in the cozy environs of the clubhouse.

On motion, the Club noted Tryon Wells’ great efforts in enhancing our website and commended him for exceptional contributions to the website; further noted that this commendation includes award of a software package for Tryon, of his choosing.

The adjournment of the meeting was welcomed by those eyeing the sweets laid out for all on Peggy Thomson’s dining room table.

-- Renee Dunham, Recording Secretary