Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

September 11, 2002

Ann Marie Cunningham, Peter Winkler, Jim Drew, Jeff Komarow, Nancy Bower, Blair Bower, John Matthews, Pat Barry, Al Brown, Marty Burgess, Frances Short, Richard Dianich, George Loeb, Bill Bays, David Winer, Tove Elfström, Alan Gelb, Ned Goddard, Gerald S. Barton, John Wiebenson, Abigail Wiebenson, Tryon Wells, Joe Hage.

The meeting was held on the Island. In Carl Linden’s absence, Vice President Ann Marie Cunningham chaired the meeting. The July minutes were approved by voice vote.

Membership Report
Membership Secretary Jeff Komarow stated in his report that there was one vacancy, and he nominated Cora Shaw and Bernard Vuethey for membership. Cora and Bernard, who stand at the top of the waiting list, applied for membership on October 20, 1993. The Club approved the nomination. Jeff stated that we are going to have to decide, by October or November, what to do about the waiting list in 2003: will we keep it closed to new applicants, open to family of members, or open to all?

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Alan Gelb circulated a written report of the budget as of the end of August, and he explained the highlights. There have been increased expenses because of the Caretaker transition, but we expect to end the year on budget, and with about $50,000 in reserve. There was brief discussion about the replacement of the swim float and the refrigerator, and the electrical review, all of which were paid for this year. Alan observed that if we keep the waiting list closed to new applicants, we would forgo about $2000 income in 2003. There was also discussion about the cost of the Islander, and a suggestion that we publicize more prominently its availability by e-mail. Alan suggested that, at some point, we reevaluate our insurance coverage. Currently we have $1,000,000 in liability coverage. Is it enough? Do we have a member with expertise who can help with this inquiry?

Captain’s Report
Acting Captain Tryon Wells reported that the large tree with the rope swing, just upriver from the Club, was removed by the Park Service, apparently because a youth was injured there and a lawsuit has been filed. Tryon suggested that we investigate the area around the swim float for underwater obstructions, to avoid similar consequences. Tryon also reported on work to be done in November on our well, and informed us that he and Tove Elfström had built and installed a new swim float. It cost $781, and they have high hopes that it will last much longer than its predecessor.

Islander Report
Editor David Winer reported that the next issue of the Islander would have an article and photos of the new float. Recently, there has been sufficient content to maintain a 12-page edition. David also praised Tryon’s work on the website and Joe Hage's Daily Log. David also solicited articles for the Islander.

Entertainment Report
Entertainment Committee Chair George Loeb reported that the Annual Regatta was a big success. An article about it will appear in the next Islander.

Canoe Report
Canoe Supervisor Jim Drew reported that the Club has two canoes for sale. They are advertised in the Islander, and they are “good deals.” Jim also reported that, this Saturday (9/14), from 10 to 12, Frank Daspit will lead a class in canoeing for beginners. In discussion, someone reported seeing a water moccasin near the swim float. Others scoffed at the idea of a water moccasin this far north.

Caretaker’s Report
Joe Hage reported that he, like many others, enjoyed the Regatta. He also spoke about the tree removal (see above), which took place on September 10. In addition, Joe reported that the ferry may need work. Others suggested that repair would not be difficult, and member Richard Dianich volunteered to lend his expertise to the effort, probably at the workfest.

Ann Marie raised the subject of setting a date for the Fall Workfest. After some discussion, it was agreed that the date would be November 16, with the following Saturday (November 23) as the rain date. In the meantime, the Caretaker and the Acting Captain will prepare lists of projects.

Old Business
Gerry Barton commended the work of our substitute caretaker for July, Drew Walsh. He suggested that we honor Drew by offering him a place on the waiting list. After some discussion, those present voted to place Drew on the waiting list, at the bottom and subject to payment of the application fee, effective January 1.

George Loeb raised the issue of revisiting the categories of membership, in particular, the idea of our moving to Senior Membership those regular members who are eligible and who do not use the Island. Also, George suggested that we give consideration to moving up people on the waiting list who perform services for the Club.

New Business
Blair Bower raised the question of why, if the well tests okay (as reported in the latest Islander), we are going forward with more work on it. The question provoked a spirited discussion, both about the well and Club’s propensity for revisiting already decided issues. On the subject of the well, some pointed out that it had cracks and that it was necessary to show the authorities that we were doing all we could to keep it in good order. Others questioned the propriety of spending the money now. Ann Marie spoke about the difficulty of serving as an officer of an organization that constantly revisits issues. Pat Barry joined her in observing that a lot of work had been done to get us to this point with respect to the well, and in contending that we should go forward with what we have previously agreed to do. Blair stated that it was imperative that we keep accurate records of our work on the well, a point on which all agreed. Tryon will maintain those records.

Tryon's motion to change the by-laws to exempt memorial services from the Club's large party regulations (August Sycamore Islander) was taken up. He stated that, among other things, this would relieve club officers of the responsibility for ruling on requests for exemptions on an ad hoc basis. After a brief discussion, the motion was approved.

Abigail Wiebenson requested permission to bring a group of 100 students and teachers to the Island on September 26, a Thursday, from 10 to 2 p.m. After a brief discussion, the request was approved.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Peter Winkler, Acting Secretary.