Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

December 11, 2002

The meeting was brought to order at 8:25 p.m. at Peggy Thomson’s house in Bethesda. Those present were Carl Linden, Nell Hennessy, Alan Gelb, Peggy Thomson, Tryon Wells, Renee Dunham, Richard and Penny Doolittle, Brad Coolidge, Johnna Robinson, Jim Drew, Jane and David Winer, Gerald Barton, John Stapko, Jeff Komarow, Ann Marie Cunningham, Holly Syrrakos, Charlotte Brewer, and Larry Heilmann.

Budget Report for 2002:
Alan Gelb reported that overall, we were right on budget through the end of November and we project the same through the end of 2002. Some items that came in lower than budgeted were offset by some unusual costs related to caretaker-change, such as advertising, paying substitutes, and a farewell gift to Doc and Phyllis. For the year as a whole, we expect that the spending will have been around $60,500, with $3855 in addition for construction project costs spent before the construction project was frozen. In November, we had $50,000 in CD’s in the bank plus cash. By the end of the year there should be enough cash ($6-7,000) to tide us over the first month or so before dues come in.

Construction Project:
We have spent about $12,400 over the 2001-2002 period, of which only $3800 reflect actual improvements (kitchen). The rest is plans, surveys, engineering reports, etc. This does not include $2400 of Doc’s improvements to the quarters in 2001. We need to assemble a complete history and record of construction project activity so there as to ensure informed continuity whenever the project resumes. (Currently we do not know when this will happen.) The Club discussed ways to achieve this.

Budget Report for 2003:
The overall budget for 2003 is the same as in 2002, despite a general inflation adjustment. The closing of the waiting list means no sign-on fees, resulting in about $1500 less income than in 2002. The main question for next year will be the cost of the well, which is budgeted for $10,000 as an exceptional item, i.e., it will exceed our budget.

The budget was unanimously approved.

Dues Increase:
After discussing various means of meeting expenses, Jeff Komarow made a motion to increase (by one dollar per month) member dues to $276 a year (a number evenly divisible by 12 to simplify partial year computation). The motion was passed. Dues and fees based upon regular membership will change accordingly; senior member dues and waiting list passes will be $138, and inactive member dues will be $69. Other Club fees – application, canoe rack, locker, party, initiation – will remain the same.

Captain’s Report:
Tryon Wells reported that the river level is rising due to recent snow and rain. A list should be made of items to move and attend to in case of flood. He recommended that we establish a file where this information is readily accessed and where past flood histories may be found. Also, our ferry float has a leak – the downstream-side pontoon needs pumping out and repair. Our Captain will address the issue.

Editors Report:
David and Jane Winer reported that it is time to seek someone to take over the Editor’s job after 2003. Currently, no one from within the Club has expressed an interest in taking take over the outstanding job that the Winers have done. Forthcoming Islander issues will display an ad for this challenging job. David suggested a means of recruitment if there is no response to the ads: a “service member” might become a member while performing a necessary task which cannot be filled by a member or waiting list person. This suggestion may be discussed at future meetings.

Holly Syrrakos reported that the Washington Historical Society, where our records are stored, is closed for the time being and will reopen at the site of the former Carnegie Library at the Mount Vernon site in May 2003. There is limited access to our records during the transition period. Holly will keep all 2002 records in her possession until the new site is ready.

The two canoes for sale have been sold – one for $50 and the other for $100.

New Business:
Officers for 2003:
The proposed roster of officers and supervisors for 2003 was unanimously accepted. George II and Shelley Malusky will assist the Loebs who are the supervisors for Entertainment. See p.8 in this Islander for the roster of elected officers, supervisors, and directors.

The Club expressed great pleasure with the work and sociability of our new caretaker, Joe Hage. Much has been fixed and added on Joe’s own initiative. For example, there is now a neat rack for the canoe paddles; the rough part of the hill trail leading to the wooden canal bridge is now filled with gravel and the jutting rock slabs in that portion of the trail have been reduced by brawn and sledge-hammer; plumbing talent has been displayed in fixing the toilet in the woman’s changing quarters. Thank you, Joe. We couldn’t be luckier. And a thank you was expressed to the hiring committee who supported bringing on a caretaker who would bring his daughters. Joe will receive a cost-of-living raise and a bonus from the Club and the girls, at Gerald Barton’s suggestion, will receive a Christmas present from the Club. Peggy Thomson donated three Sycamore Island patches to be presented as well.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m. to Peggy’s dining room where we found more food for discussion in apple bake, pumpkin/mince pie, cookies, lemon squares, wines, cider, … If I missed any goodies, please amend the minutes next month.

-- Renee Dunham, Acting Recording Secretary