Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

January 8, 2003

Alan Gelb, Brad Coolidge, Ann Marie Cunningham, Frank Daspit, Jim Drew, Bill Eichbaum, Nell Hennessy, John Lentz, Judy Lentz, Carl Linden, George Loeb, Larry Heilman, Bill Marmon, Star Mitchell, John Noble, Donal O’Hare, Sherry Smith, Peggy Thomson, Abigail Wiebenson, John Wiebenson, Tryon Wells, David Winer, Jane Winer

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 p.m. at the Irish Channel Restaurant, H and 5th Sts. NW, Washington, DC. Nell Hennessy and Frank Daspit, who are part-owners of the restaurant, hosted and provided refreshments for the meeting. The Club’s new president, Ann Marie Cunningham, conducted the meeting and moderated the discussion.

The minutes of the last month’s meeting as printed in the Islander were approved.

Treasurer’s Report:
Alan Gelb reported that Club expenditures for last year came to $61, 000 or $2000 under budget. Alan urged members to pay their dues promptly. The treasury needs cash on hand.

Jeff Komarow reported that there was little to report. The Waiting List is not open this coming year and we are not accepting any applications for the Waiting List.

Captain’s Report:
Tryon Wells reported that Joe Hage has repaired some damage to the ferry’s railings caused by a minor mishap.

Editor’s Report:
Dave and Jane Winer reported that they have decided to conclude their term of service as editors sometime this year and advised the Club to begin a search for a new Editor of the Islander.

Camping/Parties Supervisor:
John Noble reported that a total of 760 guests attended some eighteen events on the Island over the past year. Two memorial services were also held on the Island with some 400 attendees present at the services. Also, 250 students and faculty of the Lowell School held a gathering on the Island and, though it rained and drizzled most of the day, it was evident that the group had a very good time on the Island.

Canoeing Supervisor:
Jim Drew, noted that the second canoe for sale was sold for $55, not $50 as previously indicated.

New Business:
No new business was discussed at the meeting.

Old Business:
The meeting returned to George Loeb’s proposal at the November meeting to survey Club members on what they think the overall goals of the Club should be in the coming period especially with regard membership policy.

An extended discussion was conducted around the following questions. Should the Club find ways of opening up regular memberships to more of our applicants? Are there ways to reduce the many-year waits applicants face before a membership opening occurs? How do we balance need to protect the Island from over-usage by limiting membership size and making room for new members? Should families with children receive special consideration? In general should access to the Island be broadened? George Loeb advanced for consideration two approaches to ease the waiting list log jam: a change in rules to make room for more senior memberships (opening up more regular memberships) and finding ways to reward waiting list people who serve the Club in major ways without violating standards of fairness. Membership or use privileges could be extended to anyone as reward for major services to the Club (for example, newsletter editor). The point of the survey would be to provide a broad-based view of the membership’s preferences which is not necessarily expressed by the relatively small contingent of the membership attending monthly meetings. George Loeb and Ann Marie Cunningham will prepare a draft of the survey which will be presented for comment at the next meeting. The final version of the survey will then be sent to the membership.

The meeting warmly thanked the hosts for providing a most pleasant facility for the Club’s deliberations and excellent refreshments for all in the best tradition of Irish hospitality. The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.

-- Carl Linden, Recording Secretary