Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

January 14, 2004

The meeting was hosted by Star Mitchell.

David Winer, Joe McBride, Gerry Barton, John Stapko, Star Mitchell, Carl Linden, Phil Thorson, Jane Winer, Jim Drew, Ann Marie Cunningham, George Loeb, Pat Roth, Joe Belden, Jack Sanders, and Peter Winkler

Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 8:15 p.m. by President Ann Marie Cunningham. There were no communications to report.

The minutes of the annual meeting were approved as published in the Islander.

Membership Report:
Joe Belden, half of our new membership secretarial team (with his wife Tammy), reported that we had two openings for regular members. These were offered to Ralph and Betsy Stevens of Chevy Chase, Maryland, and Darina and Allan McKelvie of Washington, DC. They were voted into membership conditional upon Joe checking with their member references. Joe will report at the next meeting.

Canoe Supervisor’s Report:
Canoe Supervisor Jim Drew reported that it appeared that there were some mislaid or abandoned kayaks and canoes on the Island. He will see that they are claimed by their owners or the Club will assume custody of them. Jim also stated that we have to begin thinking about adding an additional canoe rack or two.

Building Committee Report:
The new Building Committee Chair (and former club president) Jack Sanders observed that he had been involved in some earlier building projects on the Island. The re-formed committee has met once so far, but membership has not been fixed and volunteers are welcome.

Old Business:
Tryon Wells’ motion regarding a safety deposit box was put before the meeting. The proposal would provide keys to the box to three officers: the president, recording secretary, and treasurer. Currently, it was pointed out, we have no safety deposit box. After some discussion in which it was noted that we could sign up three people on a safety deposit account, a vote was taken and the motion carried. The suggestion was made that photocopies be made of all our important documents. Gerry Barton stated that there were copies of all or most of them at our archive.

The meeting then considered Vice-President Jeff Komarow’s motion that we increase regular membership from 155 to 160. Several members supported the proposal, stating their view that the Island was currently underutilized and that the increase was a small step. Others were concerned that we had no clear data on the demographic composition of the Club, and that it was unclear what the change would bring. One member asked if we could reduce the number of regular members if we did not like the result, and others answered that we could. One member asked if the Island’s septic system could handle more usage, while another responded that that was an argument against large parties, not against an increase in membership. In the end, the motion was approved.

New Business:
Phil Thorson, who has been a member since 1947, spoke about plans for new construction on MacArthur Boulevard that would involve cutting down trees and interfering with the view of the Potomac Overlook from the river. The Glen Echo Heights and Mohican Hills neighborhood associations have already written letters to the planning authorities opposing the construction, and Phil asked that the Club do the same. After some discussion, a motion was introduced that the Club write a letter in support of no disturbance of the area and preservation of the river view and against the cutting of trees in the area. The motion carried.

George Loeb let us know that he would be asking permission to host a school party this summer. It was suggested that Relief Caretaker Supervisor Candy Means remind relief caretakers that they do not have to run the ferry for large parties that take place on their watch. Someone else suggested that we investigate whether all of the bells connected to the ferry were in working order.

Pat Roth asked if we have a policy regarding use of the wood stove. She stated her view that relief caretakers, in particular, needed guidance as to what do to about wood stove usage on their watch, especially if they were leaving the Island with no one on it. Ann Marie said she would refer the question to Captain Tryon Wells.

Dave Winer stated that Islander editor Norm Metzger was soliciting articles for the Islander. Several other members gave an update on the controversy over the proposed Georgetown University boathouse.

Ann Marie announced that the next meeting, February 11, would be hosted by Jeff Komarow.

The meeting was adjourned about 9:30 p.m.

— Peter Winkler, Recording Secretary