Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

May 12, 2004

Carl Linden, Ann Marie Cunningham, Joe Belden, Jim Drew, Donna Messersmith Jones, Renee Dunham, Joe Hage (caretaker), Ned Goddard (waiting list), Jeff Komarow, Jane Winer, David Winer, John Stapko, Gerry Barton, and Peter Winkler

Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 8:20 when a quorum was assembled by President Ann Marie Cunningham.

Ann Marie reported that Caretaker Joe Hage has become certified in CPR and first aid. Ann Marie also mentioned the article in this past Sunday's Washington Post about the Canoe Cruisers Association's Annual Potomac Downriver Race. The article featured Club member (and CCA race organizer) Star Mitchell. Joe Hage discussed the visit of Post reporter Angus Phillips to the Island in preparation for writing the article about the race. It was generally agreed that, because of the race publicity and the expectation that there would be a good-sized crowd that day, we ought to have some members present on the Island during and after the race.

Joe Hage reported on a recent discussion with an Eagle Scout about trailwork some Scouts are going to do in conjunction with the National Park Service and the Potomac Conservancy. In June, they are going to work on the trail from the Clara Barton Parkway down to the bridge over the towpath. The Club has been asked by the Scouts to help pay for railroad ties to be placed in the trail. The Park Service will match our contribution. After some discussion, it was agreed that we would purchase the requested ties, and write a letter about the purchase to the Park Service. Donna Jones had been planning to have a large party on the Sunday the work was scheduled. We agreed to move her party to the preceding Saturday, an even-numbered day.

Joe also reported about the concerns of Club members John Matthews and Gerry Barton about the bridge over the towpath. They are concerned about others doing substandard work on the bridge. Gerry has done some repair work to the bridge and believes that we should check it regularly.

Membership Co-Secretary Joe Belden reported that a successful orientation for new members (and waitlisters near the top of the waiting list) had been conducted in April. Joe Hage took advantage of the presence of able bodies to move the swim float back into place. Ann Marie reported that Entertainment Co-Chairs George and Shelley Malusky had done an excellent job with the food at the orientation.

Canal Walk:
Carl Linden reported on the canal walk to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Justice William O. Douglas' hike to preserve the canal. About 65 people participated in the 13-day walk, most of them camping out along the way. They received a lot of support from the Park Service, and took a canal boat ride for the final stretch from Fletcher's to Georgetown.

Ann Marie passed out copies of the floor plan for a clubhouse addition that had been prepared previously by John Wiebenson. Ann Marie then reported on the visit of some Club members -- Ann Marie, John Matthews, and Pat Berry -- to speak with Montgomery County zoning officials. Ann Marie said there was a possibility that we could get permission to build outside the footprint of the existing structure. We can do this if we obtain a nonconforming permit, and then apply for a special exception. But, if we go that route, it will be time-consuming, expensive, and we will not be able to rebuild if the clubhouse is seriously damaged. Ann Marie also reported that the officials they spoke with could not give them a sense of how the water and septic officials would react to our proposal. Ann Marie said that a straw vote of the Building Committee had demonstrated a preference to build outside the footprint, if possible. Donna Jones agreed to write an article about the efforts of the Committee thus far and our various alternatives.

New Business:
Ann Marie spoke about a new by-law proposed by Islander Editor Norm Metzger. He would like to be able to give guest passes to waitlisters who contribute articles to the Islander. Jane Winer stated that that had been the Winer's practice when they were editors, and it was agreed that no new by-law was necessary.

Renee Dunham proposed that we purchase new towels for the locker rooms and the kitchen. It was agreed that we would ask Joe to make this purchase.

The meeting was adjourned at about 9:45 p.m.

-- Peter Winkler, Recording Secretary