Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

May 11, 2005

Ann Marie Cunningham, Jack Sanders, Lyle Blanchard, Norman Metzger, David Holdridge, John Matthews, Joe Belden, Sally Strain, John Membrino, Dick and Penny Doolittle, Bill Bays, Lisa Kliefoth, Bill Hill, Jane Winer, Warren Brown, Alan Gelb, Cindy Bertaut, Renee Dunham, Star Mitchell, Judy Lentz, John Lentz, Brad Coolidge, David Winer, John Noble, Faith Earll, Gerry Barton, Tryon Wells, Jim Drew, Johnna Robinson, Peggy Thomson, Jeff Komarow, John F. Stapko, John G. Stapko, Ned Goddard, George Malusky, and Peter Winkler

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 8:10 p.m. by President Ann Marie Cunningham. On account of the large attendance, Ann Marie asked everyone to introduce him or herself.

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

President Ann Marie Cunningham reported that, under the sponsorship of David and Jane Winer and Bill Hill, the Sumner Garden Club had paid a visit to the Island to see the spring wildflowers. The Garden Club donated $100 to the Club, and Ann Marie has written to thank them. Ann Marie also reported, to applause, that Tryon Wells, Gerry Barton, and Joe Hage have disposed of the old shingles from the roof. In addition, Ann Marie reported that she had approved the request of a WAMU-FM reporter to come to the Island to do a story. Among other things, Ann Marie stipulated that the story include the fact that we are not accepting any new applicants at this time. Finally, Ann Marie reported on the death of longtime member John Krasny. A sum of money has been donated to the Club in his honor and will be applied to kayak-related activity. Star Mitchell announced that the Down River Race would take place Sunday, May 15.

Treasurer's Report
Treasurer Alan Gelb reported that the new roof is paid for, and things are otherwise proceeding normally.

Financial Report
Financial Secretary Lisa Kliefoth reported that she is looking into ways of improving the efficiency of our billing process. Lisa will share her thoughts in an upcoming issue of The Islander.

Captain's Report
Tryon reported on the roof replacement and the shingle disposal. Tryon expressed his thanks to Captain Emeritus John Matthews for his help with the project.

Membership Report
Membership Secretary Joe Belden presented seven applications for membership. Joe has spoken with references for all of them, and all applicants have attended the orientation for new members. After giving brief descriptions of each family or individual, Joe moved their admission. The Club approved all of the applications by voice vote. There is currently one more vacancy.

Large Party Report
Large Party Supervisor John Noble asked that the Club approve a member's request to hold a large party on an upcoming weekday. The request was approved.

Old Business
The principal item for discussion and resolution at the meeting was to select one of the remodeling plans, the "Bedroom Upstairs" (Plan No. 1) or the "Great Clubroom" (Plan No. 2), which were discussed at length at the April meeting. [See May Islander for the two plans.] The Building Committee will then hire an architect and cost out the chosen proposal, which will then be presented to the Club for final approval.

Jim Drew spoke in favor of "Plan No. 3" -- adding a second floor with bedrooms above the Caretaker's living room. He stated that it would get the bedrooms above flood level at a much lower cost. Ann Marie and Cindy Bertaut both stated that the Club representatives' meetings with county officials had persuaded them that this plan would not be approved, as it involved building outside the footprint, which is "vertical" as well as "horizontal." Jim countered that the Peoples' Counsel Klauber had said he could help getting it approved, and he asked that his proposal be included in the vote. Norm Metzger pointed out that, at a prior meeting, the Club had decisively rejected any "outside the envelope" proposal. Ann Marie stated that it would require a two-thirds vote of the meeting to overturn that earlier vote.

A question was raised concerning whether the Club has sufficient funds for either of the two plans on the table. Ned Goddard of the Building Committee stated that we do, and Alan Gelb spoke concerning the Club's reserve fund, which is now about $60,000. In response to a question concerning the difference in cost between Plans 1 and 2, Ann Marie stated that they were within 10 percent of one another, and the Building Committee did not view the relative cost as an important factor in choosing between the two. Ann Marie also stated that it was the intent of the Building Committee to be able to return to the Club with a final design and cost estimate at the June or July meeting.

There was additional discussion concerning the relative merits of the two plans. Among the arguments in favor of Plan 1: the Club undertook the remodeling campaign to raise the Caretaker's quarters above the flood plain; the "bedroom upstairs" will help the Club attract and retain caretakers; spending money for better caretaker's quarters is spending money for the benefit of the members; flooding may not be all that frequent, but threats of flooding are. Among the arguments in favor of Plan 2: the Club does not need upstairs bedrooms, as the Caretaker can simply use the entire upstairs during high water, when the Club is closed; we should not do anything that would encourage the Caretaker to stay during a flood; the Club should spend its money principally for the benefit of the members, not the Caretaker; the "Great Clubroom" plan will provide the Caretaker with more space, and there will be greater separation between the members' spaces and the Caretaker's, to the benefit of both.

The meeting then voted whether to overturn the previous vote in favor of "staying within the footprint." The proposal failed to win a two-thirds majority. The next vote taken was between Plans 1 and 2. Plan 2, the "Great Clubroom" plan, received a majority. A third vote was then taken, between going forward with Plan 2 and not going forward with any remodeling at this time. Plan 2 received overwhelming support. The meeting was then adjourned.

The next meeting will take place June 8, on the Island.

-- Peter Winkler, Recording Secretary