Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

June 8, 2005

The meeting was held on the Island.

Ann Marie Cunningham, Norman Metzger, John Matthews, David Winer, Jane Winer, Faith Earll, Gerry Barton, Harvey Resnik, Alan Gelb, Jim Drew, Ned Goddard, and Peter Winkler. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 8:10 p.m. by President Ann Marie Cunningham.

Ann Marie reported that Club member Jack Sanders had advised her that the authorities were considering discontinuing the use of the Little Falls gauge measuring the Potomac River water level. Tryon wrote to the USGS and heard back from them: funding for the gauge has been approved. Ann Marie added, however, that we have inquired of the USGS about the status of other gauges, and that inquiry has not been answered.

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

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Alan Gelb reported that our finances are on an even keel. A question was asked concerning when an audit would be conducted. Ann Marie said that Bill Eichbaum, the Finance Chairman, is responsible for an audit, and she will contact him.

Islander Report
Islander Editor Norm Metzger reported that all is well with The Islander.

Canoeing Report
Canoeing supervisor Jim Drew reported that, for the last 3 years, the number of personal canoes on the island and the number of racks for them has been about equal; currently, we have one unused rack. Jim is discussing with others plans for an additional ground rack for club canoes.

Caretaker’s Report
Ann Marie reported that there were several days recently when there was no one signed up for relief caretaking. What to do? Ann Marie or Candy Means will write up something for The Islander to encourage more volunteering.

Old Business
Harvey Resnik raised the issue of the Club’s purchasing a defibrillator for the Island. He has researched the issue and found two companies that would sell one to us. One of those companies would offer on-site training to six individuals. The prices were between $2,042 and $2,195, with varying extras and warranties. We discussed whether we would be competent to use a defibrillator, and the question of liability. We also discussed whether we could prevail on a generous donor to purchase a defibrillator for us. In the end, it was agreed that Ned Goddard would write up the issue for the next issue of The Islander and that the purchase would be discussed and put to a vote at the July meeting. We then discussed the need to remind the Park Service and the Glen Echo Fire Department of where we are, in the event of an emergency. Joe Hage and Ned Goddard will undertake discussions with them.

Building Committee
Ned Goddard advised us that the June Islander contains an up-to-date report of the Committee’s efforts. "Plan B" has been taken to an architect, Pat Barry, who is a Club member. Pat and the Committee have discussed some modifications to the design that would facilitate a general contractor coming up with a modular bid. John Matthews has also assisted, at no cost to the Club, in “spec-ing out” the construction in more detail; for example, determining the order in which the work will be performed. The hope is that we can solicit and receive some bids within the next 30 days. In the meantime, the finance subcommittee of the Building Committee has discussed a number of ideas for raising the necessary funds, including (1) assessing all members, and (2) instituting a “facilities fund,” comparable to community swimming pools, that members would pay into and be paid back from upon leaving the Club. The subcommittee has also discussed various fundraising ideas, such as holding a dance or an auction, selling naming rights, and soliciting loans from members or commercially. Alan Gelb suggested that there were many ways we could raise funds; for example, by offering a "lifetime membership." The subcommittee understands the need to pursue its mandate without delay.

We then discussed the fairness and the practicalities of an assessment and a facilities fund. The sense of the meeting was that it would not be fair for the entire cost of construction to be borne by the current membership, but that we also owe an obligation of fairness to those on the waiting list and other future members. And, we do not want to dramatically raise the cost of membership. It was suggested that we could raise some of the money by assessment, and some of it through borrowing. The subcommittee is looking into the possibility of a commercial loan. Ann Marie raised the idea, when we have the options defined and narrowed down, of holding a special meeting, on a Sunday afternoon, to allow as many people as possible to attend and vote. The sense of the meeting was that it was a good idea.

Final Notices
The Club’s mid-summer sleepover will take place on the Island on June 25-26. The next meeting will take place July 13, on the Island.

-- Peter Winkler, Recording Secretary