Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

October 11, 2006

The October meeting was held on the Island, and called to order at 8:10 p.m. by President Jeff Komarow, who led the group in an expression of jubilation when the 10th member arrived and we finally had a quorum. When your recording secretary took on this job in exchange for membership privileges, I was concerned about the burden on a busy schedule of writing minutes every month. In fact, 5 out of the 10 months of this year have had no quorum. The responsibility has turned out to be a light one; but what does this mean for the Club?

Jody Benjamin, Robert Benjamin, Ann Marie Cunningham, Jim Drew, Bruce Gaber, Phoebe Hamill, Larry Heilman, Jeff Komarow, John Matthews, Norm Metzger, Louise Meyer, Sherry Pettie, Johnna Robinson, John Stapko, Peggy Thomson, Tryon Wells.

A motion carried to adopt the May minutes with no changes. (The June, July, and September meetings had no quorum, and the August meeting was cancelled in anticipation of no quorum.)

Membership Report:
Jeff read from an email from the Membership Secretary Tammy Belden giving names and biographic details of those proposed to fill the three new membership openings. The proposed new members are (myself) Sherry Pettie, Kate Herrod and Richard Alper, and Paul Stanton and Kathleen Hooke. A Motion carried unanimously to approve these new members.

Treasurer's Report:
Jeff read from an email from Treasurer Alan Gelb. Alan says the Club will be on-budget for the year. He does not anticipate being under-budget as in past years, because of planned maintenance.

Captain's Report:
Tryon Wells reported on two matters: discussions with a contractor to fix the leak over the kitchen, which will entail replacement of several horizontal beams and a new rubber roof. Tryon also reported that he has sent to the Treasurer a request for purchase of several large rulers for mounting as flood gauges - one on the tree to supplement the existing ruler, and one closer to the ferry landing.

Building Committee Report:
Tryon reported that the architect had sent a report on her finding in the code books on county fire regulations for separating living quarters from public space. The County has specified a two-hour fire rating for adjoining walls between the Caretaker's quarters and the Clubhouse. Jeff reported that Ann Marie Cunningham and the architect have been meeting with mostly enthusiastic or at least tolerant Montgomery County permitting staff, with the exception of matters pertaining to the fire code and fire retardant materials. Ann Marie added that solving the issue of complying with fire codes is the only remaining holdup to getting a building permit.

Jeff also described an issue under discussion, which is whether or not to seek designation as a historic structure. The fact that the Clubhouse is not on the County's list of potentially historic sites impedes the process. But the benefit would be that a historic designation might enable rebuilding in the event of a catastrophic flood or fire.

Canoe Report:
Jim Drew reported that a canoe rack will be vacant and available.

Fall Workfest on Sunday 12 November:
Tryon said that he's looking forward to an easier time taking out the new canoe float with its 5-piece design. Jim Drew said that he and Gerry Barton would set up another phone tree, which was highly successful in getting Sycamoreans to the Spring Workfest.

The Club in Print:
Jeff reported that a Washington Post writer for the "Party Animal" section of the Sunday Post wanted to do an article on the Workfest. The ensuing discussion showed too many members opposed to the idea to warrant any motion being made.

Jeff also talked about an article that has already been published in Úlan, a small Northern Virginia magazine, which reported on recently discovered historic pictures and did not focus on the present-day Club. The photos, on large glass slides, have been donated to the Fairfax Library and Jeff would like the Club Archivist to obtain copies. The photos are of the 1900 period, which is 30 years earlier than any photos we have.

Year-End Meeting Location:
Jeff asked for a volunteer with a large home to host the traditionally large December meeting, and Larry Heilman graciously stepped forward.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

-- Sherry Pettie, Recording Secretary