The December meeting was held at Peggy Thomson’s home in conjunction with the annual holiday party. President Jeff Komarow convened the meeting at 8:10 p.m. with 30 members present.
Gerald Barton, Bob Beauchamp, Brad Coolidge, Jim Drew, Renee Dunham, Sarah Duggin, Alan Gelb, Jennifer Glaudemans, Joe Hage, Lawrence Heilman, Peter Jones, Rich Lodish, John and Judy Lentz, Bill and Lucky Marmon, Louise Meyer, Star Mitchell, John Noble, Hester Ohbi, Sherry Pettie, Trip Reid, Kirk Renaud, Harvey Resnik, Marianne Ross, Cora Shaw, Holly Syrrakos, Peggy Thomson, Bernard Veuthey, and Tryon Wells
Tryon Wells commented that he felt the November minutes did not accurately reflect his view that the caretaker’s quarters should be enlarged. With that amendment, the November Minutes were approved unanimously.
Jeff Komarow reported that the workfest was a big success. Gerald Barton reported that the new steps from the canal to the ferry are now finished. In addition, the ferry dock on the island has been expanded to improve access. John Noble commented that there should be no more comments in the President’s Letter about a “lack of muscles” among the over fifty set.
Jeff reported that, based on initial expressions of interest, the Club will be oversubscribed on its offering of notes to finance the construction. He also noted that the Heating/Air Conditioning plan is being finalized; one bid has come in high and they will be getting others. The building committee hopes that the Club can finalize and sign a contract toward the end of January with construction starting the end of February if the weather is good. A question was raised about the possibility of incorporating solar energy into the renovation, but it was noted that as long as the Clubhouse is covered by tree shade, that it is not a viable option.
Budget and Dues
The December Islander provided the approved 2007 budget, the proposed 2008 budget, a discussion of 2007 financial operations, and the proposed dues accompanied by an explanation why dues needed to be increased. Alan Gelb, Treasurer, reported that the proposed 2008 budget was a transitional operating budget because of the construction project. He discussed expected increases in insurance, property taxes and the caretaker’s compensation. Alan also noted that insurance rates might increase after the construction is completed. He added that after the project is finished, it might be good to review the insurance coverage to ensure that the club is getting the best deal and asked that if any member has particular expertise in this area, please contact him.
Regarding the proposed dues, Jeff reported that the one time construction fee and the 10-year annual construction dues were already approved by the vote and are not part of this meeting’s agenda. These monies will go to repay the construction loan and to replenish the cash reserves. Alan reported that there was a 4% across-the-board increase for the annual dues. In the past, the dues have not been sufficient to cover the budget, but the deficit was made up using the interest earned on the reserves. He noted that the club can no longer rely on this method because 1) reserves are being drawn down for the construction project, and 2) interest rates are going down, so there will be less interest earned in the coming years on which to draw.
The 2008 proposed budget and dues were approved unanimously. The Club approved a bonus for the caretaker and an increase in salary. The caretaker continues to do an excellent job and is appreciated by the Club.
Islander Publication Costs
There was a discussion about the $6,500.00 cost of publishing and distributing the Islander newsletter, and whether there should be greater effort to increase the use of the newsletter online and reduce the hard copy distribution. Tryon Wells noted that he has an email address for about 80% of the membership and already sends out an email notice and link when the Islander is available. There was a discussion about the merits of charging an additional $20 per year to receive the Islander in the mail in order to encourage greater use of the electronic format, but this was not ultimately put to a vote. Instead, it was decided that a notice would be included in the next several newsletters, notifying members of the availability of the Islander online and asking that if members wanted to continue to receive a hard copy by mail, they notify the Club.
Jeff also noted that the Club does not currently have a mechanism for getting the Islander to former members who, though no longer active members, would like to continue to read about the Club’s comings and goings. He recommended that some thought be given to setting up subscriptions for former members.
Election of Officers
Jeff reported that Sherry Pettie was stepping down as Recording Secretary and Norm Metzger would be leaving his post as editor of the Islander. He thanked both for jobs well done. Jeff then noted that Amanda Cannell has agreed to take on the job of editor and that the job of Reporting Secretary would be shared by Jennifer Glaudemans and Bill Marmon. The other officers would remain the same as last year. The proposed slate of officers was approved unanimously (although the President voted against himself).
Jeff proposed to bestow honorary memberships on two long time members, John Matthews and Peggy Thomson. He noted that Peggy has been a member since 1961 and John since 1974, both representing the heart and soul of Sycamore Island. He discussed their contributions to the Club, noting that John Matthews was the Captain for at least 17 years and was responsible for many of the improvements on the Island. The motion was enthusiastically and unanimously approved.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m. after which there was much partaking of good food, good drink and good cheer.
-- Jennifer Glaudemans, Co-Recording Secretary