Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

May 11, 2011

The meeting was called to order by President Jim Drew after a well-deserved round of applause for Jane Winer’s excellent cookies.

Bill and Lucky Marmon, Jane and Dave Winer, Sherry Fitzdale, Gerald Stanley Barton, Jody and Robert Benjamin, Larry Heilman, Drew Walsh, Maria Stenzel, Ann Marie Cunningham, John Membrino, Jim Drew, Jeff Komarow, Abigail Wiebenson, Tryon Wells, Joe Hage


Membership Committee:
Jim Drew announced that Peter Winkler was resigning as head of the Special Membership Committee. He will continue his regular duties as membership chair. Bill Marmon will take over the chair of the Special Membership Committee. Bill stated that he will hold a meeting of the committee within the next week or two. The committee is eager to come up with a plan for accepting new members in order to allow the club membership to join in the discussion and so that we can answer inquiries from persons seeking to apply for membership. Hopefully, the Special Membership Committee will come up with several models to share with club members. Tryon Wells noted that there are 48 persons on the waiting list. 17 are waiting list members, and 31 are on the non-member wait list. Some are children of members; some are not yet 18. The current membership is 150 households, out of an authorized 160, so ten of the 17 waiting list members could easily be made new members. The Club accepts an average of 10 new members each year.

Larry Heilman raised two other membership issues:
1: Do we want to change the number of members?
2: Eligibility for senior membership.

Membership numbers.
It is difficult to assess whether or not the Island can sustain more members. Some members never come to the Island. Some bring guests. We don’t know the composition of the 150 member households. It was suggested that looking at the sign-in sheets and getting Caretaker Joe Hage’s reaction to Island usage are probably the best ways to assess visitor impact on the Island. Another indicator would be members’ complaints of crowding. No such complaints have been voiced so far.

Senior Membership.
Presently, a person who has been a member for 20 years is eligible for senior membership and is required to pay only half the amount of annual dues. Senior members are not counted in the membership, so that when a members shift to “senior” status, it opens a spot for a new member. Jane Winer pointed out that some people who are eligible for senior membership have declined, not wanting to open a spot for additional members in the club. There was a discussion about whether these issues should be handled by the Special Membership Committee or the regular Membership Committee. It was decided that the Special Membership Committee would focus initially on the narrower task of the member selection process.

A proposal was passed that made John Heideman and Bob Sinclair honorary members. Both men were among the small band of CIA employees who commuted to work from the Island via canoe. They participated vigorously in club activities. John’s involvement in canoe safety was noted. Bob made a generous loan to the club at a time when it was needed. Tryon Wells suggested that the club extend honorary membership to individuals who have been club members for thirty years and who have actively participated in club affairs. Such individuals may now be infirm, but they still have a passion and connection to the club.

Work Fest:
Some 40–45 persons turned out for the “best work fest ever” on May 8. The work team built ramps on the river side to the floats. That remains to be done on the other side. Other worker bees rehabilitated the horseshoe pits, and scrubbed the kitchen. The weather was glorious and enthusiasm was high.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lucky Marmon
Co-recording secretary