Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

May 9, 2012

The meeting was called to order by President Jim Drew after a very interesting presentation by Robin Broder of the Potomac Riverkeeper on the state of the river. She cited a number of pollution concerns that are evident in fish and other wildlife, such as intersex fish with suppressed immune systems. What the affect of these pollutants on human health may be is a major research question. She also discussed some issues relating to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Marcellus Shale, and some success stories that they have had. Joe Hage related a personal experience with red water in the Little Falls Branch in which the Potomac Riverkeeper helped to resolve the matter.

Jim Drew, Star Mitchell, Sally Strain, Sherry Fisdale, David Winer, Bill Marmon, Tryon Wells, Jane Winer, Larry Heilman, Gerald S. Barton, Phoebe Hamill, Lucky Marmon, Stan Wiggins, Ann Lucy, Louise Meyer, Drew Walsh, and Ann Marie Cunningham.

The minutes of the last meeting were approved as they appeared in the last Islander. Communications: New waitlist members have been sending Financial Secretary Lisa Kliefoth their fees, as soon as they have learned her address.

Captain/Caretaker Report
Drew Walsh thanked David Winer for attaching life rings to the captain's and swim floats. Life rings will also be added to the canoe float and ferry.

Membership Committee
Bill Marmon reported on behalf of John Noble. Currently, there are:
  • 157 regular members, with a maximum of 160, so we will admit new members soon
  • 67 senior members
  • 14 inactive members
  • 17 honorary members
  • 18 on the old waiting list
  • 62 on the new waiting list (47 have attended the new member orientation)
New waiting list members have 30 days from when they were notified of their status to pay the $150 initiation fee.

John Heilman reported that the swim float will be brought 10 yards closer to the Island to be in the same position as last year. He is considering offering a water safety class, as swimming in a river can be very different than swimming in a pool.

Relief Caretaking
Sherry Fisdale reported that the initial response to her emails when she became the relief caretaking was quite positive, but that has fallen off. It should be an obligation of all members to volunteer annually.

Downriver Canoe Race
Star Mitchell reported on the plans for the downriver race on May 12. This is the 57th annual downriver cane race, the oldest in the nation. It was started by Sycamore Island, with the Canoe Cruisers Association taking over the next year. The ferry cable serves as the finish line.

Frank Daspit will lead a canoe class on Saturday, May 19th.

Midsummer Dance
Col. Josh and the Honky Tonk Heroes will perform on the Island on June 23. There will be Hank Williams music, karaoke, lessons in the Texas two step and waltz, and more.

Environment/Grounds Committee
Drew reported that there was a good turnout for the committee prior to the meeting. The committee has been organized to deal with certain issues; invasive plants, erosion at the upstream end of the Island, damage from beavers. Watch the Islander for more information.

Old Business
Old Waiting List
A motion was made to amend Standing rule 12.J to read, "Persons on the Waiting List prior to April 1, 2012, (the Old Waiting List) shall have priority for Club membership over subsequently selected Waiting List applicants, provided that those on the Old Waiting List may defer invitations to become full members until April 1, 2014. Thereafter those on the Old Waiting List will be required to accept membership when offered or be dropped from the Waiting List. Deferral of membership will not be permitted for persons on the new, post April 1, 2012, Waiting List." This issue had been discussed extensively last month. After a brief discussion, the motion carried.

Waiting List Passes
A motion was made to amend Standing Rule 7 to read as follows, “Waiting list passes may be issued by the Membership Secretary to any person on the waiting list who has attended a formal club orientation and has paid the requisite waiting list pass fee. Passes may be issued at any time and are good for the calendar year in which they are issued. The cost of the pass is the same, regardless of the month issued.” The existing rule required that a person be on the waiting list for three years before becoming eligible for a pass. It was felt that this no longer made sense with the new waiting list process. A majority of members present agreed, and the motion carried.

The motion presented last month to allow consumption of beer and wine on a trial basis was discussed. A majority of members were concerned that this would present enforcement and liability issues, and that it had the potential to change the culture of the Island. The motion was defeated.

The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held on the Island on June 13.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Marie Cunningham
Co-Recording Secretary