Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

May 14, 2014

Ned Goddard, Richard Lodish, Robin Richter, Jay Zimmerman, Ann Marie Cunningham, David Winer, Bill Marmon, Lucky Marmon, Sherry Fitzdale, Gerry Barton, Zach Paulos, Michael Paulos, Steve Newman, Marianne Ross, Dirk Suringa, Kim Suringa, Drew Walsh, Tryon Wells, Jim Drew

President Bill Marmon called the meeting to order.

The minutes for the April meeting were approved as published in The Islander.

Bill Marmon shared a picture sent by Caretaker Joe Hage of Mary Kearny, who has been canoeing with Joe from Cumberland, MD to Washington, DC. In the picture, Mary is sitting in the back of the canoe typing on her computer… probably adding to the lively blog about their trip.

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Ned Goddard reports that the club has approximately $138,000 on account five months into 2014, with any of the bigger expense items, such as our insurance policies, behind us. He has filed the club’s form 990, an official statement of the financial condition of the club as public record, which we don’t post or distribute to members (he will provide a copy to any member upon request). In 2013, income exceeded expenses by $7,000—a profit for the year. In years past, our financial policy has been to use the profit to build a reserve that amounts to one year of club expenses—accomplished this year when our former treasurer transferred treasury responsibilities to Ned. This year’s expenses are “tracking” on budget, with the maintenance line items for repairs and supplies currently available for items proposed by the club’s captain. The policy has been to keep a healthy reserve that amounts to one year of club expenses. This year’s expenses are on budget as is our capital fund, which is to cover repairs and supplies.

Tryon Wells raised the issue of pre-paying the loans plus 7% interest that were made in 2009 by members to finance the renovation of the club. The interest amounts to approximately $29,000 over the entire tenyear period. Bill Marmon recommended that Ned Goddard, Jim Drew, and Tryon form a committee to discuss the matter and make a recommendation at the next meeting.

Captain’s Report
Captain Drew Walsh reported that the Spring Work Fest was a success. Jim Drew suggested that the Work Fest be scheduled so as not to conflict with Easter and Passover.

Roofing work should begin within the next two weeks. A new ladder for the swim dock is almost ready. Drew wants to work next on building storage capacity in order to deal with some of the clutter.

The Bluebells have blossomed and faded away. As soon as they have seeded, the Island will be mowed.

Steve Newman has been working with others to develop a new system for anchoring the swim float. The proposed system, called SCOPE, will facilitate hanging on to the float in high water. It was agreed that the swim dock would be located approximately 20 to 25 ft. off-shore and at an up-river angle from the shore.

Swim Supervisor’s Report
Swim supervisor Roger Herst sent a report noting that club is the owner of a new rescue surfboard. Other recommended safely equipment is now in place.

Membership Report
The club members welcomed and voted into membership Kirk and Kim Suringa and their sons, John and William. The Suringas moved to Virginia from Florida in 1997, and immediately became involved in issues involving storm water management, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay. Joining Sycamore Island, where they have found a warm welcome, is a natural extension of their love of the outdoors and interest in environmental issues.

An orientation for new members and wait list members will held on the Island on Sunday, May 25th at 11:00 a.m.

Two waitlist members resigned. The Club now has 163 members, including an overage from the old wait list.

Relief Caretaking Report
Jody and Bobby Benjamin report that the following members and wait list members who volunteered to be relief caretakers during the last month: Tory Ruttenburg and Greg Ferenbach, Pat Roth, Kim and Dirk Suringa, Rachel Rudy and Nat Reid, Jonathan, Rose, Julie Saulnier and Mark Friedrichs, Alice Bullard and Jason Waite, Carol and Kevin Hearle, Sandra Young and Raj Purohit.

Large Parties Report
Party chair Jay Zimmerman reported an increase in applications for large parties and for camping. He was asked by Cindy Bertaut to announce that her son was organizing a “water-gun party” on May 17th, from 11 am to 4pm. All members’ children are welcome.

Jay announced that the Canoe Cruisers Down-River Race would be held Saturday, May 17th. There was some concern about the heavy rain predicted for Friday the 16th, and the danger of high water for the racers. Jim Drew was seeking additional monitors to guide boats at the finish of the race.

Old Business

New Business
Bill Marmon announced that Maurice Tobin had resigned as legal supervisor. An ad hoc nominating committee recommended that new member Parker Moore take his place. Parker is a partner with Beverage & Diamond, the oldest environmental law firm in DC. Parker was unanimously elected.

The next meeting will be held on the Island on June 11th at 8:00 pm.

Big thanks to Jane Winer for the mile-high stack of delicious chocolate chip cookies.

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Co-recording Secretary