Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

November 11, 2015

Ann Marie Cunningham, Richard Bertaut, Steve Newman, John Membrino, John Noble, Drew Walsh, Tryon Wells, Bill Marmon, Lucky Marmon, Star Mitchell, Cathy Carroll, Jim Drew, Ned Goddard, Joe Hage

President Tryon Wells called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.

The September Minutes were unanimously approved. Notes taken at the October meeting did not need approval as there was not a quorum present and, therefore, not an official meeting.

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Ned Goddard reported that the Sycamore Island Club’s financial picture is revenue neutral—our revenues taken in the beginning of the year look to meet our operating expenses throughout the year for 2015. However, due to an unplanned accounting change with respect to the Caretaker’s withholding taxes in the final quarter of this year as requested by the IRS (filing Fed, SS and State W/H the end of each month, rather than the end of each quarter), any expected surplus will go to making these payments in this budget year, rather than in January of 2016.

The club’s annual budget traditionally reflects an increase over the previous year by the US Consumer Price Index (1.7% in 2014). This year the CPI was 0.2%, reflecting the economy’s sluggish performance. Consequently, Ned presented the 2016 Annual Budget similar to last year’s budget. The proposed 2016 MSIC Budget maintains few adjustments in operational expenses of all lines (including Insurance and Employee payroll and benefits), with slight decrease to the facilities budget line—$10,000 vs. $13,000 last year, a figure that was used in prior years to fund the club facilities’ needs.

The good news is that there will be no dues increase for 2016, as next year is a membership lottery year, which is traditionally a year that Club builds reserves to maintain one year of operating expenses (approximately $85,000). Based on discussions in the last club meetings, Ned recommends the club devote any 2016 surplus to reserves as has been done in the past, as he received no new requests from the committees to increase their 2016 budget lines. He emphasized that he was willing to discuss and accommodate any compelling request of any committee for funding any increase or new expenditures in 2016 not appearing in the budget.

He noted that our membership revenues have grown more slowly than our operational expenses, and he emphasized fiscal prudence and responsibility, as has been the club’s fiscal practice in the past. John Noble urged us not to adhere too strictly to the policy of keeping a year’s budget in reserve. There are projects, he emphasized, that should be taken care of to keep the grounds and club house from deteriorating. Ned agreed. “If something comes up, we could fund it,” he said.

Membership Report
Membership Chairman John Noble reported that there will be at least 15 openings for the wait list at the time of the April 1 lottery. That number could increase if some members fail to pay their dues in by the February 15th deadline or retire from membership. The following are the next ten persons/ families on the waitblist, who will likely become members. They are: Nicole Fraser and Harley Feldbaum, Sharon and David Gustafson, Julia Strasser and Andrew Cassidy, Rodolfo and Caroline Castro, Robin and Florian Kogelnik, Peter and Charlotte Dean, Sarah Fraidin and Stephen Roggie, Drew Schaumber, Michael Beer and Latanja Thomas. John will contact these people and urge them to round up their two endorsements by members.

John noted that in the previous lottery there were 100 applicants in the 40-years-old and under group, and 200 applicants ages 41 and up. We now have 45 persons on the wait list. This year’s lottery will open to applicants on January 1, 2016. The application is online. John gave notice that applicants will not receive confirmation that their applications have been received. Some attendees wondered how those wishing to join the club would know about the lottery. Most people stated that the news spread swiftly by word of mouth.

Lucky Marmon put it on her town list serve. Richard Young’s proposal, made at the September meeting on the Island, to amend Standing Rules to allow members’ children to bypass the lottery system, thus fast-tracking them for the wait list and club membership was discussed and voted down nine to three.

New Business
Ann Marie Cunningham noted that senior members have the right to vote at club meetings, but the by-laws don’t specifically allow it. She proposed an amendment to the by-laws, which made it clear that senior members can vote. It was seconded and approved unanimously.

Captain’s Report
Captain Drew Walsh expressed concern about the huge fallen tree by the Old Trestle Bridge. He suggested calling the County at 311 to find out if they had plans to dispose of the tree.

New Business
Cathy Carroll recommended purchasing new kayak paddles.

Caretaker Joe Hage received praised for stories, such as the “Fox and the Deer,” that appear in his log in The Islander.

Relief Caretakers’ Report
Relief Caretaker Supervisors Jody and Bobby Benjamin wish to thank the following for substitute caretaking during the past month: James Hess and Betsy Cody, Jonathan Rose, David Lyles, Ashley Baquie, Kevin Haley, Madeleine Carter (Graham), Julie Saulnier and Mark Friedrichs, Meredith Griggs, Patricia Benton, David and Emily Powell.

The next meeting and Holiday Party will take place on Wednesday, December 9th at 8:00 p.m. at the home of Lynda and Gary Slayen, 6605 Rivercrest Court in Mohican Hills. Club members and club applicants are invited to attend. Please bring a dish to share.

From the club parking lot, turn left onto MacArthur Boulevard, towards Glen Echo. Take the first right (past Walhounding) onto Mohican Road. Go up the hill and turn left at the stop sign. Stay left to Rivercrest Court.

Respectfully submitted,
Lucky Marmon
Co-Recording Secretary