Meeting Minutes – Executive Committee – Pontiac — March 17, 2012

MARCH 17, 2012

Members Present: Robert Tischbein, Hugh Gurney, Kathleen Newell, Dave Randall, Jim Hinkins, Kay Chase, John Langdon

Also Present: Dan Platz

 Call to Order:  Chairman Tischbein called the meeting to order at 2:40 p.m.

 Nominations:  Gurney reminded the group that all members of the Executive Committee, except for the Treasurer, are up for election at the Annual Meeting in September.  After some discussion, Langdon moved that the chair appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of members who are not likely to be candidates for office. The motion was seconded by Newell and approved by the members present.

Regional Chairs:  Randall pointed out that the By-Laws state that Regional Chairs should be elected by members of that particular region.  Langdon urged that we charge Regional Chairs with activating members in their region.  Both Chase and Tischbein felt that Regional Chairs should hold regional meetings once or twice a year, maybe in months that no MARP Membership meeting is scheduled.   Regional Chairs should be expected to attend monthly Executive Committee and Membership meetings and work as  team member.

Resignation of Vice-Chair:  Langdon moved that we accept the resignation of Barney Whittier as Vice Chair.  This was seconded by Randall and approved by the members present with the understanding that we attempt to persuade Whittier to rescind his resignation.

MARP Membership List:  Langdon moved that the full MARP Membership List be provided only to the Membership Coordinator, the Communications Coordinator and the Chair.  Lists of members in a particular region should be provided to that Regional Chair only.  Newell seconded this motion and it was approved by the members present.

ON TRACK:  The cost of mailing ON TRACK to the 70 members without e-mail comes to around $460 annually.  Randall suggested enclosing a survey with the next issue to determine if these members really want to receive it since they already get the newsletter.  Gurney felt that as an electronic newsletter, it should be distributed widely to all possible collaborators, including state and local officials, chambers of commerce, convention and visitor bureaus, etc.  It should not be used for Outreach events.

MICHIGAN PASSENGER:  While the cost of a single copy of The Michigan Passenger is as low as 1.1 cent per copy, it was felt by the group that we should be printing and distributing fewer copies.  At present, Langdon sends copies to all state legislators.  Langdon asked the Publications Committee to review both the number of copies printed and the cost of distribution and make recommendations to the Executive Committee.  The cost of printing and distributing the newsletter including the editor’s stipend was pegged at $4,500 per year.

TRANS4M:  Langdon and Chase are very active in this group.  If more MARP members were involved, we might qualify for a larger grant.  Chase suggested something on the lines of the Michigan By Rail forums that would get more than just public officials involved in issues.  Possibilities might be better funding for transportation, an infrastructure bank, and Complete Streets.  Langdon suggested having Bill Hamilton, a Lansing budget analyst, attend one of our meetings.

Grants:  After much discussion, it was agreed to allot a grant of $500 to the Durand Union Station.  The grant category for the 2012 budget will be $500.

Resignation of Treasurer:  Treasurer Dave Randall submitted a letter of resignation effective June 30, 2012.  He is moving to Texas to care for elderly relatives.  Tischbein moved acceptance of Randall’s letter of resignation.  This was seconded by Chase and approved by the members present.  Randall will probably be in the area until early fall and will assist with the transition.

Outreach:  While agreeing that having a table at various train shows was a proven strategy, it was agreed that we need to seek other ways of reaching out.  Liaison with like minded groups and talks to Rotary and other community organizations are possibilities.

Membership:  Newell asked for guidance on how to handle newsletters and correspondence returned as “No longer at this address”.  All agreed that we need to initiate a corporate membership program.  Langdon suggested we bring in an intern to develop a data base of likely organizations and corporations.  Tischbein will investigate this possibility.

Budget:  Based on the discussions about membership, grants, the newsletter, On Track and other items, the committee came up with a final budget for 2012.  That budget will be unveiled at the March 17 Membership meeting.


Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted:                                              Accepted:




Hugh D. Gurney                                                         Robert Tischbein

Secretary                                                                     Chair