Meeting Minutes – Executive Committee — Holland – March 8, 2014

MARCH 8, 2014

Present:  Robert Tischbein, Hugh Gurney, Rosemary Horvath, Kay Chase, John Langdon, Don Monteith

Also Present: Steve T. Sobel, Dave VanderBee, Chuck Merckel, Jeanie Merckel, Rich Vavra-Musser, Doug Wilson, Barb Spaulding-Westcott, Don W. Westcott, Paul Trap

Call to Order:  Chairman Tischbein called the meeting to order at 10:14 a.m.  A roll call indicated that a quorum of the Executive Committee was present.  Steve Sobel was asked to keep time.

Agenda:  Horvath asked that a discussion of the Pratt Fund be added to the agenda.  The motion was seconded by Monteith.  After considerable discussion, the motion was approved by a majority of the members of the Executive Committee present in a 5-1 vote.

Request for Donation:  Langdon moved that we decline to grant $250 to MLUI for a feasibility study of passenger rail service in the Traverse City area.  Horvath seconded the motion for purposes of discussion.  Langdon noted that the request was a blanket one, not specifically targeted to MARP and that he had been advised by Tim Fischer at the Michigan Environmental Council that others were taking care of funding. Langdon foresees no additional funding in 2014 from MEC.  Monteith felt that MLUI’s Valerie Kim-Duensing should have made the effort to address MARP if she really wanted us to fund the project.  Tischbein called the question and the motion not to approve the grant was approved by the majority of the Executive Committee present in a 5-1 vote.

Charges for Tables at Outreach Events:  The Committee then reviewed a proposal by Chuck Merckel that MARP create a budget item for table charges.  Merckel noted that the Rochester Green Fair, an event we have participated in with great success in past years, wanted $125 this year for a table.  The Howell Melon Festival, another popular event, is asking $150 for a table.  A lengthy discussion followed, with Langdon asserting that we should participate in events only if the table is gratis.  Charnetski noted that he has been paying approximately $25 per event for each of the three shows he participates in out of his own pocket.  He was recruited to join MARP at a train show. Wilson suggested we approach MDOT and Amtrak for financial support.  Langdon speculated that Westrain and the Blue Water Coalition, both funded by MDOT, might be able to help and suggested we approach Therese Cody at MDOT.  Chase suggested MARP could find a sponsor to pay for a table at the Rochester event as suggested by the event’s organizers.   It was decided to take the question up again when the 2015 budget is proposed.

Langdon moved that MARP appropriate $12.50 towards a table at the Steam Railroading event in Owosso in June, with the understanding that we would share a table with Durand Union Station.  The motion was seconded by Gurney and passed by a majority of the members of the Executive Committee present.

Revision of the Titles and Duties of Certain At Large Committee Members and Their Committees:  On behalf of the By-Laws Committee, Gurney asked that the Committee approved Resolution #5.  (See Attached Copy).  His motion was seconded by Horvath.  If passed, Resolution #5 would be added to the By-Laws.  Resolution #5 changes the name of the Public Information Committee to the Governmental/Public Affairs Committee and charges it with liaison with federal, state and local government officials and allied advocacy groups.  Resolution #5 also specifies that the Meeting Committee coordinate monthly meetings with the appropriate Regional Chapter Chair and make program arrangements in coordination with the appropriate Regional Chapter Chair. After discussion and comparison with Resolution #4, the motion was passed by the members of the Executive Committee present by a vote of 5-1.

Minutes of the Executive Committee meeting at University of Detroit Mercy on February 15, 2014, were then reviewed.  Langdon moved approval.  The motion was seconded by Horvath and approved by the members of the Executive Committee present.

Treasurer’s Report as prepared by Treasurer Dave Randall was reviewed by Langdon.  As of February 28, 2014, the balance in the JPMorgan Chase account stood at $31,632.76.  Of this amount, $17,141.26 is designated as the Pratt Fund, leaving $14,491.50 available for current operations.

Chase suggested that some of the expenses listed under Outreach really belonged under Michigan by Rail and asked if that could be reviewed and corrected.  She plans to send out an e-mail reminder to those who have not yet paid their dues in the very near future.  A formal letter should wait until March or April.

Chase moved approval of the Treasurer’s Report.  Monteith seconded the motion and it was passed by a majority of the members of the Executive Committee present by a vote of 5-1.

New Treasurer Search Committee:  Long time Treasurer Dave Randall relocated to Texas about a year ago and has tendered his resignation effective April 15, 2014.  Chairman Tischbein appointed Kay Chase as Chair of this Search Committee.  Rich Vavra-Musser volunteered to assist.  Langdon moved approval of these appointments, with Gurney seconding.  The motion that Chase lead a Search Committee for a new Treasurer with Vavra-Musser assisting was approved by a majority of the members of the Executive Committee present.

Recess:  The Executive Committee recessed at 11:40 a.m.


Respectfully Submitted:                                             Accepted:

Hugh D. Gurney                                                         Robert Tischbein

Secretary                                                                     Chair