Meeting Minutes – Executive Committee — Ann Arbor – December 13, 2014

DECEMBER 13, 2014

The Executive Committee met on December 13 for an all-day session to organize for the coming year. We enjoyed the hospitality of the planning consultants Smith Group JJR at 201 Depot Street in Ann Arbor, who made their facilities available to us for the day.

Voting Members present: Kay Chase, Warren Fritz, Larry Krieg, John Langdon, Jeanie Merckel, Don Monteith, Kathleen Newell, Robert Patterson, Jim Wallington (Quorum: 5)

Non-Voting Members present: Jim Hinkins (alternate for Patterson), Hugh Gurney, Chuck Merckel

Call to order. The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Chair Larry Krieg.

Approval of Order of Business. The Order of Business was unanimously approved.

Approval of Minutes. Minutes of the Executive Committee October 4 conference call were not available.

Treasurer’s Report. The Treasurer’s November 2014 report was accepted as presented.

Future Meetings. The January 10, 2015 meeting will be held at the former GTW Depot in Lansing.

Action Items. Action was deferred until discussion was held under New Business
a. Budget
b. Bylaws Amendments

Officer Reports. There were no officer reports.

Old Business. There was no old business.

New Business.

a. Budget.

Treasurer Jeanie Merckel presented the draft budget for 2015, projecting income from dues ($7000), donations ($1000) and a grant from Michigan Environmental Council ($5000). A major expenditure is for the four issues of The Michigan Passenger provided to the membership and widely distributed through train stations and outreach events. MARP pays membership dues to the National Association of Railroad Passengers ($150), Midwest High Speed Rail Association ($200), Transportation Riders United ($100), and Transportation for Michigan ($150). An annual grant of $500 to Durand Union Station, Inc. supports a basic organizational purpose of MARP (preservation of historic train stations) and allows us use of the facility for the annual meeting. The Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) grant aids MARP in covering expenses associated with our participation in MEC ( and Transportation for Michigan ( projects which this year will include a number of community meetings to promote the Coast-to-Coast rail project, as well as other activities associated with the Michigan By Rail campaign ( A contribution of $1000 from American By Rail will fund speakers for special events such as the annual meeting.

Discussion of reimbursement for expenses of such things as travel to the Toledo National Train Day will be discussed at a later date in conjunction with creating a set of guidelines or “best practices.

Langdon moved, Westcott seconded, to approve budget with expenditures of $16,750 and income of $14,300. The Treasurer projects carry over from the current budget year to bring budget into balance. Motion carried unanimously.

Merckel asked that a Finance Committee be formed to assist in budgeting and planning. Langdon moved, Newell seconded, to form a Finance Committee. Motion carried with 7 in favor, 1 opposed, 1 abstention. Jeanie Merckel will chair the committee. Langdon and Fritz were named to the committee.

Following discussion of the potential of using phone conferencing and/or online tools to conduct executive committee business, Steve Vagnozzi volunteered to investigate an internet-based meeting tool, as well as conference calling with 800-numbers.

b. Bylaws Revision

The bylaws committee, chaired by Hugh Gurney, has been working for several months to assess the need for, and suggest possible revisions to, the MARP bylaws. After considerable discussion, a number of changes were approved. When finalized, the document will be presented to a vote of the entire membership.

A key change would be to allow election of regional chapter officers by their regional chapter membership if more than ten members in that region so request. Other changes include: wording to allow use of electronic means to distribute MARP news publications, send notices and to conduct business; clarification of duties of officers; and assignment of authority for disbursement of funds.

It was moved and seconded that the bylaws changes presented today be approved with the exception of Article 12 concerning finances. Westcott moved, Langdon seconded, to amend the motion to exclude section 2.1 as well from approval of the bylaws revisions until the goals subcommittee has further discussion. Motion passed with 7 in favor. The original motion to accept the recommendations of the bylaws committee with exception of 2.1 and article 12 passed with 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstention.

Fritz, Vagnozzi, and Gurney will continue to work to resolve the questions with 2.1 and Article 12.

The Executive Committee proposed developing a set of “best practices” to guide its work in carrying out the various functions of the organization. Electronic communications and teleconferencing provide opportunities for policy discussions and decision-making, but it is unclear how best to incorporate these resources into our work.

There was not time to discuss the results of the questionnaire presented at the beginning of the meeting in which the committee was asked to rank a number of possible activities for the coming year. Responses were tallied and summarized by Carolyn Lusch, a student of urban design at U of M, who was engaged to take notes during the meeting. This summary is included on a separate document accompanying these meeting notes.

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted: Accepted:
_____________________________________ _________________________________
Kay Chase Larry Krieg
Transcribed from notes taken by Carolyn Lusch