Executive Committee Meeting Minutes — Conference Call – October 16, 2018

MARP Executive Committee Minutes
16 October 2018
Phone Conference Call  7:00 PM

Present:   Tom Purmort, Steve Vagnozzi, Adam Tauno Williams, Joshua Hamilton, John Langdon, Kay Chase, Mark Miller

Absent:   Robert Patterson

Call to Order:  Meeting called to order c. 7:00 pm

Approval of Minutes:   Minutes of the 11 Sep 2018 meeting were approved

Treasurer’s Report:   Vagnozzi reports no outstanding bills. Will insert a memo in the Registry notes that the $500 donation from America By Rail is designated for Annual Meeting expenses and the $350 donation from John Guidinger will defray a portion of the expense of printing Michigan train schedules for distribution to stations. Vagnozzi, Purmort and Gurney will begin work on the 2019 budget.

Nominating Committee Report:   Clark Charnetski, Hugh Gurney and Steve Sobel are still seeking a nominee for secretary and possibly for membership coordinator.

Annual Meeting Preparations:   So far 8-10 reservations have come in. Program will be limited to three speakers: Paul Larouche (confirmed); Tim Hoeffner (MDOT) and Joe Shacter (Amtrak) confirmation expected. Planning committee (Purmort, Williams, Langdon, Chase) will work out further details in conference call 17 October.

Membership Committee:   Purmort is developing some ideas about increasing membership.

East Central Region Chair:   Hamilton has met with people associated with Arts Council of Greater Lansing and found interest in a project to add some interest to the bare white walls of the Amtrak waiting room. He is interested in getting a committee together to work on regional issues.

Governmental/Public Affairs Coordinator:   Langdon reported on the West Michigan Express project, spearheaded by Hudsonville City Manager Patrick Waterman, that seeks to establish a rapid transit option between Grand Rapids and Holland. On Oct 10, the public was invited by the West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance to vote on projects seeking grant support. About 75 people attended and about ¾ of them ranked the West Michigan Express project as their top priority. The Prosperity Alliance executive committee will make the final choice on awarding $22,000 to the project to conduct a survey of businesses along the route to determine interest and potential ridership. MARP has contributed $500 from the MEC/Michigan by Rail grant to support the project.

Open Action Items:

Vagnozzi:   Next quarterly meeting with Indian Trails is scheduled for 15 Nov. Asks Miller to document his distribution of Thruway bus schedules and talks with Chambers of Commerce throughout the North Region. Indian Trails may be willing to reimburse some of his expenses.

Langdon:   The Detroit station agent is retiring 1 Dec. May have implications for the East Lansing station.

Vagnozzi:   Niles being one of the sites chosen for a station host volunteer pilot program. Niles DDA Main Street led by Peter Womer, Amtrak and the Rail Passengers Association are planning an open house 9 & 10 Nov to recruit volunteers.

Purmort:   Discussion of 2019 meeting plans. Vagnozzi moves, Chase seconds, to have 4 member meetings plus the annual meeting. 6 Yeas, 1 Nay. Motion passed

Next Executive Committee Meeting:   Saturday, Dec 8, in Lansing area. Plan 4-5 hours to finalize budget and plan for 2019.

Adjourn:    Meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm

Respectfully submitted,

                       Kay Chase                                             Steve Vagnozzi_________________
Acting Secretary                                                          Chair