Potomac Division Board Meeting

January 9,  2010

The Potomac Division Board meeting was convened at Superintendent Marshall Abrams’ house at 12:40 PM.  Also present were Bill Day, John Griffith, Mark Andersen, Brian Sheron, Mat Thompson, John Drye, Chesapeake Division liaison Russ Forte, and Bill Demas.

Paymaster’s Report – Mark Andersen reported the Division had a net balance of $4510.31 after income and expenses and includes a balance of $393.36 for the Module Crew.  This represents a decrease of $127.90 from the last report, and reflects an expense for electronic upgrades for the module crew setup.

Clerk’s Report – Bill Demas reported that as of January 1, 2010, the Division membership stood at 365 active paid NMRA members, a net decrease of 5 since the last report.

Newsletter – John Griffith reported on the secondary effects of an expanded Flyer.  One was that articles in PDF format could no longer be accepted – Word only going forward.  Another was that all Board members were requested to submit two articles per issue, Neat “n Nifty tips, and anything else appropriate to be sent to John for inclusion.  The deadline for the next Flyer is March 1, 2010.  Mark will ask all clinicians for the Minicon to submit a brief outline sketch of their respective clinics for the Flyer and the Minicon web page.

Layout Tours – Mat Thompson has taken over the Layout Tour Coordinator Chair.  He reported on three upcoming open houses.  Rich Steinmann in Reston on January 24 (Mat will work the door); Jim Brewer in Glenwood, MD on February 28 (Brian will work the door); and March 14, two open houses – Phil Raymond in Gainesville, VA (Mark on the door) and Pete LaGuardia in Haymarket, VA (Mat on the door).  Mat proposed expanding the open houses to two tours in the same geographical area on the same day.  Russ Forte reported that Chesapeake Division will hold open houses across Anne Arundel County in May with several outstanding, well known layouts already committed to participate. Final details will be published on both division web pages as the date approaches.

A P Program – Brian Sheron reported the Division has had five AP certificates awarded since the last report – Dave Arday, Bob Minnis, Mat Thompson (2), and Mike White.  He also reported the mini-con will have three judges on hand for AP judging.

Computer Clerk – Mike White submitted a report stating the many updates carried out in the last quarter including the PD Contact list; the mini-con web pages (though still awaiting more clinic descriptions); layout tours; BoD minutes: contact information; and additions to the Tips ‘n Tricks web page.

Module Crew – Mark Andersen reported the upcoming appearances for the Crew would be January 22 & 23 at the World’s Greatest Hobby Show in Chantilly; the Troop 964 Boy Scout Show March 13 & 14 in Manassas; the Fairfax Station Show May 1 & 2; and the Manassas Train Show June 5.  The Crew is converting all modules to Anderson Power Poles, and is in the process of obtaining new skirting.

Old Business
    Bylaws update – Marshall reported several proposed revisions as a referendum for a vote of the membership at the business meeting portion of the Minicon in order to update the bylaws.  Among these are clauses that allow Division officers to live outside the boundaries of Potomac Division; the extension of voting privileges at Board meetings to committee chairs– however, in case of a tie vote, only the votes of the five elected members would count; and six physical face to face meetings per year, but more by electronic means if necessary;
   Outreach – Bill Day reported that he published a model railroad article in a local community newsletter, and suggested it as an excellent venue for extending publicity for the hobby.
    Alternate Monthly Clinics – Mat and John Drye will research the availability of a permanent venue and report at the next meeting.

New Business
    Brian Sheron was elected to fill the vacancy on the Board for the remainder of Tom Brodrick’s term.
   Modeling Skills Committee – Mike and Brian will follow up on the “Helper Service” setup for the web page and report at the next Board meeting.
   Newsletter Rates Adjustment – The Board decided to maintain subscription and advertising levels at their current rates.
    Annual Donations – After a review of our financial position and a study of several organizations, the Board directed that three equal donations of $500 each be made to the Western Maryland Scenic Railway, the Friends of the East Broad Top, and the Walkersville Southern Railroad.
    John Drye will explore the feasibility of the Division co-hosting a large convention in 2014 in Chantilly with NVTRAK in conjunction with the N Scale National Convention and report to the Board at the next meeting.
    Elections – A Nominating Committee of John Drye and Jeff Peck has been appointed to supervise the Board elections at the mini-con.  John will prepare an article for the Flyer and the committee will prepare ballots, a ballot box, and a confirmed list of paid Division members for the mini-con.  Nominees will be invited to write an up to 150 word personal sketch for the Flyer.
    A proposal to jointly co-host a MER Regional Convention with Chesapeake Division in 2013 was proposed by Marshall, but tabled pending a report on the 2014 N Scale National Convention by John Drye.

    Contests/Judging/AP – Brian has three qualified judges lined up.  
    Volunteers – Bill Day will coordinate assignments.
    Publicity – Russ has sent notices to all the appropriate hobby print media.                                                                                                       
    Clinics – Mark has all the slots filled.
    Modular Layouts – John Drye agreed to coordinated modular setups.  BANTRAK will     set its’ layout; John will clarify MARRS” intentions to set up and run.

The next meeting will be at the Old Country Buffet in Fairfax at noon on Saturday, February 27.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Demas, Clerk
Potomac Division