Minutes – PVS Excom Meeting – July 27, 2010

The meeting was held at the home of Rosemary and Dick Schwartzbard. Present were Mary Beale, Cara Jablon, Dick Laeser, Dave Lerner, Dick Schwartzbard, Rosemary Schwartzbard, John Seabold, and Ellie Thayer.

The June 22nd Minutes were approved by those present.

Dick Laeser distributed the latest Treasurer’s Report. He also distributed an itemized list of expenses associated with the USPS mailing of the July/August TOOT that was submitted to him by Marvin Hass. Marvin was guest editor of the July/August issue and assumed the mailing responsibilities as well. The cost of copying, collating, and stapling 35 copies of the newsletter came to $43.36. (Each of these functions was performed by Minuteman Press.) The number 35 corresponds to the number of PVS members who are still receiving hard copies of TOOT. The cost of thirty-five 61 cent stamps was $21.35. The cost of envelopes (#35 at 8 cents apiece) came to $2.80. The total cost incurred was $70.51. Dick pointed out that this amount corresponds to $2 per month for each of the 35 recipients.

At the September 25, 2007 Excom meeting, Excom approved holding an unclaimed trip deposit of $928 in the Club Treasury “with the intention of making it available for future Club purposes as determined by Excom”. The trip deposit had been made by PVS member Nat Seaman for the 2007 Snowmass trip. Nat ultimately decided not to go on the trip. All reasonable efforts were made by trip leader Carolyn DeVilbiss to return the deposit to him. Nat eventually told Carolyn that he wanted to donate the deposit to the Club. Since the time of Excom’s decision to maintain the deposit in the Club’s savings account, Dick Laeser has included a qualifier, namely “$928 unclaimed trip refund - see 9/25/07 minutes” in his regular reporting of the savings account balance. Since Nat Seaman passed away this year, the qualifier will no longer appear in the Treasurer’s Report.

Membership Report – provided electronically by Dave Warthen but not discussed.

Events & Meetings:

July 30 – Bike ride to Nat’l Harbor (Rosemary) September 28 – Excom (Thayer)

August 23 – Annapolis Boat Tour (Leonhardt) October 13 – Lunch at the Culinaire (Thayer)

August 26-29 – Finger Lakes Wine Tour (Payne) October 28 – hike Grt Seneca Park (Mulholland)

September 21 – monthly mtg (Leonhardts) November 6 – 45th Anniversary Gala

Ski Trip Committee: There are three PVS ski trips being offered this year – Keystone (12/11-18/10), Snowmass (1/19-26/11), and Steamboat 2/17-23/11). The Snowmass trip is almost full. “We’re looking for a lot of people (for the Steamboat trip)”, said Cara. As leader, Cara has asked BRSC to list the PVS trip on its website. She hasn’t heard back from BRSC yet. Rosemary suggested checking on where things stand in mid September with respect to participation. Plans might be modified to accommodate the people who can go even if the number falls short of the original goal.

TOOT: Dave Warthen kindly volunteered to serve as editor of the September TOOT. Carolyn DeVilbiss will do the snail mail. An editor for the October TOOT has not yet been named.

Old Business: Plans for the Club’s 45th Anniversary gala at the Bolger Center on November 6th are progressing along. The price for the evening (which includes cocktails, dinner, and Club provided entertainment) has been set at $65 per person. In the past the Club has subsidized the anniversary celebrations by paying for the wine served at the tables (approximately 3 bottles per table). The Bolger Center requires a minimum fee of $3000 for the event.

Mailing of TOOT - Recently Excom has been discussing the practical aim of reducing if not eliminating the distribution of TOOT by snail mail. In an email to Excom members following the June Excom meeting, Dave Warthen provided further information about the 35 members who currently receive a USPS TOOT. According to Dave’s report, only 11 of the 35 individuals do not have an email address. Of the 11, 4 live in MD, 2 in VA, 1 in DC, 1 in CO, 1 in OH, 1 in TX, and 1 in NH. In order to reduce the burden associated with the print version of TOOT, Dave suggested adopting the policy that no one with an email address receive a USPS TOOT. That would move 24 of the 35 over to the group receiving TOOT electronically. It was conceded that the remaining 11 were unlikely to become comfortable with the electronic version of TOOT. Dave suggested continuing to print out copies for these 11 members, making sure to reimburse the copier for expenses.

In an email reply, Sharon agreed with Dave’s recommendation. She reasoned that if a member had email, he/she could print out his/her own TOOT or read it on line. She volunteered to help with the printing, as did Carolyn DeVilbiss.

Dave Lerner suggested following the example of the Capital Golden Skiers (CGS) by adding a fee (e.g. $5) to the annual dues of recipients of the printed newsletter. He pointed out that currently the general membership subsidizes the TOOT issues for those not on the internet.

Ray voiced his concerns in a separate email. He noted that many of the recipients were of advanced age and did not know how to open an attachment. Without a hard copy of TOOT, Ray argued that people wouldn’t remember to sign up for events. He felt that the timing wasn’t good, that people had renewed their membership in PVS thinking that they would still get their TOOT. For this reason he advocated that a change in policy be introduced with the next renewal cycle. Ray predicted that the stricter guidelines would result in a loss of 10 to 20 members.

Ellie summarized the varying points of view on how to manage the persistent need for USPS versions of TOOT. Dick Laeser said that he had a laser printer and could print out the necessary copies. In addition he had done some calculations and had found that at $70 per monthly edition of TOOT, the cost of printing and mailing TOOT over the last 18 months represented 30% of the Club’s real expenses. The size of this figure was surprising to Excom.

Cara suggested that we (Excom) just agree that members who have email receive their TOOT by computer. Excom concurred but recommended an orderly process. To that end, it was suggested that the next President’s letter carry an announcement that those who have email will be receiving TOOT electronically. The change in delivery will tentatively begin with the October TOOT. Meanwhile members who haven’t provided their email address will be asked to do so. A motion to stop sending paper copies of TOOT to people who have email addresses (after proper notification) was passed unanimously.

There were suggestions to add on a fee (e.g. $20 or $25a year) for delivery of a paper TOOT. Discussion of the matter was postponed to a future date.

The approach to the remaining 11 recipients (who don’t have email addresses or haven’t provided them) will be considered at the September Excom meeting. For now the Club will continue to mail the hard copy to these individuals while still trying to whittle the number down.

New Business: Excom discussed raising the$3 monthly meeting fee. It was revealed that even members of Excom were reluctant to submit expenses for reimbursement of hosting fees. As a result they were assuming significant refreshment costs. Dick Laeser urged them to submit receipts to him as Treasurer for proper reimbursement. No change in the fee schedule was advised.

In a related area, it’s been observed that occasionally members do not pay the requested $3 at the monthly meeting. Although Excom will be more attentive to this, reminding members to pay while making other announcements and putting out the payment basket early were felt to reinforce the expectation.

Ellie will now be sending a PVS “activity list” to CGS for inclusion in the CGS nonpassword protected electronic newsletter. Dave Lerner proposed that the same information be provided in the calendar on the PVS website. “It doesn’t seem right that we have less information on our website than CGS has”, said Dave. All agreed.

Submitted by Mary Beale, secretary