SMD Draft Meeting Minutes 15 May

Revised Draft Meeting MinutesMay 15, 2022revisions highlighted

There was no SMD business meeting in April because the Division hosted its annual Mini-Con.

Division members met face-to-face for the first time since March of 2020 at the Greencastle High Line Station.  After socializing, Superintendant Alex Polimeni called the business meeting to order at 2:30 p.m.

22.51Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported the SMD bank balance was $3,600.31.  That balance reflects payment for the Mini-Con raffle prize gift certificate to Mainline Hobbies.  The balance does not reflect payment for the 2-year Zoom subscription, which Superintendent Polimeni has graciously contributed to the Division.

22.5-2Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes):  In Clerk Harvey Heyser’s absence, the Superintendent made the Clerk’s report as follows:  There were no draft minutes for the March meeting for several reasons.  The Clerk’s phone connection to Zoom failed for much of the meeting; therefore, he could not hear what was discussed.  Unfortunately, the recording was not saved – a fact not realized until right before this May meeting.  The Clerk will present what minutes he has for the March meeting, along with draft May minutes, before the September meeting for member review and acceptance.

Old Business:  

22-1.72022 Mini-Con The event was held on Saturday, April 23, 2022, and more than 90 attended (many first-timers).  Attendees tended to be experienced hobbyists, not parents and kids (though Brian Greenawalt reported that three kids under 18 took part in the wood kit make-and-take clinic).

The following wrap-up comments were made:

The event needs advertising from other sources than Mainline Hobbies’s mailing list to reach different audiences.
There is also a need for better communication between the Organizer(s) and clinicians.
Better food:  The Superintendent thinks there is an opportunity for the Division to make some money with a food concession.  This will take additional manpower and will involve some monetary risk.

Overall, the Mini-Con was a success!

New Business:  

22.5-3Officer Elections:  Superintendent Polimeni had declined to run for re-election.  Bob Johnson had agreed to stand for election as Superintendent.  Paymaster Price and Clerk Heyser had both agreed to stand for re-election.

Since the election for Superintendent was uncontested, Ron Polimeni made the following motion (seconded by John Madden):

Motion:  That Bob Johnson be elected Superintendent the candidates for Division elected office be elected by acclimation.  The motion passed unanimously.

All of the officer candidates were running unopposed.  

[?  Was there a motion to re-elect Ray Price as Paymaster and Harvey Heyser as Clerk?]

[At the September 2022 meeting, members present for the March 2022 recalled the following:  The motion made to elect by acclimation was for the entire slate of officer candidates (not only for Superintendent).  No one else was running.]

Superintendent-elect Johnson informed the meeting he will be out of town for the September meeting.  Someone will be appointed chair for that meeting, per the bylaws.

22.5-4Zoom Pro subscription:  The renewal is due in August (2022) for $150 per year.  There was discussion of whether the Division should renew:

Many in attendance agreed; other wanted to wait and see.

Renewal will allow for Zoom hobby hangouts.

The Division could hold hybrid meetings.

Zoom allows for recording and downloading the regular monthly face-to-face meetings.

It also can be used for leadership team meetings.  (Note, there will be a planning meeting this summer.)

There was discussion of live-streaming versus Zoom.

Andy Arnold made the following motion (second by Bob Morningstar):

Motion:  That the Zoom Pro be renewed for one (1) year.  The motion passed unanimously.

Don Florwick expressed the SMD’s appreciation of Superintendent Polimeni’s donation of the prior two year’s subscriptions to zoom.

22.5-5Wheel Report Editor:  Alex Polimeni will take over editing responsibilities.

22.5-6Meeting Site Donation:  Bob Morningstar suggested a donation to the Greencastle High Line Station Fund.

Steve King made the following motion (second by Tom Fedor):

Motion: That the SMD make a donation of $50 to the Greencastle High Line Station Fund.  The motion passed unanimously.

22.5-7East Broad Top Season Schedule:  The Railroad will operate (3) trains per day Wednesday through Sunday.  Tickets will cost $20 each.  (The season had already started at the time of the SMD meeting.)

Adjournment:  The Superintendant accepted a motion to adjourn.  The next meeting will be held remotely by zoom on Sunday, September 11, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.  Members will be reminded by e-mail.

Notes for these Minutes were taken and transcribed by Jane Clarke; formatting by Clerk Harvey Heyser

There was no clinic following the May business meeting.

SMD Draft Meeting Minutes 13 March

Revised Draft Meeting MinutesMarch 13, 2022revisions highlighted

Division members met remotely on the internet using the Zoom platform.  18 or so were present. Superintendent Alex Polimeni opened the zoom session prior to the published start time for logging in and sharing.  

During the lead-up to the meeting, the following was shared:

Because it was snowing, several members joked about finally having an excuse for missing ameeting.  Frank Benenati quipped that he took a nap and awakened to find his driveway shoveled.
Bob Morningstar asked that anyone trying to reach him use his Proton e-mail account.
A variety of interesting (screen) backgrounds were observed behind those attending includingJay Beckham’s CTC panel and two photos of the EBT.
There was discussion of tourist railroads in WV including Cass (possible overnights at Cass or Snowshoe) and the Durbin Rocket out of Elkins.  Members recalled the Division visiting Cass 15 or so years ago.

The Superintendent called the business meeting to order at about 2:30 pm.  

22.31Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported the SMD bank balance was $3,468.81.  The Paymaster has not yet received invoices for the zoom renewal ($157.40).   The Superintendent will re-forward them.

22.3-2Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes):  

As discussion of the Clerk’s Report commenced, the Clerk’s phone connection to Zoom failed and could not be re-established for a significant portion of the rest of the meeting.  Therefore, he could not hear what was discussed nor record any motions made/accepted.

[At the September 2022 meeting, members present for the March 2022 recalled the following:  During the Clerk’s Zoom disconnection, members approved the February 2022 draft minutes as submitted and focused on the Mini-Con during the following discussion.]

The following are minutes from the remainder of the meeting after the Clerk finally rejoined Zoom.

Old Business:  

22-1.72022 Mini-Con Saturday, April 23, 2022 (confirmed):  The Mini-Con is open to the public not just NMRA members.  Mini-Con Chair Grant Berry was not present to make a report.  Members in attendance suggested a brief written report be shared electronically.

j. Publicity:  Don Florwick has notified other Divisions, the Region, National, and RMC.  He also has a flyer if anyone can hand it out.  Mainline has mailed postcards to their mailing list.
k. Insurance:  The SMD has not taken out insurance for previous Mini-Cons.

New Business:  

22.33Meeting Reminders:  Don Florwick has accepted the responsibility to send these in the future.

22.3-4Request for Assistance:  Frank Benenati requested help with a display case he is building

Adjournment:  The Superintendant accepted a motion to adjourn.  There will be no regular meeting in April because of the Mini-Con scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2022.  The next regular meeting will be held remotely by Zoom on Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.  Members will be reminded by e-mail.

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Following the meeting, Matt Thompson MMR attempted to give his clinic on the achievement certificate requirements for cars and structures.  Unfortunately he could not enable the screen share function on his computer. He then offered to give the clinic at a later date inperson if possible (at the May meeting perhaps).

Pete and Jane Clarke stepped in to give an extensive up-date on all the things happening with the East Broad Top RR Foundation and with the Friends of the EBT.  Quite a few changes are happeningin Orbisonia and at the FEBT museum in Robertsdale.  A visit to see what is going on was strongly recommended.

After the up-date, there was more sharing:

Members with operating layouts discussed the challenges involved in getting their layouts back in operating shape after the pandemic shutdown especially cleaning track (no abrasives), finding dead rail sections, and fixing loose points.
Jay Beckham reported troubles with old 2-rail Atlas O gauge switches from the nickel plating wearing off.

The SMD welcomed Martin Breckbeil of the Potomac Division to the meeting.

From the Desk of the Superintendent

In keeping with the way our world has been for the past couple of years, the 2022-2023 SMD meeting year is getting off to a bad start but hopefully that will change going forward.

First I want to thank Alex for his work as Superintendent over the past several years, including a no notice return to the position last year.

My hope was to have all of the initial planning for the year completed and a Wheel Report out to you by the 22nd of August. Considering today’s date that obviously is not going to happen so interim arrangements are being made. The delay is totally my fault and unfortunately was driven by a medical issue on my part. Hopefully that is resolved and the current goal is to have a Wheel Report out to you sometime in late September. Remember, our new Wheel Report editor (Alex Polimeni) is always interested in any content you can provide.

2022-2023 Plans

The September meeting will be conducted via ZOOM on September 11th and will be hosted by Alex (I will be in Arizona at that time). Details and log-on information will be provided at a later date.

Starting with the October meeting I want to return to face to face meetings held at member’s homes and / or other appropriate venues.  The October meeting will be held at my house (October 9th) where you will have to opportunity to see the West Virginia Midland Railroad.  Not much has been accomplished on the railroad over the past several years but the entire basement has been re-modeled (around the layout).  

I would also like to see more live clinics given by members and / or guests at the meetings.  At this time I am asking for volunteers to host meetings in November through March and in May.  Though not confirmed at this point, we hope to be producing the Mini-Con in April of 2023 at Blue Ridge Summit.  In addition I am looking for volunteers to give the clinics at both the meetings and the Mini-Con.  If you want to host and do a clinic at the same time go for it!!

If you would like to host a meeting or present a clinic please let me know as soon as possible <>. FYI – we could use a clinic in October. Also, if you know any people who are railroad enthusiasts, but not members of the SMD, feel free to invite them to a meeting.

Bob Johnson, SMD Superintendent

PS: Don’t forget that Main Line Hobby Supply will be holding their annual open house on September 17th and 18th. Stop by, drop a few dollars, and pick up the guide book for the annual layout open house tour. Brian and Bonnie have promised a banner year for the tours in term of the number of layouts open including some that have never been on the tour before.

Carolina Special, 2022 MER Convention Update

Be sure to register soon as the registration cost goes up on September 1st!  Here are highlights of the latest Convention information.

The website has been updated several times since the last email I sent about this fun event. The 2022 MER convention website is all the information you need can be found.

The Banquet will be a great meal with an exciting guest speaker, Shane Wilson, President of Scale Trains. Be sure to sign up.

There are Layout Operating Sessions and information on these can be found at:

A full clinic schedule, with a broad range of exciting topics, with 4 Make-and-Take clinics of which three of these clinics are conducted in 2 sessions and information can be found at:

We have three special tours before and during the convention.

Tour #201 is a pre-convention backstage tour being held at the North Carolina Transportation Museum at 1 Samuel Spencer Drive, Spencer NC.  Don’t worry about checking into the convention hotel until after the museum tour.  The private tour takes place on Thursday, October 20, 2022 starting at 12:30 pm.  Try to be in place at noon.  Information can be found at:

And a map of the Museum grounds can be found at:

After the tour you can visit The Little Choo Choo Shop, the largest model railroad hobby shop in NC across the street from the museum.

Tour #202: The second special tour is the UNIFOUR SPECIAL which includes the Southeast Narrow Gauge and Shortline Museum in Newton, NC and six very nice layouts in the Hickory, NC Metro Area. This is a Friday all-day mini-bus tour and will leave the convention hotel on Friday morning and return about dinnertime. Information on this tour can be found at:

Tour #203:  The third special tour is of Lionel Corporation Headquarters. This will be a self-drive tour on Friday, October 21, 2022 starting at 9:30 am at 6301 Performance Drive, Concord, NC.  The Lionel Headquarters is approximately 5 miles from the convention hotel. 

 A Carolina Special Look South in 2022 convention shirt is now available to purchase during early registration.

One Day Registration is now an option.

We will have hand sanitizer in the clinic rooms and masks are welcome if someone feels safer wearing one.

For our friends in the Southeastern Region, a home layout in Greenville SC will be open on Sunday Oct 23 for our SER visitors returning home!