SMD Draft Meeting Minutes – December 8, 2019

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Division members met at Bob Morningstar’s home near Greencastle, PA.  10 were present.  After viewing the host’s layout and socializing, Assistant Superintendant Jerry Skeim called the business meeting to order (in the Superintendant’s absence).

19.12-1 Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported that the Division has $4115.08 in its bank account, the same as in November.

19.12-2 Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes): 

– The Clerk summarized the revised draft minutes for the October meeting.  Item #18.10-5, revised with the assistance of Tom Fedor (webmaster), should read as follows:  “Web Site:  Tom Fedor, Wheel Report editor, reported that SMD member Richard Benjamin (owner of Hobby Town USA, Frederick) supports the Division by covering the cost of domain registration and annual renewals, which are currently paid through FY2020.  Richard’s business and personal web hosting service now hosts SMD’s domain.  While the web site is up, its main content (the blog for Division news and features) has not yet been re-created on Richard’s server.  Tom and Richard are working to re-establish the blog.”  Pete Clarke made the following motion (second by Ray Price):

Motion:  That the draft Minutes for the October 2019 meeting be approved as revised.  The motion passed unanimously.

  • The Clerk summarized the revised draft minutes for the November meeting (previously distributed by e-mail).    Ron Polimeni made the following motion (second by Pete Clarke):

Motion:  That the draft Minutes for the November 2019 meeting be approved as submitted.  The motion passed unanimously.

Comment:  Per the winter Wheel Report, the January meeting will include a layout tour of the Frederick County Society of Model Engineers’ layout followed by a formal meeting at HobbyTown USA, Frederick store (not the Airport per the minutes).

Old Business:

19.9-7 2020 Mini-Con will be April 18, 2020:  In addition to the description he wrote for the Winter Wheel Report, Chair Pete Clarke reported the following.

a. Informal Clinics:  3 or 4 slots remain to be filled.

d. Formal Clinics:  Three have been lined up.

1) MER – short presentation for the fall regional convention in Charlotte, NC.,

2) Alex Polimeni – Model railroading [operations] as game design, and

3) Lee Rainey – Shortline operating patterns:  What to consider when designing a schedule.

Pete requested that SMD members in attendance please move to the front of the audience for the formal clinics for the presenters’ convenience and to make more of an audience.

19.10-6 White Elephant Table:  (This item, previously covered under the Mini-Con minute, will now be considered under its own entry because of the SMD’s October 2019 decision not to sponsor a Division table at the Mini-Con.)  Frank Benenati, who has been looking into possibilities for the SMD, reported these alternatives:  a good show at Westminster – Lion’s Club ($22 per table), Brunswick Train Days ($20-$25 per table), the Hagerstown Model Railroad Club shows (in November & February), and the Mont Alto show (inexpensive tables but more of a garage sale).  Frank continued his report with some logistics.  The SMD would need a central place to receive items to be sold, a written record must be kept, and stickers will be needed for pricing. It was discussed that it would be best if members with items being sold be present at the show and that there be an agreement what to do with unsold items.

The discussion pointed out the possibility of attracting more members for the NMRA if the SMD is present at these events.  Bob Morningstar will investigate if the NMRA can assist in acquiring a banner to advertise the table.

New Business:

19.12-3 Host Bob Morningstar welcomed everyone to his HO Western Maryland layout.

19.12-5 Achievement Program:  AP Chair Jane Clarke reported that both Bob Morningstar’s Electrical Engineer certificate and Dave Thalman’s Gold Spike Award have been submitted for NMRA action.

19.12-6 Candidates for Superintendant:  Alex Polimeni has indicated he will not be able to run for re-election because of the many other things happening in his life (especially getting married).  Those interested in the office are encouraged to put themselves forward and are reminded of the AP credits possible.

19.12-7 Region Newsletter Editor:  Bob Morningstar reported the position is open and suggested anyone interested contact the MER.


The Assistant Superintendant accepted a motion to adjourn.  The next meeting on January 12, 2020 will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the HobbyTown USA, Frederick store following a layout tour of the Frederick County Society of Model Engineers’ layout (from 12 – 2p.m.).

Following the meeting, host Bob Morningstar presented a clinic on soldering.  He stressed using the right equipment (to achieve the right heat level), the right solder, the right rosin flux (not acid based), good contact between the parts to be soldered, and keeping the iron clean.  (Metal kitchen pot scouring pads are a good choice for the latter.)

Author: smdnmra

South Mountain Division, Mid-Eastern Region, National Model Railroad Association