SMD Draft Meeting Minutes 14 November

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Draft Meeting Minutes – November 14, 2021

Division members met remotely on the internet using the Zoom platform.  15 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, there were compliments made about the excellent job that Wheel Report Editor Tom Fedor has done in giving the SMD a very professional-looking publication. 

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

21.11-1 Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported that as of September 30, 2021, the SMD bank balance was $3,658.43.  That includes the $12 expenditure for the fall Wheel Report and a deposit of $35 from the MER.  The memorial contribution for Jerry Skeim has not been made yet but will be made shortly.

21.11-2 Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes):  The attendees dispensed with the reading/summary of the minutes (previously distributed by email).  Ron Polimeni made the following motion (second by Bob Morningstar):

Motion:  That the draft Minutes for the May 2021 meeting be approved as submittedThe motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:  (No items of old business were discussed.)

New Business:

21-11.3 Zoom Subscription:  The Superintendent reported that the Zoom subscription was renewed automatically in August 2021.  He will submit the expense at the December meeting for reimbursement.

The Superintendent also indicated that one reason he renewed was our need for storage capacity for the recorded Hobby Hangouts.

21-11.4 Holiday Cards:  The expenditure last year was $175.  It was noted that last year’s cards resulted in several renewed contacts (and unfortunately one death notice).  The discussion indicated that keeping in contact with these cards was good for the SMD.  Andrew Roberts offered to investigate the card service his business uses, which may be less expensive; it also permits flexibility of graphics.  Members expressed a desire to rotate the prototype depicted (in other words, not all PRR).  Tom Fedor has many layout photos that might be used.

Andrew Roberts made the following motion (second by Ron Polimeni):

Motion:  That the expenditure of up to $150 is pre-approved for 2021 holiday cardsThe motion passed unanimously.

21-11.5 Superintendents’ Meeting:  The meeting, customarily held during the MER Convention, was held remotely this year by zoom.  Superintendent Polimeni did not attend.

21-11.6 Spring 2022 SMD Meetings:  The Superintendent reminded members that he will confer with 

the Officers and Advisory Committee as to whether it is safe to hold in-person meetings yet.  He also noted the need to find willing hosts.

Bob Morningstar reported that the Greencastle High-Line Station is a possible venue that would allow for greater social distancing than a crowded layout.  Attendees could bring something they have been working on.

21-11.7 Other Gatherings:  Don Florwick and Steve King went in-person to the MER Convention.  (No one was sure how Achievement Program judging was done at the Convention.)  Pete and Jane Clarke have held an in-person operating session.  An O scale meet was held on 11-13-21 with 12-20 participants and no masks or distancing.

On the other hand, one Four County member, who attended the recent Timonium Show, did contract covid.

21-11.8 Jerry Skeim’s Layout and Models:  Elizabeth Boisvert (Jerry’s daughter) indicated her family’s desire to clear the space soon and to dispose of the collection to other modelers who will put the items to use.  Since Jerry had not gotten much beyond the benchwork stage, his collection includes tools, some DCC equipment (not set up), a small amount of track, scenery supplies, a few structures, and On30 rolling stock models still in boxes.  The layout is in Thurmont, MD.  Several options were reviewed:

  • The SMD is taking an acting role.  Past experience reported from the MARS group suggests a plan of action:  a) create an inventory, b) organize a take-down “party,” c) salvage what can be salvaged, and d) sell the collection at a train show or on eBay.  It was pointed out that online sites must report the proceeds of sales to the IRS as ordinary, taxable income.
  • Try to sell as much as possible locally.
  • Bring in a model train collection buyer to make a blanket offer.
  • Holding a one-day sale at the house once the situation is assessed.
  • SMD is organizing a group of volunteers to aid the family in assessing the situation.  Bob Johnson suggested himself, Bill Reynolds, and Bob Charles (for pricing assistance).  Andrew Roberts also volunteered to help.

The Division expressed its desire to help.  The sense of the discussion was that the last of the above alternatives would be the course of action for now.  Elizabeth indicated that Jerry had an inventory, which she will search for.  She also will take photos of the collection and benchwork. 

21-11.9 Future MER Convention in the SMD Area:  When asked, the Superintendent indicated he has not been approached to host a convention.

21-11.10 Gifts to the NMRA Library:  Andy Arnold asked how to make donations and was directed to Mary Miller, who donated some of Bill Miller’s books.

21-11.12 Hobby Hangout:  A remote get-together by zoom is scheduled for Friday, November 26, 2021, at 7:00 p.m.  Members had been notified of the date and time by the notice for this meeting.

Adjournment:  The Superintendent accepted a motion to adjourn.  The next meeting will be held remotely by zoom on Sunday, December 12, 2021, at 2:00 p.m.  Members will be reminded by email.

Author: smdnmra

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