SMD Draft Meeting Minutes 16 January

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Draft Meeting Minutes – January 16, 2022

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.  The SMD welcomed Gordy Robinson, MMR, NMRA President, who joined the meeting from Scapa Flow in the United Kingdom.  

The Superintendent called the business meeting to order at about 2:30 pm.  He thanked attendees for “braving the snow” and “coming out.”

22.1-1 Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported the SMD bank balance was $3,508.43.   The Superintendent has the invoice of $157.40 for the Zoom renewal and will forward it to the Paymaster.

22.1-2 Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes):  The attendees dispensed with the reading/summary of the minutes (previously distributed by email).  Don Florwick made the following motion (second by Ron Polimeni):

Motion:  That the draft Minutes for the December 2021 meeting be approved as submitted.  The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business: 

(No items of old business were discussed.)

New Business:

22-1.3 Nominations Chair:  Superintendent Polimeni requested a volunteer for this position in preparation for the May elections.

22-1.4 Newsletter Editor:  Because of other responsibilities, Tom Fedor, current Editor, will retire after the 2022 Spring Wheel Report.  A replacement is needed.

22-1.5 In-Person Meetings:  The superintendent repeated his cautious attitude about holding in-person meetings at this time because of uncertainty about covid and the difficulty of getting hosts to volunteer (lots of people in crowded basement layout rooms). However, he did express interest in Bob Morningstar’s suggestion to hold the May meeting (on the 3rd Sunday) in a larger public venue such as the Greencastle PRR train station or the adjacent outside pavilions.  The Superintendent will contact Bob.

22-1.6 Meeting Reminders:  After discussion, the consensus of the members present was that an initial reminder 1 week before and a second 48 hours before are preferred.

22-1.7 2022 Mini-Con (discussed previously as item 21.9-6 – Future Mini-Con):  Former Chair Pete Clarke has turned over all written and digital preparation materials to new Chair Grant Berry.  He indicated his plan to proceed as in past years and to follow public health recommendations.  It was noted that both the upcoming Antietam and Ranson shows have been canceled.  Chair Berry resolved to proceed cautiously.  The following matters were discussed:

  • Chair Berry has established direct communication with Mainline Hobbies.  Their support will continue as will their reaching out to contacts and through advertising.  Photos and other SMD promotional material will be helpful.
  • Tentative Date:  Saturday, April 23, 2022 – Brian Wolfe has reserved the Fire Hall
  • Masks:  Being considered, although the Township does not appear to have any requirements.
  • Distancing and Table Spacing:  Given the importance of personal interaction during the informal clinics, the SMD may have to reduce the number of those clinics.  (2 rows of informal clinic tables and 1 row of make-and-take tables are being considered.)  It was suggested to find out how the Fire Company holds their events.  Chair Berry will prepare a rough sketch of a possible table layout.
  • Number of Attendees:  Attendance is likely to be self-limiting, but a 50% attrition can be expected.
  •    Food Vendor:  Finding a new vendor will be challenging given the fact that the SMD does not have a clear idea of how many will attend.  A food truck was suggested as was encouraging people to eat outside.  (Masking and eating do not mix.)  A map of nearby eating establishments was also suggested.
  • Clinics:  Chair Berry will contact past informal clinicians.  More tables may be required if the number of volunteers is great.  Alternating the clinic time slots as in the past may be a way to allow for extra clinics at a reduced number of tables.  The make-and-take clinics are in process.
  • SMD Feedback:  Chair Berry wants to hear members’ thoughts at the February meeting.

22-1.8 The East Broad Top will run every weekend starting in May with some weekday trips this summer.  The Friends of the EBT needs volunteers to staff their museum and gift shop when the railroad is operating. 

22-1.9 Hobby Hangout:  The next one [was] held on January 28.


The Superintendent accepted a motion to adjourn.  The next meeting will be held remotely by zoom on Sunday, February 13, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.  Members will be reminded by email.

Following the meeting: 

Gordy Robinson, MMR, NMRA President, as part of his attempt to visit multiple divisions at this time, spoke briefly.  He volunteered to give a remote clinic for the SMD.  He also reviewed some of the changes coming to the NMRA this spring: <>

  • The magazine will come in both print and digital formats.  This change will help to keep membership costs down, especially for foreign members.  (U.S. dues may be reduced from $82 to $68 for receiving the digital format only.)
  • The NMRA app will allow non-members to access some NMRA content in order to open lines of communication with the rest of the hobby.
  • The 2022 National Convention in St. Louis is proceeding.  President Robinson encouraged people to register now in order to get timely announcements.

Author: smdnmra

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