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April 1999 General Meeting Minutes

April 1999 General Meeting Minutes

Minutes of General Membership Meeting
April 10, 1999, 12 P.M.
University Hotel, Seattle WA

Minutes from February were approved, with clarification by Noel Hancock that minutes from meetings should be available to those members without E-mail in written form at the beginning of the next meeting. This stemmed from the fact that the Office of Secretary has yet to be filled on a permanent basis.

Treasurers Report: Hans Mueller reported $5582 in the bank, expenses of $1489 and income of 1889 for the month of March. We picked up a net 7 new members, putting us at 473.

Secretary Vacancy: Pres. Trifiletti accepted Mike Skehans resignation as VP Commuter Rail, indicating his interest to fill the position of Secretary. By unanimous vote of the Board of Directors present to such a motion and second, Mr. Skehan was elected to fill out the remaining term of Ellen Barton.

Amtrak: Noel briefed the membership on Amtrak’s customer advisory committee, copies of his in-depth report are available from Noel.

Welcome: To David Sharod, who has been sharing duties with Bruce Agnew’s group to bring High Speed Rail between Eugene and Vancouver. David will be Chairing the new Finance and Budget Committee. He is a welcome addition to the group. Also welcomed was Warren Broderick, a long time member, and interpretive guide aboard Amtrak service. Good to see you!

New Video Library: Darlene Flem announced the creation of a self-serve library of videos collected over the years by Lloyd. The selection is pretty impressive, and your Secretary has enjoyed watching two of them to date. See Darlene for details on check-out policy.

Yakima Meeting: Dale announced the final arrangements and address for next months Eastern Washington Meeting. General Meeting begins at 12 noon at Cavanaughs Hotel.

Marketing Committee: Darlene Flem has graciously accepted the Chair of our new Marketing Committee. Toni restated the executive committee’s reorganization of the committee structure to have "fully functioning" working groups, meeting monthly, and that when up and running we may consider holding less frequent general meetings.

Blue Ribbon Cmte: Chuck reported the political maneuvering that is shaping the final product due out by the end of this year, for enactment by the legislature next year. The issues are being addressed by Chuck and Hal through a series of position papers to refute some misconceptions and enlighten the panel to the virtues of rail.

A MOTION was made by Leroy Chadwick and seconded by Noel Hancock to "Reimburse Hal Cooper in the amount of $100 per report as an honorarium for any future reports required of him by Chuck in connection with the Blue Ribbon Panel." The motion PASSED by 11 yea, 0 nae votes.

NARP Meeting in Portland was reported on by Toni. Noel has prepared a good account of the proceedings for those interested. In further details.

Executive Director Lloyd Flem reported on the "ho-hum" attitude of our states legislative delegation to DC., stating we are the fastest growing and most popular corridor. Lloyd briefed the group on national issues that effect us, as well as the profitability mandate by congress for the year 2002. Mail-Express is seen as the savior of Amtrak, but they are reacting entirely too slow for this to overcome operating losses (e.g.: Shelby, Montana). At the state level, our efforts to save the 2nd Vancouver Talgo service has paid off. The rail office will receive about $110 M. over 2 years for program. In other developments, the Eastern Washington service restoration, led by Jim Neal is gaining momentum. Additional funding by the Oregon Legislature is in Ways and Means. The $14 M. for the Cascades corridor is in jeopardy in the legislative process.

Amtrak Service was the subject discussed at an April 30th meeting with Kurt Laird, Chuck, Lloyd and Tony. Issues of concern to the Association included capacity of Amfleet equipment, fares, older equipment, sold-out trains, reservation "wait-list" service, change-over to Dobb’s catering, PA systems, and Talgo service.

Freight Service by Amtrak was discussed by Chuck, using his long standing experience in the business. Amtrak needs to roll up their sleeves, hire some salespeople, and get on with the job of generating freight business. This is how they started BNSF years ago, which turned out to be Burlington Air Freight (now BAX).

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