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July 1999 General Meeting Minutes

July 1999 General Meeting Minutes

Washington Association of Rail Passengers
General Meeting Minutes
July 10th, 1999 in Seattle, WA

Tony Trifiletti, President
Chuck Mott, BOD Chair
Mike Skehan, Sec
Lloyd Flem, Ex. Dir.
Eric Griswold, Transit
Jim Hamre
Stuart Adams
Dale Menchofer
Paul Scott
Warren Yee
Darlene Flem
Jim Holley
Bill Weeks
Jim McIntosh
Peter Chelemedos
Dennie Chelemedos
Noel Hancock
Roger Mumm
Mark Lawrence
Robert Lawrence
Hal Cooper
Keith Shaw
David Clinton
Robert Rohrer
Kay Chelemedos

12:30 Call to Order, Tony Trifiletti, President

Minutes of 6-12-99 were approved.


Treasurer: Tony reported an income for June as $1,215.00 and expenses of $2,590.42. Members added (6), lost (6) for a net of 470. (As provided by Hans Mueller)

Transit: Erik Griswold reported rumored delays in commuter rail have been confirmed by Sound Transit. Full service in the Tacoma to Seattle corridor are likely to be delayed until late next year. The section will meet at Andy's diner on July 15 to further discuss these issues.

Marketing and Membership: Darlene Flem reported that "Super Saturday" at Evergreen CC in Olympia was very well attended, with enthusiastic comments from tablers. New members will not be known until Hans returns from his well deserved vacation. Members will be working the tables again in Lakewood next weekend.

Budget/Finance: Chair David Sherrod reported the committee has yet to meet, but should very soon. Interested members should contact him at

Board Chair, Chuck Mott discussed the importance of organizational goal setting and strategic planning for the future. He is asking for volunteers or alternately will tap several members on the shoulder to work on this very important business of WashARP.

Chuck brief the group on Amtrak's mis-guided attempts to "grow" the mail and express service that is looked upon as the source of capital to continue operations after 2002. With time running out, and little support for Montana shippers, Chuck and Lloyd orchestrated a meeting in Seattle with the two Senators from Montana, the shippers, and Amtrak brass out of Chicago. It looks like positive things will happen as a result of that push.

Future Meetings were discussed by Dale Menchofer. October's meeting will be held in Mount Vernon at the Royal Fork Café. Several suggestions were made for guest speaker(s). Dale will follow up on these. Dale spoke of the arrangements made to secure the banquet room (space available basis) for no charge at the University Plaza Hotel. Stuart Adams met with the manager who assured our organization their cooperation in the future. He also spoke of the importance of supporting the "guide program" as an excellent way to promote the organization to rail passengers. Volunteers are graciously accepted.

Mt. Vernon Station developments were discussed by Noel Hancock. The new location for an Amtrak stop is being planned for the city center. This is a turnabout from plans to build a P&R at a refurbished station north of town.

Executive Director: Lloyd Flem reported the Amtrak Reform Council would be meeting here in Seattle in late August and the opportunity for WashARP to get the word out during trips on the Talgo that are planned. Lloyd spoke of the Mail/Express meeting, noting how important home court advantage was to its success. At the state and local level, Oregon has yet to authorize moneys for the Cascade service to Eugene, instead looking towards a new billion dollar freeway link through Portland. A vote could come in time to save the service this summer, although it's a 50-50 proposition at this point.

A similar situation exists to the north in Canada. The trains may have to stop in Bellingham or Blaine if commitments are not made by the B.C'ers. Lloyd talked about Initiative 695 and the "train wreck" it would cause to all the rail and transit programs around the state if passed.

The Blue Ribbon Commission has done a turn around, thanks to Chuck, Lloyd, and logic prevailing over members who didn't show up just to figure out which roads to build.

In another committee of Transportation Stakeholders", chaired by Alice Terissie (sp?), Lloyd is finding common support for the rail program. Even Aubrey Davis, a long time friend of rail, has joined the organization. Rumors of renewed problems with Sound Transit over not working well with other agencies have been developing in recent weeks. We thought that was behind them.

Lloyd said we would be "at the table" when the E-W study begins later this year. Several members expressed a desire to be included in the process, including Paul Scott.

Guest Speaker, Larry Wickkiser of Airporter Shuttle in Bellingham spoke to the group about his on-going difficulties in trying to operate and expand his Northwestern Washington to SeaTac Airport bus and van service, specifically government regulations imposed by WUTC and emerging public transportation providers, such as SKAT. His most productive routes become victims of "free ride" routes provided by the growing local transit agency. Larry posed a series of difficult questions to the members as to how government and free-enterprise can coexist in the same markets.

Membership Drive results have been disappointing to this date, reported President Trifiletti. Hopefully this will pick up in the coming weeks. Over 2200 letters and brochures have been mailed to date, with another 400 to go out to NARP members as soon as they approve our mailing.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:45

Respectfully Submitted, Michael Skehan, Secretary

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