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June 1997 Minutes

June 1997 Minutes

Washington Association of Rail Passengers Board of Directors Meeting
June 14, 1997 University Plaza, Seattle, Washington


Executive Committee Members:

Chuck Mott, President
Hans Mueller, Treasurer
Dennis Fait, Vice President west
Lloyd Flem, Executive Director
Ellen Barton, Secretary
Jim Hamre, Newsletter Editor

Board of Directors:

Bill Weeks, Warren Yee, Jerome Sheldon, Steven Spear, Dale Menchhofer
Noel Hancock, Jim Langston, Eleanor Stewart, Stephanie Weber

Members and Guests:

Jim Cowardin, Kay Chelemedos, Rob Morrison
Peter Chelemedos, Allison Morrison, Anthony Trifiletti

Meeting Minutes

The Meeting was called to order at 12:45 p.m. by Chuck Mott, President.

The agenda was amended to add an update on the Amtrak Citizens' Advisory Committee from Noel Hancock, and a report from Jim Hamre on Washington Department of Transportation budget developments.

The meeting minutes for May 10, 1997 were approved with two corrections (on file).

The treasurer reported a positive response to proactive calls made to non-renewing members, however, membership dropped by 12 due to nonrenewals, despite calls. Volunteers for continued calling are still needed.

Meeting logistics coordinator, Dale Menchhofer, presented the option of brunch to be served during the July meeting in a buffet setting in order to make maximum use of time. Upcoming meetings are to be held as follows:

July 12, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Bellingham Ferry Terminal
August 9, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Puyallup, Hamre Home Barbecue
September 13, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Tri-Cities, location to be announced with Possible train excursion to Tri-Cities.

Executive Director Lloyd Flem encouraged members to call and thank legislators for their support during the session.

Congresswoman Dunn has expressed the erroneous point of view that Amtrak is unlike other forms or transportation in being subsidized. Karen Schmidt, has been asked to help educate Dunn to the actual fiscal situation.

Continue to remind meeting planners about alternative transportation options: A recent trade and sustainable environment conference offered directions to the event only for driving and parking, not public transportation.

WSDOT's Ray Allred worked to save the Coulee City line by asking for state funds to rehabilitate the railbed and ties. Senator Prince was narrowly prevented from killing the program by the strategic intervention of Jim Jackson whose calls to farmers spurred Republican George Sellar to intervene.

To refute two recent rail-hostile editorial press releases which have seen wide distribution, Railway Age magazine has asked Lloyd Flem to lead the counter attack.

Cascadia Conference will take place September 4 and 5 at the Double Tree Inn in Kelso.

8stephanie Weber is a member of the RTA Citizens' Oversight Committee (but does not represent WashARP in this case).

Jim Hamre reported that speed increases are likely as the Talgo completes testing on curves in the Blaine to Vancouver section. Speed increases were already approved in the Kent area.

A novel proposal has been put forward to add a $2 per month surcharge to phone service throughout Oregon in order to fund trains. This funding method is due to the restriction which prohibits gas taxes funding rail transportation.

Particularly needed Amtrak changes would be 1) Revamped labor practices; 2) Revised liability structure to reduce amounts currently demanded by freight lines; 3) Marketing and business approach.

Recommendations were presented to the Board from the Executive Committee on the following topics:

  1. Recommendation to update the stationery.

    Rationale: Inaccurate information, additional information needed.

    The motion was made and seconded to consider this recommendation and discussion centered around the inclusion of other states in our group. A decision to postpone the re-design of the stationery until resolution of the multi-state question was submitted for vote.

    By unanimous vote, the stationery update was postponed.

  2. Recommendation to appoint a committee to work with the Commuter and Passenger Rail Coalition to determine an effective method of merging the two groups. The committee is charged with creating a proposal for approval by the Board of Directors in approximately 90 days for possible implementation in 6 months.

    Rationale: The committee's work will save time for the Board.

    The motion was made and seconded and approved unanimously.

  3. Recommendation to purchase the following internet services:
    1. Domain name using the WashARP name
    2. Server connection to Train Web of California
    3. Web counter to total number of times page is accessed

    Cost for item 3A is $100 for the first 2 years plus $50 set up Cost for item 3B is free for one year to non-profit groups Cost for item 3C is $35 per year.

    Rationale: Increased education and outreach; links to other interested groups (e.g. NARP).

    The motion was made and seconded and approved unanimously.

  4. Recommendation to creates Board position for Publicity/Station Coordinator in order to increase membership and awareness.

Rationale: augment activities of membership chair.

The motion was made and seconded and approved unanimously.

The meeting closed with an informal auction of Rail mementos and collectors' items by Dennis Fait and adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

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Last Update: 01/04/00
Web Author: Warren Y. Yee