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November 1998 General Meeting Minutes

November 1998 General Meeting Minutes

Washington Association of Rail Passengers Business Meeting
University Plaza Hotel - November 14, 1998

Scheduled Meetings:
December 5: 12 noon, University Plaza Hotel, Seattle
January 9: 12 noon, University Plaza Hotel, Seattle

Attendance: Executive Board Members:
Jim Hamre, Newsletter Editor
Mike Skehan, VP-Commuter Rail
Hans Mueller, Treasurer
Lloyd Flem, Executive Director
Dennis Fait, VP-West

Board of Directors:

Steve Spear, Noel Hancock, Eleanor Stewart, Dale Menchhofer, James Langston, Rocky Shay, Warren Yee, George Benson, Paul Scott, Tony Trifiletti, Stuart Adams

Member and Guests:

Paul Cory, David Clinton, Darlene Flem, Mark Lawarence, Robert Lawrence, Dennie Chelemedos, John Carlin, James McIntosh

In Chuck Mott’s absence, Mike Skehan led the meeting. Mike began by introducing the new people at our meeting.

It was announced that WashARP Secretary Ellen Burton will resign her position effective January 1, 1999 due to other activities in her life. Mike asked the group if there are any members interested in filling her position. At the meeting, no one indicated a desire to take the position on a permanent basis. (If any member is interested, please contact Chuck.)

Hans Mueller gave the Treasurer’s report. He reported we had an income of $3883, expenses of $6360, with a balance of $3371. Most of the income for the period came from registration fees for the October conference.

Mike asked for corrections to the September meeting minutes. Noel Hancock said he was not present at the meeting even though he was listed. With that correction, the minutes were approved.

The Brochure Committee is revising the format of WashARP’s brochure. We plan to include updated information and a list of our accomplishments in it. The committee plans to have a draft ready at our next meeting. Dale Menchoffer asked to list our website address on the front of our brochure.

Mike invited everyone to come to the Commuter Committee meetings at Andy’s Diner in Seattle.

Tony Trifilette reported on the October conference. Ninety-two people attended the conference, which was promoting public-private efforts for rail. Several representatives from the business and rail community (BNSF, Amtrak) and government (local, regional, WSDOT) attended. Some appeared only for their presentation. Toni gave a presentation on the Pacific Northwest Corridor. It was a good conference but it lost about $2700, partly due to no-shows, partly due to undercharging for the conference.

Stuart Adams spoke about the Bequest Committee. We have $22,000 in trust, most from the Tom Martin estate and about $2000 from others. The committee members recommend using the funds as Tom would have desired. An annual recognition award was suggested.

Noel Hancock gave a report on the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee. They met recently in Wilmington, Delaware to inspect the maintenance and locomotive facility there. Amtrak plans to restructure the committee. Noel has not seen any results yet from recommendations to Amtrak by the committee. Noel commented that service on the Empire Builder has improved "100%." BNSF is doing a good job on dispatching the train. He also commented that our Cascade Corridor has good Amtrak personnel.

The WashARP Executive Committee met recently at Chuck’s office. They adopted a work plan for 1999. They also agreed to increase funds to the Executive Director.

Lloyd Flem gave the Executive Director’s report and reviewed the proposed 1999 Work Plan. The plan includes meetings with elected officials, continued defense of Amtrak West, Pacific Northwest Corridor and Talgo, as needed. We also want to give input on Referendum 49 spending plans (no current plan exists and funds will not just be for roads). Chuck wants our congressional delegation to promote the Pacific Northwest Corridor services.

WashARP had a positive presence at the rollout of the new Talgo trains in Seattle on November 9. There was also a lot of media coverage.

We are concerned about Amtrak’s plans to reduce commissions to travel agents for rail tickets. This reduction will make it less attractive for agents to promote the rail option.

Lloyd has moved to Chehalis. His new phone number is 360-740-7488 (fax # is 360-740-7489). Email is: and the office address is: 60 NW Blistfort #5, Chehalis, WA 98532.

November election results may help the cause for the second Seattle-Vancouver, B.C. train due to a change in leadership in Olympia.

We plan to schedule all of our meetings for 1999 at our next meeting in December.

It was reported Paul Allen will match $6 million in funding for the King Street Station Project. George Benson said they have $24 million so far, but need $39 million for the project.

The meeting was then adjourned.

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