Tennessee Tree Toppers
Minutes of the Meeting of Directors
November 13 2010
President Steve Lee called the meeting to
order at 9 AM CST by convocation and offered a prayer.
Roll was called.
Directors present at meeting time were
Buddy Cutts, Barry Klein, Michael Bradford, Kenny Sandifer,
James Anderson and Steve Lee. [note: Dan Shell arrived shortly
after roll was called.]
Directors absent at meeting time were Eric
Donaldson, Ollie Gregory, Jeff Nibler, Miller Stroud, Kathy Lee,
Ricker Goldsborough, Dan Shell, and Jeff Wilson.
Members present at this time were Dean
Funk, Clell Logan and Keith Skyles.
Still no progress on this oldest of club
initiatives. James Anderson recommends we take every opportunity
to speak with people in the valley, and Clell Logan offered to
initiate fresh inquiries with his friends and acquaintances
Hay harvest in the Henson LZ field:
Kenny Sandifer reported he had spread the
word, placed a notice at the Co-op and so far has had no
feedback or response.
Steve reported on the clubhouse work. We
have an almost new refrigerator. Steve and Michael picked up a
brand new wall oven unit and cook top, which the Wallaby Tree
Topper contingent installed for us. [Dan Shell and son Jackson
arrived at this point.] Oswaldo Lopez-Armas wired the appliances
temporarily and says he'll be back to finish it out soon.
Michael Bradford is going to try and coordinate with Ozzie and
help with the final touches.
James Anderson reported Wayne Walker's
scooter tow rig is now stored at Mike Nash's and that he will be
putting fuel conditioner in the tank to winterize the unit. Mike
Nash has agreed to work on talking to some landowners where he
thinks we may be able to set up and tow on top. It is pointed
out that Wayne Walker still owns this unit, and it is on loan to
the club. A round of thanks to Wayne.
The matter of board ballot mailing was
tabled at this point in the absence of Jeff Nibler and Ollie
Gregory, who are producing the mailing.
Designated trailer parking spaces:
Jeff Nibler is working on a plan or
recommendations for trailer parking policy on top. Dan commented
that there are a limited number of spaces available but use of
the space in front of the pavilion is not necessary. When the
other available spaces on top are taken, we should consider ways
to accommodate more RV parking, by marking and improving
appropriate space in the LZ field. James notes Jeff had an idea
on a set of policies for camping and residency of members.
Clubhouse use was briefly discussed in conjunction with this and
Steve points out we want members to come and stay and share the
clubhouse as their home, which it is. It was pointed out that
even that policy was tested to the breaking point in the past.
Tabled awaiting a report from Jeff Nibler.
[At this point, Keith Atkins called in
while driving to work, to join the meeting by teleconference.]
Member (and Newsletter Editor) Keith Atkins joined the meeting,
and was present for the discussions that followed.
Gift baskets for landowners:
Kathy, Steve and Dan will see that the
baskets are delivered. Ollie and Jackie Gregory are putting
those together again this year. There was discussion of using
the opportunity to talk again with Mr. Castle about the future
of his bailout LZ.
Steve reported Jim Steele's communication
about the bluff property being listed for sale on the internet.
A number of members are searching for bluff property in the area
and Jim was wondering if discussions could be started to
determine the current status and value of the property. There
were a lot of differing opinions and a couple of rumors which
seemed contradictory, including that all the land had already
sold. Kenny and Dan suggested going to the county records and
working backward from there to the property listers to try and
determine the actual status.
Pending membership issue:
Steve Lee was holding a completed
application form and check from a lady who is a non pilot,
wanting to join to support the club and perhaps make a couple
trips during the year to enjoy the sites. Dan Shell pointed out
that we are a flying club not a camping club, and it was agreed
to return the application with multiple personal invitations to
come and join as guest at any time.
Land Trust donation:
Steve asked about paying the donation
requested from the Land Trust organization. It was decided to
consult Ricker about whether we have any past commitments not
honored for that organization and to pay it soon.
Steve had talked to the t-shirt guy in the
valley and brought up the dwindling supply of t-shirts, and that
people often ask to buy t-shirts. Kenny and Michael suggested we
wait for a report and projection on finances before discussing
Cloudbase Foundation and the Dunlap
Steve relayed the wealth of good will and
good publicity generated by Keith Atkins, Jeff Nibler and Ricker
for the donation and presentation of the Elmo Projectors and
equipment to special need students in our Valley. The local
papers, local news and widespread recognition in the hang
gliding community. Several of us attended the school board
meeting in Dunlap where the program was highlighted and the
teachers recognized the Cloudbase Foundation, Jeff, Ricker and
Steve reported on the latest and recent
USHPA magazines where TTT and TTT members were highlighted and
REPORTS BY COMMITTEE
Treasurer: Chairman Ricker
Goldsborough was absent and absent a financial report, Steve
read last month's report, and offered that TTT has never ended a
year in better financial condition. As of October's report
(through 3rd quarter), the club had over $8,580 in checking with
all bills paid and $57,157 in the Whitwell LZ fund.
[Jonathan Cocker joins the meeting]
Steve reminded us Ricker had previously
indicated to the board at the end of September he would not be
able to serve as TTT Treasurer for 2011. Michael and Kenny
requested a more current financial report and Michael agreed to
work with Ricker to obtain a November report, and work on a
reporting format and specification to help the 2011 Treasurer
and inform the process of end of year accounting and budgeting
Bylaws: Chairman Dan Shell had no
pending changes, and previous discussions regarding tandem
student dues were tabled until the next meeting. Recent
discussions regarding board size, quorums and suggestions for
making a quorum easier to achieve were raised. The issue of
telepresence for the purpose of meeting attendance was raised.
The bylaws do not seem to rule out adopting teleconferencing,
and the advantages, disadvantages, and possible unintended
consequences were offered. A quorum not being present, no
motions were entertained.
Newsletter: Keith Atkins spoke up
from Michael's iPhone speaker to report that he will print
everything that's fit to print (if he receives it in time) to
produce an issue in December, if he doesn't receive it, he'll
make stuff up. Much applause was tendered for Keith's previous
issues and he asked that we put the call out and encourage all
our members to keep sending in their excellent articles and
Membership Committee: Jeff Nibler
was absent and Buddy reported the member database indicated 141
current members. Dan Shell commended Jeff for the diligence and
cooperation of Jeff as membership chairman. Buddy echoed, adding
that Jeff is the most level headed and helpful Committee chair.
Website Committee: Buddy reported
that the website was in good shape.
Special Committee on Whitwell paraglider
launch: Chair Dean Funk presented a communique he received
from the project representative detailing issues to work on and
suggestions for safe coexistence. They are considering a site to
the south of our launch. Keith Skyles talks about the Castle's
LZ and wonders if the Paraglider group might be able to work
with us on that. Some other issues regarding Castle's and
paragliding, and the LZ's land value led to a consensus that we
would carefully study and respond to the many points outlined by
the letter. Dean will move that process forward with a product
for review at the December meeting. James Anderson suggests
communicating with Rob McKenzie at Andy Jackson Airpark to learn
what they have found over the years about coexisting with
[Dustin Blewitt and Matt Spitalny (applying
as members) joined the meeting, and were welcomed by all.]
Safety Committee: Chair Kathy Lee
was absent and Steve brought her report, opening discussions
regarding a couple of accidents this season. Although both
pilots largely recovered there was a general sharing discussion
of the details and speculations, and what action, if any, is
open to apply the lessons learned in both incidents.
Other safety committee items included: a
carabiner is missing from the safety box for the ramp tie downs,
and will be replaced. We still need to replace the descent
ladder for the area below launch, the windsock in the LZ (trees
are hanging it up.)
A general discussion of the waiver/release
and member "clearing" process reinforced the need for diligence
in assuring that absolutely no one should set up for launch
until they are either confirmed, or enrolled by a director.
There have been suggestions, well received the meeting, that
creating a video orientation covering process, and procedures
for launching our sites. Dean offered to help work on this and
Dan offered several suggestions.
IT Committee: Michael reported on
the continuing health of our wireless internet connection,
responded to questions regarding the cost to complete our
clubhouse system with a "kiosk" style computer accessible to
members in the clubhouse. The issue of nontrivial expenditures
being on the table, this project to be listed with others
awaiting a financial analysis and winter budget. We discussed
the teleconferencing technology, and the benefit to the club of
being able to increase attendance by the membership at our
monthly meetings. Buddy and Michael will be working on the
optimal hardware configuration to also enhance the clubhouse to
better enable member services, meeting management, and the use
of the clubhouse as classroom.
Competition Committee: Ollie Gregory
was absent and received a round of thunderous applause for Team
Challenge 2010 and other work by the committee this season.
Social Committee: Barry Klein
reported on our Christmas party plans at Blue Orchid Bistro in
Dunlap. He is putting a notice and request for rsvp in the
ballot mailing to the membership and needs to report a number by
December 3rd. The party will be December 11 for dinner. We're
reserving the entire upper floor. If the members don't rsvp,
they are welcome to come, but may have to order from the regular
menu. The folks at Blue Bistro are really leaning over backward
to give us a good deal.
Awards Committee: Chair Eric
Donaldson not being present, the task of preparing awards to be
presented at the Christmas party was remanded to the executive
Following a call for additional business or
questions for the board and officers, the meeting adjourned at
Next directors meeting December 11, 2010 at
9am CST at the Henson clubhouse.