Carolinas Association for Passenger Trains
Annual General Membership Meeting
Spartanburg Marriott Hotel, Spartanburg, SC
October 13, 2012 Open - 2:22 P.M.
Present: Martin Wheeler, Gene Kirkland, David Hill, Jim Frierson, Ken Davis, John Bobinyec, Dan Scallen, Ed Locklin, and Leon DeBaer.

Treasurer's Report - Gene Kirkland gave the treasurer’s report and passed out copies of the Financial Report for the period from August 11, 2012 to October 10, 2012. The association’s starting balance was $10,796.19 and the closing balance was $10,659.99. The primary expenses were for postage, mailing labels and printing of meeting notices. CAPT currently has 219 members (one member has transferred to inactive status).

Secretary's Report - Martin Wheeler noted that Phil Astwood was unable to attend the meeting due to his need to be with his wife after she had back surgery. He said that Jim Frierson had volunteered to take notes at today’s meeting. Jim will forward meeting notes to Phil.
  • Martin then read the long version of the minutes from the August 11 meeting to the membership. He noted that Ed Locklin had a correction that, with regard to the Amtrak thruway bus service to eastern NC, there would be two bus routes going from Wilson, NC (one to Morehead City and one to Wilmington). Martin noted that this correction has been made in the summarized version of the minutes.
  • Gene Kirkland moved to approve the minutes as corrected and Ed Locklin seconded the motion and all were in favor.
Election of Officers and Directors for 2013-2014: -
  • Ed Locklin, Bob Bischoff, and David Hill were nominated to be re-elected to two-year terms. Gene Kirkland moved to re-elect Ed, Bob and David and all were in favor.
  • Gene Kirkland nominated Leon DeBaer to fill the position of a new board member from NC. It was seconded and all were in favor.
  • Gene made a motion to re-elect all other officers to their current positions; it was seconded and all were in favor.
CAPT Fund-Raiser - Martin said that he had talked with Joe Roof (attorney & former CAPT member) about the legality of conducting fund-raising for CAPT through sales of a CD, as suggested by Earl Eargle. Joe recommended that CAPT put a time limit on the whole activity. He also recommended that Eddie Sullivan be contacted as he did our original legal work in setting up CAPT. Joe further noted that we should probably get a written agreement with Earl Eargle. Earl has told CAPT that he will donate $3.00 for each CD sold and that he will send, along with the order, a brochure to any CD buyer who is not a CAPT member. John Bobinyec stated that he thinks there should be a legal contract with Earl. It should spell out “exactly what will happen and who gets what”. John volunteered to take over the handling of this project from Martin.

On-line membership payments - John noted that changes regularly come along with regard to a membership database. He said it is easier to fix issues with an on-line system before it starts being used as opposed to working on it while it is being used. John asked how the database would be maintained and updated. Gene noted that about 40% of our members do not use e-mail. Therefore, he doesn’t know if they have a computer or not. Martin asked about the safety and security of the data. John said that is always a concern of companies but he did not think it would be a concern in this (CAPT’s ) case. It was observed that some CAPT members actually prefer a paper copy of the newsletter versus an e-mailed copy. John noted the fact that the server issue he brought up (in his letter to the membership) is now a moot point since all data will still remain with Gene’s system (server).

Update on resolution drive in South Carolina - Jim was asked about the listing of mayors and county council chairs for the purpose of the resolution mailing list. He said that he is still working on it. It was noted that the listing of SC legislators will need to be updated later in January (2013) after the elections take place.

Update on push by Central Midlands Coalition for Columbia-Charlotte high speed network connection - Martin asked about the coalition’s meeting minutes and Jim said that he thought that the minutes on the sponsoring group’s website (Central Midlands COG) may have been taken down. Jim volunteered to check with a contact person at the CMCOG to see if there have been any recent meetings of the coalition and what may have happened to the minutes of the original meeting.

Discussion of ways to distribute the new CAPT brochure - Dan Scallen talked about how the new brochure has been well received at the visitor’s center and chambers of commerce in his area (Brevard). Gene addressed some of the issues related to putting brochures in welcome centers , Amtrak stations, etc. Jim agreed to find out who the contact person may be at the SCDPRT (S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism) in order to secure permission for putting out maps/brochures in SC welcome centers.

Planning for future meetings - At this point, John Bobinyec suggested taking this last item on the agenda out of order and considering it next. All were in favor so there followed a discussion of the location of future CAPT meetings. It was determined that next year’s (2013) schedule will be: February 9 – Charlotte; April 13 – Charleston; June 8 – Selma; August 10 – Aiken; October 12 – Asheville; December 14 – Columbia.

Update on Amtrak - Martin mentioned that there had been ‘slow orders’ issued by Amtrak during periods of flashflood warnings in NC. He noted that one Amtrak train continued to be restricted to 15 mph even after the warnings were lifted. Martin briefly mentioned other new developments with Amtrak around the country and the southeast (particularly in NC and VA). Gene said that the Piedmont continues to break all records. He observed that there probably will not be any more “football trains” simply because these trains are always sold out. Gene told the members that the Piedmont will add a Lexington stop in 2015.

Update on CAPT Newsletter - Ed Locklin asked about mailing labels – do they indicate when a member’s membership is about to expire? Gene said his system is not set up to do this.

Reports from officers and directors - Martin said that there will be a Full-Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) ceremony in Charlotte on October 16 for the extension of the Lynx Blue Line. Martin brought up the issue of contacting the NC and SC governors to find out their positions on passenger rail and transit. He said that he had no time to do this. Gene told the group that Hamlet (NC) Railroad Days will begin October 27 and that Amtrak will be bringing a new Superliner dining car to the event and it is really nice.

Adjourn - 4:47 P.M.