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9 January 2020 Meeting Minutes

When: January 9th, 2020

Where: Pot Smoker BBQ, North Augusta

Who: Don Boltz, Mike and Shirley Dyer, Larry and Rita Garner, Dennis and Karol Mason, Hal and Trudy Scott, Bill and Margie Vandermass, Rolf Wilms.

Thanks to Larry Garner for planning this dinner meeting. We all grabbed and ate a tasty dinner before Larry opened the meeting with a discussion about the officers and how he is filling in for Brian who has moved to Oregon. He also said Dennis has volunteered to fill in as Vice President and Karol will continue as Secretary, and Mike will continue as Treasurer. Please volunteer if you are interested in being an officer or leading a drive. Thank you!

We had a long discussion about dues and the need for them. Rolf said he thinks we don’t need dues, asking what we use them for. Larry stated we use them to pay for the website and to send flowers or make donations to members or family of members that have passed away. But Rolf stated there were some folks that were turned off by the decision to charge $5 per person for the Christmas party to cover the cost of cleaning. Clearly there were quite a few people who did not attend. Also, decisions to spend money on specific things that others do not agree with prevent folks who paid dues from having a say on how it is spent – particularly if they are overruled by majority, etc. We tabled the discussion but heard the argument for consideration.

Next we discussed the website and the thought that we will not continue after this year, especially since GoDaddy really messed up our website and could not recover it as they said they would. We discussed that there would not be any cost for a Facebook website and we could make it a closed site that is only available to members via a request to one or more members, and that request is made on the site itself. Obviously current members would all have access. But having a site on Facebook would likely attract new members as well. Hal also established another website at his own expense and if we wanted to we could use that. These discussions provide several options to consider.

Larry sent out an email to try to get everyone’s email correct, he was asking for a response so he knows that is the correct email, but got few responses. He also said that if you wanted a text instead of email if you respond to Larry’s email with a phone number he will promise not to spam you, but will send a text reminder 5 days in advance of any event.

Hal put together a (draft) year-long schedule with some proposed places to go & experience but we are looking for other places, so we can vote, and have a plan long in advance. If you have any ideas for places you’d like to go, please let us know! This will allow everyone to contribute and allow us to have a longer term plan than we have had in the past. Also, Larry discussed picking a few locations for meeting and sticking to those so we have room and don’t need to worry about disturbing the other diners. We will try to find one in each location, Pot Smoker in North Augusta, El Alazon in Martinez, and someplace in Aiken…….more to come……

Last, sending out a reminder that yearly dues are due – $10 per couple. Thank you!

Treasurer’s Report: The balance for November 1st to 31 December started at $903.03, and added $60 in dues and deducted $0, leaving an ending balance is $963.03.

Club Business:
• Please remember to RSVP to our events – it makes it difficult for the planner if we don’t
know how many will show – especially for smaller venues. Your RSVP is greatly appreciated!

• See Dennis Mason for name tags, if you so desire.
• Club merchandise is available: Pins are $3 each; “Support Vehicle” car magnets are $25
per pair, canvas tote/shopping bag $20 each. The 3” window stickers have come in and are available now.
• Coffee mugs and other items are available from http://www.cafepress.com/masters_miata
Communigraphics in North Augusta has our logo, for $8 you can have it embroidered on just about anything.

New Business/Upcoming calendar events:

6 Feb Dinner meeting – El Alazon, Martinez Hal Scott
5 Mar Dinner meeting – TBD
28 Mar There is a Savannah River Bluegrass jam in Leesburg, SC if anyone would like to go 7-10 pm Contact Hal or Trudy
2 Apr Dinner meeting – Pot Smoker, N. Augusta
18-19 Apr Proposed overnight to Charleston, SC.  Visit Patriots Point, City Market, Aquarium etc.  Hotel will run $160-$180

Christmas Gathering

Our thanks to all that attended the Miata club 2019 Christmas gathering; even a few members that we haven’t seen in a while were there.

The venue was perfect, although a bit chilly to begin with, especially the restrooms. The roaring ‘real’ fireplace added a lot to the ambiance and kept some backsides warm until the room temp raised. Thanks to the guys that kept it fed. The food items offered a variety of choices, all seemed to enjoy them, and that salad was the talk of the crowd. That recipe has already been posted on the website. The gifting is always the fun part, some interesting items were exchanged, and I think all went home with something of use. All in good fun.

Although this is not a meeting event, we did discuss several things that face us in 2020: low membership, the high cost of keeping the website and meeting venues. Low membership will be addressed as we have in the past with a drive to encourage new by handing out the ‘cards’ and I’m looking at whatever free advertising I can find – problem with getting too big is meeting venues. That too was discussed, and an idea was presented that I like and will ask for your input. Some other clubs stick to one or a few places a year (three or four), rotating in sequence. That would eliminate the constant asking for suggestions but would keep it realistic for everyone. This would also offer the possibility of better service and a possible discount from the restaurant by knowing when we are coming with more business on usually a slow night. I have at least two places in mind, open to other suggestions.

Night meetings were mentioned. I know I and most of our other members are reluctant to drive at night as much (especially during the colder/darker months), as our eyes age and the increase in traffic that is only getting worse. For now, unless I hear otherwise, let’s keep the Thursday night meetings and visit that topic again down the road. Saturday b’fast’s and drives are the easier part and maybe we can move to holding our meeting then. I know that some still work and their weekends are filled with to-do lists around the house, and that all cannot make every meeting, so we’ll watch and make adjustments as they seem needed.  We have a blank slate for the year, as far as events go; any suggestions are welcomed. I have few ideas and will offer those soon.

We discussed, with the current membership, we can no longer justifiably afford our website. We paid $185 for the year, that’ll end in October, and Go-Daddy let us down by deleting out site and it’s still not right. We either find a better deal (as in lower cost), or as I’ve suggested we create a Facebook page for a while; it’s no cost and can be managed by the officers to keep it clean and modest.  We have had the best Miata Club website of any I’ve seen, and we thank Brian for its creation and the work he’s done; but it’s time to move forward. Maybe the FB page would be found by more looking for a local club. As with this email, we’ll try to keep everyone informed and up to date with events and news. If you are reading this, kindly acknowledge that you received it, to verify your email address. I’ll always use Bcc and promise to not send junk.

I did ask again for club President nominations/suggestions; there were none and I’ve asked several that declined. So, with no objections and if no one steps up, I guess I’ll take it on default.

Dennis Mason will be our VP.

Karol Mason our Secretary, for one more year.

Mike Dyer our Treasurer, for one more year.

Due to the closeness of our next meeting date to the holidays, I’m moving it to the 9th instead of the 2nd. Let’s meet at Pot Smoker BBQ, in North Augusta, actually Belvedere, (which is one of my four meeting places mentioned earlier). They have the room for parking, meeting and are always glad to see us. And besides, I love good bar-b-que.

Breakfast on the 18th to be determined; thoughts are Steak & Shake (Bel Air and I-20), Chick Fil A in North Augusta.

Hope all have a great Christmas and New Year. Stay safe and keep it between the lines.

Larry Garner