With the autumnal equinox, fall has arrived and summer is being left behind. It must be so, since Bill Jelinek and Judy Cook have returned from their nine-week voyage to the North Channel. The rest of us haven’t spent as much time on the water as Bill and Judy, but I hope you’ve enjoyed the boating season and all of the “happenings” at SSYC.
The volunteers at the club have done a great job putting on events all summer long. The Entertainment Committee worked many hours to make the Corn Roast and Country Western Night a success. The Powerboaters hosted the Big Brothers / Big Sisters. Bruce and Carolyn organized a sailing night for the Ulster Project. The Sail Race Committee and fleet captains have staffed numerous race committees for regattas. I big “thank you” to all of the members who have helped make these and all of our events a success.
As summer has left us, so has one of the sailing icons of Milwaukee. Bacchant has been sold and has left Milwaukee bound for Sweden.
The Audit Committee, under the direction of Jane Durment, worked with an outside accounting firm (Ritz-Holman) to have a review done of the club’s financials. The report was presented to the club’s financial officers in late August and to the Board at its September meeting. Dick Hobbs, Art Mitchel and Rick Shoos worked with Jane on this effort. SSYC passed inspection with, I think, “flying colors”. Each CPA has his/her own way of doing things, and Ritz-Holman is no exception. They asked us to make some adjusting journal entries, to bring our books up to GAAP standards. (Some of these change actually reversed changes requested by the CPAs involved in the prior audit.) Depreciation is now being included in our year-end financial statements, and Ritz-Holman will manage this portion for us. The review did point out a few things that SSYC has been doing incorrectly for many years (more than ten). As with depreciation, accounting standards change over time and we need to keep abreast of these changes. As is always the case with an audit, Ritz-Holman did make a few recommendations for changes in the way we manage our accounts. All of their recommendations have already been implemented. The report is available in the office for anyone who would like to see all of the details.
SSYC is a “do it yourself” kind of club. We have no paid maintenance staff. I know you are all pretty handy. You have to be if you own a boat. So, if you see something that’s broken or not working, don’t ignore it. If it’s major, report it to the office. But if it’s minor, offer to fix it yourself. Several recent examples come to mind. While I was in the office one day, a member reported that a strand on the railing of the deck was loose and had been for six weeks. Well, the nut had fallen off of the end. I found a stainless nut in by bag of parts, and fixed it in a few minutes. Somehow, I think any one of you (not just the Commodore) could have made that repair. In another instance, it was reported that a light had been burned out for two months. Really? Or, if you see a plugged up toilet, don’t just ignore it. (I think we all know how to handle that one!) Remember, we’re all volunteers and in that respect, we’re all equally responsible. So don’t just complain, take the next step and offer to assist in fixing the problem.
We’ll soon be hauling boats and storing them for the winter. Please, please be careful when working in, on and around your boat. I spent my working carreer with AT&T, and the company’s safety motto was: "No job is so important, no service so urgent that we cannot take the time to perform our work safely". Let’s apply that same mentality to our work at the boat yard. Please take just a bit of extra time to tie the ladder to the boat, unplug the power cord, cleanup any spills and wear a life jacket when working on the docks.
My second term as Commodore is drawing to a close. It has been an honor to serve the club in this capacity for the past two years.