Last update 5/21/2019

​​Houston Area G Gaugers

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Notice to Readers of this Website: Opinions ex-pressed in articles on this sit are those of the author indicated, and are not necessarily of the Membership in general.
An Executive Board meeting was held at the home of Craig and Paulette Pecora on December 28th.

Officers in attendance were: Craig Pecora (President), Jim Mitchell (Vice President), Brenda Cauthen (Secretary), and chuck Blumentritt (Newsletter Editor). Charlie Caggiano (Treasurer) could not attend.

Spouses in attendance were: Paulette Pecora and Greg Cauthen.

The agenda and the results of the discussions (in red) are below.  If you have any questions, please contact Craig Pecora.


1. Green Floor Tiles.  We talked about getting (2) more boxes of the green floor tiles to fill the inside of our modular layout when we do the large version of our layout.  Do we still want to do that?  We would need them by the time we do the Texas City show.

Since we would only use the additional floor tiles for the large version of our layout and we can only set up this version at one show (Texas City) and that is only a one day show, it was decided to hold off spending the money for an additional two boxes of the green tiles.  It would cost the club a little over $200.00 for the tiles.  We put this on hold for now.

2. Modular layout maintenance.  Where can we bring the modules to work on them?  We have some connection problems we need to fix.  How can we get that done?

Greg Cauthen said we could bring the modules to his driveway at his new house to work on them if we had to.  We would have to complete the work in one day and then return them to the storage unit because the modules would be outside.  That would of course involve renting a trailer or the truck at live storage to transport the modules.  No other suggestions were offered.

3. Club Tool Box.  We talked about getting a club tool box with the tools we feel we should have at a show.  The tool box would be kept with the modules and brought to each show.  I would like to get that that done before our next show.

A list of tools and supplies we feel we would need is being prepared.  Any ideas or suggestions from the membership is welcome.  When we have the list and the approximate cost completed, it will be presented to the Executive Board for approval.

4. Meeting Quorum.  Right now, the quorum is 15.  We had several meetings this year where we did not have 15 members in attendance.  Should we perhaps lower the amount to 10 or 12?

It was suggested that we lower the Quorum requirement to 10 members.  This would involve a By Laws change.  A membership vote will be taken at the January 2019 meeting if we have the required quorum of 15 members in attendance.

5. Meeting Frequency.  It was suggested by more than one member that we do not have meetings every month.  The suggestions were to have a meeting every other month or to have quarterly meetings.  Should we talk about that?  Do you think we would get better attendance if we spread the meetings out a little?

A suggestion was made to have meetings every other month or to have meetings every quarter.  This would require a By Laws change.  A membership vote will be taken at the January 2019 meeting if we have a quorum.  We will vote on: Keeping the meetings every month, having meetings every other month or having a meeting once per quarter (4 meetings per year),

6. Stipend for pulling the trailer.  The going rate for business travel is $.054 / mile.  Anyone pulling the trailer has the expense of doing so.  Should we come up with an amount to be paid to anyone who pulls the trailer for shows?  Would that help to get volunteers to pull the trailer for us?

It was suggested that we pay any member pulling the trailer an amount of $0.15 per mile to help with the expense of pulling the trailer, i.e. extra gas and tolls.  A membership vote will be taken at the January 2019 meeting for approval.

7. Club owned trailer.  I would like to form a committee to look into the feasibility of HAGG owning its own trailer. 
·       What kind of a trailer would we need?
·       What size trailer would we need?
·       What would be the cost of a trailer?
·       Where could we keep it?
·       What are the state requirements in owning a trailer?
·       What would be the cost difference vs. renting the storage          unit and renting a trailer each time we do a show?
·       Should we pursue this?

We will pursue the feasibility of the club owning a trailer rather than renting one every time we do a show.  The costs associating with renting a storage unit and renting a trailer will be compared to the costs of us owning our own trailer will be studied and a redocumentation will be presented to the membership for their vote.  We welcome any input any member may have.

8. Meeting / Show Attendance.  What can we do to increase the attendance at meetings?  What can we do to increase the attendance at shows and get more people to help with the loading and unloading of the trailer at the storage unit?

The only recommendation was to limit the number of meetings we have each year.

9. Outings and other events.  Does anyone have any other ideas for club outings?  Maybe a club luncheon once in a while, a day trip to a museum or other train related venues, a special event for club members at the museum?

This was brought up a few months ago.  Lisa Rickert knows the area very well and she is going to look into other places we could visit and other things we could do especially in the months that we may not have a meeting to attend or a show to participate in.  If any one has any ideas, please let the officers know.

10. Fund raisers.  Raising money is always a difficult thing for organizations to do but are there any ideas on how we could raise more money for the club?

Most shows do not allow raffles.  No other ideas were presented except to raise the dues if necessary.

11. Continuous Improvement.  General discussion on how we can improve the club and the club layout.

No Discussion.

12. Layout Committee.  I don’t think this will fly but I thought I would bring it up anyway.  The layout committee would be responsible for setting the standards for our layout.  Members would always be welcome to add to the layout by bringing trains to run and a separate power supply to be set up on the inside of the layout, but they would have to follow the standards the committee has set. I know of several clubs the do this to maintain the integrity of their displays.
The club could own a supply of sectional track to be used on the inside of our layout that the members would be welcome to use.  It would make it easier for the members and the club could maintain the track.  All of the track would be the same and club owned.  Rail joiners could be checked before the show and not during a show.  We could also eliminate the rubber bands.  It would make our set ups go even quicker.
The layout committee would also be responsible for the buildings and other scenery we use on the layout. 

The general consensus was that things are OK the way they are.

13. Rosenberg Railroad Museum.  HAGG members do a lot to maintain the garden railroad at the museum.  I believe we approved funds to purchase a cordless string trimmer to keep the weeds looking good.  The amount should be less than $100.00.  Should we go ahead with this?  It would make the job a lot easier.   

The board approved the purchase of a string trimmer to be donated to the Rosenberg Railroad Museum for our use in keeping the outdoor layout looking good.  Paulette Pecora will make the purchase.
Note:  A string trimmer was purchased and will be brought to the museum and kept in tower 17.

                                    Houston Area G Gaugers
                                       January, 13th,  2019
The January business meeting was held on Sunday, January 13th at the home of Terry and Colleen Farghum.

Officers in attendance were: Craig Pecora (President), Jim Mitchell (Vice President), Charlie Caggiano (Treasurer), Brenda Cauthen (Secretary), and Chuck Blumentritt (Newsletter editor).

Members in attendance were: Marty Steed, Greg Cauthen, Otto Halek, Forest Musick, Terry Farghum, Colleen Farguum, John Frank, Carol Blumentritt, Joe Stucka, Ula Stucka, Bill Courtright, Barbera Courtright, Paulette Pecora, George Spencer, Steve Jones and Sharon Jones.

We had a total of 21 members in attendance.

1. Call meeting to order (Craig Pecora)—Meeting called to order 2:25 pm. Thanks to Colleen and Terry for hosting the meeting.
2. Presidents opening remarks (Craig Pecora)
       a. Happy New Year to all!
       b. 2019 is an election year. The club needs to form an election             committee around May. Elections will be held in November.
        c. Board meeting report. Met and talked about a number of                   things. Since we have a quorum today at this meeting we will be         voting on some things which are further down the agenda.  A               copy of the report was sent to all members.

The Petroleum Club (PC) take down went fine. There were seven or so people there to help take it down. The PC replaced the lattice fence with stanchions so that made take down easier. It was suggested that the PC should dispose of the lattice fence and platform. Joe Stuka also suggested we get rid of the stuff we don’t use and consolidate things in the boxes we have. He also suggested we do maintenance outside of the holiday season to get the lights working and get the things we need to put it together properly. It was suggested that this be done the day after set up in 2019 as there is no room to set it up and work on it where it is stored.

HAGG will be participating in The Greater Houston Train Show (  next month (the Stafford Show) on Saturday, February 16th at the Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Road at Murphy Rd. in Stafford. The show hours are 10 am to 4:30 pm. We need assistance getting the modules to and from the show. Jim commented we have to pick a trailer up on Friday and he can’t do it because he has another obligation. He suggests we meet at storage unit at 7 am on Saturday and we should have plenty of time to get it set up. Jim noted we need someone to pick up the trailer—Joe Stucka said he may be able to pick it up and store it at Greg & Brenda’s house in Bellaire. A question raised about renting the van from Life Storage. Jim will call and talk to the Life Storage manager about reserving the van for us to use. Look for an email as we get closer with the details for set up.

The board members discussed forming a committee of people who know about trailers to investigate whether the club should purchase a trailer—what size, pros and cons, etc. If you would like to be on the committee, please let Jim and Craig know.
The 2019 national garden railroad convention is coming up in

Portland, Oregon the last week of August. If you plan to go you should make your reservations soon as things are filling up.  ( Craig asked Chuck to put something in the newsletter so we can know who all is going to go.

3. Vice Presidents remarks (Jim Mitchell) Jim is missing an email and phone number for one of our members—Kristy & Tom Nimon. Let Jim know if you know their address, phone or email—the one he has is no longer working.

4. Treasurers report (Charlie Caggiano) The club had $5,534 in the bank at end of year. Expenses included purchasing a new trimmer to use on the garden railroad at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum. We got the first check from Petroleum Club in December and we just received the second check so will be deposited in January. Charlie noted we will need to figure out what we might owe in taxes and he will look into that. Chuck pointed out that $300 of the $2500 we received from the Petroleum Club is for rental of trains to run on the layout. Chuck requested reimbursement since he provided his trains to run on the PC layout again this year.

5. Secretary’s report (Brenda Cauthen)—nothing to report.

6. Newsletter Editors report (Chuck Blumentritt)—Chuck noted he has sent a newsletter  out via email in December. He has not sent out the paper copy yet but he will this week. He is accepting articles for the next newsletter. He’d like to get one out before the Stafford show. Charlie inquired about billing Mike’s and Papa Ben’s if we are now going to get newsletters out on a regular basis. Craig and Chuck agreed that yes we should bill them. Jim pointed out that Mike’s is going to be changing going forward so we need to make sure we get the proper ad for them.
7. Web Site (Jim Mitchell)—The website is back up to about 72 hits per month. Jim working on registering the url.  Jim has redone the website so it is looking good.

8. Rosenberg Railroad Museum update (Greg Cauthen)—The museum had a great Winterfest yesterday. Thanks to everyone who came to help out. We really had a good turnout of approx. 1400 people. The garden railroad looked great. The next event is RailFest on April 6th. We will probably have a couple of work sessions before RailFest as have some track and ballast work that needs to be done. Thanks to the Thursday workers who keep the garden rr looking so good. Craig mentioned we need more club members out there to enjoy it—"everything ran great on Saturday and it’s a lot of fun”. The next run day is Sunday, January 27th. Craig mentioned that several people asked where the live steam trains were at WinterFest. We will invite them to future events and they are welcome to come to run days with notice so that the red line can be reserved for them.

9. Old Business--nothing

10. New Business
        a. Greater Houston Train Show (February 16, 2019) Stafford                 Centre 
             Jim Mitchell will not be available to pull the trailer.    –see                         comments above.           
        b.  A membership vote will be taken to change the 15                                      members required for a quorum to 10 members. It was                            decided to table this and think about it as there were only                      two meetings last year where we didn’t have 15 members.                    We don’t want the quorum number to be too low.
         c.  A membership vote will be taken to change the frequency of                 our meetings.  Options are: keep meetings every month,                         have meetings every other month or have quarterly                                    meetings. Jim made a motion to have business meetings                          quarterly. There was some concern that this was not                                frequent enough. Marty asked how much business we have                  where there needs to be a meeting. Craig replied that there                  is not very much need for a lot of meetings. Marty then                            seconded Jim’s motion to have a meeting once per quarter.                  Chuck commented that some clubs have one business                              meeting per year and then periodically members have open                  houses (which does not include a meeting). Jim withdrew his               motion and Marty agreed. Joe made a motion to vote on                          whether to have future meetings monthly, every other                            month or every quarter. Chuck suggested if we don’t have a                  majority vote then will have a runoff between top two.

Twenty one people were in attendance at the meeting, so 11 votes are needed for a majority. The results of the vote were as follows:

Monthly—votes 1

Every other month-–votes 13

Quarterly—votes 7

The club will hold meetings every other month. Paulette asked when the change takes effect? Joe and Ula will have the meeting at their house on March 10th. The club will be more flexible with meetings/get togethers.

          d.  A membership vote will be taken to approve a stipend of                        $0.15/mile for the person pulling the trailer for shows and                     other events.    It was clarified that it is $0.15/mile plus tolls.                  Joe made a motion that whoever pulls the trailer be                                  reimbursed at $.15 mile plus tolls. Jim seconded the                                  motion. The vote was taken all approved except for one                          member.  
                e. Future meetings (Craig Pecora)
               1. February meeting (Joe and Ula Stucka), Richmond, TX.                             Changed to March.  See discussion above. The February                          get together will be at the Stafford train show.
               2.  March meeting  (Joe & Ula Stucka)
               3.  May meeting (need location)

f. an additional item discussed at the meeting included the need for a club tool box. At Tomball it took longer to find a tool than to make the repair. It was suggested that it include just the tools required to put together and maintain the HAGG modules at shows. Charlie donated a tool box. Jim would like to put a list out to the club where everyone can look at the list to see if there are other things that members would like to donate. Craig said the list will be sent out.

11.  Adjourn business portion of meeting (Craig Pecora) Meeting adjourned at 3:40 pm. Joe made a motion to adjorn the meeting Greg seconded.

12.  Socialize
Minutes submitted by Brenda Cauthen  (Secretay)

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