President Bill opened the meeting with 12 members and two guests present.   Joe P. offered his usual “amazing” grace.

Tony Campos quickly made up for his recent absence by proposing a fine of 1+9 on Karl for what Tony characterized as a poor rendition of “I’m Henry the VIII” for our guest speaker who was dining next to Karl, who had no defense.   President Bill did note however, that our club survey of two years ago indicated several members thought we should sing more at our meetings, and ruled in favor of Karl on the proposed fine.

Not to be outdone, Tony again rose to propose a fine of 1+9 on our president, with Tony claiming the previous ruling was not supported by the facts.   Past President Jim, wielding the gavel, agreed with P.B. that it was out of order to propose a fine on the possessor of the gavel for using his judgment in passing or rejecting fines.   Tony’s bogus attempt to exact retribution on our leader was soundly defeated.

Sue introduced our guest from the Rutland Rotary, CEO of the Times-Argus Catherine Nelson (mother of our newest member Zach).   President Bill also announced to the club that there will not be a change-over dinner this year, as there is no change-over to be had, with no incoming president.  Instead we’ll have a “year-end recognition lunch” on June 25th.   It was suggested that we might look into holding our annual cookout at Karl’s house on that date in lieu of our usual August cookout.   Karl was in agreement with that and more discussion will be held in the weeks ahead to determine how we will wind up the current Rotary year.

Sue proposed a fine of 1 ½ on Tony for moving most (but not all) of the tables before lunch, thus leaving the table occupied by Tony and Joe “askew”.   She also complained that Tony had usurped her responsibility of serving the cookies to all the members.    Tony, correctly noting that President Bill had suggested he distribute the cookies (since Tony was already at the cookie plate) escaped having to pay the quarter.   Karl then proposed 1+9 on Sue because she didn’t make sure Tony served everyone a cookie, since he didn’t get one.  That fine actually passed.

Jack offered two happy dollars, one for hearing his grand-daughter perform at a Cape Cod Theater production and a second for spending Patriot’s Day handing out towels, orange slices and water to runners in the Boston Marathon.

Karl introduced our speaker, Taylor Ralph, solar community organizer for SunCommon in Waterbury.  Taylor pointed out her job is to promote solar energy and help Vermonters to produce their own energy.  The goal of SunCommon is to help people access clean, renewable energy.  As a result, the organization has arranged financing with several banks and credit unions so residents can go solar with no upfront cost.   SunCommon also makes it easy to go solar by handling all of the logistics of converting to solar energy, to include getting permits.

“My job is to meet with people, help fund-raise and engage and galvanize communities to show how easy it is to go solar” she said.  

SunCommon will meet with interested residents to do an assessment of their property, something Karl is in the middle of doing for his own home.   Taylor said they can come up with a proposal  and have the entire process completed from start to finish in 2-3 weeks.

She said the cost for solar installations varies as to size of the residence as well as what the customer needs are, but in general they range from $13,000-$23,000.   There are also federal incentives available to lower the cost as well as incentives from the utility companies.   Financing packages ranging from 12 to 20 years are available.

Anyone seeking more information can contact Taylor at SunCommon (802-882-8181 or visit their web site at

Taylor pulled the winning raffle ticket and oddly enough no one came forward to claim the prize.

Next week’s speaker is Denise McBride of DLM Accounting Services.