Minutes for Board meeting
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 6PM, Michael Hall's house
Present: Ila Falvey, Janet Adams, Jack Reynolds, Michael Hall, Kay McMurry, Mary Gifford, Carol Limaye, Beth Schlecter, Cheryl Hazeltine, Teresa Chatkoff
Called to order
- Postpone acceptance of minutes from last meeting, not available.
- Berk will be resigning the Secretary position.
- Emily (and Del) Tisinger resigned Board position and no longer member of Sunshine.
- PayPal/Membership renewal status: Jack Reynolds has not counted those who paid on PayPal yet but now knows how to use it. It is working for those members who have tried it out. Complaints have been minimal about billing. Discussion on charging those who use PayPal as opposed to paying by check or cash. Board decided not to charge members for that convenience. Update on who has not paid renewal of membership fees. Ila will notify those people and give Feb 16 as the deadline and let them know that their membership can be terminated.
- Audit committee report: Audit committee members all present. Carol Limaye presented recommendations. Asked Board to formulate response to recommendations by March 30 to complete the audit. Will then make the Report part of the minutes.
- New waterline: Service to 10X10 plots located on north side of garden. Scheduled to be done Feb 15 by Steve Schultz with help from other members and volunteers. Renting trencher. Water will be off for a few hours that day.
- Compost area: Davey Tree delivering bark chips and others bringing leaves. Information added to the website.
- Pea gravel: Donated. Jay Willmann has been spreading it with the tractor.
- Plant Sale update: Michael Hall reports that all is on schedule. Volunteers are signing up in the notebook in the trailer. Gabriel Valley reports that plants are smaller this year due to weather. Discussion about what to do with leftover plants in order to avoid the past practice of using the honor system to sell the remainders. No decision made, several options discussed.
- Purple Martin house update: Mark Wilson trying to get in touch with Purple Martin Propagators to proceed with erecting poles and houses. Janet Adams asked that she be notified due to concern with creating unwanted shade in plots.
- Site Rules and Bylaw Revision committee report:
- Bylaw amendments presented to the Board by Mary Gifford, chair of the committee. See Attachment 1 for summary of amendments. Board voted to adopt Bylaw amendments. Meeting scheduled for March 23 at 3 PM to be followed by a talk by Wizzie Brown regarding Fire Ants. Will announce in Weeder and on website. There will need to be a quorum present and 2/3rds of that quorum has to agree to accept the amendments. PS: Board decided via email that meeting will be April 12 with announcement of meeting on website and in Weeder, March 5.
- Revised Site Rules discussed and adopted. See Attachment 2 of draft letter to members to present changes to Site Rules. Meetings to discuss and explain those changes will be scheduled for all members. Present at those meetings will be members of the committee and Board members if available. Vote to adopt the changes by the general membership to take place in May at the annual membership meeting. Committee will schedule those meetings to maximize exposure of the changes to the membership.
- Liaison between Zone Coordinators: Will now be Vice president as stated in the amendments to the Bylaws adopted at this meeting.
- Secretary position: Board voted to have Vice President serve remainder of term as stated in the Bylaws. Secretary's position will be one of those filled in May with annual meeting.
- Volunteer group from Americorps: Has not been able to show for workdays but Janet will keep trying to get them to the garden to help.
- Forum on the website: Sharon working on offering members and visitors chance to share information on website via Forums.
- "I live here, I give here" Membership in organization discussed and Board decided
to wait to decide whether to join or not. There is a fee and some more research needed
to make decision. General feeling on Board that we need more public relation work done
all year, not just at plant sale time.
PS Board decided via email after the meeting to pursue membership with deadline being Feb 20. Ila and Sharon spent time gathering information needed and completed application online. Fee $100/year for 3 years. This is an effort to increase our presence in the non-profit community.
Adjourned at 8:48pm.
Summary of the Changes in the Bylaws
Article 3-1: We added a requirement that members be of legal voting age.
Article 3-6: We added a stipulation that the Board shall call for and consider agenda items from members prior to the annual meeting.
Article 4-4-b: We added the following to the duties of the Vice-President:
- The Vice-President shall coordinate the work of the Zone Coordinators, which includes their training. The Vice-President shall support the process of Plot Compliance/Non-compliance as stated in the Site Rules, which may result in notifying a member of Termination of Membership.
Article 4-5: We added three subheadings dealing with nominations and voting:
- The Nominations Committee will present the slate of candidates not less than seven days prior to the Annual Meeting.
- Nominations may be accepted from the floor at the annual meeting.
- Voting shall take place at the Annual Meeting and continue for five-5 days. Absentee voting shall be accepted for the following five days. Article 4-7: We changed who gets elected during a given year. Three officers, President, Vice-President, and Treasurer will be elected on odd-numbered years, and the Secretary and three Directors will be elected on even-numbered years. This changes provides for more continuity of leadership by not losing all four main officers in a single year.
Article 4-12: We moved the "Duties of Directors" here from Article 5-7 since it deals with the directors (Article 4) and not the Board meetings (Article 5). A provision was added to allow for the removal of an officer failing to comply with his/her duties by a two-thirds vote of the Board.
Article 4-13: We provided for the recall of an officer/director of the Board. A recall can be initiated by a petition signed by 10% of the members. The Nominating Committee then notifies the officer/director. A meeting with a quorum of 50% of the membership votes on the recall. Two-thirds of the members present must vote for the recall for it to take effect.
Article 5-1: We added the requirement of one week's notice of time and place of meeting and state that Board meetings are open to the membership.
Article 6-1: We eliminated the membership committee requirement.
Article 6-1-a: We added the requirement that members of the nominating committee serve one-year terms and may only serve two consecutive terms. Nominees for any office must agree in writing to uphold the position as stated in the Bylaws or amended by the membership.
Article 6-3: We eliminated reference to the membership committee since no one could figure out what its purpose should be and the Board can create committees as needed.
The committee to revise the site rules and bylaws of Sunshine Community Garden and the Community Garden Initiative of Central Texas met over a period of several months and has produced two documents that will be presented to the membership to be voted upon. Following is a summary of the changes to to the Site Rules and some of our reasoning behind these changes. Generally the revisions were to clarify our roles on this property so generously offered to us by TSBVI. We are allowed to garden here now but must keep in mind that we need to remain the best of neighbors to the school and the most desired of options available for the use of this land.
The committee and members of the Board will be holding meetings in order for members to ask questions. The meetings will be announced in the Weeder and will be held at the Garden. We want to offer a variety of methods for members to voice their concerns and for the committee to clarify the changes if necessary.
Bylaw and Site Rules changes can only be adopted after a vote of the entire membership. The Board of Directors voted to adopt these revisions to the Site Rules but these changes need to be ratified to remain in effect.
When these changes are presented to the members, there will be a series of points on which to vote yes or no.
The site rules were rearranged but cover the same topics. The first revision was the description of our garden as being obligated to TSBVI, to abide by their rules and to be mindful of our neighbors, our fellow gardeners.
Two other changes to make the documents more uniform were to always refer to us as members rather than gardeners. Also, when the phrase "forfeiture of the plot" was used, we changed it to read "termination of membership." These are not changes in meaning but rather clarifications and some uniformity.
In the body of the Site Rules, you will find some items starred. At the end of the document, it is noted that those items are mandated by our agreement with TSBVI. Those starred items will not be considered in the voting process but will become part of the Site Rules independent of the outcome on the other issues.
The following are presented to be voted upon:
- Maximum to be assigned: 400 square feet. We follow that now since we always have so many on the waiting list. This is to make it official.
- Quarter plot fees: Year long renewal fee decreased to $35 from $40. This reflects the year renewal fee already offered to those members with half or full plots.
- Service hour requirement: The change is to increase the number of hours and also to count maintenance of the common area as counting toward the required service hours. Members assigned a full plot would have their requirements increased to 8 hours per season, half plot and quarter plot increased to 4 hours per season. These two points are linked and the membership will be able to vote yes or no on these changes.
- TSBVI service hour requirement: Change to work the one hour/plot or be charged $50 for that hour. Presently, the Site Rules state that this hour is not optional but must be served. This change is a way to encourage each member to do their hour dedicated to TSBVI but if there is some reason it cannot be done, the member will be charged this additional fee instead of having their membership terminated.
- Plot compliance: Added to the definition that a member is responsible for maintaining two feet beyond the member's plot as part of staying in compliance. This keeps the immediate area around each of our plots under our control but also mandates that we keep it trimmed, free of obstacles and debris.
- Procedure when a plot is out of compliance: Changes were made to simplify and clarify
the process. The President will send an email, a letter and a certified letter all on
the same day to the member assigned the non-compliant plot. That notification will
explain that the member has 21 days to bring the plot into compliance or have their
membership terminated. This eliminates a second letter notifying the member of the
termination and also eliminates an additional 10 days before the plot can be reassigned.
We have a long waiting list and the additional 10 days can now be time that the plot
Please understand that this process will only start after the member has been contacted about the condition of the assigned plot. A member will not be surprised if he/she receives this email/letter/certified letter.
- Rules: Again, we will not be voting on the starred items. Changes include the addition
of e-cigarettes to the prohibited items. Number 4 under Rules is from the agreement with
TSBVI. It is there to make it mandatory that our garden is not used for storage but
rather a garden.
Number 9 deals with watering. Unattended watering will still be allowed if the member is using soaker hoses left at low pressure for up to 3 hours at a time. Neither water sprinklers nor water timers will be allowed. Water sprinklers allow for more evaporation than other methods of watering.
This item will be up for a vote before the Board and Membership.
- Common Areas: We redefined the common area. If the vote passes to "increase the service hours/count work in the common area as service hours" then this new definition will go into effect as well. The common areas are anything not assigned to a member. That includes the buildings and the flower gardens we all enjoy to name just two.
Those are the major changes and the ones we are to vote to accept or not. We apologize for the length of this letter but it is important that you know the committee worked long and hard to make some changes that would benefit all at the garden. Please join us at the meetings to discuss the changes before the vote. They will be well advertised.
Bylaws and Site Rules Revisions Committee.