Sunshine Weekly Weeder Newsletter
11 May 2017
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All Gardeners Meeting
Saturday, May 20th - 10:00 am
- Election of new officers - names below.
- Rate Increase discussion and member ratification vote - information below.
- 1 new Site Rule and 1 Site Rule Amendment for member ratification vote - listed below.
Nominees for new officers:
- Marilyn Landberg - bio
- Carol Limaye - bio (seeking a 2nd term)
If you are unable to attend the meeting you will be receive an email for absentee voting. If your email address has changed please fill out this form on the SCG web site.
I am running for president because I want to promote a positive outlook for our community garden. Our garden is truly a unique place and I believe it can benefit from new perspectives. My vision for the garden is a place where gardeners consider other gardeners to be friends, and the garden itself as a place for friends and family to gather. I will create an increase in communication between the administration and gardeners, an increase in social events that promote a stronger sense of community, and more collaboration with other non-profits in the area. I would like to create an environment that promotes the sharing of ideas by respecting the opinions of everyone and by seeking solutions and opportunities instead of problems and setbacks. After all, we are a community first, we just happen to be connected by a passion for gardening. This community needs a strong leader who will work hard to create an environment that is open to change and progress.
I have spent the last three years serving as an assistant manager at Central Market. At this position, I am responsible for overseeing over sixty employees. In this position, I commonly resolve conflicts with customers and employees, interview new candidates, train new employees, maintain relationships with vendors, and most recently, ensure compliance with new legislation regarding nutritional labeling. I have a seat on the recycling team and the safety team and pride myself with my ability to bring multiple departments together to achieve goals. I have received the Bob Brandt Customer Service Award and the Spirit of HEB awards while in this position. Previously, I have helped expand the City of Loveland's recycling program, receiving two employee recognition awards along the way. I have managed a local bookstore in Loveland called CityNews, and have also led restoration projects with Wildland Restoration Volunteers. Additionally, I have helped established a GATE program at Skyview Elementary School, and will be leaving my position at Central Market to begin teaching middle school science in AISD starting in August.
My gardening experience began by digging potatoes in the hot summer sun of Louisiana when I was no more than 6. I spent every summer of my childhood with my grandparents and that is where I learned about the satisfaction and pride of growing your own food. While in Colorado, my wife and I enjoyed gardening in the much too short growing season each year. We were fortunate enough to have a large house and dedicated as much space as we could to our garden, while also providing a large grazing space for our adorable flock of chickens. When we moved to Austin so that Shannon could pursue a PhD in molecular biology we knew that we would be living in an apartment and were pleased to find that Sunshine Community Gardens was within walking distance to our new home. That was over three years ago, and since then we have enjoyed gardening at Sunshine and meeting all the wonderful people who make this garden a community and a welcome respite from the urban lifestyle.
I started gardening as a teenager in the unbelievably dense clay soil of my Corpus Christi backyard. As an adult in Austin, I was a balcony gardener for years until I joined Sunshine Community Gardens in 2004. I am a botanist by training and degrees and earned a PhD in Botany at UT. I have been at Sunshine for 13 years. I became plot coordinator in 2009. I served as a director on the Board from 2010-2014. I wish to continue serving the garden as president. During my time at Sunshine, I have met many wonderful people. I love our community and plan on continuing to serve it, regardless of the outcome of this election.
I have 20 years of experience teaching at UT during which I have managed several teaching assistants (TAs) per year. My managerial style is to make the process a collaboration in which everyone's opinions and views are valued. I aim for consensus among myself and my TAs, but realize that the ultimate responsibility for any decision made is mine.
I'm running for the office of president because I want to use my leadership skills and experience in our garden's management where they would provide the most benefit to Sunshine. I want to fulfill our function as a nonprofit while also ensuring that we remain an affordable place for people to garden and grow their own food. I want to increase participation in our garden community, especially among our newer members. I also want to make sure that the garden remains a happy space for all of us to escape our everyday stresses. Finally, I want to make sure that everyone's views are given fair consideration.
I am shared plot gardener with Marie Taylor in Zone 6. I have been a member of SCG since 2012 when I retired. I moved from the Chicago area to Austin in 1974. Both my mom and grandmother were life-long gardeners whose Chicago suburban backyards were planted with vegetables and flowers for 60+ years each. Therefore, my entire childhood was spent helping out in the garden and eating the best of healthy foods. My mother passed away last fall; her last healthy day was spent at the Garden watching me weed and harvest, and expressing amazement at my enormous eggplant. I now have the time to devote to helping out in any way that I can as vice-president, and my mom would be glad that I am using my time in such a productive way. I will be taking a 2-day class next week at the Sustainable Food Center called "Community Garden Leadership Training". Additionally, I am looking forward to working with all the experienced, intelligent Garden members and the previous/current board members and officers to learn everything I can to become an asset and a part of SCG's ongoing and future successes.
I became involved in the financial management of Sunshine Community Gardens in 2008, when I was assistant to a former Treasurer, Jesse South. Our sponsoring organization was ending its administrative support to nonprofits, and SCG had to do two things: 1) Set up its own bank accounts and accounting system and 2) obtain tax exempt status. Jesse set up the bank accounts and I set up the accounting system in QuickBooks. We then filed the necessary papers with the Texas Secretary of State and the IRS to get recognition as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Because of the outstanding efforts of many gardeners, past and present, SCG is financially strong as a stand-alone tax-exempt corporation. My priority as treasurer is to maintain this status. Our financial strength allows us to give generously to TSBVI and to help other community gardens tap into local and national resources.
I am a CPA and retired State employee currently working at Veterans Affairs. In order to provide transparency, I have prepared regular financial reports for the Board and have had them posted on the web. The bylaws require the Treasurer to prepare an annual budget for approval by the Board, and I have done that each year with the budget-to-actual results also posted on the web. Any input from the gardeners is welcome. I really love the fact that Sunshine Community Gardens exists, as all of you do. The important thing is to keep it going.
The board discussed the fee increase at several meetings and Carol Limaye, as treasurer, prepared several scenarios of Sunshine's projected financial situation. Based on a review of these scenarios and its discussions, the board decided the proposed fee increase was the best business decision. Some may ask why an increase now? As one of the board members commented: "The time for a fee increase is when times are good not after there is a crisis." The board believes the fee increase would help secure the finances of our organization so we can continue to operate and make improvements regardless of the outcome of plant sales or major disasters.
In accordance with the process for implementing fee increases, the board has amended the site rules to reflect its recommendation and members will be asked to ratify the amendment at the May 20th A ll-Gardeners meeting. If members ratify the amendment, the fee increase will be implemented. If they do not, the amendment will be considered repealed and no fee increase will be implemented.
The board urges members to ratify the increase at the All Gardeners meeting. However, if you have any questions or wish to see the supporting analysis, please contact Carol Limaye at (512) 445-6670.
|*Effective August 1, 2017:||*Effective August 1, 2019:|
|Quarter Plots:||$35 (no change)||$37.50 ($2.50 increase)|
|Half Plots:||$50 ($5.00 increase)||$55.00 ($5.00 increase)|
|Full Plots:||$100 ($10.00 increase)||$110.00 ($10.00 increase)|
*Rate changes will be applied to new gardeners joining after the effective date. Current gardeners will not pay the increased rate until their annual renewal in February. The board is agreeable to changing the effective date to February 2018 if that is the membership's preference.
Opinion on rate increase from Charlotte Jernigan
While I have a mixed reaction to the proposed raise of our plot fees, I am committed to look at the numbers and give it some thought. It has been quite a few years since our last plot fee raise and if the financial health considerations bear out the need, I will vote in favor of one or both raises as long as we can work out better start dates during the ratification process at the All Garden Meeting on 5/20/2017.
I have had email exchanges with SCG Board members because I strongly questioned the use of the two August start dates, which I find unusual given that annual billings are in February. Jeff Monks has clarified that the August 2017 fee increases will only apply to new members. Existing member fee increases will first be in effect for our February 2018 annual billing. I believe their reasoning was to start bringing in some extra revenue ASAP via new members even though the majority of us are not affected until February 2018.
The second raise and the second date are the ones that I have the most concern about. I question voting in an automatic increase on behalf of future members but I am most bothered by the August 2019 start date. I do not believe we should set a precedent of mid-year rate hikes just because there is perceived urgency in 2017. I would at least like to see a modification of that second date prior to the ratification vote so that we stay aligned with the billing year.
There are four options for the second rate hike and our treasurer, Carol Limaye, has agreed to speak about the financial impact of each of these at the meeting:
- leave second rate-hike date as proposed for Aug 1, 2019 (presumed to apply only to new gardeners)
- move that date forward to align with February 1, 2019 (only one year after the first rate-hike)
- move that date out to align with February 1, 2020 (assumed to be when an "August 2019 mid-year raise" would hit all members anyway)
- drop second rate-hike all together and leave future raises up to the future members who will be affected by it
I look forward to discussing this will all fellow members during the meeting.
Rule 1.A.3 - WITHDRAWAL Amendment
Clarifying amendment to explicitly reflect in site rules how current language is interpreted by board.
Current Rule Language
If a member voluntarily withdraws from the garden and wishes a return of the clean-up fee, a Withdrawal Form must be completed and submitted to a Board member, and the plot must be cleared and left in good condition for reassignment. These conditions must be met within the term of the member's contract. Refunds of the plot fee shall be made in accordance with the following schedule and are not contingent on clearing the plot:
75% if gardener withdraws from garden before May 1 (3 months);
50% if before Aug 1 (6 months); and
25% if before Nov 1 (9 months).
If a member voluntarily withdraws from the garden, fees are refundable as follows. The member must provide a current mailing address in the Withdrawal Form or other written notice of withdrawal.
- Tool Co-op Fee: Refundable to new members who withdraw within 30 days.
- Plot Clean-up Fee: Refundable: Refundable if member submits a Withdrawal Form and the plot is cleared and left in good condition for reassignment. These conditions must be met within the term of the member's contract.
- Plot Fee: Refundable in accordance with the following schedule to
members who pay on an annual basis and not contingent on clearing the plot:
75% if gardener withdraws from garden before May 1 (3 months);
50% if before Aug 1 (6 months); and
25% if before Nov 1 (9 months)
New Rule - WAIVERS
This amendment reflects current board practice. Including in site rules will ensure that all gardeners are informed about this practice and provide guidance to the board in granting waivers.
To avoid a significant hardship for an individual gardener, the board, by a two-thirds vote, may waive a site rule provision. The board may condition the waiver on the gardener's agreement to fulfill certain obligations. In granting a waiver, the board should consider, at a minimum, the extent of the hardship to the gardener, fairness to other gardeners, financial impact on Sunshine, alternate ways for the gardener to satisfy provision being waived, and Sunshine's purpose as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
If you would like to be on the nominating committee for the next set of elections please contact Ila at Ila.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominating Committee Description
The Membership of the Initiative shall elect the Nominating Committee at the Annual Meeting of the Initiative for a one-year term. The Nominating Committee shall develop a slate of candidates for the Officer and Director positions whenever there is an election. Any nominee must have agreed in writing to uphold the position as stated in the Bylaws or as amended by the Membership. A member of the Nominating Committee may serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms.
American Community Gardening Association 2017 Conference
If you are interested in attending the 2017 ACGA conference representing SCG on July 27th - 30th in Hartford Connecticut please contact Randy at email@example.com. The garden will cover the cost of airfare, hotel and most meals.
Volunteers Needed - Porch Repairs
We are looking are volunteers with construction experience to assist with repairs to the trailer porch. If you are interested please contact Jeff Monks at firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to our new members and hello to everyone else. We hope you feel welcome and feel the pride that members with longer tenures have in Sunshine. We are one of the largest community gardens in the United States. We are also our own non-profit. Run totally by volunteers. And we are all one of those. To make our garden a safer and more efficient place please consider the following to which we have all agreed:
3 actually means that the speed limit is 3. This reduced speed is part of our agreement with TSBVI. It's not optional.
The dumpster is not for anything from outside Sunshine. Not even a little. No home garbage.
No building materials from your home or business projects. No yard waste from your yard.
Only Sunshine trash.
Absolutely NO khaki weed. It is starting to grow and will soon cover a lot of our common areas.
It is very difficult to control and we need to work together to keep it out of our plots.
If you are not sure what it looks like, please ask. It forms nasty burrs that will puncture a bicycle tire.
Please read the signs and follow their directions.
Different materials decompose at different rates.
Please add only what will decompose in our operation. That means
- no plastic
- no rocks
- no row cover/weed control fabric
- no inorganic material of any kind
- no wood
- no tree saplings
- no branches
- no bamboo
While some of that will decompose, it takes too long for our operation. Put it in the dumpster.
Whole plants take much longer to break down than pieces. Use the loppers and cut into smaller pieces.
Return all tools/wheelbarrows/screens to the tool shed.
Please leave the trash buckets in the compost area.
Put trash in the trash buckets.
Put material that has not fully decomposed into the large pile next to the eastern fence.
Put rocks in the ruts in the roads or in the trash buckets, never in the grass. Mowers do not like rocks.
Do not create debris piles around the harvest pile. If it is not yet decomposed but will, it goes in the large pile by the fence.
Please remember that compost is a common resource and share accordingly. Thank you
Officer and Zone Coordinator Contacts - Sunshine Gardens
- President - Jeff Monks email@example.com
- Vice President - Jim Willmann firstname.lastname@example.org
- Secretary - Polly Porter email@example.com
- Treasurer - Caroline Limaye firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director - Bill Cason email@example.com
- Director - Lori Dobbin firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director - Randy Thompson email@example.com
Email the board.
- Zone 1, Martin Morales firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 2, Katy Davis email@example.com
- Zone 3, Ludmila Voskov firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 4, Ila Falvey email@example.com
- Zone 5, Mary Gifford firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 6, Charlotte Jernigan email@example.com
- Zone 7, Maria and Philip Wiley firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- Zone 8, Shannon Posern firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 9, Kerry Howell email@example.com
- Zone 10, Christopher Schroder
Karl Arcuri firstname.lastname@example.org
- Weekly Weeder Newsletter - Polly Porter email@example.com
- Plant Sale - Randy Thompson & Janet Adams jartdaht@gmailcom
- TSBVI Liaison & Volunteer Coordinator - Janet Adams jartdaht@gmailcom
- Plot Assignment - Kay McMurry firstname.lastname@example.org
- Compost Coordinator - Janet Adams email@example.com
- Education Committee - Shannon Posern firstname.lastname@example.org
- Carpentry & Repairs - Robert Jarry email@example.com
- Water Leak Repairs - Steve Schulz firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tools & Wheelbarrows - Bob Easter email@example.com
- Kitchen Supplies - Anita Keese
(If supplies are needed for events, contact by email or at 512-773-2178)
- Compost Tea - Jennifer Woertz firstname.lastname@example.org
- Micah 6 - Dana Kuykendall email@example.com
- Micah 6 - Mary Gifford firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website Coordinator - Sharon Rempert email@example.com
Record Service Hours Online - Green Binder