Article I – Name
The name of this organization shall be the “Putney Community Garden” (“PCG”).
Article II – Purpose
The Putney Community Garden shall be dedicated to establishing, supporting, and operating a community garden for the people who live or work in the greater Putney area zip code of 05346. The PCG supports the growing of ornamental, edible, and medicinal plants. The PCG provides a space to garden, builds community, and strives to improve the quality of life in the Putney area.
Article III – Membership and Fees
A. Membership as a primary plot holder shall be available to any individual at least 18 years old.
C. An annual PCG membership shall run from March 1st through the last day in February. New members may join at any time during the year should a plot become available.
D. Plot fees shall be set annually. Returning and new members must sign the PCG agreement and submit full payment for each plot by April 15th of each year. If payment is not received by April 15th then the membership may be forfeited and the member shall lose all garden privileges. The member’s plot(s) will be then be reassigned.
E. An individual plot may be shared between one primary plot holder and secondary plot holders from the same or different households. The secondary plot holder(s) must agree to follow these PCG By-laws, annual membership agreement, garden policies, and guidelines. Only the primary plot holder has the right to cast votes and shall have one vote for any business before the garden membership, regardless of the number of plots held. If, for unforeseen circumstances, a primary plot holder is unable to continue participation in the community garden, the plot will be reassigned to an associated secondary plot holder or a new member.
Article IV – Governing Committee and Elections
A. The Governing Committee shall consist of a minimum of five or a maximum of seven members of the PCG. The total number of members must be an odd number.
B. The Governing Committee shall include the following positions: Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, 2 Garden Coordinators, and may include 2 At-large members. The Governing Committee shall be elected annually at the annual membership meeting to be held in January. Governing Committee terms are as follow:
Committee Chair, 1-year term
Secretary, 1-year term
Treasurer, 1-year term
Coordinator I, 1-year term
Coordinator II, 1-year term
At-large Member I, 1-year term
At-large Member II, 1-year term
C. The Governing Committee shall be authorized to make decisions on behalf of the PCG. At a minimum, the Governing Committee shall set and collect annual fees, identify and implement a list of duties of the Governing Committee, oversee the operation and maintenance of the garden area, and be responsible for developing and implementing the PCG By-laws, annual membership agreement, garden policies, and guidelines. Any changes to the annual membership agreement, proposed by the governing committee, must be approved by the garden membership at the annual meeting.
D. Nominations: Members may nominate themselves or any member of the PCG for a position on the Governing Committee. Any garden member may run for and serve on only one seat of the Governing Committee. Nominations must be submitted to the Secretary at least four (4) weeks prior to the annual meeting. Should a Governing Committee seat become vacant mid-term, it shall be filled for the remainder of the term by a vote of the garden membership within thirty days of the vacancy.
E. Elections: Governing Committee is elected at the annual membership meeting. Other elections will be held as needed. The Governing Committee shall appoint two election officials to oversee elections. Election officials may not be on the ballot in the current election. Election officials are responsible for: receiving proxy ballots, counting ballots at the annual meeting, and announcing election results.
F. Voting: Each primary plot holder shall cast one vote for each position on the Governing Committee and one vote for any garden membership decision. Members may vote by proxy. All proxy votes must be submitted by the voter to an election official no later than midnight of the day preceding the election.
G. Responsibilities of the Governing Committee Members
1. Chair: The Chair shall convene meetings, set agendas, facilitate meetings using generally accepted meeting practices, and serve as the liaison with the property owners. Other duties will be performed as necessary.
2. Secretary: The Secretary shall distribute meeting announcements and agendas, keep a record of meeting minutes, and distribute them to all members within ten (10) days after each meeting. The secretary shall also organize election ballots and coordinate with election officials. Other duties will be performed as necessary.
3. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection, safekeeping, and distribution of all monies of the PCG. The Treasurer shall maintain all financial accounts and records and shall prepare regular financial reports for the full membership. All expenses over $100 shall be pre-approved by the Governing Committee. Other duties will be performed as necessary.
4. Garden Coordinators: Two Garden Coordinators shall be the point of contact for members; and perform other tasks that may be necessary for the smooth day-to-day maintenance and operation of the garden area. Other duties will be performed as necessary.
5. At-Large Members: In the event that there are seven members of the Governing Committee, two members will be considered “at-large.” The Governing Committee shall determine the duties of the at-large members.
H. The Governing Committee may establish and abolish standing and special committees.
I. Removal of a Governing Committee Member: A member of the Governing Committee may, under certain circumstances, be removed from office by a majority vote of the garden membership. Differences of opinion are expected and shall be respected and therefore do not, of themselves, constitute grounds for removal. If a committee member fails to meet the requirements of the position, demonstrates a pattern of disruptive behavior, or is charged with illegal or unethical conduct, any primary plot holder may request a discussion on the matter and a vote for removal may follow. A decision to remove a member of the Governing Committee requires a simple majority affirmative vote of the garden membership.
Article V – Meetings
A. The Governing Committee shall meet a minimum of three times per calendar year: once pre-season, once mid-season, and once post-season. The Governing Committee may hold additional meetings, as needed. The Governing Committee may meet in an executive session.
B. The date, time, location, and agenda of all Governing Committee meetings shall be announced to the garden membership with a minimum of two weeks’ notice. The Governing Committee meetings shall be open to all members of the PCG, but only Governing Committee members are entitled to vote.
C. For Governing Committee meetings, a quorum must be present at all meetings where official decisions are made. For a Governing Committee of five members, a quorum is 3 members. For a Governing Committee of seven, a quorum is 4 members.
D. The Governing Committee shall call an annual membership meeting in January to elect a new governing committee and conduct any necessary garden business. Proposed changes to existing policies and/or the annual membership agreement and guidelines shall be distributed with the agenda to all members at that time. The date, time, and location of any membership meeting shall be announced by the Governing Committee with a minimum of three (3) weeks’ notice to the garden membership. The Governing Committee may call other membership meetings as necessary.
E. Official decisions of the garden membership shall be made by a simple majority of those voting including proxy votes, except for those votes taken under Article VI.
Article VI – Amendments
These By-Laws of the Putney Community Garden may be amended at any meeting of the garden membership when approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the garden membership. Prior to the vote, notice of the proposed changes, along with a copy of the proposed changes, shall be sent to the members. This must be done a minimum of three (3) weeks before the date on which the vote is taken. Members may vote by proxy.
Article VII – Dissolution
A. If dissolution of the Putney Community Garden is necessary, it must be approved at a garden membership meeting. Members may vote by proxy.
B. Upon dissolution of the Putney Community Garden all debts shall be paid from remaining assets. Any assets remaining after such debts are paid shall be distributed among all primary plot holders, unless otherwise voted by the garden membership. Members may vote by proxy.