As stated in the Putney Community Garden Bylaws, the Governing Committee holds open meetings throughout the year to conduct garden business and ensure the garden’s smooth operation. Each year in January an Annual Meeting is held to elect Governing Committee members, review changes (and if necessary vote on changes) to the bylaws, garden policies, fees, and the Annual Agreement.
Closed meetings, otherwise referred to as Executive Sessions of the Governing Committee, are permitted under the PCG bylaws and are convened to ensure frank and confidential discourse regarding garden issues or concerns. In general, the Governing Committee will make every effort to keep all garden business open and transparent to the garden membership. Furthermore, the Governing Committee encourages the active participation of each member throughout the year in the garden as well as in meetings. While the Governing Committee will make every effort to keep all meetings open, there are exceptions to this general practice. Some of these exceptions include but are not limited to:
- Governing Committee issues among its elected members (Conflicts between two board members, or serious criticism of a board member by another)
- Personal and private issues of any garden member which may impact the member’s ability to uphold the Annual Agreement
- Investigation into concerns about any Governing Committee member
- Any formal grievance that is brought to the Governing Committee (please see the Grievance Procedures)
- Governing Committee meetings designed to build GC cohesiveness; refine Governing Committee processes; and assess overall effectiveness as a working team
The Governing Committee will make every effort to use the privilege of an executive session judiciously and wisely. To go into executive session a Governing Committee member must make a motion, it needs a second and is debatable. It takes a majority vote to adopt. If the members vote to go into executive session, all non GC members must leave the room until the board votes to end executive session, unless the session is to be held at another time. Minutes will state that GC members voted to go into executive session and the reason for doing so. Also included in minutes will be duration of the meeting.
The Governing Committee will determine the need for additional garden member participation in an Executive Session. For example, in the case of a formal grievance, the GC may require the grievant to attend part of the session, or other members named in the grievance.
An executive session may be planned and held at any specified time determined by the Governing Committee. However, all executive sessions must be noted in the Governing Committee minutes and include: time of the meeting, persons attending and the purpose of the meeting.
Minutes will be kept and approved within the Executive Session. These minutes are not to be included in regular garden minutes.