January 2, 2018 Board Meeting

Corinne Thomas-Kersting, John Jordan, Stevan Cohen, Marcia McIntyre, Christine Semeniuk, Tom Ralley, Eddy Rosen, Jack Lazareck, Rich Becker, Pete Jacobsen, Beven Peters, Adele Thompson

Minutes of the December meeting were reviewed, edited, and approved. They will be put on-line for member access.

President's news
*OMGA has asked for a roster of our officers and committees with contact information. Corinne circulated the list so we could check accuracy and give our permission to send it to them.
*Corinne circulated a letter from our state program coordinator, Gail Langellotto, which gives a current overview of her role.
*She announced that Eddy will host a "workshop" for interns in his big vegetable garden again this summer. The date is July 7. Weston Miller plans to attend. Action, as the date grows closer, find volunteers to offer refreshments to the group.
*Patrick Proden, Extension outreach representative for Multnomah and Washington counties, is coming to the February Board meeting. We are planning to present a brief introduction to our chapter before he speaks. Action Corinne is making a slide show and several members will speak on aspects of our program--the Demo garden and Annex; the IE sale; Chapter communications; and support of Master Gardener training.
*2018 Food and Farm Act--see December 5 minutes. Liv Brumfield, a member of Congressman Earl Blumenauer's staff, contacted Corinne about our potential role in informing the public about this legislation. Corinne envisions that we might be able to support or help coordinate a public meeting later this spring. Action, continue discussion. Identify point person(s) to work on this.

Budget 2018
The budget is nearly ready. Christine suggests one minor change to the draft we discussed in December, merging two items (that both involve the Chapter's clinic box.) Pete noted that even excluding the large expenses incurred by the Demo Garden Annex, this is a deficit budget. Christine said donations have dropped. She said we might want to consider raising dues next year to support our general operating budget. The budget was approved by unanimous vote for recommendation to the membership at the January 9 chapter meeting. Corinne is planning a slide show that will inform members how we earn our money and how we spend it. Christine will present the budget.

Book Sales: Sharon Baker sent word that we earned $102.50 from used book sales at the greens party last month. She requests the money be spent on education and outreach. No objections.

Tom brought up a possible problem he has gleaned from our by-laws. The past-president has a one-year term. But when the president is elected to a second term, what becomes of the past president? Can he still serve? Can he vote? Corinne urged him to continue his role fully for now. Action, consider the issue for a future formal by-laws clarification.

OMGA meeting
We have committed to hosting the November OMGA meeting. We have not secured a location yet. Eddy will look into one possibility. Action, Eddy will report on this. Others can offer suggestions.

Membership renewals
A recent attempt at on-line renewal did not work for Corinne or Jack – led to test page only after information was inputted. Several suggestions were offered. Action, Corinne will follow up with Kate and consider if members need step-by-step directions.

Metro Liaison
*Rich said all stickers for 2018 Master Gardeners have been sent. Someone who didn't get theirs should contact the office.
*Flyers publicizing the 2018 course are available from the office and can be sent to people wanting to distribute them.

IE sale
The new landscaping in the church parking lot has presented new challenges for the IE sale. Beven showed some possible layouts that will include almost all the elements planned for the sale. She is still working on this. Rich said it is possible we will need another site. Action, Beven and Rich will keep the Board informed.

A few months ago, Weston had requested that Chapters don't use the words "workshop" or “clinic” to refer to their presentations. The term workshop will be reserved for those events that interns are required to take to meet their class requirements. The goal is to reduce confusion when interns are being introduced to the Master Gardener world. Corinne led the discussion. Alternative words were mentioned—hands-on class, seminar, course, etc. Agreement that the alternate term for Chapter learning activities that are “workshop-like” will be hands-on class. Action, comply with request.

Pete was thanked for making the e-news a place for members to go for current information.

The policy for creating new policies was discussed and mostly approved. Following minor changes, it will be ready for voting (first approval) when next on the agenda. Action, Corinne to present final draft.

Annex greenhouse
Pete said formal negotiations for the purchase of the greenhouse will begin this month.

Speakers/Monthly Meetings
"Enlightenment minutes," are short intermission presentations at our chapter meetings. Corinne said she will put together a short power point about the 2018 budget and Stephanie Pringle will share information about mason bees next month.

Adele Thompson, substitute secretary
January 8, 2018



December 5, 2017 Board Meeting

Attending: Corinne Thomas-Kersting, Jennifer Simpson, Marilyn Frankel*, Christine Semeniuk, Marcia McIntyre, Jack Lazareck, Heidi Nichols, Jo Ann Klooz*, Gloria Bennett, Tom Ralley, John Jordan, Carolyn Dixon, Rich Becker, Stevan Cohen, Pete Jacobsen, David Owen, Lorna Schilling, Adele Thompson.  *incoming Board members

The meeting began with a potluck. The minutes of the October 24 Board meeting were approved with one addition involving wording Weston has suggested for classes offered by the chapters.  "Actions plans" were reviewed.

Corinne will invite Patrick Proden of the Extension service to the February meeting. She plans to preface his presentation with short descriptions of our current programs, including how we support MG training, the Demo garden, the speakers  program, the IE sale, and our communication innovations. Pete and Rich have offered to do some of these and Sally Campbell was suggested for one. Corinne will assemble representative photos. Action--Corinne will find members to complete this roster.

Farm Bill:  Liv Brumfield of Congressman Earl Blumenauer's staff recently met with Corinne, Eddy Rosen, and Robin Greenwood to talk about the 2018 Farm Bill and our possible role educating members and the public about it. The draft bill may be available in January and we can include a link to it in our e-news. Corinne and Eddie are also looking into the possibility of Liv or the Congressman making a short presentation at one of the noon programs at MG training. Rich suggested that we ask Bevan regarding the noon talks.  Marilyn suggested that we forward the information to OMGA.  Weston is being kept apprised of our activities in this area and fully supports as long as our efforts to educate the public do not extend to any endorsement or support of any specific legislative proposal.   Action—Corinne will write an article for the January eNews and relay the information to OMGA.  Also send the noon talk request to Bevan.

Corinne said officer job descriptions recently circulated will become policy with a few suggested changes. Corinne is still compiling descriptions of committee responsibilities. Actions--Committee heads to finish getting this information to Corinne; group to review document.

Budget: Christine led continued discussion of the 2018 budget. *Our current balance is $67,930. This is too much money to qualify for OMGA's "Send a Friend to Mini-College" scholarships but it was decided we will fund three June Shank Memorial Scholarships of $150 each for Mini-College.
*The Demo garden Annex budget was filled in--the Annex committee expects to spend $3500 (new figure) on plants and about $14,000 (an increase) to move the greenhouse.
*It was agreed that we will contribute $1000 towards the new IPM website.
*OMGA--We will be hosting the November meeting (November 3-4, 2018.) Marcia is coordinating the search for a venue. OMGA will give us $300 towards our expenses. We are budgeting $400.
*Computers and software--The bookkeeper needs a new computer. Christine has been researching suitable software. $400-500 will be budgeted for this.
*Explanation for this deficit budget was repeated. It is due to the "Annex bubble," one time construction expenses.
Action, finalize budget at early January Board meeting and present budget to the membership at the January Chapter meeting.

Awards:  John reported all have been distributed.

Communications: Dave said we will probably move to the comprehensive "Google Suite," which permits file sharing and archiving among its advantages. He is planning transition strategies beginning with an unspecified pilot project and mentioned the idea of enticing people to learn the system with the offer of a Multnomah Master Gardener e-mail address. Kate Davenport and Dave are making a communications survey for the membership. Pete is the new editor of the e-news. He plans to put the news on the (public) Web site, using a link accessible only to members. He said advantages include being able to correct mistakes and see how many people are reading various parts of the news. Action--Provide feedback to these communication efforts.

Demo garden: Heidi reported a generally good year with stable volunteer hours and many visitors though some crops were "duds." Gloria said the Annex design committee, Nancy Fine, Dennis Brown, and Gloria, have found designers for almost all the beds. Many of these people are new to the Demo garden, two are students, and two are trained in the Backyard Habitat program.

*Corinne circulated a flyer with beautiful garden photos from the Tuscon Arizona Master Gardener Demo Garden.

 Financial review: Tom said he is gathering a team that will conduct a review of the Chapter's finances when the 2017 books are closed, using the random sampling method he proposed at the last meeting. Action--Proceed as above, then report findings to group.

 Membership: Heidi said on-line renewals are ready to go. The trials Kate ran included a way for members to make additional donations. Members' interests and special abilities are also included with the on-line renewals and are retrievable now. She plans to begin in-person renewals next week at the December greens party. Pete has designed the cover for the next Directory. Action--Renew membership!

 Privacy policy: Corinne presented a policy for members regarding their inclusion in recorded media (attached.) It was approved with one minor addition. Action--Corinne and the ad-hoc committee will continue refining and recording policies and procedures. Goal is one or two per month.

 Speakers bureau Jenessa Datema is taking on the coordinator role of the speakers bureau, replacing Linda Eggiman. There is a variety of topics with Power Point presentations (mostly produced by Washington County but available to us) ready for groups requesting a Master Gardener speaker and several members have volunteered to be presenters. Marcia requested that a speaker be allowed to borrow the chapter's A-V equipment for presentations within Multnomah County. No objections were voiced.

 Greens party: The holiday greens party is December 12. Jo Ann is coordinating the event. Greens will come from the Leach Gardens and members. She said plans are in place for the big tarp, getting the stored supplies, purchasing additional materials, music, refreshments, and cleanup.

 Adele Thompson, secretary
December 16, 2017


October 24, 2017 Board Meeting

Attending: Corinne Thomas-Kersting, Christine Semeniuk, Jennifer Simpson, Nancy Fine, Heidi Nichols, Marcia McIntyre, Cathy Gibson, Tom Ralley, Pete Jacobsen, Jack Lazareck, Stevan Cohen, Rich Becker, Lorna Schilling, Carolyn Dixon, Adele Thompson

Minutes of September meeting were accepted.

President: *Corinne reorganized today's agenda to group the various communication-related items together.
*Corinne has sent us a copy of officer job descriptions, last revised in 2010. (Action, Board members to review document for possible future discussion.)
*Archiving records--Corinne's goal is to preserve and store (archive) chapter records so they are easily or routinely shared and conveniently retrieved. (Action, Officers, especially secretary to work with communication committee for solutions.)
*Possible meeting guest--Weston Miller suggested we invite Patrick Proden, OSU Extension Regional Outreach and Engagement Coordinator for Washington and Multnomah Counties, to one of our meetings. (Action, Corinne to invite him, probably to the February meeting.
*Corinne said the Board (by e-mail vote) approved buying gift certificates and donating some of our merchandise for the door prize table at Recertification day October 28.
*Meeting location--Corinne asked if we want to continue meeting at this location (Firehouse at NE 86th and Sandy.) No objections voiced except Rich thought we should have a distance device for those unable to get to a meeting because of bad weather. No specific method was planned.

Officer nominations: These people have agreed to run  for Chapter offices for 2018:
  President--Corinne Thomas-Kersting
  Vice-president--Jack Lazareck
  Secretary--Jo Ann Klooz
  Treasurer--Stevan Cohen
  OMGA rep--Lorna Schilling (currently the alternate)

No one has agreed to run for OMGA alternate yet.

Budget: Christine circulated copies of a proposed 2018 budget (filed with paper copy of minutes) Income was projected somewhat lower this year and expenses are higher; this is a $25,000 deficit budget but we have over $70,000 in the bank. The largest projected expenses are related to establishing the Demo garden Annex with smaller increases in several other areas, especially education/outreach and OSU program support.

Some individual items and comments heard follow:

Without Pay Pal, individual contributions have dropped.
The IE sale plans to "maintain, not expand."
Fewer people are signed up for the Fred Meyer Community Rewards program.
(Action, remind members they have to re-enroll periodically.)Maybe eliminate the donation cup at meetings and make the coffee/tea a gift to the group.   
Consider raising the dues to $25
Continue dues at the $20 level.

Reach out to other businesses, maybe arborists, for directory ads. Should we keep the ad rates the same as last year?

Christine removed the $2000 line item for site rental, as this has not been charged to us recently.

Annex--apply for grants; look for donations; signs acknowledging donors are planned; we need plants to be specified to get cost estimates.

Merchandise sold well at the convention last summer. It is assumed sales will be lower this year (without a convention.)

Scholarships are organized according to Weston's plan this year.

Summer speakers are being planned this year.

Consider renting the Pittock Mansion to host the OMGA quarterly meeting. Previously it has been "on-site" at the Church and "off-site" at the Leach Garden.

Change the term "cultivator" to "members" events.

Communications reports: E-news--Marcia offered to collect information for the next issue until a new editor is found as Claudia has resigned from the post. (Action, publicize this job, consider other configurations, such as sharing the job;the editor will coordinate the production of the eNews with the Communication Committee.)

Demo garden:  (Nancy and Pete) Members have been winterizing the beds, cleaning the greenhouse. Work progresses on the Annex; paths are taking shape. (Action, publicize any winter work days to the general membership.)

Financial review: (ad hoc committee) Tom proposed a sampling method to review our finances. The goal is to see that expenditures are proper and that accurate records are being kept. Copy of proposal is attached to paper minutes. (Actions, continue discussion and refine if needed, vote to proceed, conduct review, report findings and recommendations to the Board; based on this process consider changing bylaws to reflect financial review versus audit requirement)

Membership/Directory: Heidi wants to resign from the job of compiling the Directory. In preparation, she has written up the tasks involved. Directory information has to be ready for press by mid-February. Should we consider contracting out a portion of the job? (Action, Pete, Kate Davenport, Corinne, Heidi, and David Owen will meet to plan how to proceed. The goal is to make the job easier!)

Metro: Jack said Weston is trying to make the advisory group more inclusive. Jack has suggested Tom join the committee. There are two new instructors for 2018 training. Jen Gorsky will teach plant ID and Jane Collier, berries.Because of the spread of Japanese beetles throughout the Metro area, Chapters cannot hold plant swaps any longer. Weston is investigating safe alternatives with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Adele Thompson, secretary
November 29, 2017


September 26,2017 Board Meeting

Attending: Christine Semeniuk, Stevan Cohen, Rich Becker, John Jordan, Tom Ralley, Claudia Groth, Lorna Schilling, Jack Lazareck, David Owen, Eddie Rosen, Nancy Fine, Carolyn Dixon, Adele Thompson

Eddie chaired in Corinne Thomas-Kersting's absence.

Minutes of the June Board meeting were accepted with the addition of Eddie to the list of those attending.

Policy review: Pete Jacobsen, Corinne, Eddie, and Adele met this summer to set a framework for the policy and procedure committee. Eddie has been reviewing the Chapter's historic documents, in an attempt to find what policies were previously established. He presented a proposal for establishing new policy, based on work earlier done by Pete. (text attached to printed copy of minutes) Members modified the wording slightly, adding "is approved by majority vote," "significant" objections, and "needed modifications." It was agreed that we need a place or method to store decisions. Vigorous discussion followed: Claudia suggested the general membership should be included in this process to prevent the appearance or reality of non-democratic developments. Tom said in the absence of previous problems it makes sense for the Board to handle these questions. David said the communications committee has ideas about circulating and storing policy decisions. Actions--Eddie will rewrite and circulate his proposal. Discussion to continue. Research to continue.

Summer workshop report: 22 interns and 4 vets along with Corinne and Weston Miller attended a late summer vegetable growing workshop at Eddie's large urban garden. Eddie saved statements the interns wrote about becoming Master Gardener educators, their favorite "gives" and "gets." John read these to the group with appropriate emotion.

Nominations: Eddie said he will not continue as vice-president but would like to remain Chapter historian. No one has offered to run for the vacant offices yet but Tom has been suggesting candidates to Corinne. He said it is helpful for continuity if some current Board members move into other positions on the Board. He also suggested looking for talent within committees. Action-- Eddie and others of us to continue search for possible candidates.

Treasurer: Christine said we should plan on getting the budget done soon. She will write a draft based on recent past budgets and past spending. She will circulate this draft and suggests we begin discussing it in October. Tom said we should try to get the proposed budget to a wider audience (beyond the Board.)  Action--Christine to present proposed budget at October Board meeting.

OMGA: Long-time OMGA treasurer, Katherine Johnson, was named State Master Gardener of the Year. Audits done by the state organization were discussed in view of the Multnomah County Board's interest in doing a financial review of some sort.  Lorna said Katherine Johnson has done informal OMGA audits with Wes Bevans, a past president of the Columbia County Master Gardeners.

Awards: John said two award winners have not received their awards yet. He will present these at the next Chapter meeting. Lorna brought certificates from OMGA for our Chapter awardees. Also, 20- and 30-year members will get special OMGA recognition. Action--Present the remaining awards at October Chapter meeting.

Metro: scholarships and training: Jack circulated and explained changes Weston proposed in terminology and amount of available financial aid for the next training course. The process will be more centralized, though they will give us the names of people whose applications were not successful at the Metro level. Last year 22 scholarships and fellowships were given in our 3-county region, most to Multnomah applicants. Ten of these came from the chapters, the rest from other sources. Jack and Rich distributed copies of the written budget requests. Rich recommends the expenses for parking be handled as previously done, afterwards. Action--Chapter contribution to Metro to be included in next budget.

Metro: new Web site: Stevan explained some of the scope of the statewide website under development, "SolvePestProblems.org." It will begin with 660 common problems, be simpler to use than the current PNW's, and include a Spanish version. He said many other organizations and corporations are involved and have pledged money. He anticipates there will be ongoing costs. Action--Chapter contribution to website to be included in next budget.

Community cultivator: This position is still vacant. The work continues with groups of members volunteering to chair events. Harvest Fest went well despite a smoky afternoon due to forest fires. Plant Swap will be October 7. Action--Continue to look for a person who is willing to chair this committee, as the Chapter seems to enjoy these activities.

Demo garden: Nancy reported on plans for the garden and shared an update Pete wrote on the Annex. Two design committees are meeting later this week. There is a class this Saturday to build raised beds to winter-over plants we may acquire this fall.

Training: Some planned changes in the curriculum include more hands-on work, plant ID practice, additional time for berries, and role-playing. The vertebrate pest unit will be on-line. Vets are being encouraged to attend classes for their own educational benefit and to begin meeting the interns. State coordinator Gail Langellotto-Rhodaback is adding and revising on-line modules. These have to be publicized to Master Gardeners. Tom reported having technical problems with the modules, cause unclear. Action--Provide information on class schedules and modules in newsletters, etc. Report module problems to Jordis.

Plant sales: Washington County is adding vegetables to their sale inventory. They are interested in our experience planning the nursery orders and we (Rich and others of the IE team) plan to help them. In turn we can learn from their experience with tallying and holding methods. Action--Continue communication between the sales chairpersons.

Communications committee: David Owen said a general invitation was sent and this committee began to meet August 22. He continues to recruit additional members. There is another meeting next week. They plan to talk about how we communicate among ourselves and with the public; how we engage interns; how we organize and document information. A second focus of the committee will be our technological infrastructure. He said we might consider using "Google Suite," which should be free for us as a 501-c3 nonprofit. Action--Committee to continue updating Board on plans.

Communications-newsletter: Claudia said she is resigning from her position editing the e-newsletter. She outlined general expectations for this position: writing skill, attending some meetings, generally staying in touch with the Chapter, tracking down photos and captions. She estimates she has spent parts of ten days each month on this. David Owen will continue doing the layout. Action--Recruit some more.

Other: The chapter received a $325 Educator grant from the Extension Service. Corinne will announce this at the next meeting.

OMGA is scheduling their 2018 meetings. Do we want to host in March or November? Action--Ask Marcia to check these dates with the church.

Mention was made of Weston's idea of inviting Patrick Proden, the OSU Extension regional outreach and engagement coordinator for Washington and Multnomah Counties, to one of our meetings. Action--Remind Corinne of this plan and schedule him if the Board expresses interest.

Adele Thompson, secretary: 
October 9, 2017