Chapter By-Laws, approved 9/9/2008, revised 5/12/2015

Article I.          Purpose

  1. The Multnomah County Master Gardeners of the Oregon State University Extension Service hereby associate to form a chapter of the state association for the following purposes, as stated in the bylaws of the parent organization:
    1. To enhance and supplement the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener Program.
    2. To assume responsibility for performing special tasks and engaging in continuous activities related to the program.
    3. To promote a wide dissemination of information to Oregon citizens, available as a result of University study and experimentation.  Such information shall be in accordance with Oregon State University standards.
    4. To work with other garden organizations to enhance gardening when appropriate.
  2. The Multnomah County Master Gardener Chapter is subject to general supervision by the Oregon Master Gardener Association. 

Article II.          Organization

1.  The Chapter shall be directed by an Executive Board consisting of a President, Past President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, two Oregon Master Gardener Association Representatives, an Historian, and Chairpersons of Standing Committees. The President will appoint an Historian.

2. The President shall serve a one-year term and be responsible for 1) conducting meetings, 2) appointing ad hoc and standing committee chairpersons and members, 3) ensuring that a financial audit is undertaken each year and 4) overseeing ongoing operations of the Chapter.  The President shall serve a one-year term as Past President immediately following the term as President.

3. The Past President shall serve a one-year term and shall provide advice and assistance to the Chapter President.

4. The Vice President shall serve a one-year term and shall be responsible for membership activities for the Chapter, for documenting and  maintaining Standard Operating Procedures for the Chapter and standing in for the President when the president is not available. 

5. The Secretary shall serve a one-year term and shall be responsible for maintaining Chapter records – including meeting minutes, correspondence, bylaws and adopted procedures – and conducting Chapter correspondence.

6.  The Treasurer shall serve a one-year term and shall be responsible for overseeing the financial operations of the Chapter and preparing the annual budget as directed by the Executive Board.  The annual budget will be approved by the Executive Board and presented to the membership for approval.

7.  The Oregon Master Gardener Association Representative shall serve a two-year term and shall be responsible for maintaining communication between the Chapter and Oregon Master Gardeners Association by attending OMGA quarterly meetings.  One Oregon Master Gardener Association Representative shall be elected each year to serve a two-year term.  Only one of the OMGA Representatives may be a voting member of OMGA.

8. The Historian shall be responsible for documenting the history of Chapter activities through photographs and written materials.

9. All terms of office shall begin on January 1.  Officers shall serve for one calendar year, except for each OMGA representative, who will serve for two consecutive calendar years.

10. All elected officers may serve up to two terms in any given office.

Article III.          Membership

1.      Anyone completing the basic Master Gardener program is qualified to be a member.  New Master Gardeners who finish classes in March are automatically members in good standing through December 31 of that same year. [1]

2.      Extension agents are honorary members and are encouraged to engage in discussions, although they have no voting power and are ineligible to hold office.

3.      Individuals in training for the OSU Master Gardener Program or operating a licensed horticultural-related business in or out of Multnomah County can be associate members but have no voting power and are ineligible to hold office.

Article IV.          Voting and Elections

1.      All members who have paid their dues are eligible to vote or serve as an officer. [2]

2.      A quorum of the chapter shall consist of 10 percent or more of active members.  A quorum of the Executive Board will be 50 percent of Board Members.

3.      Resolutions guiding chapter activities shall be considered by active members at meetings and shall be approved by majority vote.

4.      Election of officers will be by nominations in September, followed by election by majority vote in October, and installation in January.  Nominations shall be accepted via a nominating committee appointed by the President.  At the September meeting nominations will also be accepted from any active member, either from the floor or in writing.

5.      Officer vacancies during term of office shall be filled by appointment by the Executive Board for the remainder of the term.

6.      An officer may be voted out of office due to lack of support for the program or repeated absence from the meetings.  The Executive Board will make recommendations as necessary, and removal and replacement of an officer will be by majority vote of the Executive Board.

7.       These bylaws may be amended or revised by majority vote at a general meeting where notice of the meeting has included notification at least one month in advance that bylaws revisions would be considered.

Article V.          Meetings

1.      Regular Chapter meetings will usually be held monthly except during the summer when meetings are not usually scheduled.  The President may call a special meeting or cancel regular meetings for good cause.  Special meetings require a minimum of seven days’ notice, and notification of the meeting must be communicated to at least 60 percent of the membership.

2.      Executive Board meetings will usually be held monthly except during the summer when meetings are not usually scheduled.  The President may call special Executive Board Meetings or cancel board meetings for good cause.

Article VI.          Miscellaneous

1.      No discrimination in any aspects of the Master Gardener Association will be made because of race, color, sex, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, legal citizenship, income, political affiliation, religious affiliation or sexual orientation.

2.      Robert’s Rules of Order (Newly Revised) shall govern the conduct of all meetings in event conflict in process arises.

3.      All service shall be voluntary with no remuneration except for out-of-pocket  expenses, if funds are available. This must be done in accordance with the approved budget and/or as expenditure approved by majority vote.

4.      The Chapter is expected to promote fundraising programs to cover operational expenses incidental to activities within the scope of these bylaws.

These Bylaws were approved by vote of the Multnomah County Master Gardener Chapter September 9, 2008.

[1] This section was revised 5/12/15. It previously read:
"1.      Anyone completing the basic Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener program is qualified to be a member.  New Master Gardeners who finish classes in March are automatically members in good standing through December 31 of that same year."

[2] This section was revised 5/12/15. It previously read:
      To be an active member, vote, or serve as an officer, Master Gardeners must pay current dues, participate in the program and be current on their certification."

Mining the Archives - edited excerpts from past board minutes for your contemplation.

Financial Records

January 6, 2009 - The Treasurer and President will both be authorized to sign checks. An authorized signatory may not sign a check made out to him- or herself. Items over $250.00 will require the authorization of the President and the Treasurer on the Check Request Form. An audit will be conducted once per year. An Audit Committee will be established to comply with audit recommendations from OMGA.

March 3, 2009 - Financial records will be kept in Quicken in accordance with OMGA standards. A balance sheet will be developed and maintained for year-end information. A procedure will be developed for informing the Treasurer of deposits made in a timely manner. This procedure was put in place November 3, 2009. The Chapter will maintain separate bank accounts for each grant received to expedite accurate tracking of each grant.

May 4, 2010 - The Chapter accounting records will be maintained on a computer owned by the Chapter.

November 4, 2010 - The form “Reconciliation of Fundraising Event” will be used for documenting deposits made to the Chapter’s bank account. Receipts will be issued for sales to assist with record keeping.

February 2011 - Treasurer will provide a budget-to-actual report to the Board every month.

May 2012 - Beginning in 2013, the IRS will require that non-profits paying $600 or more to a vendor will be required to issue 1099s.  All committee chairs and members will keep accurate records and advise the Treasurer promptly.

Committee Chairs

January 5, 2010 - Each Committee Chair shall appoint a co-chair so that two people will know what is entailed in the work of the committee and can carry out the work if the other is unable to do so.  The list of committees will be listed in the Directory.

Awards and Scholarships

October 6, 2009 - The number of Master Gardener volunteer hours will be used as a “tie breaker” when there are more applicants for mini-college scholarships than there are scholarships available.

Directory Format

May 5, 2009 - The directory will be provided in a printed version.

E-Mail Addresses of Members

November 4, 2010 - The Chapter will follow the official Metro Program policy, in that member email addresses are only to be used for distribution of Master Gardener information.

Fund raisers

October 4, 2010 - When plants donated by members are to be offered for sale, plant divisions must be made early enough that there is an adequate root system at the time of sale. No invasive plants will be sold, and all plants must be labeled (if you don’t know what it is, don’t donate it).

January 2011 - Sales items will not be provided to sales committee members to model. Sales via PayPal will be reported in a manner that identifies how much of each item was sold.

February 2011 - Sales via PayPal will be reported in a manner that identifies how much of each item was sold.

May 2014 - Items purchased for sale, but donated to other groups, will not be counted as expenses of a particular sale.

Metro Program

October 13, 2009 - The Chapter will designate three members to be part of the Publicity Advisory Council initiated by the Metro Program.


March 3, 2009 - The Chapter Board meeting Minutes shall be distributed to the membership.

April 2011 - Minutes, previously included in full in the body of chapter email will be linked to a PDF from the website.

Travel Reimbursement

September 1, 2009 - The MCMG reimbursement policy for travel shall be the equivalent of the rates paid by OMGA.

June 2011 - Travel Reimbursement Policy will be $0.30 per mile for authorized travel on behalf of the Chapter and actual and reasonable reimbursement for food and lodging, if distance or weather conditions require an overnight stay.


January 2011 - The Board agreed that the ‘Grapevine’ is the official communication to other Counties and to the State (OMGA, OSU MG Program ?).  The monthly speaker should be prioritized along with the events at the Demo Garden.

March 2011 - The Hospitality Committee job description will be changed from a treats committee to a meet and greet committee.

May 2011 - The Chapter will provide scholarships to Mini College when money is budgeted for it. One to three MCMG veterans who have not attended Mini College before. The available funds will be split between the chosen candidates, not to include lodging or to exceed Mini-College costs. Recipients will be expected to attend leadership sessions in addition to the regular lectures.

June 2011 - The Board will appoint an oversight person for all fundraiser items as a directorship position.

October 2011 - The speaker’s schedule will be prepared from April to April, to allow inclusion in the Chapter Directory.

February 2012 - The Board agreed to move Board meetings to the 4th Tuesday of the month to allow information from Board meetings to be included in the monthly newsletter.

July 2013 - June Shank Memorial Scholarships to Mini-College criteria:
(1):  Candidate has been a Master Gardener for at least one year.  
(2):  Candidate has completed annual payback activities.
(3):  Candidate is an active current member of Multnomah chapter.  
(4):  Priority given to candidate who has not received a scholarship in the past.
(Research shortly after this meeting could find no written statement regarding what should be done with unallocated funds.)

December 2013 - The dues for renewing members are $20 / person and $15 if submitted early. Dues must be received by February 15 to be considered for the $15 payment amount and to be included in the directory.  If a member wishes to have the directory mailed, that is an additional $2.50.

December 2014 - Dues must be received by January 31 to be considered for the $15 payment amount and to be included in the directory.