2018 Revised By-Laws
St. Charles County Master Gardeners
The mission of the St. Charles County Master Gardener program is to provide horticultural information and training to the gardening public based on University of Missouri research that is specific to the local climate, soils and plants. By organizing and participating in St. Charles County gardening projects, members will enhance the beauty of our community and provide benefits to its citizens.
I. Volunteer Status, Education and Program Requirements
A. Master Gardener classifications (Master Gardener Trainee, Active Master Gardener, Advanced Master Gardener, Master Gardener Emeritus and Master Gardener Mentor), as well as general volunteer and continuing education requirements are defined on the University of Missouri Master Gardener Policies and Procedures site: https://mg.missouri.edu/mgpolicies.htm .
B. For purposes of this document, the term Interns is used by the chapter refer to Master Gardener Trainees who are in the process of completing their volunteer requirements.
C. Volunteer Service Requirements
a. Types of activities that may be counted toward the required number of volunteer service hours are determined at the discretion of local or regional program coordinators, working in conjunction with the Master Gardener Leadership Team. The local or regional program coordinator or the Master Gardener Leadership Team may grant exceptions to these requirements.
b. For Interns, the required volunteer service is a minimum of thirty (30) volunteer hours total, which includes a minimum of twenty (20) hours in the Extension Center’s demonstration gardens, or greenhouse, or horticultural support (Hort Line). Interns have one year after the last day of class to complete their initial volunteer service.
c. For Active Master Gardener, the required volunteer service is a minimum of twenty (20) volunteer hours total, which includes a minimum of five (5) hours in the Extension Center’s demonstration gardens, or greenhouse, or horticultural support (Hort Line). A Master Gardener Emeritus is automatically considered an Active Master Gardener.
D. Continuing Education Requirements – see on the University of Missouri Master Gardener Policies and Procedures site: https://mg.missouri.edu/mgpolicies.htm To Summarize:
a. Active Master Gardener- A certified Master Gardener who annually completes at least six additional hours of continuing education within that calendar year. The local or regional program coordinator or the Master Gardener Leadership Team may grant exceptions to these requirements.
b. Advanced Master Gardener--An Active Master Gardener who has completed an additional 30 hours of research-based training beyond basic core training. This training is considered more formal than continuing education and must be taught by an approved instructor. The instructor must be a qualified horticulturist or well-known speaker in the field of horticulture. Thirty hours of advanced training covering at least three horticulture disciplines and completed within five years are required to earn the title of Advanced Master Gardener. No more than 10 hours per discipline can be applied to the 30-hour total, and hands-on advanced training experiences are preferred.
II. Master Gardener Title
A. The title of Master Gardener is to be used only and exclusively in MU Extension Master Gardener activities as defined on the University of Missouri Master Gardener Policies and Procedures, section XIV, Avoiding Conflict of Interest. https://mg.missouri.edu/mgpolicies.htm
III. Program Coordinator and Membership
A. A staff member of the local Extension Office (Program Coordinator) must serve as advisor to the chapter and be actively involved in its oversight. The Program Coordinator shall serve as liaison between the St. Charles County Master Gardeners and University of Missouri Extension. The Program Coordinator has the power to make changes to the program requirements. By-laws shall be changed to reflect new program requirements.
B. Voting members: All Active Master Gardeners in the current year or the previous year are voting members of the organization. A voting member must be present when a vote is taken at a general meeting.
C. Motions will be passed with a simple majority of the members present. (An exception is amendments to the By-Laws, which requires a two-thirds majority of members present. See Section X).
IV. Steering Committee, Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities
A. The Steering Committee works with the Program Coordinator to provide leadership on all activities of the Master Gardener Program.
B. The Steering Committee shall consist of four (4) members elected at large and the Overall Demonstration Garden Lead, upon approval by the Steering Committee, and will thus have five (5) total members serving on the Committee. Members shall be elected for two (2) year terms, alternating two (2) members each year. There is no restriction on serving consecutive terms.
C. Steering Committee members present at any scheduled or called board meeting will constitute a quorum. Where votes are considered necessary, a simple majority of votes cast will carry a motion.
The Program Coordinator will:
1) Develop core course training curriculum within standards set by the State Master Gardener Program.
2) Provide core course Training via Regional and State Extension staff, Master Gardeners, and other qualified instructors.
3) Compile volunteer hours on a quarterly basis to Master Gardeners. Volunteer hours will be reported annually to the State Master Gardener Coordinator.
4) Determine the status of Master Gardeners as defined by Section I.
5) Oversee and approve all financial, program and volunteer activities to ensure compliance with MU Extension guidelines as well as all local, state and federal laws. The Program Coordinator has the authority to make changes to the Master Gardener program at any time.
E. The Steering Committee will:
1) Serve as a primary advisory group to the Program Coordinator by providing recommendations on policies and procedures; listen to general membership’s input and communicate needs; work closely to improve overall program and services of Master Gardeners to the community; provide input into Master Gardener educational training.
2) Develop educational and social activities for Master Gardeners.
3) Recognize and honor Master Gardeners.
4) Serve as a leadership group to increase community awareness of the Master Gardener Program and activities.
5) Manage the organization’s expenditures and develop plans for income-producing projects that follow MU Extension guidelines.
F. The Program Coordinator and Steering Committee will:
1) Recruit potential Master Gardener applicants.
2) Screen and select Master Gardener applicants as per State Master Gardener guidelines.
3) Identify, review, and evaluate volunteer opportunities for Master Gardeners.
G. Steering Committee E-mail voting
1) Email Voting - To expedite the decision process, a special vote can be taken by the Steering Committee President via an email meeting. The ballot must be sent to all members of the Steering Committee after a motion has been made and seconded. Other messages may be sent for caucusing or other off-line discussion, but these are not officially part of the meeting. For a vote to be valid a quorum of ballots sent must be returned. An email ballot must state exactly what is to be voted on, and contain at the beginning a clearly designated place for the member to mark a vote (yea, nay, or abstain). The ballot should be an open ballot, in order to confirm correct recording of votes. The subject line (or equivalent) should contain the term "ballot". The ballot should specify that both yea or nay or abstain votes should be returned. Results should be tallied by the President and communicated to the Steering Committee. A simple majority of votes cast will carry a motion. The recording of motion and voting results will be included in the secretary’s minutes of the next regularly called Steering Committee meeting.
V. Steering Committee Elections
A. A Nominating Committee, consisting of at least three (3) voting members, will be appointed at the August general meeting of each year.
B. The Nominating Committee will identify, recruit and publicize a slate of two (2) to five (5) qualified candidates for election to the Steering Committee. A candidate for the Steering Committee must have Master Gardener status, be a voting member, and either is present at the meeting or has previously agreed to serve on the Steering Committee.
C. Nominations and/or self-nominations for Steering Committee candidates can be made to the Nominating Committee.
D. Steering Committee members shall be elected with a simple majority of votes by open ballot at the October General Meeting. Ballots from the members present at the meeting and absentee ballots received by the start of the October General Meeting from voting members will be counted. In the event of a tie vote, a run-off election will be held between the tied candidates based upon a simple majority vote from the ballots of the members present. The elected Steering Committee members will assume duties on January 1 of the following year.
VI. Steering Committee Officers and Duties
A. Officers of the organization will be elected for a one (1) year term from members of the Steering Committee and voted upon by those who are current members of the Committee.
B. Officers shall be elected at an organizational meeting presided over by the Program Coordinator at a time designated by the Coordinator.
C. There is no restriction on the number of terms an officer may serve.
D. The following officers shall be elected:
1) President– Presides over all scheduled meetings for general membership and Steering Committee; presents a meeting agenda each month after consulting with the Program Coordinator; reserves facilities for scheduled meetings; other duties as deemed necessary or appropriate.
2) Vice President– Assumes duties/responsibilities of President in his/her absence; other duties as deemed necessary or appropriate.
3) Secretary– Records and keeps minutes of all general and Steering Committee meetings; maintains current roster of membership and attendance at general membership meetings; coordinates organization’s correspondence with the Program Coordinator.
4) Treasurer- Maintains responsibility for all funds received by the organization; coordinates payments to accounts on behalf of the organization; provides financial reports at all General and Steering Committee meetings; other duties as deemed necessary or appropriate.
E. The following officer shall be appointed:
1) The Overall Demonstration Garden Lead recommended by the Individual Garden Leads and approved by the Steering Committee, is not eligible for any officer position, as the general membership does not elect them. However, they are a voting member of the Steering Committee.
F. All minutes will be published monthly and will be open to all members. Financial records will be reported at meetings and will be published monthly, but will have actual dollars redacted when posted on the public website. Redacted dollar amounts will be available to all members upon request to the treasurer.
A. Officer Vacancy: In the event of an Officer vacancy, the President may fill the vacancy by appointing an existing Steering Committee member for the remainder of the term.
B. Steering Committee Vacancy: A Steering Committee vacancy may be filled by the President by appointing a voting member for the remainder of the term.
A. General meetings will be held monthly except November. The dates and times will be proposed by the Steering Committee at the January general meeting and approved by a simple majority of those present.
B. Steering Committee meetings will be scheduled when determined necessary by the President and the Program Coordinator.
C. A meeting may be called or canceled by the President on the recommendation of the Program Coordinator.
D. Meetings will be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
A. Standing Committees shall be established at the discretion of the Steering Committee and the Program Coordinator, as they deem necessary or appropriate. The Standing Committee shall elect a Committee Lead by a majority vote of its members. Standing Committee Leads are expected to meet with or report to the Steering Committee, as scheduled by the Steering Committee, regarding committee activity.
X. Amendments to the By-Laws
A. The general membership is to be notified in writing of any proposed changes not less than thirty (30) days prior to the next general meeting during which the change will be discussed and voted upon.
B. Passage of motions to amend must receive a two-thirds majority of the votes cast (members present).
Adopted January 16, 2001
Amended November 17, 2005 – Under Section I, Item J.
Amended September 28, 2006 – Under Section I, Item J.
Amended June 28, 2007 – Under Section I, Item J.
Amended February 1, 2009 - Under Section I, Item G.
Amended February 25, 2010 – Under Section I, Items E, H, I, J; Under Section VI Item D; Under Section IX Item A.
Amended 10/11/2013 – Under Section I Items, D, G, I, J: Under Section III, Item A: Under Section IV Item B, D.
Amended 08/23/2018 –
· Under many sections
o Improve document indentation/paragraph numbering
· Under Section I
o Item A: Remove terminology redundancy with University Policies, and instead refer to University website for definitions.
o Item B: Additionally define Chapter term Interns.
o Item C: Define volunteer requirements, including Hort Line.
o Item D: Refer to University website for Continuing Education Requirements and definitions Define volunteer requirements and reiterates those requirements.
· Under Section II
o Item A: Refer to University website for use of Master Gardener title and avoiding conflict of interest.
· Under Section III
o Item B-C: Remove terminology of Member in Good Standing and instead ties voting privileges to active membership of current or prior year. Consolidate items B – F.
· Under Section IV
o Item B: Clarify Steering Committee terms of office and allowance of consecutive terms.
o Item G: Add provisions for Steering Committee e-mail voting.
· Under Section V
o Item A: Remove terminology of Member in Good Standing and instead ties voting privileges to active membership of current or prior year.
· Under Section VI
o Item D.
§ Sub-paragraph 4) : Clarify treasurer function in terms of coordinating payments as opposed to paying accounts.
o Item E: Clarify terminology of appointed committee positions.
o Item F: Addresses redaction of actual dollars from minutes posted on public websites.
· Under Section VII
o Item A: Clarify wording on filling office vacancies.
· Under Section VIII
o Item A: Change note that there is no November general membership meeting (changed from December).
End of Amendments for 08/23/2018