Master Gardener Leadership and Program Oversight
I. The Steering Committee duties:
A. Works with the Program Coordinator to provide leadership for all activities of the Master Gardener Program as defined in the St. Charles County Master Gardener Policies and Procedures. They will ensure the St. Charles County Master Gardeners follow all standards set by the State Master Gardener Program, the MU Extension guidelines, the Memorandum of Understanding with the St. Charles County Extension, and all local, state, and federal laws.
B. Serve as the primary advisory group to the Program Coordinator by providing recommendations on policies and procedures; listen to general membership’s input and communicate membership needs to the Program Coordinator; work closely to improve overall program and services of Master Gardeners to the community; and provide input into Master Gardener educational training.
1. For the St. Charles Master Gardener membership: Develop educational and social activities; recognize and honor Master Gardeners: recruit potential Master Gardener applicants; identify, review, and evaluate volunteer opportunities.
2. For the Community: Serve as the leadership group to increase community awareness of the Master Gardener Program and activities.
3. Financial: Develop plans for income-producing projects that follow MU Extension guidelines; manage the organization’s finances with each fiscal year of the corporation being January 1 thru December 31; and maintain all financial transactions for the corporation.
II. Board of Directors Officers Elections
A. A Nominating Committee, consisting of at least three (3) voting members of the general membership, will be appointed by the Board of Directors President at the August general meeting of each year. Any current Board of Director member wishing to run for a different position must give their notice at the August general meeting so the Nominating Committee is aware of every position up for election.
B. The Nominating Committee will identify, recruit, and publicize a slate of one (1) to five (5) qualified candidates for each position for election to the Board of Directors. Candidates for Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer must be a Certified Master Gardener in active status, be a voting member, and either be present at the general meeting in October for the election, or have previously agreed to serve on the Board of Directors. Candidates for the President must be a Certified Master Gardener and be a voting member for a minimum of two (2) years, after active status was obtained.
C. Nominations and/or self-nominations for Board of Directors candidates can also be made to the Nominating Committee. All candidate names and their proposed position must be turned in to the President prior to the start of the October general meeting.
D. Board of Directors members shall be elected for two (2) year terms with a simple majority of votes by open ballot at the October General Meeting. Ballots from the voting members present at the meeting will be counted. In the event of a tie vote, a run-off election will be held immediately between the tied candidates and decided based upon a simple majority vote from the ballots of the members present. The elected Board members will assume duties effective January 1st of the new year.
E. The positions of President and Secretary are voted for their 2-year terms in every even year to begin their duties at the beginning of the next odd year.
F. The positions of Vice-President and Treasurer are voted for their 2-year terms in every odd year to begin their duties at the beginning of the next even year.
III. Filling of Board of Directors Officer Vacancies
A. President vacancy: In the event the President can no longer serve, the Vice President will assume the position until the current year is concluded. If the President’s term would have continued past the end of the current calendar year, nominations and voting by the general membership will be required in October, or before the end of the current calendar year, to elect a President to fill the remaining one year.
B. Vice President or Secretary vacancy: The President may fill the vacancy by appointing an active member of the general membership in good standing until the end of the current year. If the Vice President’s or Secretary’s term would have continued past the end of the current calendar year, nominations and voting by the general membership will be required in October, or before the end of the current calendar year, to elect an officer to fill the remaining one year.
C. Treasurer vacancy: The President may fill the vacancy by appointing a member of the general membership in good standing until the end of the current year. If the Treasurer’s term would have continued past the end of the current calendar year, nominations and voting by the general membership will be required in October, or before the end of the current calendar year, to elect a Treasurer to fill the remaining one year.
IV. Additional voting members of the Steering Committee
A. Besides the 4 Board of Directors, a total of only 3 additional voting members are allowed to serve on the Steering Committee. These members may be added or removed by a simple majority vote of the Steering Committee.
B. These additional voting members are to represent different aspects of the organization.
C. As additional Steering Committee voting members, they are not eligible for any officer position on the Board of Directors. If any of these members run for an officer position on the Board of Directors, they must resign their current voting position immediately on the Steering Committee if elected to the Board of Director position. This may include stepping down from a Committee Chair position.
V. Email voting by the Steering Committee
A. A ballot must be sent to all members of the Steering Committee after a motion has been made and seconded.
B. For a vote to be valid, at least one more than half the ballots sent must be returned, making a quorum.
C. 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 must 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. The ballot must contain the date and/or time to be returned which cannot be less than 48 hours from the time and date e-mailed to all members.
D. Results should be tallied by the President and communicated to the Steering Committee. A simple majority of votes cast will carry a motion.
E. The recording of motion and voting results will be included in the secretary’s minutes of the next regularly called Steering Committee meeting.
F. Other messages may be sent for caucusing or other off-line discussion, but these are not officially part of the Steering Committee meeting minutes.
V. Steering Committee, Master Gardeners, and Program Coordinator Relationship
A. A staff member of the local Extension Office or another designated MU/Ext. Specialist, referred to as the Program Coordinator, advises and has oversight of the St. Charles County Master Gardeners program to ensure all standards set by the State Master Gardener Program are followed.
B. Determination of the status of Master Gardeners as defined by the State Master Gardener Program and the St. Charles County Master Gardener Program is provided by the Program Coordinator. Exceptions to a member’s status may be made by the Program Coordinator or designated MU/Ext. Specialist. Input from the Steering Committee may be requested but not required.
C. All financial, program, and volunteer activities are overseen by the Program Coordinator to ensure compliance with MU Extension guidelines as well as all local, state, and federal laws.
D. Changes to the Master Gardener program may be made at any time by the Program Coordinator or the designated MU/Ext Specialist.
E. Core Course Training is provided and organized by the Program Coordinator within standards set by the State Master Gardener Program. Training may be provided via regional and State Extension staff, Master Gardeners, and other qualified instructors. Core training may be offered online or in person.
F. Recruiting, screening, and selection of Master Gardener applicants as per State Master Gardener guidelines is provided by the Program Coordinator.
G. Identification, reviewing, and evaluating of volunteer opportunities for St. Charles Master Gardeners is provided by the Program Coordinator.
H. Compilation of volunteer hours on a quarterly basis to Master Gardeners and annual reporting of hours annually to the State Master Gardener Coordinator is overseen by the Program Coordinator.