A slate of friendly officers excited about the garden and eager to work together is awaiting one missing piece for your approval this spring – a chairperson. The people we’ve talked with have expressed a lot of hesitancy, perhaps because of the perceived time commitment, or the prospect of tackling difficult and divisive issues, or both. We should address these concerns collectively if we are to raise up gardeners willing to take leadership roles and to help all of us enjoy a well-functioning, vibrant community garden.
Here are four important steps that have been taken so far:
1) I’ve talked with each of our candidates individually and we’ve met together to discuss concerns, interests, time limitations, and ways to work together to make it a group effort – and one that’s enjoyable. No one person has to do it all. The team in place is excited and ready to share responsibilities. (Vice Chair: John Ventre, Treasurer: Deidre Crowley, Corresponding Sec: Cindy Line, Recording Secretary: Elizabeth Coleman)
2) We’ve created a panel of “emeritus” officers, myself included, who are here to be supportive in any way possible. Hopefully we’re cool heads for advice, counsel, special assignments, encouragement, maybe a cold beer on a hot day too.
3) We’re setting a straight-forward agenda for the next two years. We’ll take care of our great place by being good gardeners; tending what needs to be tended, fixing things that break. We’ll hold off on major projects.
4) The Dues Committee has researched our finances carefully and has a thoughtful path forward for 2012. It includes a plan for creating annual budgets that would be discussed with the gardeners and form the basis for any future increase in dues. This should be a very rational way to live within our means this coming year and into the future.
Here are two steps that we need from the rest of you:
1) Please consider taking a turn as the chairperson. While it’s not for everyone, there are a number of people who are capable. We’re really trying to take the burden away from the roles and set our officers up for success.
2) Please be kind and respectful toward your officers. They’re volunteering extra time they don’t really have. They don’t need excuses, mean-spirited comments, or high maintenance issues. They’re gardeners, let’s not expect them to also be counselors and politicians.
I think we have a great model in place for this and future seasons. Please give me a call if you’re interested in serving: 267-250-6451.
Attached is a job description for the Garden’s Chairperson.
* Work to keep all gardeners constructively engaged in the various responsibilities of garden membership
* Drive new ideas forward to completion, if desired by the garden
* Ensure committees are running properly
* Set agenda for monthly meetings, run meetings in a fair and timely manner
* Work toward resolution of significant disputes
* Maintain/own bylaws
* Execute necessary warnings
* At least three years of active experience in our garden to know how it works
* Ability to get along with all types of people
* Understand when to compromise
* Enough personal time to attend general and committee meetings and have garden “face time”
* Excitement and passion about our garden and its people
Don’t take this job if
* You have thin skin
* Have too many other commitments
* Some of our gardeners “get on your nerves”
* You are uncomfortable with disagreements and disputes