Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Update On Roosevelt Island Garden Club Insurrection, RIOC Getting Involved But Still Nothing Resolved - Spring Meeting Taking Place Tonight

Image From April Ward

As previously reported, there is an ongoing insurrection/rebellion/dispute between factions of the Roosevelt Island Garden Club (RIGC) as to who is the President of the organization, whether the October 2012 election of April Ward as President was valid pursuant to their bylaws and how the RIGC should be managed.

The issue was discussed during the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee (audio webcast here at approximately 58 minute 30 second mark) on Monday and the Real Estate Advisory Committee (audio webcast here at approximately 39 minute 30 second mark) yesterday.  I will have more on what happened during these meetings later but the bottom line is nothing was resolved regarding who is in charge of the RIGC, whether the RIGC permit will be renewed by RIOC and if renewed, under what circumstances.

Ms. Ward sent the following announcement regarding a RIGC meeting tonight.
Spring Membership Meeting
Every paid member is invited to attend, participate and vote
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Senior Center, 546 Main
7-9pm with Q&A afterwards

Come! Say hello to other members, have a snack and chat while checking out our progress on issues you brought to our attention. YES, even in the middle of an attempted insurrection, we continue to work for you! Please come prepared to write your questions for officers on a card, to be answered during the President's address or during the question and answer period after the meeting. If you have attended garden meetings before, well, this is a plant of another color. All people are welcome and because we are obligated in our bylaws to adhere to Roberts Rules of Order, all behavior is not. It is the Chair's duty to adhere to the Rules of Order which protect the assembly from abuse and waste of time. My goal is to have everyone depart with a happy feeling, thinking of the new plants they will grow this season.

7-7:30 snack and chat, look around, sign up, fill out cards with questions for officers
7:35-8 President's address, answer questions cards
8-8:10 break
8:10-9 Business meeting, agenda is in the bylaws
(The amendment to clarify membership categories will not be brought to vote. 1. It is completely unnecessary to amend bylaws when a full discussion and vote has already been done to interpret the bylaws and 2. The amendment was offered to the small group of disaffected members as a peace offering which clearly failed to nurture cooperation.)
9-9:30? answer questions
9:45 clean up and any way it goes, join me for a drink on me at the Trellis

Please let me know whether you will attend the Spring meeting or not so we can plan for food and chairs.

Volunteers are needed before and during the meeting; please email me to help
Hosts - set up & monitor food and drinks
Registration table - sign people in, give name tags, ask for paperwork that we need
5:30-6:45 Set up
Food- hors d'oeuvres & drinks
Registration table- colored name tags on necklace, registration forms, waivers, rules and regulations, bylaws
Committee tables - sign up sheets, info on committee work

President's Report

Hello Garden Club Members!

The air and soil are slowly warming - Spring has arrived! If only on the calendar, certainly in our minds we are not too far from our individual and collective efforts to plant and grow the gifts of the garden. While our permit for the garden has expired and the garden is closed, it’s time to meet and organize our committed members to re-invent the Roosevelt Island Garden Club, LTD.

If you are a member (and whether you have your own plot or not, if you paid your dues this year, you are!), I hope you will attend this meeting. In addition to so many things we need to plan for the coming season, there are three important matters that we as a club need to address.

1. We need to establish effective governance, to ensure that RIOC allows us to continue to use the community garden.

2. We need to engage and organize the associate members so that they can form a border committee and create a beautiful, cohesive border garden. This is important because in our permit for the community garden, RIOC specifically says that we need to have a flower border.

3. We need to ensure that all members are engaged, and that their rights are protected.

I understand that all this work around club governance is not why you're a garden club member, but the fact is that we are an organization that needs to ensure that coming to the garden is enjoyable and safe for all members,and that we are able to do the things that RIOC asks us to do in the garden permit. I look forward to your participation on Wednesday so we can sort all this out, convince RIOC to reopen the garden for us, and start planting!

The following is the President’s report to our membership.

1. New weeding tool options will be at the Membership Meeting. Take a look and let us know what you think of them.

2. Locks – The center gate has a new padlock on it until we decide on new lock sets and keys. When the garden opens, use the two side gates.

3. We found a source for bagged organic compost!! This will be good for most any soil and won’t have the weed problems we had last year. You can sign up for soil, compost, manure and other yummy soil amendments at the meeting. Your soil will love you!

4. Website – research on our new website has begun! There will be a suggestion sheet at the meeting or you may write to us. If you are familiar with a garden website you’d like us to model ours on, let us know which one it is.

5. We found the old Roosevelt Island Garden Club logo and it is being cleaned up for use on the website and letterhead! You can see it at the meeting.

6. We will start recycling this year and new landfill trash procedures will be in place to reduce donations to landfill.

7. remains our email address. Some unhappy members are sending emails and letters to some of you stating that, even though I was elected President by your overwhelming vote at the Fall Membership Meeting in October, they think I was not elected President "similar to electing a president of the United States who is not a US citizen." How laughable! As you know, I am a US citizen, resident of Roosevelt Island with a family and a dedicated friend and member of your community and Roosevelt Island Garden Club. Rest assured I will not abandon my commitment to you and my acceptance of your trust in me as your president. The so called self created "Executive Board" are not a recognized or authoritative group and have no legal standing or power to run anything in the Roosevelt Island Garden Club, LTD. You should regard any direction from them as null, void and of no legal effect.

8. Community Composting is coming to our garden! We will be able to turn most of the clippings into black gold for everyone.

9. Jim Bates from the Disabled Association is now working with us to match people with available plots.

10. I went to a gardening intensive at the New York Botanical Gardens and will share some of what I learned in an upcoming email.

11. Some members mentioned wanting to go on field trips. We can borrow the Boy Scouts' van and options will be announced at the meeting.

See you on Wednesday,

April Ward
Roosevelt Island Garden Club


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Mickgirl said...

Although I am not a Garden Club member, as a Roosevelt Island citizen, I am pleased to see this leadership! Best of luck to the Garden Club; I will enjoy your offerings on my daily walks! Plant on!

PAUL said...

Omg so funny, but that's what happens if you keep the retirees cooped up too long. Please keep this trivia on the front page.

Tony Pham said...

Thank you for offering an outsider point of view. It's unimaginable how uncivil people can get.

CheshireKitty said...

If Schuppert is the GC's president, how could he have hijacked his own meeting? If the GC is going to elect officers under the bylaws, then April Ward is not the GC's president - Schuppert is. That means Ward is the hijacker - not Schuppert.

Tony Pham said...

For some reason you think that Schuppert remains the president with out running and with out a single vote from last election. Did he change his last name to Stalin?

CheshireKitty said...

No, I think the last election was invalid. Maybe Schuppert's term has expired meanwhile. However, given that the organization has to have some leadership, the only logical conclusion is that the most recent President elected under the Bylaws remains President as long as the Bylaws are in effect, which they are. An election of members and by members should be held asap.