Steering Committee Meeting Minutes – 1/6/15

Clinton Community Garden Steering Committee Meeting
6 Jan. 2015, 7:30 pm, Fountain House, West 47th Street, New York, NY
Attending:  Andy, Stan, Britta, Tom, Bruce, Yaeko, Kathy, LAURA
We were joined by Debbie and Tony Belgrave
The meeting was called to order.
Tony had a limited amount of time as he had to go to work.  Tony proposed that he take over caring for the East Side of the lawn.  Tony complained that Tom was digging up too many stones and bricks from underneath the lawn, and the uneven levels of the lawn, and the additional flat stones laid as a path are not safe for seniors.  Tony presented a letter dated Jan. 4 and a long view photo from 1985 showing the lawn as lush, as well as more recent photos from the present showing the lawn in its present state.  Tony asked Tom why he digs up the lawn so much.  Tom replied that Cornell had pointed out two problems with the lawn.  40% of the lawn was clay, which does not allow for the movement of water or allow organic matter to move through it.  Tom explained the dry well is where you dig down approx. 4 feet, then build up a chimney which allows more drainage.  Tony claimed there had not been a drainage problem before.  Tom said he began working on the lawn 2007, but in earnest in 2009, and we can ask Jane and Anne.  Tom asked Tony if he had read the lawn proposal approved by the SC in both 2009 and 2013, and if Tony had ever participated in any of the Lawn Treatment days since they were started in 2009?  To both questions Tony answered no.  Tony had to leave to go to his work.

Debbie asked to reconsider where the hose reel should be placed on the West lawn.  Currently it is placed on the West lawn, at the west end in front of the native American bed.  We have always tried to keep our fixtures out of the way.  Annie cannot come due to death of a neighbor so Debbie is coming in her place.  Annie agrees to the hose reel being placed in the Native American bed, but at a different place.  Tom advised that the placement of the new hose reel was approved three years ago.  It was pointed out that Tom never consulted with anyone about placing the new hose reel.  Tom agreed to take down the new hose reel if necessary.
The Steering Committee dicussed Tony’s proposal.  Tom claimed that noone had complained to him about the lawn before.  It was pointed out that people have been complaining about the lawn for some time, and Tom later acknowledged there had been a lot of complaints.    It was pointed out that Tom has been watering the lawn even shortly after a rain.  It was pointed out that the lawn is now uneven with a lot of ruts, where it used to have an even surface.  It was suggested we could have a Xeriscaped lawn, which does not require watering beyond what rainfall provides.  It was pointed out that Tom has said he has watered the lawn to prevent people from going on it, Tom claimed this was only a joke.  Tom advised he started the lawn project in 2009 with a plan from Cornell, and anyone who reads the plan can follow it.  It was suggested that Tom listen to alternative ideas.  Tom suggested we give him through the Spring Treatment, with Tom listening to alternative ideas, until Memorial Day, then the steering committee can view the lawn.  Tom claims it takes 3-4 weeks for the grass seed to racinate ( root ) and then 5-6 more weeks for the roots to strengthen to withstand foot traffic.   Tom claims the lawn is not dug up, he has just dug stones out of the lawn and aerated it.  Tom’s proposal was seconded, voted, Passed with 5 yeas and 4 abstaining.
The padlock on the front gate was discussed.  We will stay with the new padlock, many have keys, Andy will put more keys in the mailbox.
We have been advised the four steering committee members will resign, we need more members for the steering committee.  Bios and photos requested for steering committee candidates.
By next month we will have the proposed changes to the bylaws.  The bylaw subcommittee has figured out a way for Volunteers without plots to vote, and this will be included in the bylaws proposal.  Andy will send the proposed bylaw changes out to everyone for review.
We will have to register as a Green Thumb garden again, we should have several people take Green Thumb’s class, which is on Jan. 24.
Late January, early February we can go to Steve’s office in LIC to handle the mailings for plot renewals and ballots.
Andy cannot make the Annual Meetings, he has a conference which was scheduled some time in advance.  Agenda items for the Annual Meeting are requested.
Andy and Yaeko advised that the plumbing by thier plots is leaking, there was a motion to get this repaired, seconded, passed unanimously.
Stan will be leaving the Steering Committee March 2015 but is happy to continue to do IT and the Facebook account.
There was a motion to adjourn, seconded, passed, the meeting was adjourned.