Finance Committee Minutes

Friday, October 26, 2012


In Attendance: Sandy Scott Chair, Jim Plank, Pam Rivette, Lynelle Johnson, Eva Ybarra

  1. Audit:
  • Overall audit looks very clean
  • Change capitalization from $1k to $3.5K (we made that change July 2011)
  • Include pie chart in audit taking into consideration the theory that accounting principles apply with regards to value of donated services
  • Ask Daphne to email audited financials to FC and detailed depreciation after the audit is completed so FC has something to refer back to next year
  • Request that Zach run a “spell check” on his document before finalizing so that punctuation, etc is corrected
  • Request that auditor send tax returns electronically so that FC can retain in computers (Note that hard copy of returns will be filed in Admin, not in FC binder)
  • Ask Zach if he can attend next FC meeting in November


  1. Insurance:
  • Brad provided life insurance information that Mary Anne would like to review at our November FC since she was not able to attend today’s meeting due to other Gardens’ business
  • Discussed pros/cons of providing employee’s spouses with life insurance
  • Need to analyze information we currently have on life insurance and determine if we need to invite Brad to Nov FC meeting to explain further.
  • Be sure to include Personnel Chair Sandi Janisch to next FC meeting if we are going to discuss life insurance so that PC will have needed info to make a recommendation regarding employee benefits


  1. Financials:
  • Continue to work with Eva on P&L format for Finance Committee (Emphasized that it is not the intent of FC to increase her workload and that she needs to inform FC when that happens.)
  • Liquid cash report continues to show a rise. Some of that due to weekly Tuesday Store sales that is boosting revenues.. A new column has been added to reflect addition of F.B. Credit Union acct.
  • We are on the right track financially to begin to address some of our long over due capital needs
  • Sept Gross Profit for Nursery: 68.2% with YTD of 66.6%
  • Sept Gross Profit for Store: 48.6% and YTD of 49.5%
  • Eva will change FOG payables to coincide with FOG sales so that they balance each other off on a monthly basis
  • Noted that Cowlicks income is down but there will be additional revenue once final payment on Oct 12th is reflected in the books. Also waiting for final payment of PG&E bill.
  • Memberships are below budget projections however;   it is important to note that membership figures are substantially higher that last yrs actuals.
  • Store staff should be recognized for their efforts in selling memberships
  • Note: Recommend that next yrs budget be flat for membership renewals so that it is distributed over 12 months evenly to more accurately reflect our membership renewals.
  • IT expenses are over projected budget due to stolen computers. (Due to $500 donation from IBM some of that expense will be covered.)
  • Accounts have been established at Redwood Investments when funds were removed from Edward Jones


  1. Budget:
  • Recommend that next yrs budget be flat for membership renewals so that it is distributed over 12 months evenly so that it more accurately reflects our membership renewals.
  • Look at need to begin a 20 yr capital plan that establishes priorities and funding costs w/out the use of restricted funds
  • Make needed decisions regarding employee benefits packages so that these costs can be incorporated into next yrs budget
  • Eva will provide preliminary budget for Nov FC meeting
  • Target date: draft budget ready for review at January 2013 Board meeting


  1. Tentative Finance Committee meeting dates (4th Thurs of the month at 9:30)

Nov 29                                                                                                     

Dec 13 (to work on budget)                               March 28

Jan 3 (? budget)                                                April 25

Jan 24                                                              May 23

Feb 28                                                              June 27


Next Month’s Meeting Date: Thursday, Nov29th at 9:30am






November 14, 2012


The Education Committee met on November 1st to continue work on interpretive signage. Ted and Fran Steinhardt presented images and draft text for 2 signs for the Dahlia garden. We also discussed possible guidelines for how new signs are proposed, developed, approved and tracked. The committee will continue this conversation and submit a draft report for discussion at next month’s board meeting.


Wendy Roberts, Chair

(Present: Ted and Fran Steinhardt, Erin Clark, Mary Anne Payne)




Garden Advisory Committee Minutes 

August 3, 2012

Members Present:          Sandy Scott, Dan Charvet, Pam Callaghan, Walt Valen, Patrick Miller, Bob and Judy Mathey: Mary Anne Payne, ex-officio



  1. Entrance Committee - Patrick Miller lead discussion on design for pathways throughout garden and entry design ideas.


  • The beginning of the main pathway would be re-aligned to make it obvious on entry from the entrance building.
  • Proposed main pathway throughout garden would have 2 loops – 1 the Entrance Garden Loop, and 2nd the Coastal Loop. There would be 3 Wayfinding Kiosks – 1 at the entrance garden (beginning of loop), 1 at the narrows, and 1 at the beginning of the Coastal Loop. One section near the narrows would be removed near the narrows – enabling more wind screen planting on the North property line.
  • Materials for the main pathway would be recognizable from all other pathways vie colored concrete, and/or with edging of 12” minimum diameter stones.
  • The main pathway would be a minimum of 8’ width, ADA compatible, and would be accessible to vehicles.
  • The Coastal loop could be constructed of DG (lined with Stones would delineate it).
  • Secondary pathways – there are 4-5 other paths that could also be ADA approved. Marketing the experience at ‘The Garden’ as ADA accessible would be a boon. These pathways would be 5’ wide.
  • Tertiary pathways would be 3’wide.
  • The Pathway on the South side of entrance garden (while marked for removal) is necessary for access by the Honeydipper truck.

Entrance Framework

  • Block off the view of the front of the Entrance Building with plants to draw attention to the entrance driveway and doorway – all the same plant is preferred (Rhododendrons were suggested).
  • Remove the road to the Admin Buildings, and define the walk to Admin Buildings.
  • Install a defined driveway (with different material/color) to announce the entryway.
  • Construct a fan shaped apron with benches, Orientation Panel (8’x8’), and relocated sign (from present entry). There would be another different material for surfacing. Materials discussed were colored concrete, DG, Stabilized DG, Slate and Stone tiles.
  • Behind building - Have 1 door for entering the garden, and utilize the door to the gift shop for exiting. Entrance and Exit are demarcated with the same surface (paving) as the entrance to the building.

 Main Highway Sign

  • There were 3 options for design given. The committee seemed to like the idea of a sail shape - perhaps constructed of Corten Steel.

 Plantings - Pam Callaghan discussed the plantings at the driveway entry

  • The two large beds either side of the entry sign on the highway could be simplified. Planted with primarily evergreen species, and mostly low in stature. Heathers were suggested, and got general approval.
  • For some summer splash – taller grasses or perennials could be added in central ‘bubbles’ that would be hidden in winter when cut back.
  • Patrick offered to provide site plan to Pam. She will draw ‘bubbles’ or areas of planting of varieties with suggestions for texture, height, etc. The committee (Sandy, et. al.) will work on the specific plants.
  • Pond planting – the edges should be cleaned up with more low growing and better looking species.
  • The island - Walt suggested using large boulders for interest, and limiting the species to Gunnera and one or 2 very low species (perhaps the very small Gunnera).
  • Conifer planting at parking needs much improvement. Walt suggested with some agreement to remove the taller conifers, and concentrate on mounding dwarf conifers. Remove and replace the old planting of Diosma would be warranted.
  1. Rhododendron Update - Bob Mathey –

Bob discussed his meeting with Paul Molinari for Rhododendron donations. Molinari only does hybrids, and has some tender leaved that we don’t have in the collection. Plants that he has to donate are:

2 4 g. Peter Schick (cross w/arborium and yak

3 2 g. Patricia Marie (Madeni Hybrid) suggested planting the 3 in a group

3 2 g. John Paul Evans (Madeni Hybrid)

3 2 g. Roy Hudson

  • Rare tender Leaf Rhodies that are only from rare collections (Species Foundation) are missing from the collection. Bob will get some and grow on till big enough to donate.
  • Bob hopes to get a R. Vialii
  • He will spend more time with Jim Celeri to assess what’s out there and what needs to be moved.


  1. Camellia update - Dan Charvet

(The order of Spruce Liners (200) and Western Red Cedar (100) has been begun – the plants have been tagged for purchase.)

  • 4-5 Camellia species have been removed from the garden due to virus and other disease(?).
  • 1 species that is important was removed due to virus and should be replaced.
  • He wants to tag pines for removal outside the narrows.
  • He also wants to plant 4-5 other species that have improved fragrance, virus and petal blight resistance.
  • He will do a proposal on paper for the committee.
  • There was a group discussion on removals of the Pine trees (log and chip, arborist removal, dead standing leaving stumps). The group seems to agree on complete removal of the pines.


  1. Heather Update - Sandy Scott
  • Mario is putting a list together of Heathers that we should have. Ie. Hardy S. African, etc.
  • 1 mound in the Heather section is empty.
  • Another bed that is along the main path near the entry to the Heather garden has a ‘mish/mash’ of Mediterranean plants. This bed could be renovated with the plants that Mario suggests.
  • Other beds could use some larger species added for accent plants.


  1. Long Range Planning
  • Trees/shrubs have been tagged by Walt and Pam for removal along the fence in the North Forest. Dan and Patrick need to give the o.k. via e-mail by August 15th). Sandy, Mary Anne, Bob and Judy have already approved.
  • A presentation to the board of the committee’s Long Range Planning Proposal is due in January.
  • Discussion of the list of priorities outlined:
    • Collections – Define perimeters (Sub-collections, areas), program (emphasis, direction), address interpretation.
    • Visitor Experience – Signage, pathway improvements, entrance, Access, Wayfinding, Amenities
    • Maintenance and Operation – Articulate standards.
    • Resolve the question – Display Garden or Botanical Garden?
    • Decision of how far does the cultivated garden go: Do we do restoration of natural areas to natives only?


  1. Head Gardener Update – Mary Anne Payne

There were 19-20 applicants (4 were from present staff)

4 were interviewed and 2 really stood out as distinct possibilities for hire.

References will be checked now.