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HSV POA Needs Non-board Parliamentarian

The following email was sent to the Board of Directors re: HSV POA needs a non-board Parliamentarian.

Dear HSV POA Board of Directors,

We presently have a situation where some of our Board meetings are becoming a bit chaotic and we have a Board Director acting in the position of Parliamentarian.  There is some question as to whether this Director has the experience and qualifications to fill this role, as correct Parliamentary procedure is not being followed.

Opertec dot com defines the role of a Parliamentarian as follows:

“A Parliamentarian is an expert in rules of order and the proper procedures for the conduct of meetings of deliberative assemblies. Parliamentarians assist organizations in the drafting and interpretation of bylaws and rules of order, and the planning and conduct of meetings.”

The Board Directors have their hands full, trying to direct the many varied and complicated aspects of the community and really don’t need to take on this additional role and police themselves.  They have shown that they are either not trained or not willing to follow proper protocol.

According to ParliPro dot com, a firm providing professional parliamentary services, “A member of an assembly who acts as its parliamentarian has the same duty as the presiding officer to maintain a position of impartiality, and therefore does not make motions, participate in debate, or vote on any question except in the case of a ballot vote. He does not cast a deciding vote, even if his vote would affect the result, since that would interfere with the chair’s prerogative of doing so. If a member feels that he cannot properly forgo these rights in order to serve as parliamentarian, he should not accept that position. Unlike the presiding officer, the parliamentarian cannot temporarily relinquish his position in order to exercise such rights on a particular motion.”

According to ParliPro, Ms. Luehring should be impartial, not make motions, participate in debate or vote on any question, except a ballot vote.

Due to the impactful content of our POA Board meetings and the fact that a Parliamentarian should not participate in the meetings in the same manner as a Director, we would like to suggest the appointment of a Parliamentarian who is not a sitting Board Member.

Furthermore, we would like to suggest the appointment of Marcy Mermel to the role of HSV POA Parliamentarian.   We desperately need a fair, unbiased, experienced, dedicated and competent non-board member to fulfill this role and we believe Mermel is the right individual. 

We approached Marcy Mermel and asked her if she would consider serving as the Parliamentarian for the HSV POA Board of Directors if she were asked by the Board to serve. We approached her because we were aware she had considerable experience.  She said she would be willing to perform this role.  

Upon our request, Marcy Mermel has provided her Parliamentarian resume which clearly shows she has more than adequate experience to do the job. (Please see Mermel’s Parliamentarian resume below.)

We understand it is not our decision, but hope that you will consider your fiduciary responsibility and appoint Mermel to the role of Parliamentarian.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this suggestion and we look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Robert's Rules of Order
HSV needs non-board Parliamentarian

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryl Dowden, May 9, 2019


Edited May 10, 2019 to add Chairwoman Erickson’s response to this email. (Permission was requested and then granted to make this response public.)

Hi, Cheryl,

We have sought guidance from our attorney on this matter, and as a board we will consider any changes to our practices and governing documents in accordance with that advice.

Having said that, I don’t believe “board meetings (plural) have become chaotic”.  If you’re citing the special meeting on April 17, Nancy as our parliamentarian will be addressing that topic in her board member comments on May 15.  


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