By Former Board Secretary & Parliamentarian, Marcy G. Mermel, 10-19-20
As reported in September, I resigned from my responsibilities as Corporate Secretary and Parliamentarian due to my Mother’s August passing in Illinois and the news of surprisingly complicated surgeries of my own. I felt it unfair to the board to try to accommodate my remote status, especially as it had escalated to that of an indeterminable length of time. I was informed that the board’s plan was to replace my positions with new director JoAnne Corry. [Editor’s note: the positions were NOT filled by Corry.]
I have since been keeping up with HSV governance and committee work via the YouTube channel and HSVPeople.com. During the September 16th Regular Board meeting, after Treasurer Foltz’s detailed report (timed at 58:47), Chairman Sherman commented, “Job well done.” However, after Director Avila’s question about supplementing over-all revenue, both GM King and Foltz made comments such that the board may need to invest some additional dollars into the F & B (Food & Beverage) crisis to give King a chance for a long-term success. Oddly, as if the encouragement of spending more money was a major transgression, Sherman’s very next statement (at 1:07:38) was a seriously toned: “Wayne, the Board would like to talk to you after this meeting.” Foltz appeared surprised, but replied, “O.K?” After a very pregnant pause, Sherman remarked, “No, just kidding”, as he and the rest of the board laughed at the joke – inappropriate as it was, based on what they had planned for Foltz that afternoon, evening, and next day.
In June of 2019, I received a call from then Director Podawiltz and soon to be Candidate Sherman, requesting me to accept the nomination of Corporate Secretary, Parliamentarian, and Treasurer (multi-tasking allowed by our bylaws) on installation day, 2020. Shortly thereafter, I courted Dan Aylward into joining the team as Treasurer – considered quite a win for Podawiltz and now “LTD”. Dan and I were asked not to run for a director’s seat, as it was important that all three LTD Candidates win the election. We were assured that as Ex-Oficio board members our jobs were extremely important; our opinions were equal to that of any other board member; and, that we would be involved in every board meeting, discussion, and decision, as we needed to be privy to all that was happening to be able to do our jobs effectively.
Never was it even intimated to me, Aylward (then followed by Foltz) that our jobs were temporary in nature. The only exception (if it could be regarded as that) was sometime in June of 2020 when Chair Podawiltz and Vice-Chair Sherman asked if I would give up the Secretary position so that Ella Scotty could continue to have enough to do (after Nalley’s contract termination). I said, “Of course, I would do anything to help Ella keep her job.” I had known Ella since 2015 – my first year as a director – and appreciated and liked her very much. None of us had known that 90+% of her job was the busywork of the Corporate Secretary’s position.
I did warn, however, that based on Incorporation Law and Robert’s Rules of Order, the Corporate Secretary position was much more than just the organization of packages, scheduling of meetings, and taking of minutes. And, when we asked Ella to take on the position, she said, “No way, that’s too much responsibility and way above my pay-grade”. So, the compromise was that I remain officially, signing documents and coordinating with Ella weekly, while Ella reverted back to doing the physical job requirements as it was when Nalley was Corporate Secretary.
Still, the effort to keep Ella employed was in no way a suggestion of either Corporate position being temporary. In fact, to the contrary, it was more important than ever, even supported by bylaw changes and the creation of the Finance and Planning Committee, to assure the Villagers the proper checks and balances that come with both positions being held by Volunteers, was soundly planted in place. This was vital so that there was no longer a chance of comingling Corporate Fiduciary Responsibilities with employee job duties, often creating a conflict of interest.
I was confused by the Board’s actions regarding Treasurer Foltz’s dismissal and more so surprised at reverting back to Employees holding the Corporate Positions. But, nothing compared to how offended and disappointed I was while reading the statements that appeared in the September 17th Eblast Announcement – misinforming the Village that we were merely players in a plan to strategically implement “short-term goals”…..untrue and unprofessional….we weren’t players, but we sure got “played”. [Click here to read the Village Voice’s report on Marcy’s resignation.]
My heart goes out to Wayne Foltz for all his hard work in the short time he served as Corporate Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance & Planning Committee. My sincerest gratitude, along with a debt I will never be able to repay, goes to Dan Aylward, who said “Yes” without a moment’s hesitation when I asked him to join me and the (hopefully) “new” team. In my humble opinion, Dan quite may have been the best thing that ever “could have” happened to Hot Springs Village. He and his lovely wife Donna (who was also a great asset to HSV), have since moved to Florida. How many extraordinary residents like Dan Aylward, or Phil Lemler, do we have to lose until we realize we are heading down a slippery slope to a place we will not recognize as the Paradise we call our Home – Hot Springs Village?