“Promote and support Stewardship of the Health and Welfare of Lake Auman and the Seven Lakes West Community through Excellence in Governance“
Hello Residents of Seven Lakes West! We hope today finds you healthy and in good spirits. Unfortunately, the governance of our community is not so well.
Our group recently undertook the unprecedented step of mailing an information flyer to each member of our community. We felt this would be the best first step to disseminate news of current events. Our website, lakeaumanwatch.com, will continue our contact with you – webpages will provide updates, more detailed history, relevant documents, and specific details.
[ NOTE: Throughout this website, many key points are “clickable” links for supporting/informative details. Clicking a link will OPEN a page in a new TAB of your ‘Browser’; simply CLOSE the TAB to resume your reading. ]
Through the flyer, or you may have heard, you may be aware that the Seven Lakes West Landowners’ Association (SLWLA) Board voted down a North Carolina State University proposed Lake Study. The Board had, what appeared to be, a pre-orchestrated discussion focusing on what the members of the Board claimed the study would “not do”- a discussion which was largely NOT focused on fact. You could watch the discussion in action, but the Board will not make the video file of the zoom meeting available; all Board meetings are recorded, a choice made by the Board, on the ZOOM website. Notably, the dam engineer RECOMMENDED the study, as did three committees: Lake, Dam, Lake Master Planning (Jan.26 & Feb. 23). The study was subjected to an unprecedented amount of scrutiny and input, more than any other initiative likely in the history of SLW. There are a lot of ways to ruin a lake. The dam is a quick and easy/important one, but the study looks at wave energy on all infrastructure, environmental ecology, boat density, etc. The members of this community need to hold the Board accountable and engage NC State on the lake study as soon as possible…the clock is ticking.
The vote on the study was made possible by a questionable election. The election did not follow specified procedures as detailed by the Community Manager. In addition, it appears that in conflict with our by-laws a developer or developers voted that are non-dues paying lots. In the Board Minutes for the January 2021 meeting, the Long-Range Planning Committee Report noted that there are 100 developer lots. A formal complaint was filed with the Community Manager regarding this discrepancy and included a list of known developer lots; however, no formal response was ever received…again, in clear violation of our by-laws. The votes in question were voted uniformly for the three announced winning candidates and interestingly also voted “yes” on the budget. The Community Manager responsible for the election has deferred all questions to the Board, at their direction. Notably, the Board is NOT supposed to be involved with the election and has yet to provide any tangible answers. The Board also chose to use the bully pulpit (Message Board and E-Blast) DURING the election, to malign a long-time volunteer member of the community running for the Board.
A history of questionable conduct, poor decision-making, and retribution is this Board’s trademark. In November of 2020, five long-standing volunteer members of the Lake Committee, with opinions contrary to the Chair and Co-Chair, were dismissed out of hand. The Lake Committee charter was rewritten and approved by the Board in Executive Session. The Co-Chair of that committee is now Secretary of the Board.
In March 2021, the Board summarily fired the Community Advocate while he was on vacation in Florida, completely unawares and unable to defend himself. He had investigated and corroborated with the Community Manager two complaints against the Board prior to his dismissal. He had been appointed for a three-year term in November 2019. The Board called the March 2021 dismissal his annual review – after the complaints against the BOD were substantiated and four months after his annual review should have been conducted.
In April 2021, at the same meeting the Board voted down the Lake Study, the Board President announced the name of a community member who was represented by an attorney that had sent a letter outlining multiple instances of Board misconduct. While calling the claims baseless, the Board President stated,
“the Board felt it appropriate in the spirit of transparency, to let members know that you, and several other unnamed members, have engaged an attorney who has sent a demand letter. The members have a right to know about potential legal issues, particularly when it involves spending membership dues to defend the Association.”
Interestingly, this trend of public ridicule of community members was also used against another family who filed an appeal in a zoning case involving the spillway. That family has since sold their home.
The Board’s view of transparency appears to be relative as they will not allow viewing of recorded regular Board meetings by anyone requesting to do so, nor have they disclosed any legal fees for at least two cases that were settled for an amount that would have more than covered the cost of the Lake Study. The truth is the Board is not defending the association, but is using the Association’s money to defend themselves for their own actions.
Now the Board refused to accept the Judicial Panel Chair appointment. The Panel members unanimously voted for the Chair and all are on three-year appointments. The Board President called all members of the panel to appear before the Board at the May 25th Board meeting and stated “your absence will be construed as a resignation from the Judicial Panel”. At the May BOD meeting all but one of the long-standing, respected Panel members were dismissed.
Residents of Seven Lakes West, it is time to WAKE UP and GET INVOLVED. To learn more, support our cause, or ask questions, just REGISTER or CONTACT US. The Lake Auman Watch (LAW) is dedicated to promoting and supporting stewardship of the health and welfare of Lake Auman and the Seven Lakes West Community through Excellence in Governance. We expect our Board of Directors and all SLWLA Volunteers to be open, honest and act in good faith for the benefit of the entire community. The LAW website, http://www.lakeaumanwatch.com, provides an alternative to the Board-controlled and censored SLW Message Board, e-Blast, and Facebook pages. You can view a great deal more information on our COMMUNITY INFORMATION page.
For a “Quick Tour,” viewing specific subjects, explore below:
- HISTORY – a “time lapse” snapshot of communications and actions throughout the community and by the BOD
- WAKE-CAPABLE BOATS – General information on these boats and particulars of their presence in SLW
- ELECTION of BOD 2021
- Lake Studies – In addition our NCU proposed Lake Auman Study, many other completed studies have been published.