SLWLA – BOARD Of DIRECTORS – COMMITTEES
As is typical of most landowner, or homeowner, associations, our association – SLWLA – is guided by decisions made by community residents, formed into the governing Board Of Directors (BOD). Boards will typically assign certain pivotal concerns for the community to COMMITTEEs, again being made up of residents; these COMMITTEES do research, define the critical decision points, and make studied recommendations to the Board. For larger communities, a ‘management firm’ is hired to follow through with decisions from the Board and service the many routine aspects of day-to-day operations.
Our Board, Committee members, and indispensable volunteers ALL contribute without compensation – as residents, their interests need to align with those found throughout the community.
However, our beautiful, seemingly serene lake community has recently become very divided regarding the current and future use of the “crown jewel” – Lake Auman. The lake is the largest in the area, providing 800 acres of aquatic recreation for the residents and their guests. Boating, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and viewing of nature are among the most popular activities enjoyed by the home owners. Certainly Lake Auman anchors the value of all property within the community.
In the past several years a growing sport, that has received national attention, is wake surfing. The sport has grown quickly and is very popular throughout North America. The sport requires a boat capable of producing large waves, thereby allowing an individual to “surf” in the wake of the boat. The controversy arises regarding the disruptive effect of the wake upon the entire surrounding community. This includes other people utilizing the lake, personal property (such as bulkheads), the earthen dam, the ecosystems within the lake, etc. This problem is NOT unique to Lake Auman and the Seven Lakes community. Some research on the internet will indicate this is a national problem and recreational lakes throughout the country are trying to determine how best to deal with the situation. Unfortunately, the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association (SLWLA) Board of Directors (BOD) have taken a rather passive role in governing this issue. One of our sister lakes (Lake Sequoia) has banned wake boats, after it was determined the clay bottom of the lake was being damaged and destroyed. The SLWLA BOD, which is dominated by wake surfing enthusiasts, have taken a much different approach by actually encouraging additional wake boats and surfing enthusiasts into the community.
Controversy about wake surfing’s short-term and long-term effect on Lake Auman has persisted for many years. Recent growth in numbers for registered wake-capable boats promotes an ever growing difficulty for a well reasoned community approach. Demonstrating this trend, this year’s contested election placed three “wake surfing friendly” individuals on the board (a thorough audit has been requested but denied by the BOD.) So, it was no surprise when an NCU study tailored to Lake Auman, and recommended by the various sub committees, was voted down by the BOD.
For furthering clarity, a breakdown into four general topics would be:
- 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 for 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.