The following was sent into The Seven Lakes Insider by a reliable anonymous source. The views and expressions within this article do not represent The SLI.
Major changes are coming to Seven Lakes West as the Board of Directors has terminated its contract with CAS who has been the management company there since 2008.
Replacing CAS is a Company called Grand Manners which is based in Texas. The implication for the change is that the community has grown form 600 homes in 2008 to around 1100 today.
After the Board and Leadership Committee did some due diligence they chose to go to the new company. Details about the new company and what they will provide for the community remain unknown other than to say that they will “[offer] improvement in accountability through processes and systems through their state of the art systems that will help the Board and committees with reporting, tracking and archiving information, potentially making governance both more transparent and accountable”.
The Board has stated that the new company will hold a Town Hall Meeting in the near future to explain how they will operate. However, this new management comes at a significant cost to the Community.
Last year the Board approved an increase in the administrative budget of well over $100,000 and has increased it again this year to over $40,000. In total the membership will be paying over a half a million dollars for administration support.
The details of the agreement have not been posted as of yet but one item sticks out – when a member sells their home, the new management company will charge a fee of $400 prior to the sale. This is despite the fact that the Board posted that there would not be any increase in fees for the next budget year.
Only time will tell whether this move is in the best interest of the membership but one thing is for sure, as the Board President stated, “It comes at a cost.”
It should also be noted that the Board of Directors went on a spending spree recently and spent dues money on the purchase of two pieces of land – 14 acres behind the current boat storage lot and a lot on Longleaf at the end of Lakeway Drive.
The 14 acres cost $144,301.74 and the lot $150,142.24 for a sum total of $294,444.24. The Board has approved a significant increase in dues to cover all of the expenditures.
Even if the Community does not approve the budget, the new dues will go into effect unless two-thirds of all members vote it down (which has never happened). Typically, only 400 to 500 Members vote.
The Boards’ rational is that we are paying fewer dues that Seven Lakes North and South, Pinewild, and Legacy Lakes. Therefore, we should increase them to stay even with other communities.