BY MAGGIE BEAMGUARD || Insider Editor
The new year brings new board elections for the Seven Lakes communities.
This will be the first time Seven Lakes West residents will vote for new board members since the summary judgment issued this past summer over a lawsuit brought by 10 homeowners against the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association. The suit charged that votes cast by developers ineligible to vote had been improperly counted.
A look at what’s to come for the three Seven Lakes communities:
North and South
Those living in Seven Lakes North and South are governed by the Seven Lakes Landowners Association. The SLLA board has seven members. Each board member serves for a two-year term.
There are currently four nominees for four vacancies. Heather Guild and Mary Farley are current members who are running for another term. Nancy Keating and Danny Bowers are also in the running.
Board member Lawton Baker, who chairs the Standards and Judicial Committees and oversees the Nominating committee, said nominees are required to be homeowners and to have lived in the community for at least six months.
“The biggest problem is finding people who are willing to serve,” Baker said. “We went through over a dozen potential nominees and were able to come up with four candidates this year. I was hoping to have five or six.”
While the nominating committee has completed its slate, any eligible homeowner can be added to the ballot via a petition signed by at least 50 members in good standing and presented to the board at its last meeting in January.
Ballots will be mailed out in the new year and can be returned by mail or dropped off in the community office.
Baker would love to see a majority of homeowners vote in the election but noted a recent vote on language that would have amended the covenant on the northside to prohibit short-term rentals only garnered votes from about 47 percent of the eligible voters.
According to community by-laws, all ballots must be received at the SLLA office on or before 5 p.m. the Friday prior to the annual meeting. The new board members will be announced at the SLLA annual meeting this spring.
Seven Lakes West residents are governed by the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association. The nominating process is run by a three-member Recruiting Committee, which works independently from the board of directors. Ryan Fox is the current chair of the Recruiting Committee.
The Recruiting Committee also shoulders the responsibility for finding committee members and the judicial panel.
The nomination window opened well in advance of the Dec. 1 deadline to submit nominees.
The 2023 election seeks to fill three, three-year vacancies. The terms of Pat Zlotin, Todd Brown and Bruce Keyser are ending.
The nominees were announced at the board meeting on Dec. 20. Tricia Augustine, Kevin Gustafson, Coe Huddleston, Frank Ingham, Mike Jamon and Rita Wanser will be on the ballots to be mailed to every dues-paying lot owner by Feb. 1. The proposed budget will be on the ballot, in addition to these nominees.
According to community by-laws, “Individual nominations also may be made by petition. Each petition for a candidate must be signed by 3 percent of members entitled to vote (Article III, Section 6) and presented to the Secretary of the Board of Directors at least sixty (60) days prior to the annual meeting date.”
Residents will have an opportunity to learn about each of the candidates through a recorded interview conducted by the Recruiting Committee. Those interviews will be posted to the community website. Candidates will receive questions from the Recruiting Committee in advance so they have the opportunity to prepare.
The Board of Directors also announced changes in the voting procedures at its Dec. 20 meeting. These changes serve to create distance between the board and the election process and to give the process legitimacy. Board President Josh Davis said the changes were developed by select board members and committee chairs and guided by legal counsel.
Completed ballots will be due by Thursday, March 16. The election outcome will be announced at the SLLA Annual Meeting on March 19.
Contact Maggie Beamguard at firstname.lastname@example.org.