SLW Approves 3 New Directors, Budget


Insider Writer

Seven Lakes West property owners elected three new directors at the association’s annual meeting March 19.

Kevin Gustafson, Frank Ingham and Coe Huddleston were the top three vote getters for seats on the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association Board of Directors.

Of the six candidates vying for the three open seats, Gustafson secured 538 votes; Ingham, 489 votes, and Huddleston, 459 votes. Of the three other candidates, Rita Wanser received 318 votes, Trish Augustine had 280 votes and Mike Jarman got 239 votes. The association received 808 total ballots from property owners.

Gustafson, who owns a wealth management firm based in Seven Lakes, has lived in the community for more than six years.

In his candidate statement for property owners, he wrote, “As a board member, my top goals are to help bring solid communication, transparency, and togetherness, along with stability to our community.”

Ingham is retired from the U.S. Army following a 38-year career. He has lived in Seven Lakes West for more than five years.

In his candidate statement to property owners, Ingham said, “I intend to serve the dues paying members of the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association with decisions made, projects critically evaluated before approval, and dollars frugally spent to serve them. This will be done in an orderly, disciplined, fiscally responsible and fully transparent manner.”

Huddleston is a retired physician assistant who has lived in the community since 1999.

In his candidate statement, Huddleston wrote, “ It will be a goal of mind to make the community aware of how their money is being spent. I will work to promote financial transparency and frequent town hall meetings.”

Also during the March 19 meeting, association president Josh Davis reported that the budget for the next fiscal year will be enacted even though a majority of the 800 members who cast ballots opposed its passage.

Under the N.C. Planned Community Act, all non-votes must be counted as “yes” votes. Since there were 909 eligible lots that did not vote, those were recorded as “yes” votes and combined with the other 351 favorable votes.

The $3.7 million budget for the new year will raise annual property owner dues from $1,550 to $1,826.

The $276 increase in dues would be less than the $514 figure that had first been shown during a town hall-style meeting back in September when the board was developing its budget.

Board members say the 17.8 percent increase in dues was needed because of the effects of inflation across the board, from maintenance costs to contracting for professional services.

Following the annual meeting, the new board elected the following officers and assigned certain duties:

President: Josh Davis, liaison to Leadership Support, Recruiting and Library Committees;

Vice President: Jack Roberts, liaison to Architectural Review, Infrastructure and Amenities Committees;

Treasurer: Kevin Gustafson, liaison to Finance and Insurance Committees;

Secretary: Coe Huddleston, liaison to Communication Committee;

Director 1: Bruce Keyser, liaison to Lake and Dam Committees;

Director 2: Frank Ingham, Long Range Planning, Safety and Security Committees; and

Director 3: Jim Greaves, IT, Legal Affairs and Events Committees