Recreation Director Mary Farley and Lakes & Dams Director Joy Smith have resigned from the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] Board of Directors, President Chuck Leach announced during the Board's Thursday, June 11 Work Session. Farley was in the second year of her two-year term; Smith was elected to the Board in March.
Leach encouraged anyone interested in serving on the Board to contact the Landowners Office.
Non-members on Committees
Continuing a debate on whether and how non-members should serve on SLLA Committees, Leach offered a compromise that he said would leave everyone unhappy.
"I believe Seven Lakes has benefitted immensely from the advice, knowledge, and expertise of some of our long term renters," he said. "I also believe it is inherently wrong for a renter to sit on the Finance Committee and vote for a dues increase, that's not paying one penny in dues." Leach said he also felt it is "inherently wrong" for nonmembers to sit on the Judicial, Community Standards, or Architectural Review [ARB] Committees.
He suggested the following policy: "Tenants and others who reside within the Seven Lakes community who are not landowners may participate in an advisory, non-voting on all the Board committees."
Director Bob Racine pointed out that state law makes no restrictions other than allowing only Association members to serve on the Judicial Committee.
"On all these other committees, they are advisory only," Racine said. "They advise the Board. We set them up. They report to the Board. I don't think we have to touch our rules and regulations or bylaws. They have worked in the past."
"I think we are operating under the misapprehension that committees actually vote," said resident Mary Meyer. "Committees tend to get consensus."
"I think saying 'non-voting members' creates a separation that we don't need in this community," she added. "We don't need to be exclusive, or exclusionary. We need to include people. There are committees that would suffer greatly, Recreation being one of them."
Resident George Temple said the Finance Committee members did tend to vote on whether to forward recommendations to the Board.
Leach argued that the Board tends "to go along with the recommendations of its committees."
Jane Leach noted that the ARB does make decisions that impact a homeowner's use of their property, without first going through the Board of Directors.
"The Board is the only group that has the right to make a decision," Resident Jim Allen said, "so a lot of the rest of this stuff is a red herring. You just had two people resign. You are having difficulty getting people to serve on committees."
"How can a committee be representative when you exclude somebody just because they are not a member?" Allen asked. "I don't get it. It doesn't have anything to do with their competence."
"You are missing a talent pool that is out there that is willing to serve and be excluding them I think you are doing something that is self-destructive."
In the end, Leach's motion, that renters and other non-member residents of Seven Lakes North and South can serve in a non-voting advisory role on all committees except Judicial, was moved to the Open Meeting in a four-to-one vote, with Director Racine opposed.