TLA To Kickoff Critical Membership Drive

Maintain your septic field An unseasonable algae bloom in West Twin may be the result of nutrient-rich runoff from a faulty septic system. Property owners are encouraged to pump their tanks every year or two to keep them efficient and safeguard the lakes. This algae bloom is not harmful. But most would consider it unsightly.
A critical membership drive is underway as the Twin Lakes Association seeks to raise awareness and funds related to the battle to contain and eventually eradicate non-native hydrilla, which was discovered near the marina and state boat launch last year. Dues have been raised to $50 per member, from $25. The TLA also expects to attract more members through direct mail and other outreach. TLA expenses have increased more than 10-fold to $250,000 a year since the hydrilla find. Please submit your membership dues now via our updated TLA website. Joining and paying is easier than ever.

Save the date for a highly informative membership meeting on June 22 at Isola Bella at 10 a.m. At this meeting, you will hear more about hydrilla, the new boat launch monitors, and more. Another key date is June 27, when The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will hold the last of three public meetings to present an update on its Connecticut River Hydrilla Research and Demonstration project. Here’s how you can attend virtually.

The TLA is proposing bylaw changes designed to reflect our new reality as an organization with a vastly larger budget and greatly expanded responsibilities. Members will be asked to approve the following changes:

–Adding “the watershed” to the existing language of areas we protect and preserve. It has become clear that the entire watershed impacts the quality of water in the lakes. To that point, we are now engaged in a study funded by the Bates Foundation to formally examine the watershed’s impact on our lakes. 

–Reducing the term of service for directors and officers to three years, from four. Nothing prohibits serving longer. But given the new demands of the role, we believe this term is more appropriate.

–Creating more senior roles, not only for internal recognition but also for external communications and interactions.  This change will make it easier for the board to appoint vice presidents. We are proposing to ask Russ Conklin to become Vice President of Lake Management. There may be additional appointments in the future. The changes clear up the current language to make that possible.

–Doing away with the need for the board to receive membership approval for expenses on any project costing more than $5,000. This provision was written in 1977 and is a highly unusual practice for a non-profit. Meanwhile, the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $5,000 is $25,000 in 2024. Given the cost of treatment and other activities, this year our budget will exceed $250,000. We seek to remove this requirement of membership approval entirely. However, we will require expenses over $5,000 to be approved by three officers and those over $25,000 to receive a full board vote.

The proposed slate of directors to be voted on for the next three-year term will include three new candidates. They are:

Sharon Aiuvalasit is a long-time member of the lake community. As a child, she spent summers at the home of her parents, Marcie and Tony Aiuvalasit, on Between the Lakes Road. She competed in many Twin Lakes Days and was an active member of the Twin Lakes Beach Club. Sharon is a teacher in New York City where she and her daughter, Nadia, live in the winter while enjoying summers at the lake. Sharon is vice president of the Twin Lakes Beach Club and has been responsible for running Twin Lakes Day since 2023.  

Jack Mahoney grew up spending summers on a lake in New Jersey and feels lucky to have found the Northwest Corner and Twin Lakes.  He and his wife Anina are Lakeville residents and have owned their home since 2004.  For most of Jack’s long career in finance, he specialized in business strategy and market structure.  More recently, he moved into wealth advisory.  In a voluntary capacity, Jack has served as President and board member of a Manhattan co-op and the Twin Lakes Beach Club.

Jessica Swartz and her husband, Asa Davis, have owned a home on West Twin since 2021. Jessica is a New England native who grew up and has family in Cape Cod. The first time they drove Between the Lakes Road, with beautiful water views on both sides, they knew they had found their new home. Jessica has a PhD in Neuroscience and leads the Pfizer Global Supply Divisional Strategy team. She served six years on the NYU Board of Trustees. Jessica and her husband can be seen walking with their dog, Elektra, between the lakes, of course. 

‘There’s a lot at stake’ A new report, posted on the TLA website, from the Connecticut River Conservancy may be the easiest guide yet to understanding invasive hydrilla. It includes a short video where officials explain what’s at stake.

Remember to submit your photo contest entries. The theme is “colors,” and the contest is open to anyone including non-members. Submit by email to or via Instagram #tlaphoto2024. We depend on submissions to generate photos for our website. Please enter often. Two winners will receive $50 prizes and their photos will be featured on the website. The deadline is July 31.


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