President’s Letter (Chip Lightfoot)

August 2023

Dear Members of the Westlake Lake Community, I hope this message finds you all immersed in the joys of summer, relishing the beauty and serenity of our cherished lake! August certainly brings many experiences, from the boating and sailing to the leisurely moments at The Landing’s restaurants and shops, and enjoying the distinctive Yacht Club (for those of you that are members or guests of the Yacht Club).

One August experience that was quite unusual was Hurricane Hilary on Sunday, August 20th, and, if that wasn’t enough, add to it a 5.1 earthquake during the storm. Thankfully, it’s not often that we find ourselves dealing with both a hurricane and an earthquake in such close succession, particularly during a summer month.

I know safety and well-being of our community remain a priority that we all share. During an unexpected event like a storm and earthquake, not only are the local 911 “first responders” (i.e., Sheriffs and Fire Department) ready to help, our team at the Westlake Lake Management Association (WLMA) is assessing the situation. For example, our Lake Operations Manager, Nick Smith, personally inspected the lake during the storm, and visually inspected the dam after the earthquake and promptly reported to the WLMA Executive Committee and Board that all is well. We also have dam engineers on 24/7 call to inspect the dam, if necessary.

I’m also proud to share that a long-term dedicated member of our Lake Patrol, Bob Fruge, was hard at work during the storm, surveying the entire lake for debri or other concerns that may need attention. In addition, our own Mike Bogash, WLMA Vice President (volunteer), joined Bob on an inspection of the lake during the high point of storm, to consider if there were issues that needed to be addressed.

Also, WLMA receives consultation by US Coast Guard Retired Admiral Tim Sullivan. Admiral Sullivan is an integral part of the WLMA team, and available around the clock to help assist with emergencies related to the dam or lake. He has crafted our Emergency Action Plan (required for all dams by the Division of Safety of Dams) with coordination with local Sheriff and Fire Departments (i.e., “first responders”), as well as with representatives from Lake Sherwood, Malibu Lake, and Three Springs reservoir.

Reminder: Call 911 in an Emergency Reminder (“First Responders”): As discussed in my President’s Message in June, in the case of an emergency on the lake, you should immediately call 911. The 911 emergency personnel include the local Sheriff and Fire Department and are trained as the “first responders” for any lake emergency. These first responders are equipped to handle emergencies and know how to access the lake in an emergency.

As we anticipate the upcoming Labor Day festivities, let us continue to embrace the spirit of togetherness that defines our community. Safety remains a paramount concern, not only for ourselves but also for our fellow neighbors and boaters. Let’s remember to navigate the waters with caution and look out for one another, ensuring that each voyage is both enjoyable and secure.

Thank you for your trust in the Westlake Lake Management Association. Together, we will weather any storm and emerge stronger as a united community.

Warm regards,

Chip Lightfoot, President