Mark Neath

Seabrook Island is a magical place. That’s why I moved here permanently in 2017 with my wife, Kim, and then teenage son, Jasper. Before that, we visited nearly every weekend when we owned a unit at Marsh Walk Villas. Jasper was lucky enough to grow up on the island, and he is now a tournament pickleball player due largely to his having learned the sport on Seabrook. Over the years I’ve come to love the Seabrook Island community and the friends I’ve made here. Now I can most often be found on the golf courses or the pickleball courts.

I am a recently retired tax attorney, accountant, and financial advisor and hope to bring my years of experience to the SIPOA Board’s finance committee. I graduated with a B.A. in government from Oberlin College in 1992 and obtained my J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1996. After admission to the Ohio State Bar, I practiced tax law with the international law firm Squire Sanders and managed the tax practice of a Cleveland CPA firm before moving to Charleston in 2002 (for the warmer weather of course).

In 2004, I co-founded what is now one of the leading accounting firms in Mt. Pleasant and was a partner there for nearly twenty years until my recent semi-retirement. I specialized in providing tax and financial advice to small business owners and retirees. From annual budgeting to financial analysis to tax planning, my work gave me a solid experience that I can draw on in working with the SIPOA Board and the finance staff if I am elected. I have also provided tax services to numerous property owner associations on Kiawah and Seabrook Island. As a former villa owner and treasurer of Marsh Walk Villas, I understand the unique financial issues that face villa owners as well as homeowners.

My sense is that SIPOA’s finances are sound, but I am concerned about how increased development and flooding may affect reserve needs. I also believe better communication, education, and transparency would benefit the community. How many property owners realize exactly what functions SIPOA performs as compared to the Town or the Club? How many have a sense of the capital reserves that are needed for road repaving, flooding, hurricane contingency, and more? For that matter, how might increased development and rising seas affect those reserve needs? The SIPOA staff does an admirable job administering our finances, but SIPOA could do a better job at communicating its work and explaining the budget. The recent changes at the Club to provide greater financial transparency and communication have been a welcome addition, and I think SIPOA could learn from its example.

Seabrook Island is a special place that depends on all of us working together. In short, I am running for the Board in hopes of giving something back to this community that I love. I look forward to hearing from you and learning what I can do to best represent and address your concerns.