Diamondhead residents react to incorporation ruling

By Al Showers – bio | email

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - Diamondhead is buzzing over the news that it may soon be Mississippi's newest city. As we first told you Tuesday night, Senior Judge Bridges ruled in favor of the community's incorporation request.

It was the hot topic of discussion at Prestige Fitness in Diamondhead Wednesday morning.

"I'm actually very positive about it," Diamondhead resident Judy Lee said. "I'm glad it finally happened. It took a long time. We finally got a judge that made a decision fairly quick."

Lee said functioning as a city will bring a number of positive changes to Diamondhead.

"From the federal government, we will get representation on federal funding when there is a disaster. I think Diamondhead lost out on a lot of the federal funding that was available to incorporated areas, and we did not get that during Katrina, specifically."

Opponents of incorporation have said if Diamondhead is allowed to become a city, residents would see a new layer of taxes.

Resident David LaRochelle disagrees.

"It is my understanding that the POA [Property Owners Association] dues will go down in the amount that we will end up paying the city itself," LaRochelle said. "So I don't think that there is going to be that much of a net difference."

Resident Alan Lee echoed that sentiment.

"I think as you get bigger, I think you need to advance to the next step and I think incorporation is that next step," Lee said.

"I think the majority of the people here are in favor of it," LaRochelle said.

Two thirds of the 5,800-plus registered voters in the community signed a petition in favor of incorporation, but not all residents are convinced the judge made the right decision.

"If it's not broken, don't fix it, or try to," resident Frank Garcia said. "At this point, I'm indifferent to what's going on."

"I think everybody, even the people that are against it, will come around eventually and realize how much better it will be," Lee said.

Opponents of incorporation have promised to appeal the judge's decision. They have ten days to file that appeal.

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