Diamondhead City Council takes care of business

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - Diamondhead residents wake up this morning governed by some of their neighbors.  The Hancock County community is now Mississippi's 111th city.

Once the pomp and circumstance ended Monday, and a standing room only crowd headed home, the new leaders in Diamondhead held their first city council meeting.  The first order of business was to tap Lloyd Ramirez to be Diamondhead's first city manager.

Ramirez is a self-proclaimed Cajun, and he calls himself an avid Diamondhead supporter. "I'm a native of Louisiana. I never would have thought Mississippi would be my home. It has just been, oh people are so accepting. Just everything about this place is great," Ramirez said.

Ramirez was around during the beginning stages of Diamondhead's incorporation. He traces it all back to a discussion between Waveland and Bay St. Louis about the Highway 603 corridor.

"When Diamondheaders started realizing that they were going to have a city just across the water to our west," Ramirez remembered, "we began to think do we really want to get incorporated like those areas are?  It made us start thinking in terms of incorporation because the only way to stop annexation is incorporation."

As interest in creating a city grew, an incorporation committee was formed.  That was six years ago.  On Monday, the committee's hard work and determination turned an idea into reality.

Diamondhead's first mayor is Chuck Ingraham.  "We're able to do something of the things that are very necessary. We hired our city attorney, our special attorney, who we need at this point," Mayor Ingraham said.  "Jerry Mills is the special attorney whose very familiar with incorporations. We also hired the urban planning group of Bridge and Watson. I'm very upbeat about the future."

"Whether we incorporated or not, I am a Diamondheader all the way," Ramirez said.

Official maps of Diamondhead are being sent out to groups like the Department of Revenue, the Department of Insurance. and the Hancock County Sheriff's Department.  Deputies will provide law enforcement for the new city.

What still has to be determined is the city's new voting districts.  The Diamondhead City Council will hold a series of public hearings on the voting district question.  Council members hope to have that decided by the end of 2012.

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