Diamondhead Residents Will Vote On Becoming A New City

After two tries Diamondhead resident Don Hopes says it's about time he sinks this golf ball.

"I finally made it," Hopes said.

He also says it's time his growing community becomes a city.

"I defiantly think it needs to happen."

And he'd like to see it happen for a number of reasons.

"The tax issue... We don't share in any of the roads and bridge revenue from the state sales tax and we don't share in any of the sales tax income that we would get from all the stores in Diamondhead."

He also says incorporation would mean the now private roads in Diamondhead would become public. And city police could handle traffic control in the highly populated community.

"It's enviable. The exit's right here off the Interstate. There is going to be a casino there some day and that would generate a lot of revenue for Diamondhead."

But not all Diamondhead residents agree.

"We would have to have a municipal building and a police station. We'd have to hire a mayor, we'd have to pay all their health care, we'd have a big expense and I just don't feel we are ready for that," Carolyn Sapio said.

The community already has most of what it needs to become a city - it's own fire department, security force, sewer plant and even its own business district.

"We're putting a non-binding resolution on the election ballot that is going to be held in June where we elect new officers and directors," POA President Lloyd Ramirez said.

"We're just gauging the interest that might be here in Diamondhead for incorporation."

Lloyd Ramirez is President of the Diamondhead Property Owners Association. He believes fear of being annexed by Bay St. Louis or Waveland has sparked new interest in incorporation.

"What amount of interest? That's part of what we're trying to find out," Ramirez said.

"There are pros and cons to everything. but I feel like with a private community, they have more say of what goes on in the community than in a city," Diamondhead resident Jacqueline Roberts said.

She says she'll vote to stay a private community.

All Diamondhead residents will get a chance to voice their opinions on the issue, when they go to the polls Saturday, June 17th. The first step in becoming a city is to get two thirds of the registered voters in the community to vote in favor of the idea.

The idea of incorporation is nothing new to the community. Nine years ago the issue was put to a vote. At that time, only about 20 percent of the residents supported the plan.

by Al Showers