In the 2014 POA election, information about the candidates was limited to what they said about themselves. This time around, I wanted a clearer picture of who they are and what they have done in the past. If the old saying is true, their past behavior is the best indicator of their future performance.
I’ve compiled what I have found from the candidates’ public statements and records, from comments and concerns directly expressed to me or to others who want better government for Diamondhead, and from social media. Bios are provided by candidates. I will update it if any additional information is sent in or if existing info needs correcting.
Amenity affiliations are in red to caution voters who are concerned about POA overspending. Vote trading for spending on various amenities by some members of the 2014-16 board was quite obvious. An unethical practice, even illegal in some places, it funnels extensive benefits to one portion of the POA membership while charging the costs to all, hyping Diamondhead’s cost of living while depressing its market value compared to other nearby communities.
Affiliation with a particular Diamondhead amenity by a candidate is certainly not disqualifying, but it is cause to carefully inquire into their commitments and reasons for running. Would they support, for example, a fully objective study of our amenities as to extent of use, cost/benefit, and whether/how much mutual benefit the entire membership receives from each? We would all benefit from hard data on the relative value of our amenities as the rational basis for decision-making.
Affiliation with any of the Golf Associations should be of particular concern, given the extent of expenditures on golf and the country club. Diamondhead Men’s Golf Association members, current and recent, hold four out of six city offices and four out of eleven POA ones, or nearly 50% of all elected Diamondhead positions. That is significant overrepresentation by a group of just 118 members. Diamondhead would benefit from greater diversity among its representatives.
Donald (Pat) Laird – Diamondhead Men’s Golf Association (DMGA)
Carl Necaise – no amenity affiliation; has served on a city council, very concerned about overspending, has excellent leadership and “people” skills and is committed to good local government.
Hancock County native, former city councilman of Terry, MS. Residents of Diamondhead support two forms of government, POA and city. Predictions that our dues would be much reduced when Diamondhead became a city did not come true. Too many properties are for sale, we are headed in the wrong direction and must change course to build back into a more prosperous community. I believe that by working with the POA board we can get dues reduced, taxes lowered, and a sound, more reasonable budget. Dues are needed to run the POA’s day-to-day business, but with your help we can stop this out of control spending. With hard work, your support, and a board that supports all POA members, I will help get our community back in order. Please vote for me on June 18th to help get our great community back to what we once were. Thank you.(Phone # 228-669-7728)
John Deffes – no amenity affiliation; has done much research into the POA and its problems, supports change, is very concerned about overspending.
Shane Finley – Tennis World; has served as commissioner and chairman of the Water District, is financially conservative and concerned about overspending.
Vincent Tuccio – Diamondhead Men’s Golf Association (DMGA)
Betty Blakeney – no amenity affiliation; honest, hard working, excellent executive secretary, former Human Resources manager for the POA, is very concerned about overspending.
Nancy Sislow – DWGAN (Diamondhead Women’s Golf); Country Club; husband – DMGA and city council. Voting record as 2012-14 POA secretary: For $17k bonus to Haslam Management Services (HMS), $850k in golf/country club refurbishments, two no-bid contracts for HMS’s former business partner Fore Front Construction, and access to amenities for Jacobs casino customers; Against following open meeting laws, requiring membership vote on purchases, and limiting the ex-officio’s vote. Opposed Proposition 3.
Kelly Allen – Tennis World; was comptroller for the POA, known for her honesty and integrity, is very concerned about overspending, degrees and experience in accounting and marketing. Bio:
I have been a Diamondhead resident since 2005. I have a BS in Accounting from MSU and an MBA in Marketing from University of Cincinnati. In my career with Bryan Foods, MSU, Stennis, and the Diamondhead POA, I have worked in all aspects of accounting including managing corporate budgets in excess of $7M. I am financially conservative but understand the importance of the amenities and how they affect our quality of life and property values. My goal is to manage spending properly, making reductions where possible, by supporting current amenities. I will analyze resolutions to the Covenant Extension issue.
Beverly Blount – no amenity affiliation; it appears from online info that she is a retired educational assessment consultant and past president. of Leesville, LA’s Rotary Club. [Will update if this is incorrect.]
Heather Briggs – Country Club; attitude and views seen on YouTube. Opposed Proposition 3.
Laura Colavita – no amenity affiliation; insurance agent with Bancorpsouth, serves as member-at-large for the Oaks POA, hard working proponent of building a dog park for Diamondhead, knows the values of our properties and what is at stake for Diamondhead.
Shane Corr – Tennis World; former narcotics detective for Bay St. Louis and Katrina fraud inspector for state Auditor’s Office; financially conservative.
Don Credeur – no amenity affiliation.
I moved to Diamondhead in October of 2015. On February 12, 2016 I retired from a large independent oil company where I ran all operations in the field and office (+300 people). Now that I am retired I have the time to try to help the Diamondhead community where I plan on spending the rest of my life. I am seeking a Director position on the POA Board. In my 45 years in the oil field, I managed multi $MM budgets and always made a profit. With that, I have very strong negotiation skills and am always willing to listen and achieve a win/win for everyone. I am asking for your vote to become a Director on the POA Board. Thank you.
Teresa Ertel – DWGA; Country Club; husband DMGA
Harold Landis – no amenity affiliation; very concerned about overspending; speaks up at POA meetings for openness, accountability, and better government.
Sharon McCulley – Youth Baseball, Spartan Football; Voting record as 2014-16 secretary:
For bids on 500k tennis clubhouse after being elected on a platform opposing it; For spending $89.3 on football fields, $38k on tire mulch, $10k on smokers’ deck, $334k on course maintenance equipment, $348.5k on country club renovation by Atlanta, GA firm, $46k on tennis court resurfacing, and $20.8k on bar addition; For budget based on $60 dues a month, rebating $65 to members, and moving POA office to cart barn; Against video recording meetings so all could view them and basing budget on $50 dues a month. Opposed Proposition 3.
Phil Muller– no amenity affiliation; serves as officer for the Oaks POA, very concerned about overspending, wants right kind of expansion for Diamondhead, is familiar with procedural rules for meetings, elections, etc.
Diamondhead resident since 2005
Currently: Oaks POA, Secretary; Diamondhead Violations Compliance Committee (VCC); Krewe of Diamondhead; Food Pantry; American Red Cross; RSVP, Home Handyman Project; Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT); Mississippi Employer Support of Guard & Reserve; VFW Post 2880
30 years experience in law enforcement in New Jersey, 16 years as Chief of Police; 20 years as FEMA rep; 20 years property management as owner/operator of residential properties in Diamondhead & Sea Isle City
U.S. Air Force 1963-1968 – Vietnam Veteran; New Jersey Air National Guard 1970 – 1989
(Ph. # 609-425-2869)
Dick Nolan – no amenity affiliation; commissioner of Water District, is financially conservative and very concerned about overspending, supports better government for Diamondhead to benefit all.
Kelvin Schulz – Diamondhead Men’s Golf Association (past member)
Leland Taylor – airport; very concerned about POA overspending; posts (Lee Taylor) on Facebook.
Jerome Tullier – Spartan Football, Youth Baseball. worked hard to get the city to provide recreational fields for children and turned to POA only when the city refused; wants to turn over to the city as much of youth recreation as can be done.
Amenity affiliations of incumbent directors whose terms last until at least 2018:
John Fletcher – Airport
Craig Harvey – DMGA; Country Club
Paul Montjoy – DMGA (past member); Country Club
Donald Silcio – Spartan Football, Youth Baseball.
All candidates are invited to submit their bio and platform (along with a photo) to the Diamondhead News Online (firstname.lastname@example.org) at no charge. Separate pages will be created for each candidate whereby comments and questions can be posted.