On June 18, the count of votes taken at the membership meeting indicated Carl Necaise had lost his bid for the presidency of the Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association by two votes (Donald Laird 638, Carl Necaise 636).
Necaise requested and was granted a recount of the presidential votes which occurred on June 22nd. Both candidates, Necaise and Laird, attended the proceedings along with two observers, staff from the CPA firm that performed the original count, current POA President and Election Commissioner John Fletcher, and POA General Manager Mark Boyd.
The results of the recount conducted by the audit firm of Ericksen Krentel and Laporte, now indicate Carl Necaise received 637 votes to Donald Laird’s 636, with Necaise leading by a single vote.
It is unclear how the overall recount vote changed from the previous count, but controversy has risen about a questionable ballot that was marked and counted as two votes for Laird on June 18, but counted as one vote on Wednesday’s recount.
POA By-Laws and the 2016 election procedures indicate each member in good standing was entitled to cast one vote for the election of Officers and Directors, so it is unclear how the questionable ballot could have been marked as two votes.
The POA board attorney was notified on the recount day and a meeting was set for Monday, June 27, to obtain his findings and advice. The attorney stated that John Fletcher was still POA President until the matter was settled.
On the afternoon of 24 June, Donald Laird suddenly issued an email notice sent via the POA General Manager to the newly elected board members, that he was the president, and was now calling for a workshop meeting on Monday, 27 June.
After subsequent attorney discussions late Friday afternoon, POA Election Commissioner, John Fletcher issued
notice declaring Carl Necaise the winner and President.
Laird and POA Director, Craig Harvey are now claiming the recount was illegal and wasn’t in accordance with the POA bylaws. Laird continues to indicate he is the president of the POA and reiterates the call for the Monday meeting.