April 24, 2006 at 12:45 pm #2080
How is your campaigm going? Seen no activity from candidates or are there any candidates?May 23, 2006 at 8:33 am #2079
Thank you for your interest. The campaign is going as expected with great interest in incorporation, dues reduction and rebuilding. But one item has troubled me.
Attempts have been made by the retired candidates seeking the office of president of the POA to make an issue out of their ability to spend all their time running the POA. This tactic is very divisive and it leaves one to wonder their motives in doing so and question just what type of president we would get. Undoubtedly this is a recipe for continued and certain disaster.
Successful businesses do not chain their executives to the home office. Officers and board members of non profit corporations rarely dedicate their entire time to their tenure on such a board.
Chairmen and presidents of large multi national corporations never devote their entire time to that company. Those corporations encourage their leaders to be diverse and serve on other boards and commissions. Bill Gates, the Chairman of Microsoft, sits on literally hundreds of boards and chairs dozens of foundations besides Microsoft.
The type of thinking that says that only retirees have the time to run Diamondhead dooms the community to higher dues, less services more law suits and more distrust. It also points out a fundamental mistake. Old fashion ideas do not fit in a modern business world.
One only has to look at the track record of retiree POA Presidents over the last ten years. One was a disgraced and ousted Louisiana Sheriff who employed a disgraced and ousted Louisiana hospital administrator as a henchman to sue the members with whom they did not agree. One was a business consultant who has yet to reveal who he consulted. The next was a phony Marine Colonel with a penchant for slapping members smaller than himself and lastly we have had to suffer with a Mayor without portfolio who ran to Lafayette before Katrina and returned only to make sure he still had his tee time. All of these retiree presidents managed by checkbook. Unfortunately the checkbooks belonged to the membership and we paid for his lack of innovation and marketing skills. They had the time but not the ability to manage in manner that would reduce the obligations of the membership so they simply raised dues and cut services. All accounted, through their tenure members have suffered a 100 per cent dues increase, loss of amenities and services, along with basic respect, credibility and trust.
The Retiree Candidates now offer more of the same. Even higher dues, more talks on incorporation instead of direct action and higher deficits.
We stand on the brink of annexation. We face challenges never imagined in the wake of Katrina.
Isnt time we elected a President with vision, insight and knowledge instead of memories? Doesnt Diamondhead deserve more than antiquated management techniques and out of date business practices?
Technology in the 21st century allows chairmen and chairwomen, presidents and prime ministers, senators and representative to maintain constant contact with their office, their staff, their constituents and their memberships. Only one candidate has the knowledge and expertise to bring Diamondhead in this world of competitive businesses.
Diamondhead deserves a POA President that can bring money into the community by correctly marketing our amenities and providing additional monies from outside the property owners. We need to attract more working professionals with disposable incomes to better fund our amenities.
Diamondhead deserves a POA President that offers fairness, openness and respect to all members.
Diamondhead deserves a POA President with a deep understanding of technology so it may join the present and provide for the future. It is obvious that my two opponents do not possess this knowledge or inovative thinking.
What is more troubling is their desire to pit the retiree community against those who work in Diamondhead. A balance must be achieved between members and guests, retirees and working families, young and old. Only in this way can we build a true community.
Thomas R. Skip Alfonso, CISSP, MCSA, MCP, MCT, Net+, A+
Candidate for President, DCCPOA, Inc.May 23, 2006 at 3:38 pm #2081
I agree with you Skip, appears primary motovation for candidates could be, getting free attendance to “crew of diamondhead” activities free “head table seats at functions and choice of tee times.” Hate to be vicious but I would like to see some “I am for—because” and “I am against—-because” from the candidates. I also have another question, why is a “secratary” elected and is the position a voting one on the board??? Probably a good reason but I don’t know it, please enlighten me. Thanks for listeningMay 25, 2006 at 2:35 pm #2093
Under Mississippi law secretaries of non-profit corporations serve both the board of directors and the membership. States that are considered more legally enlightened than Mississippi (ranked 50th for fairness by U. S. Chamber of Commerce – see http://www.uschamber.com/press/releases/2002/may/02-87.htm) recognize this as a conflict of interest.
A challenge is being readied to rectify this in Diamondhead. Stay tuned and vote!May 26, 2006 at 6:54 pm #2094
E J BurnsMember
A lot of great folks have done a lot of great things for Diamondhead. The strategy of safety first, property protection second, etc. always rings sound in my mind. But now, we are coming to a crossroad that may forever change the future of Diamondhead.
This crossroad is the fast-approaching June election. Candidates give their background and ask for our vote. In “normal” times there may even be rumors of a debate beginning to fill the air. But, these times are far from normal. Some of us have not yet even seen what, if anything, might be left of our property since Katrina virtually removed the South Side from the face of the earth.
It is in times like these, when “in-person” debates cannot be attended by the full constituency, that other means of stating positions and responding to questions from the masses may be appropriate. In this regard, I propose the use of this forum as an “eDebate” site, with the editor’s approval and assistance of course. Having the editor as the moderator would hopefully insure forwarding of the questions and concerns to the candidates and setting up parameters for timely responses.
With the editor’s approval, I will open the debate with the following 2 request/questions, directed to all of the POA Presidential candidates:
1) Please list those specific actions you have taken in the past to better Diamondhead as a whole.
2) The South Side remains a disaster area. It lags far behind the North in virtually every area of basic human needs. How will you build on your list of accomplishments in #1 above and take the South Side forward in quantum leaps so that once again we can proudly enjoy both the North and “down there” as folks are beginning to refer to what was once a jewel in Diamondhead’s crown?
Ed BurnsMay 27, 2006 at 7:43 pm #2095
I appreciate your experience, enthusiasm and fresh, new ideas for Diamondhead. There is no reason why we can’t have some reduction of the dues and wireless internet access – I intended to submit the latter on a “red top”, however your campaign brochure arrived detailing your plan before I could locate a “red top”. You have our votes and our support in the upcoming election. Thank you for stepping forward at a time when Diamondhead needs leadership.
MarvinMay 27, 2006 at 7:46 pm #2096
I have decided to answer your first question posed to my husband, the editor of the Diamondhead News Online.
As you may know he is a candidate running for the office of POA President so it would be a conflict of interest for him to moderate a debate as you have proposed. We will however continue to allow any postings on this and any other matter concerning Diamondhead without censure. If you would be inclined to act as moderator we can arrange for you to do so.
Here is a brief but incomplete list of my husbands contributions to the community.
1. After 14 years of consistent and steady losses of over $500,000 ($40,000 per year) by numerous boards, my husband, T. R. Skip Alfonso and his company made the printed version of the Diamondhead News profitable in four months.
2. My husband and I consistently produce and deliver the Diamondhead Community Telephone Directory for all Diamondhead residents at no charge.
3. Introduced Gerald Hinde, BBC Wildlife photographer of the year, to the United States here in Diamondhead.
4. “>He also produced the Bay Jourdan Journal which accurately reported and printed the facts and contract concerning the water and sewage transfer.
5. Sponsored the first and only candidates debate in 1996 for POA membership meeting board of directors election.
6. Provided state-of-the-art accounting system to POA office after consultants forgot to buy the software for the IBM AS400.
7. We provide the community of Diamondhead with the only open forum (you are reading it now) that has been in consistent operations over the last five years. We have never censored any postings from any subscriber.
8. We provide the only uncensored and open news reporting service in the Diamondhead community and have done so for five years. (you are reading it now)
9. He has provided free computer and consulting services to the Diamondhead Fire Department.
10. My husband also works outside of the community and brings valuable influx of cash back to the community.
11. My husband joined the frontlines at (7:30 in the morning) in Katrina relief effort the day following the hurricane. My husband provided communications, food, water and organization skills to all agencies and organizations that requested it
. He never failed to show up every day for two weeks at that time, working most days 16 to 20 hours with the fire department, water department, sheriff department, FEMA, National Guard, local businesses, medical personnel, church groups or whoever was in need. Better yet, ask Chief Dennis Westbrook of his contributions to the community or Al Herman of the Hancock Sherriff Department or Mike Collier of the DWSD.
i. My husband also armed the security service and utility workers directly following Hurricane Katrina. If you remember the board took their weapons away leaving us unprotected and|vulnerable to the looters who descended on our community after the storm.
ii. Ask Donny Martin at Diamondhead Supermarket what Skip Alfonso did for this community. He will tell you that he provided needed security to Diamondhead Supermarket directly following Hurricane Katrina preventing looting and ensuring that the fixtures remained intact. Due largely but not wholly by his efforts the food store was able to open within one week of Katrinas passage and was the only outlet in the entire county that provided fresh food to area residents.
12. On a personnel note, he helped me raise my two daughters when their biological father ran off to Guatemala over ten years ago without providing court ordered support or even contact with the two children he helped create. My husband, Skip Alfonso guided (my girls to graduate with honors from Hancock High School.
The thanks my husband has received for his actions in service to this community have been: two vicious and malicious lawsuits initiated by POA boards, our name misspelled in the Diamondhead News (see October 2006 edition), a publication that is largely his creation, direct insults from several fire commissioners, racial slurs, threats and just a general air of disrespect from those too incompetent and/or corrupt to give him the credit he deserves.
Anne AlfonsoMay 27, 2006 at 7:55 pm #2097
Thank you and your husband Skip for all that you do for the community of Diamondhead. Your husband has our full support in this next election.
MarvinMay 29, 2006 at 8:04 am #2100
To answer your second question my wife and I have made several trips through the south side and your question motivated us to visit the area again yesterday. What we found and photographed was indeed disturbing. We drove and walked in amazement wondering what we would do if this had happened to us. How could we go on? Would we rebuild?
I saw first hand the devastation that the storm delivered on the south side of Diamondhead in the days directly following the storm. On two occasions I relieved security at the entrance to the south side and had the duty of keeping all out of the area under direct orders from FEMA. Those days will always be with me as the good people of the south side were turned away to avoid injury and contamination.
It is now time that Diamondhead acts as one community. The south side of Diamondhead property owners paid the same as the north side. The right of ways to their property should have been cleared sooner and a more proactive response needs to be implemented.
The next step is to bring all factions together and determine what can be done with the south side. An open and honest avenue of communications needs to be established. Rumors are rampant and can be very detrimental in this situation. Questions need to be answered. What are the obligations to the paying membership? How will incorporation affect the area? How will annexation affect the area?
Rumors and misrepresentations can be devastating in a recovery of this kind. What developers may do, are casinos coming, will the government impose restrictions, can we get insurance?
I do not have the answers, but I promise you I will get to the truth. I will present these truths to the entire community and let them decide how the community should rebuild Diamondheads south side.
When elected I will direct one employee of the POA to act as a communication liaison with the entire community and membership. They will be directed to supply all records to any members request. And I mean all. Only in this way can the entire dues paying membership make an intelligent and fair choice as what is to be done on the south side.
This process must happen quickly. And can be accomplished in such a manner by implementing the latest in information technology to facilitate communication to the membership. This is my area of expertise and no other candidate has the qualifications to do so. I am also certified in disaster recovery planning and project management and teach both subjects to businesses and governments on an international basis.
I am very interested in Mr. Lee Taylors proposal for hurricane protection for Bay St. Louis. I invite him to please submit this plan to our forum. A cursory investigation into this plan shows it has merit and the potential to be a catalyst for proper redevelopment, not just on the south side but all around the bay. (My wifes mother and her sister lost their homes in Bay St. Louis). This is a prime example of the type of innovative solutions can be employed if we proceed in the manner I propose.
T. R. “Skip” Alfonso
Candidate for President of the
Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association, Inc.May 29, 2006 at 10:30 am #2101
Thanks Skip for the determination to accomplish something on the south side, there appears to be no progress along accepted project management practices by activities which entails developing scopes of work, designs and cost estimates of the small work activities it takes to complete something and arranging these in a project by linking these activities together, what needs to be done first has the highest priority, some may be done simultaneously and others in consort with others. Some must be done before others can be done, You bid out what you can afford to pay for, do in house what your resources will allow. Try to utilize other resources as opportunity permits, but, you need a plan first in order to focus support and coordinate with others. The POA staff is probably adequate to do an excellent job in normal day to day operations. This storm has caused problems they are understaffed in both personnel and probably expertise to undertake. The Board should consider hiring (by contract) the appropriate expertise to develop the needed project plans and coordinate resources to accomplish the plan of which the POA Maint. staff is only a small part. We all need to thank them for their efforts in bringing us back this far and so very nicely.
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