March 31, 2006 at 4:47 pm #2034
Tonight WLOX ran a news item reported by Al Showers on Diamondhead’s upcoming election and incorporation, mostly on incorporation as a city.
The piece started innocuously enough with a man putting on the practice green outside of the Country Club. The man was obviously for incorporation. Showers then talked to one woman in loading her car in Diamondhead Supermarkets parking lot. She was very much against incorporation and either very misinformed or had ulterior motives. She started with the old wed have to build a jail line, then continued we would have to pay a mayor and a police force, it would be such a big expense. I tried to adjust my television to see if the sky in the world she lived in was the same as mine. Nothing wrong with my set, but obviously her reception was very fuzzy.
First of all Diamondhead would not have to build a jail if they incorporate. This fantasy has been around for twenty years and it is as true as moon and cheese myth. Bay St. Louis is an incorporated city, they dont have a jail. Waveland is an incorporated city. They don’t have a jail. They both use the county’s jail. New Orleans is an incorporated city. They don’t have a jail. Orleans Parish (in Louisiana a county is called a parish) runs their jail. Now the reality is that if Waveland and/or Bay St. Louis annex us, their citizens, who outnumber Diamondhead registered voters, could vote to locate a jail here in Diamondhead. Incorporation would stop a jail from being built in Diamondhead.
Next, in case she may have missed something while her brain was being sent out to be folded and fluffed, we already pay a general manager, security, cooks, a golf pro or two, a tennis pro, greenskeepers and an assortment of other people who do god knows what. Actually the greenskeeper doubles as a web master. Go figure. Full benefits, 401ks, retirement and insurance paid for by POA dues that we have absolutely no say so in being assessed. The difference is we will never know how much these people are paid, unless we spend tens of thousands of dollars in our money to fight a legal battle that will be paid for by the POA board of directors using OUR money to keep us from our records. If we incorporate this information is in the public record.
The next interview was worse. This woman contended that the private corporation was more responsive to the needs of the community then a city government could ever be. Where has she been in Baghdad or Tehran? You havent lived till you have tried to get a straight answer from this or any board. Why the membership of the POA was not even allowed to make motions at its own membership meeting for the last two years.
Lastly ole Lloyd Ramirez, self proclaimed mayor without portfolio of Diamondhead was on camera. Ole Lloyd seems to have changed his tune. After two years of being a veritable fountain of misinformation, the POA President is now going to allow a mock election to see what people think on incorporating Diamondhead as a city since he definitely doesn’t want to be annexed by Bay St. Louis or Waveland. Next thing you know he’ll learn how to pronounce his last name.
So much for “fair and balanced” from south Mississippi’s news source.April 1, 2006 at 5:18 pm #2033
While I agree with 95% of your editorials and have a lot of respect for your thought there are couple of things in your letter I disagree with. As for building a jail in Diamondhead if Waveland and Bay St. Louis annex……can not be done. All jails, courts and related government building under Mississippi law must be located in the county seat. Bay St. Louis is the county seat for Hancock. The issue is not decided by a vote. As for running a “mock” election….I think this would be called a “straw ballot” election, which is not legal in most states. Don’t know if Mississippi is one of the exceptions but I would suggest someone research this with the State Attorney Generals office. However, in my opinion, a “poll” of the residence could be taken on the issue but not an election per se. I enjoy the debates. Keep up the good work.April 1, 2006 at 5:33 pm #2035
I was trying to show the fallacy of the statement that Diamondhead would have to have a jail if it incorporated. This misinformation has been circulating for 20 years. I believe you made the point even stronger, without my use of sarcasm.
ThanksApril 5, 2006 at 5:40 am #2046
If we incorporate, what would change for our residents? Be specific, taxes, dues, fire cost, water cost, etc…
any added cost, any cost reductions???April 5, 2006 at 6:07 am #2047
The benefits far outweigh the detriments.
One major benefit is that as a city we would have qualified for federal and state funding in the form of grants, grants we currently do not qualify for as a “non-profit” corporation, grants that are now available after Katrina to improve flood protection, roads , public services. Diamondhead has missed out on millions to keep things “private” We are also losing sales tax revenues that are collected in the community. And the Purcell corporation would be forced to pay its fair share. All in all major cost reductions.
Two new websites, http://www.diamondheadinc.org and http://www.reformdiamondhead.org, are currently under construction to answer all questions and solicit input fromr resident and non-resident members concering incorporation and the upcoming elections.April 5, 2006 at 4:04 pm #2054
Would Diamondhead have to have HUD housing if incorporated?April 5, 2006 at 4:17 pm #2055
Diamondhead was created under the Housing and Urban Development department and the orignal agreement has never been alter. So the answer is Diamondhead already has HUD housing. Please see http://www.diamondheadnews.com/articles/archives/hud%20report/Hud%20property%20report.htm for the original HUD report. This document created Diamondhead and is the one Purcell does not want you to see. READ CAREFULLY ITEM 9 FROM THE TOP! You will see that the so called take over agreement is irrelevant.April 7, 2006 at 11:19 am #2061
As incorporation is knocking on Diamondhead’s door anyway-whether you want it or not, only fools would pooh-pooh incorporation of Diamondhead by Diamondhead residents. Mark my words… Bay St. Louis and or Waveland will soon be looking at the lucrative tax base of the surviving Diamondhead community to subsidize their lost tax revenues. I have one word for you, – annexation. Put your seat belts on and get ready for the ride.May 24, 2006 at 4:38 am #2084
Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Fox isn’t fair and balanced either… What amazes me about your editorial is that you assume the reporter did not attempt to find additional viewpoints and the majority of the people he spoke with were represented in the piece. Not everyone agrees with you. If he presented both sides of the story, which even your article stated he did and then went to an official who represents Diamondhead – that is fair and balanced. The person may have had their facts incorrect and that’s a fair point, but true news reports the facts as they are received, they don’t editorialize or slant their stories whether they like the end result or not. One thing I’ve noticed in this paper is that most of the stories balanced, it’s more like a gossip column than a news column. Hire someone who disagrees with your views to present a side of the story not colored by your own opinion.May 24, 2006 at 9:32 am #2087
You’re hired. When would you like to start?May 24, 2006 at 1:53 pm #2089
I’m not a good candidate – I usually agree with you….May 24, 2006 at 2:00 pm #2090
I don’t disagree with you very often – but having worked in and with media, I understand how tough it can be to present information in an unbiased manner. Although I usually agree with your conclusions, I also usually giggle a little at the slant in the articles. If you had a counterpart, they may be able to get access to people and information that you can’t. That’s how Fox has become the success it is – not by being fair and balanced, but by having the “right” bias in reporting. Have a great memorial day weekend and remember our veterans in your reporting please.June 4, 2006 at 1:07 pm #2114
I really would like this information too. What about the dues? The POA is a money making machine. Where does all the money go?June 4, 2006 at 1:33 pm #2115
We take exception to the characterization of this website as being a gossip column.This is the label used by the hairdresser crowd, who wants a monopoly on news and those who would rather you not know about them because they have something to hide.
The editorial you refer to in your posting was not a news item, it was an opinion, from the editor, hence an editorial.
There are three parts to any modern day news organization; the news, features, and opinions or editorials if you will. We will agree that some news organizations, like Fox News and even CNN (seen Lou Dobbs lately?) have blurred the lines and God knows what is going to happen at CBS with Katie Couric taking over at the anchor desk. One thing is for sure, those that seek pure objectivity are after another holy grail and it isnt in one of Leonardos paintings.
The news or “hard news section” on our website is clearly defined as is our editorial, opinion and letters to the editor sections. Our features sections are also clearly labeled and are rarely controversial.
As far as our news sections, we stand behind every story we publish and have yet to be challenged for accuracy. We have heard the name calling but never a specific challenge to any item we publish as news. We pride ourselves as being probing, fair and objective in our news section. We fully examine our sources and back up our stories with documentation. With the current state of reporting on the MS Coast we stand out as an investigative journalist endeavor in the area. This was the main objective of the editorial, the lack of investigative reporting here after Katrina or before.
As far as our opinion section, we pioneered the forum here on the Gulf Coast. We have never censored a posting for content. All opinions are welcome and encouraged. Those who do not participate but criticize either dont want fair or dont want to answer questions or both.
Lastly, keep criticizing! We love it. We dont care if it is us that you are complaining about, just don’t stop. This is what we invested in, your opinions. It makes us better. As they always said on WWL-TV when the great Phil Johnson did his daily editorial, if you disagree, we invite your reply.June 5, 2006 at 5:25 am #2117
Firstl, I and my family have worked with news organizations for years before moving here(WWL and WDSU and the Times Picayune), so I understand the difference between editorials and features and no, I’m not a reporter now.Secondly, Lou Dobbs is is not presenting news – it is a editorial program – designed to get ratings and increase viewership by taking sides (so is Bill O’Reilly, Hannity and Colmes and most others). The only news program I see on that is anchored in as news is The Situation Room with Wolfe Blitzer. News should not be able to be characterized as leaning one way or another. If news is all editorialized, which is what is happening nationally, then the facts are consistently presented to create sympathy desired by the writer or editor for a certain perspective.
My opinion was not meant to offend, although it has and for that I apologize. Diamondhead needs people who are willing to challenge the status quo; I wouldn’t be a member of the forum if I weren’t interested in the information presented here. Just as your opinion is posted in the editorial, mine is that the features that do not include “sensitive issues” are presented well; I applaud your insight into the need for the service; the articles are informative, and are written in a style that is more like a blog than an online news organization. Feature articles where you are personally involved should be written by someone other than you or a person close to you because the artlices present facts tainted with personal emotion (that is clearly evident).
Investigative reporting requires a distance from the subject that a writer cannot have if they are involved in the story. Without the information I see each night and the websites at the WLOX and the Sun Herald, it would be difficult to know what is happening. There is investigative reporting all around us – it just isn’t as concerned with Diamondhead as the larger coastal cities. Was Al contacted before the edtorial and asked questions on the people he was able to talk with and asked about his personal knowledge of the subject? If he was and didn’t respond, shame on him. Was he or WLOX asked to give additional coverage to counteract the misinformed resident? (most news organizations love follow up stories)
I take issue with your statement that the story was not fair and balanced – your editorial stated that he spoke with people on both sides of the issue and a Diamondhead official – that is balanced – you may not like who he spoke with or their personal knowledge of the subject, but both sides were presented. Maybe the other people he spoke with were less articulate than those presented and expressed similar opinions.
Case in point – I’m sure every news person was chomping at the bit to present Mayor Warr’s comments last week. But again, being a news organization, WLOX presented a factual piece – bet you could tell where the reporter stood on the issue or her personal opinion about his comments. That’s news. Thanks for the opportunity to post – we appreciate what you do, and mostly agree.
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