Protecting the Brand

Hawaiia, Oahu, Waikiki, view of Diamond Head from ocean.

Letter-to-the-editor-copy1-441x251Most residents of Diamondhead have lived here less than 20 years. A few, like Gary and I, have lived here half our lives or more. We loved Diamondhead and its tropical Hawaiian “brand” from the first time we saw the development in 1972.  We purchased a condo that very day.  It was unique from any other place we had lived.  It had a “brand” unlike any other in the Southeast. Over the years it has changed drastically and not for the better.  The unique “island brand” started disappearing after the Country Club burned.  The lava stone, imported from Hawaii at great expense, was ripped away and disappeared, the tropical landscaping destroyed or not replanted so that now, only the name remains of the unique concept that was Diamondhead. When a corporation loses it’s “brand” it loses everything. It loses what it is, what it stands for, its personality, its identity.  Diamondhead has lost its “self.” When you tell people where you live, they no longer smile, they “smirk” and say, “I’m sorry.”

The changes haven’t happened overnight. It has been a process ever since the POA came into existence.  The membership was not told that at “turnover” by the original developer, Diamondhead Corporation, you and I, the property owner’s, would pay all the property tax for the amenities, plus the dues to maintain them. It is a fact that you can check by calling Jimmie Ladner, Hancock County’s Tax Assessor.  Purcell, who took over all the timber land and unsold platted lots, paid the tax on these areas of the development, but not the property tax on the Country Club, Yacht Club, Airport, golf courses, tennis club, playgrounds and swimming pools and other amenities.  Together, you and I own them.  We pay the property tax on them and pay dues to maintain them.

Some of our amenities have been given away to the city of Diamondhead, or destroyed by our POA Board of Officers and Directors over the years without asking for our vote or opinion. When we first moved here the fire department and trash pick up was paid out of monthly dues as was an excellent security force.  Our dues paid for landscaping, road repair as well as landscape and mowing. Our POA dues have skyrocketed and we receive far fewer services and benefits from the Association.  The Board of Directors since “takeover,” are charged only with maintaining and care of all existing amenities.  Instead, they build more amenities for others to use at our expense, without allowing the membership a voice or vote. It truly is, “taxation without representation.”

DIAMONDHEAD HAS LOST ITS BRAND, ITS IDENTITY, ITS BEAUTY, ITS UNIQUENESS and if you continue to remain silent, everything you have paid for all these years will soon be…in someone else’s pocket.

 

Join ALLIANCE FOR A BETTER COMMUNITY and see how we can turn this situation around.

 

C.J. Longanecker

228-255-1233