Message From New Board President
Mission Hills Heritage (MHH) is happy to introduce our new Board President KIRK BURGAMY. Read on to learn more about Kirk and his focus areas from this year’s PRESIDENT’S PERCH
Hello Members, Friends and Neighbors,
My wife, Sandy, and I moved to Mission Hills in 2009 and we became involved in Mission Hills Heritage almost immediately. I was first elected to the Board of Directors in 2013 and in January of this year I became President of the organization. I am honored to continue to serve MHH and I want to thank Rob Contin for a smooth transition and especially for his excellent leadership in guiding our organization this past year. Our organizational achievements in 2021 have been extraordinary and especially commendable considering the many challenges we faced. Well done, Rob!
So, first off, let me tell you a little more about me. I’m originally from New Orleans and subsequently served in our Navy for 22 years. In the Navy I was stationed in many parts of the United Sates and was able to visit many parts of the world. The Navy sent our family to San Diego in 1985 and we found a home in Rancho Bernardo and it was there that we learned how special the community was to raise our family and experience the many benefits San Diego has to offer. Following my Navy career, I started a second career specializing in ship design, construction and maintenance. This led Sandy and I to the Gulf Coast of Alabama and eventually I had the opportunity to return to San Diego in 2008. As empty nesters, our circumstances were different and we decided to concentrate our new home search to the communities of Coronado, Point Loma and Mission Hills. It didn’t take long for us to figure out that Mission Hills is very unique and this special community is where we wanted to settle down. I retired from my second career in July 2021, so here I am ready to serve our community and to protect our special neighborhood and historic resources from the many challenges we face.
1st Challenge: MEMBERSHIP: We currently have approximately 400 active members! Active members are those people that live within the boundaries of Mission Hills and are current on their dues. The flip side of that is that we have many lapsed members…these are former members who are not current on dues. Likewise, there are many more households in Mission Hills that are not members. Our numbers of active members increase our voice with our elected officials to help us “preserve and protect the character, charm, and historical resource of the Mission Hills community … for the education and welfare of the public…”. This quotation is directly out of our Articles of Incorporation and is still as valid today as when it was written in 2006. So, the challenge I am proposing is for every active Member to recruit 1 new member or re-instate 1 lapsed member. If we can increase our active membership to 800+ we will be in a much better position to advocate for our stated mission to elected officials and their staff.
2nd Challenge: FUNDRAISING: As many of you know, there are significant headwinds from both public and private interests attempting to knock us off our course. Many of you have heard of SB9, SB10, the proposed NavWar “city,” housing bonuses, and other zoning changes that threaten the character of our historic neighborhood. These challenges are often combated through legal action. We need to raise a War Chest of funds to address the multitude of challenges to our community. To that end, we are considering modifying our Articles of Incorporation from a non-profit that does not allow tax deductible donations to a 501c(3) non-profit for which donations would, in fact, be tax deductible. Stay tuned for more to follow regarding this change.
Our Leadership: For those of you that may not be active in the organization, I want to say that we have a “stacked” Leadership Team. Let me introduce our Officers and Board of Directors:
Chairman of the Board and President: Kirk Burgamy
Vice President: Elsie Arredondo
Secretary: Sharon Lieder
Chief Financial Officer: Tobi de Frates
At-large Board Members: Lauren Carter, Rob Contin, Bob Gabhart; Jane Ligon, Rob Jassoy, Chad McManamy, Ken Perilli, Michael Ian Rott, David Swim.
Advisory Members: Barry Hager, Ron May
What an awesome group of professionals that are contributing their talent and expertise to our community! My admiration and hat(s) off to all of them.
On a different note, the Events Committee is at work planning a Spring Event. Due to the ongoing Covid spread, it will most likely be an outdoor event like we had last Fall. Our Events Committee is co-chaired by Board members Chad McManamy and Michael Ian Rott. We will be sending details of the date and the event soon.
Also, we received exciting news in December that the Inspiration Heights Historic District is now on the National Register of Historic Places. We’ll still need to work with the City’s HRB (Historical Review Board) to recognize the district locally, which is currently on the HRB meeting calendar for September 22, 2022. The owners of “Contributing” properties to the district will have the opportunity to request Mills Act Contracts should they so choose, once the district is designated locally.
Well folks, that’s it for now. Buckle your seat belts because I predict a bumpy ride for 2022. We certainly have the talent and expertise to run these rapids. I just hope and pray that we have the desire and collective will to make our mark on this community for ourselves and for future generations to come.
Take care, stay safe and God Bless! See you around the neighbood.