A Note From Our Mayors
Author: David Bennett & Lisa Sulka
A Note from David Bennett
Have you discovered, as I have, that Hilton Head Island is a great place for a treasure hunt? Wherever you explore, you will find something of remarkable value. These discoveries can’t help but generate excitement. Our citizens are among these treasures.
Last December, Town Council identified the Master-Planning and Transportation Study of the Coligny Circle to Sea Pines Circle District as a priority. Incredibly, here on Hilton Head Island, we have three former state transportation directors, all willing to volunteer their time and talents to our town in order to achieve the excellent transportation and planning solutions we need to benefit our “island treasures.”
Your Town Council is comprised of unique individuals representing a diversity of islanders. We came together this past December along with members of staff at a workshop that extended beyond its original schedule because of the magnitude of issues and opportunities faced by our community. The top priorities developed by this hardworking group include the previously mentioned Circle-to-Circle district as well as: 1) Vision/master plan for Hilton Head Island; 2) Arts and culture collaborative study; 3) USCB campus development; 4) The Mitchelville project; 5)Water/sanitary sewer service policies and plans
Other high priorities identified:
1) A complete inventory and analysis of town-owned land; 2) Initiating the economic development corporation plans and initiatives; 3) Forging a workforce housing policy; 4) Town and community organization financial/performance oversight and review; 5) A comprehensive town dredging policy; 6) A schools and education strategy
You can participate
How is it that these priorities will become attainable action items? Your mayor, Town Council and staff are committed to these endeavors. But your participation is the treasure that I’d like to discover. Look for upcoming workshops, taskforces and public-private collaborations as your opportunity to be a treasure to your community. Communicate your thoughts and input to me at DavidB@hiltonheadislandsc.gov or speak to your Town Council representative.
This administration has already established two new Town Council committees; the Finance and Administrative and Community Services committees and council members, John McCann and Kim Likins have been appointed to chair them. The first committee will be responsible for detailed financial oversight and establishing goals for and reviewing the performance of the town manager. The Community Services committee will work to develop the full potential of Hilton Head’s arts and cultural organizations. It will also identify affordable and workforce housing opportunities.
Citizen of Month search
We are always searching for the treasures in our community. Please bring to our attention island residents for consideration for the 2015 Citizen of the Month Award. Many precious jewels are out there; please let us know who they are.
A Note from Lisa Sulka
With 2015 in its second month, the town is in full swing. In January, we had our first quarterly workshop. We decided last year to hold workshops aside from council meetings so that the council and most important, the public have more time to devote on important issues that affect the town. If you want to stay updated on council meetings and workshops, you can go to our town website, at townofbluffton.com and, on the calendar, click on each meeting to see the agendas and all pertaining backup material.
This month, along with our town council meeting on February 10, we will also hold our annual strategic planning retreat in the Rotary Center at Oscar Frazier Park. The dates are Feb. 24 and 25. I would invite anyone who has an interest in our upcoming goals to please attend some or all of the sessions we have planned. Even though there is some carryover from 2014, i.e.: streetscape, parking in Old Town, May River initiatives, etc., there will be lively discussion on goals for this coming year, and your input is vital to the success of our town.
You will see several items discussed in more depth this year as they were brought up in a workshop format in 2014, as well as update/completion of some of our capital infrastructure projects, including: the last portion of the Bluffton Parkway and efforts to work with Jasper County on the phases that go through their county; Calhoun Street and adjacent area planning and funding sources; the last phase of the May River Road streetscape, which will begin work this year; education and next steps on the town’s official MS4 designation from SC DHEC; May River Watershed Action Plan projects; Next phases of sewer connectivity throughout the town; and continued cooperation with the town and county on multiple projects.
Several parcels have recently been sold to commercial developers, and as soon as plans come forward to the town, the public will be notified of development review, planning commission meetings and the like, via our website and the local newspapers. This, along with residential activity we are already seeing, assures that the town will be very busy this year. Along the way we will ensure transparency to the public so you will be kept up to date on everything. Ways to do this on your end are to participate in our social media outlets: Facebook and Twitter are both used by the town. Please friend and/or follow us. I also write a monthly blog, which is available on our website and also e-mailed to our distribution list.Along with my blog, we e-mail monthly meeting agendas to all who want to receive them. To get on the list, please contact Kim Chapman at firstname.lastname@example.org.