April 2016

A Note From Our Mayors

Author: David Bennett & Lisa Sulka | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

A Note from David Bennett
Hilton Head Island Update

Spring is indeed the season of new beginnings, April is simply “TARTANIC” and I truly want everyone to “like” me. This may sound like a jumble of thoughts to you, or perhaps even incoherency, but each piece relates to who we are and where we are headed today, tomorrow and beyond.

Spring’s arrival in the Low Country is tangible to the senses and replete with experiences. From picking daffodils to posting pictures from the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing, the “spring” is in our steps and the smiles upon our faces. Yes, I too have renewed enthusiasm. I’ve now witnessed and participated in a number of Town initiatives, and these confirm what I’ve always believed to be true. That is, we are best when we live on the high “C’s”: comprehensive planning, coordinating efforts, and involving community in conversations and cooperation.

To address the vital safety, travel-ability, aesthetics and preservation of our singular way-of-life considerations at the gateway to our community, your Town Council has directed Town staff to deliver a conceptual design plan for the S.R. 278 corridor between Moss Creek and Gum Tree. Roadway improvements to this thoroughfare may be constructed and delivered in phases, perhaps beginning with the acute safety concerns at the entry to Windmill Harbor. But the significance of preparing a comprehensive plan identifying all impacts and assuring that each component works cooperatively to achieve our goals cannot be overemphasized.

Imminently, I will ask Town Council to maintain green space and improve recreational and environmental opportunities on the south end of our Island by coordinating three Town-owned parcels along Cordillo Parkway, that same popular area where we, together with our partners are investing tens of millions of dollars. This comprehensive plan would ensure that these properties are utilized in a way that highlights our extraordinary environmental assets and distinct lifestyle while reducing vehicular traffic and eliminating the possibility of “up-zoning” and increased density. Returning well-maintained recreational options, which are accessible by leisure trail, to this residential pocket would be the favorable result.

Thank you to Town Council’s Public Planning Committee, whose invitation to Steven Ames, a Visioning expert, has challenged us to initiate and participate in a community-wide conversation of TARTANIC proportion.

What specifically is TARTANIC? It’s larger than the Titanic and possibly as iconic as the Harbour Town Lighthouse. It’s not the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing, but it will polish your preparation for the Island’s signature event. It’s Wednesday, April 6th, and it’s National Tartan Day. And we have been challenged! Consider this your invitation to a vivid display of the tartan and a call for you to be counted as representing Hilton Head Island in your “shout it out loud” plaid. Will we be the victors? Or will the prize be awarded to our friends over the bridge in Bluffton? Stay tuned for details and Tartanic surprises.

Finally, allow me to express my heartfelt appreciation to Councilor Lee Edwards for his service. Mr. Edwards, who is relinquishing his seat in May, is well-liked and admired, and he will be missed.
I would like to be well “liked” too. Seeking viable opportunities to communicate with you, I’ve established a Facebook page. Please find me and like me at facebook.com/MayorDavidBennett. Happy Spring! 


A Note from Lisa Sulka
Keeping Bluffton Clean

Happy spring. This is by far the best time of year in Bluffton. You cannot drive on any road and miss seeing the beautiful color of foliage all around. We begin with the vast colors of azaleas, either growing wild or in your neighbor’s yard. This is followed by the sweet smell of Carolina Jasmine, then the beautiful Wisteria winding around all of the oaks, especially on May River Road.

Sadly, with all of this beauty around us, if you continue to look on the sides of the roads in Bluffton, you also see debris scattered along. This is very frustrating to me as it is to many others, and is one of the most frequent phone calls or e-mails that I receive.

The town of Bluffton owns four main roads: Calhoun Street, Lawrence Street, Thomas Hewyard Street and Hampton Parkway. The other roadways are owned by the county or the state, and we have no authority to handle the trash or any other issues that may occur on them. The state has approved a program for all of these roads, giving the citizens of any town or county the ability to help out in the cleaning of trash and other debris. A very informative website (palmettopride.org) gives more information on the “Adopt A Mile” program, among other valuable links and news. On this site, for example, you will also see how you can alert the police when you see someone littering; and if you can capture the tag number of the car, they will contact the owner of the vehicle and actually let them know what would happen if a police officer had seen them. It truly is an educational site, and if you have the same frustrations as I do with regard to people carelessly throwing trash out of their window or from the back of their truck, you will enjoy reading through the news and other areas.

I am often asked by non profits, service groups and communities how they can give back, and this is a wonderful way to get involved. I participate in the “Adopt a Mile” program and also volunteer when we have a community clean-up in Historic Bluffton and other areas in town. Join me, and together we can truly make a difference in keeping Bluffton clean. 

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