December 2019

A Note From Our Mayors

Author: John McCann, Lisa Sulka | Photographer: Krisztian Lonyai

A Note from Mayor McCann
Happy Holidays with Many Thanks

The holiday season—whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa—is a festive time of year when we share special moments with our family and friends and look ahead to a new year. It’s also a time to reflect upon and show appreciation for the many blessings we have received and experienced over the year.

During this season of hope and joy, I offer my sincere thanks to all of our citizens and fellow Town Council members for your continued collaboration and support. You are our greatest assets and help make our wonderful town a special place to live, work, play, visit and raise families. Your active civic engagement contributes significantly to the island’s progress.

I also express my appreciation to all Town of Hilton Head Island employees for your dedication, commitment, and service to our community. The outstanding work you perform each day to meet the needs of our citizens enhances our quality of life and exemplifies what being a community is all about.

In the spirit of the season, I commend all you have done to support our community, from leading our evacuation efforts during Hurricane Dorian and undertaking the comprehensive plan process for our future to launching our first—and very delightful—Lantern Parade and supporting countless organizations through your donations to United Way of the Lowcountry. The feedback I hear in the community lets me know you take pride in what you do for our town and in caring for all of our residents.

Our community has a lot to look forward to as the new year approaches. It is truly going to be an exciting time for us as we complete projects like our Lowcountry Celebration Park and crosswalk lighting for pedestrian safety and roll out strategies for workforce housing and Gullah Geechee culture preservation. All that we are doing is to make our community better for everyone.

As we celebrate the holidays, let us be thankful for our blessings and remember those who are less fortunate, especially on Hilton Head Island and in our neighboring communities. Take a moment and reflect on how fortunate we are to live here in a community of diverse neighbors, rich culture and beautiful environment. And, as we look forward to the new year, let’s do so not only as individuals, but collectively as members of our wonderful community. I warmly wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy, new year. 

John McCann is the mayor of Hilton Head Island.

A Note from Lisa Sulka
The Season of Gratitude

As we move into the flurry of the holidays and the new year, I continue in the spirit of gratitude to acknowledge those who have made a difference. First and most important, thanks to every resident for your confidence and giving me another four years to serve the Town of Bluffton.

I also thank Harry Lutz for his service as a town councilman during the past four years as he has been a part of accomplishing numerous projects. Rest assured, each elected leader deeply cares about Bluffton, its culture, its identity and its high quality of life. Each of us have to balance every multi-faceted issue with how it may affect our community now and into the future.

Since 2012, the town has been focused on diversifying our regional economy with the establishment of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation. In recent years, Bluffton has seen the fruits of our labor with our public-private partnership at Buckwalter Place. Numerous new businesses have located there including St. Joseph’s/Candler Medical Campus, Culinary Institute of the South and Kroger. The town is also constructing a permanent facility for the Don Ryan Center for Innovation. That Center will offer a state-of-the-art 3,000-square-foot facility and offer co-working and meeting space for area entrepreneurs.

With each capital improvement project, the town mission is to “build community” and give our citizens places to gather. The town completed the May River Road and Dr. Mellichamp Drive Streetscapes, which were the final components to make the entire Historic District walkable. In addition, the Martin Family Park was recently completed. This open space, adjacent to DuBois Park, offers about 60 new parking spaces and provides more space for community events. The town also completed the parking area at 184 Bluffton Road, adding 40 more parking spaces, sidewalks and lighting to the northern end of Historic District. In early November, the Town held an Open House at the New Riverside Barn property, and more than 150 residents shared their ideas about how they wanted the town to use those 37-acres of beautiful park land. Parks are an essential component to a community’s quality of life, and we are proud of all of our projects.

Together with residents and our community organizations, I also look forward to what we can accomplish in the upcoming year and new council term.

Every voice contributes to the collective work of council. It is also my pleasure to welcome Bridgette Frazier’s voice to our town discussions. Her dad, Oscar Frazier, inspired me to run for office in 2004. He died a year later. As a former town councilman, he was instrumental in advocating for our community’s youth and developing parks. His legacy lives on through his children, as community service is a part of each of the Frazier’s DNA. His son Oscar is a Bluffton police officer and Bridgette will be sworn in for her first term on council in January.

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