February 2021

A Note From Our Mayors

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

New Town Manager Comes with Local Knowledge and Experience

Hilton Head Island Town Council voted in December to offer the Hilton Head Island town manager position to Marc Orlando, who most recently served as town manager for Bluffton. Our action represents one of the highest duties of Town Council in employing a manager and determining what skills, experience, and personality are best suited to meet the needs and opportunities of the Town of Hilton Head Island.

Our community and its citizens have invested countless hours into building “Our Plan,” our future road map in building public infrastructure, parks, facilities, and the sustained strengthening of our community. With the potential support of a new town manager, and with the continued input and support of the community, we must now determine how to best allocate available town resources as we seek to implement the plan’s policies and objectives.

To accomplish these goals, we need the demonstrated experience Marc Orlando, as a fully credentialed manager within the International City & County Managers Association (ICMA), possesses and his proven track record in the areas of:
• Managing public facilities and projects that we can see and touch.
• Initiating community planning and development, which incentivizes the right kind of growth.
• Creating and meeting appropriate budgets to finance town needs.
• Leading and managing a high-performing staff and encouraging its professional development.

Orlando’s successful history in public service is supplemented by his demonstrated ability to:
• Effectively communicate with elected officials, staff and the community.
• Demonstrate sound judgment in all matters that come before him.
• Appropriately manage change and the accompanying stress that goes with it.
• Publicly display his desire to engage with and enable the community.
• Possess an unquestionable passion for our island and its people.

Town Council determined that Orlando embodies the characteristics necessary to effectively meet the town’s needs and is the ideal candidate for town manager. Given that a substantial amount of his professional career and accomplishments have taken place only 15 miles away, he is uniquely suited to this position and possesses knowledge that many other potential candidates simply would not have.

Finally, while Orlando is well known to many on Town Council and town staff because of his work in the region, many people may not be aware that he previously worked for the town as an intern, GIS analyst and senior planner. We are excited that he is now able to come full circle with us in his career. His reputation in Bluffton, Beaufort County, the Lowcountry, and within the state is widely regarded as impeccable, and his professionalism is without question. This was demonstrated by his receipt of a resolution from the South Carolina House of Representatives recognizing him for his leadership and vision in the areas of community planning and environmental sustainability.

Town Council concluded he is the leader who is best prepared to elevate our community and to protect and enhance our quality of life. We will soon welcome Marc Orlando back to the Town of Hilton Head Island. 

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Business as Usual with a New Normal

Although Town Hall remains closed for the public for safety precautions related to the current pandemic, town staff is still doing business as usual, with a new normal. Town staff continues to review plans and permits, conduct site inspections and conduct Zoom meetings.

Drop-off and pick-up bins are placed outside of Town Hall main doors to drop off plans and pick them up once they have been reviewed. The town has also launched its new online platform, which allows contractors, homebuilders and homeowners to electronically apply for permits, submit building plans, track the status of permits/plans, schedule building inspections and pay town invoices online. The new portal, known as Citizen Self Service Portal (CSS), is accepting plans and permits requests. CSS has replaced the former portal, known as the Citizens Access Portal (CAP). This provides another alternative to the traditional process of submitting paper comments and traveling to Town Hall or placing in the mail.

Contractors and home builders are the main users for this new online platform; however, Bluffton residents can use the portal when applying for permits such as tree removal and signs. The improved functionality will centralize all of the building permits and plan reviews for each individual and company. The dashboard function will enable customers to track the status of multiple plans and permits at once.

Transition Tips from CAP to CSS:
• The new portal is located at: https://css.townofbluffton.com/EnerGov/SelfService#/home
• Former users of Citizens’ Access Portal (CAP) need to register using the same e-mail address they used in CAP when creating their account for CSS.
• If CAP was “bookmarked” in the past, please delete it from “favorites” and replace it with the bookmark for CSS. As a reminder, CAP has been taken offline, so continuing to use old bookmark will result in an error message
• All permits and planning applications can now be submitted through the new portal. Paper plans to keep on site are still required once approved. Users are encouraged to contact the Customer Service Center at (843) 706-4500 for more information on the process and required documents.

TOther services accessible from the comfort of your home or office include:
• View board and committee agendas and meeting packets
• Participate in public meetings via Facebook live
• Review active permits and plans through the permit-finder map
• Payment of fees
• Coming very soon, ability to view property surveys and flood certificates by address or building permit number

Town staff continues to monitor the process and make adjustments to ensure a high level of customer service and communication while adhering to all regulations and requirements.

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