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Town Council Teamwork Leads to Progress

July 2019 Mayor David McCann as seen in Celebrate Hilton Head Magazine

"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime."
- Babe Ruth

My team is the Town Council of Hilton Head Island, and together we are working to make our community better. I have spent many days with my six Town Council colleagues, so we've come to know each other pretty well. As elected representatives, we are charged with listening to constituents, acting in their best interest—and listening to each other. This is sometimes difficult to do when seven different individuals bring forth seven different opinions on dozens of issues. We're guided by complex government ordinances and citizens who demand our attention. There are times when I've thought, "What did I get myself into?"

But, when I interact with my fellow councilmen and councilwoman, I realize I am in it because I love our community, and I love the people I am working with. We each bring a range of business and community experiences, diverse backgrounds, and a shared commitment to finding resolutions to the challenges we face as a town.

Our first interaction as a new council came last December when we sat together for a work session to identify our top priorities for 2019. Six months down the road, I would say we've made pretty good progress. I attribute this progress not only to the work our town staff is doing, but also to our Town Council working together as a team. In doing so, we are able to focus on our priorities: Lowcountry Celebration Park/Coligny Area Redevelopment, the U. S. 278 Gateway Corridor Project, Mitchelville/Gullah Geechee Cultural Preservation, Comprehensive Plan Review and Update, and Workforce Development.

Last month, we held a groundbreaking ceremony for our Lowcountry Celebration Park, one of the largest projects that the town has ever undertaken. Pope Avenue has been resurfaced, and other roadway improvements have been made in the Coligny area. For the U.S. 278 Gateway Corridor Project, we created an advisory committee and appointed 13 local citizens from a variety of professional backgrounds and interests to serve on it. That committee meets regularly to strategize and offer input into the process being led by the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

For Mitchelville/Gullah Geechee Cultural Preservation, a town consultant presented recommendations for cultural preservation. Town staff is evaluating those recommendations to see what is appropriate to implement. We are continuing to work with St. James Baptist Church and Beaufort County on a relocation plan for this historic Gullah church.

We approved a development team and work groups, made up of local citizens, to help us re-write our comprehensive plan. Those groups are meeting regularly to discuss ideas for this plan. As part of workforce development, we hired a housing consultant to help assess our housing needs and develop recommendations. Those recommendations are being reviewed and prioritized.

Town Council has addressed many other issues as well. I applaud them for their devotion, for focusing on our priorities, and for being a council that gets things done. Thanks team!