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Welcome 2021:
Town Council Workshop Kick's Off New Year

January 2021

Mayor David McCann as seen in Celebrate Hilton Head Magazine

Welcome 2021. I say this with an abundance of caution after the year we had in 2020 and with hope that this year will be better for all of us. As we continue dealing with COVID-19, I'm hoping that the vaccines now available will bring the level of protection we need for our health. It would be great to return 100 percent to the normalcy we had before COVID-19 entered into the picture.

This will be another busy year for the Hilton Head Island Town Council. We'll kick-off the new year with our annual workshop on January 28 and 29. This two-day gathering will take place locally at the Westin Resort. Because of COVID-19, we will have to limit the number of attendees from the public. We are planning to broadcast the meeting live through the Beaufort County Channel and on the town's Facebook page. As we get closer to the date of the workshop, we'll share more details on how you can view Town Council's discussion around various topics. Julia Novak, the consultant who led last year's workshop, will again facilitate this gathering.

At the workshop, we plan to focus on our recently adopted 2020-2040 Comprehensive Plan. This blueprint for our island's future is filled with myriad ideas for sustaining our quality of life. We now have to dig deep into the plan and decide as a council how to prioritize these ideas, pay for projects and measure our performance in carrying them out. We also plan to revisit the hiring of a permanent town manager.

We also will use our workshop as a time to discuss and determine our top goals for the year-the things we want to make the center our attention over the next 11 months. Last year, our three areas of focus included exceptional quality of life, prosperity and innovation, and best-in-class services and facilities. Our successes in these categories included adopting amendments in our land management ordinance for zoning related to the development of workforce house and protection of family land in the Island's Gullah Geechee neighborhoods. Along with adopting the comprehensive plan, we completed and adopted a master plan for parks and recreation.

As for best-in-class in facilities, we were so excited to open our Lowcountry Celebration Park last month. This amazing 10-acre park is a nod to our history, our arts and culture, and our environment. It is a well-planned park with a playground including the re-imagined Adventure Ship, designed after the ship Captain William Hilton was on when he discovered Hilton Head Island; the Sandbox Children's Museum that will open in the spring; a pavilion and lawn for events and festivals; a perimeter walking path; Wi-Fi, lights, security cameras, restrooms and more. It is truly top-notch.

I hope our list of priorities for 2021 will yield more successes for our community.