Wednesday, October 9, 2013

From the House

Bluffton Today

I want to thank all of you who came out last weekend for the Beer and Brats event at the Promenade. This superb festival is the Bluffton version of Octoberfest (albeit a little early) and was attended by close to a thousand folks. It was easy to see that everyone was having a good time, enjoying our early fall afternoon, excellent food and a good and varied supply of the highlighted beverage, as well as the variety of live music. Also, I’m happy to say there was no shortage of parking, no untoward behavior, and no complaints from the neighborhood residents.

We are proud of our capability to host lively events. In fact, we planned the layout of the Promenade for just such forms of civic entertainment. Many of you may remember the numerous workshops we held to involve the community in the planning phase of our project. Many of those sessions were hardly lovefests, but in the end, the importance of the Promenade in terms of size, location and proposed uses mandated serious community input. That input is largely responsible for the fact that we can handle things as smoothly as we did with Beer and Brats.

Next week, we have another big shindig with the Bark in the Park, brought to you by the good folks putting together the much-anticipated Bluffton Dog Park. This pet-centric event will feature children and dog games, pet related vendors, pet rescue groups, live music, low-cost dog and cat vaccinations, great food, and a silent auction. All your contributions are tax deductible. You are also invited to bring your well-behaved dogs on a lease, so they can join in the fun.

Speaking of fun, we at the Promenade are about to kick-off “Fridays After Five.” We are inviting all the folks from Greater Bluffton, Hardeeville, Sun City and Hilton Head to join us for these family-friendly, end of the week celebrations. There will be bands playing music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s and the restaurants will be running Fridays After Five specials. We hope to bring our communities together in the spirit of Bluffton neighborliness. Watch this space for more details.

At least twice a year, the Bluffton contingent of your statehouse delegation meets informally with the Sun City Republican Club. For years it was your representative and Senator Tom Davis. This year, we were joined by my pal, Representative Weston Newton, as he also speaks for a part of Sun City. This year was something of a tag-team affair as at least 100 members of the club asked questions that were fielded by the one of our delegation most qualified to speak to the question. I was able to clear up some issues with our golf cart efforts, as well as some others of my projects. Tom handled constitutional issues and the questions dealing with the Senate side. There were a number of questions and suggestions dealing with ethics and transparency, which were ably answered by Weston. In fact, Representative Newton, even with his brief tenure in the statehouse, has become among the most competent and respected members of Judiciary Committee in this complex, important, and timely area of legislation.

As always, we probably learned at least as much as we imparted to the audience. I think they were impressed with the fact that their delegation had such a broad spectrum of expertise and experience. I was impressed with the quality of the questions and suggestions, as well as how much fun it is to speak before a group of politically engaged and informed residents.