Bluffton Town Council candidate profile: Mike Raymond

dburley@islandpacket.comOctober 25, 2013 

Mike Raymond

Age: 62

Office: Bluffton Town Council

Number of years living in the area you seek to represent: Five years

Family: Wife, Gina.

Education: 3 years at Ohio State University studying industrial design; Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government graduate

Current occupation/employer: Principal, Surface Scientifics; weekly newspaper columnist; musician

Employment, military and volunteer history: Business process consultant, Standard Register Company, 18 years; manager, Technical Services, 12 years; land development manager, D.R. Horton, four years; environmental engineer, town of Bluffton, 18 months; U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, 11 years; Rotary International member, five years

Public offices held: Bluffton Town Council, 2010-present

Unsuccessful bids for public office: None

Other prior political and government experience: Town of Bluffton Development Review Committee

Key endorsements you've received: Endorsements have not yet been released.

Contributions: $1,800

Expenditures: $1,518.60

Highest contributor: Greater Bluffton Republican Club ($500)

Why should people vote for you?

My love for this town and the people of Bluffton is a matter of record. From 11 years in the local Coast Guard Auxiliary to years of service with Bluffton Rotary, as a commissioner for the Bluffton Township Fire District, and four years on Town Council, I have devoted much time and effort to making our community a better place for all.

What are the three most important issues you would address if elected?

I believe the three most important issues facing our town are the management of future growth, diversifying our economy and preserving our heritage.

  1. Construction in Bluffton is quickly regaining momentum. My experience as a manager of large development projects and former code enforcement officer for the town allows me to bring a critical eye toward construction proposals. We can't stop growth so we must professionally manage it. My depth of understanding of traffic management, zoning, annexation and other critical issues can help council make the right decisions for the future.
  2. For years, Bluffton has depended heavily on tourism dollars and federal grants, but that won't continue to sustain us into the future. Our tax base must be expanded in order to provide services to the families of more than 1,000 new residential homes added each year. I have worked hard to promote commercial investment, championing things such as the Don Ryan Center for Innovation, our new Public Development Corporation and the "branding" project with the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.
  3. As more people continue to move into our community, it puts tremendous pressure on our heritage: who we are, where we come from. We can't allow newcomers to dilute our sense of identity - or pollute our rivers, disrespect our natural resources or diminish our quality of life. Bluffton is a beautiful place with an amazing heritage and I aim to keep it that way.

What other issues to do you see as important?

It's important that Bluffton take control of its destiny and have more authority over traffic management, infrastructure development, parks and recreation and other services.

What specific steps would you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?

I support all efforts to make our municipal government as transparent and as accessible as possible. I pushed to establish the new position of the town's public information officer, support our Community Oriented Policing and monitor Freedom of Information Act requests for prompt staff responses.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or had an ethics violation filed against you?

No

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes?

No

Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?

My international adventure novel, 'Prophetess,' is available on Amazon.com.

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