Clarification: Beaufort County Councilman Rick Caporale subsequently remembered that he had, indeed, met with Chris Hervochon before Hervochon announced his intent to run for county council.
Beaufort County Councilman Rick Caporale has decided not to run for re-election as he nears the end of his third term representing Bluffton and Hilton Head Island.
Caporale, a Republican who serves District 8, told The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette that “age is a factor” and that 12 years on the council is “long enough.”
“You need to move on at some point and let somebody else have a shot,” Caporale said Tuesday morning. “And I wish some of my colleagues would take the same approach.”
It’s the same thought process, he said, that led him to step down from the Beaufort County Board of Education after serving three terms beginning in 1994: He doesn’t own a seat at the table, and it’s time for new voices to be heard.
One potential newcomer is Chris Hervochon, who announced his candidacy Monday, according to his campaign’s Facebook page. Hervochon, a Moss Creek resident and accountant, is treasurer of the Greater Bluffton Republican Club, according to the group’s website.
Caporale, though, hinted that others might throw their hats in the ring.
“I’ve talked to five (prospective candidates) ... ,” Caporale said. “I certainly liked what Chris had to say in the paper,” he continued, referring to Hervochon’s platform, particularly fiscal conservatism and “building a ‘South of the Broad’ coalition on the council.”
Caporale, 71, a Hilton Head resident since 1987, was elected to the council in 2006 and began serving his first term in January 2007. District 8 includes Hilton Head Plantation and Windmill Harbor on Hilton Head Island and Moss Creek, Colleton River and Belfair Plantation in Bluffton.
He said he’s most proud of his work with the county Airports Board, including efforts to expand Hilton Head Island Airport. He’s also fond of lowering the county animal shelter’s kill rate while increasing its live release rate, and bolstering fiscal accountability through the more timely release of county budget information.
But growth and environmental issues will continue to be challenges for the county, he said.
Attempts to ban plastic bags — met, to his surprise, by little opposition — are a good start, he said. But growth and development have “gotten out of hand,” he said.
He cited looming decisions that will have to be made about Hilton Head’s future — how the island will evolve as a destination city while managing congestion, traffic and environmental protection.
Those decisions will be difficult, he said. “I’m not sure I even want to be part of that discussion.
“What’s the nature of the pain parents feel when they watch their kids grow?” he said, explaining his reluctance.