Bill Harkins, facing a vote that he expected would give his position as mayor pro tem of Hilton Head Island to another Town Council member, decided to remove his name from nomination during Tuesday’s council meeting.
Council member Kim Likins was then approved unanimously for the position.
The mayor pro tem takes on mayoral duties when the mayor is absent. He or she also assumes the role of mayor if the seat is vacated.
“When I was asked by (former Mayor) Drew Laughlin to put my name in for consideration for mayor pro tem, I indicated to him the only way I would do that is if I had a majority vote from the Town Council,” Harkins said before Tuesday’s vote. “There are four people who will be voting in Kim’s direction. I will recognize the way the votes are going, so I step down.”
Likins was nominated by council member David Ames, a political ally of Mayor David Bennett. Harkins was voted into the mayor pro tem position during the tenure of Laughlin, who was soundly defeated by Bennett in the 2014 mayoral runoff election.
“I would like to thank the council for allowing me to have this opportunity,” Likins said Tuesday. “I look forward to doing everything I can to move forward our agenda and our priorities for the future.”
Ames, Bennett and council member Marc Grant had expressed interest in voting for Likins. Harkins noted that he assumed Likins would vote for herself.
In Harkins’ corner were council members John McCann, who nominated Harkins, and Tom Lennox, who seconded the motion.
Bennett said he believed Likins could provide a fresh perspective.
“She is in our community day in and day out; in no means do I indicate this as the shortcomings of you (Harkins),” Bennett said, “but an accolade to her. I am thankful for her work on behalf of the town.”