After serving on Town Council for nine years, Bill Harkins wants another four.
Harkins, who lives in Hilton Head Plantation, is the current Ward 2 representative and, on Tuesday morning, filed to run again.
Ward 2 is comprised of portions of the north end of the island, including parts of Hilton Head Plantation.
Harkins would focus on several issues if re-elected, he said. Among them, improving the corridor onto the island, expanding bridges and addressing workforce issues.
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“A lot of people talk about workforce housing,” Harkins said. “I’d like to talk about workforce issues. Housing is just one part of it, albeit a very important part.”
Transportation, workforce availability and whether current wages are adequate for people to take jobs on Hilton Head over other locations also need to be addressed, he said.
Harkins would like to see safety improvements made to island roads after an 11-year-old was struck and killed in a U.S. 278 crosswalk in June.
“We have more people on the island today than we ever thought we’d have 30 years ago,” Harkins said. “Those roads were designed with all the trees and darkness we like, but we also have a quality-of-life and safety issue here. We know where the dangerous areas are and we have got to do something about it.”
Harkins also said Town Council, which often is divided, needs to work together more.
“We need to work in harmony as much as possible,” he said. “I know 100 percent harmony won’t ever happen, but especially on the big issues, the town would be better served with a harmonious group on Town Council. And I’m a team player, and I hope I can add something to that.”
Harkins, 75, is originally from Connecticut, but bought a lot on the island in the early 1980s. He’s lived here full time for the past 15 years.
He was in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, ran hospitals in Vietnam and in the United States and spent 35 years as a senior health care CEO.
Harkins is the first to file to run for a Town Council seat.
Candidates can officially file for the election until Aug. 15. The filing fee is $50 for the mayoral election and $35 to run for Town Council, according to the town’s municipal code.
Council seats for Ward 2, Ward 4 and Ward 5 are up for grabs.
▪ Ward 2 is comprised of portions of the north end of the island, including parts of Hilton Head Plantation.
▪ Ward 4 is comprised of portions of the mid- and south-end of the island, including Palmetto Dunes. Kim Likins currently represents the ward. No one has filed for the Ward 4 seat.
▪ Ward 5 is comprised of the south end, including Sea Pines. Tom Lennox currently represents the ward. No one has filed for the Ward 5 seat.
Wards can be searched by address on the town’s website.