Elections

Ed McCullough

Name: Ed McCullough

Age: Turns 57 on Oct. 21

Years living in area: 26

Family: Dianne Kosto, wife; children at home are Jack ,14, William, 13; grown child is Zach, 27

Education: Bachelor of arts in Theatre and Drama Arts, Fordham University

Current occupation/employer: Sales and marketing, Merchant Service Center of Hilton Head Island

Previous employment: Property manager, the Sea Pines Company, 1984-86, managed 13 regimes and POAs and 330 short-term rental units in South Beach; founder and owner of New Leaf Management Inc., 1986-1996, managed and maintained 44 regimes and POAs on Hilton Head Island; founder and owner of Second Nature LLC, 1997-2008, provided landscape design and maintenance services to several hundred residential and commercial properties throughout Hilton Head Island and Bluffton; host of WHHI TV Talk of the Town, 2002-2010; co-founder, president of the board of directors of the Bluffton Farmers Market, 2008-present, conceived of the farmers market, gathered community support, constituted a nonprofit board and took what has become a wonderful thriving self-sustaining successful event to Bluffton after the town of Hilton Head Island told us we couldn't do it here; co-founder of Swipe4Charities, 2010-present, initiative that utilizes the services of local credit card processing company Merchant Service Center of Hilton Head to reduce processing fees for local businesses and donates a portion of MSC profits from every transaction to local nonprofits.

Military history: None listed

Volunteer history: Little League and Island Rec Center coach combined 13 seasons; Boys & Girls Club board, formed task force, located, evaluated and acquired the land on which the club now stands; Rotarian for 13 years, Rotarian of the Year; Spanish Wells POA board of directors, four years, instrumental in implementing a plantation-wide voluntary trash hauling recycling program that provides wonderful service and doesn't put our local small business haulers out of business; Community Foundation of the Lowcountry marketing committee, 2008-present

Public elected offices: None

Any unsuccessful political campaigns: None

Other political and government experience: Design Review Board Town of Hilton Head Island 6 1/2 years; chairman of the Town of Hilton Head Island Public Art Committee, which was immediately disbanded by the town for refusal to rubber-stamp plop art and the design of the Compass Rose Park

Endorsements received: Not seeking any endorsements of any organizations. Plan to implement government of the people, by the people and for the people. Plan to be accountable to the people and not to special interests.

S.C. Ethics Commission statement of economic interests: None disclosed

Campaign money raised: None, as of the candidate's last filing Aug. 13.

Top three campaign contributors over past six months (amount): None reported

1. Why should people vote for you?

As Hilton Head Island's new mayor I will bring a deep and abiding passion for Hilton Head Island, a clear vision on how to move forward as one community. Fiscal responsibility. Accountability. Transparency. Twenty-six years local small businessman's service company perspective. The courage to take on the anti-business Town Hall bureaucracy. The courage to take the heat to cut unnecessary wasteful big-government Town Hall spending. The leadership to create a new town culture that is friendly and efficient and attracts the kind of business we want. I know how to get things done. Common sense. (Did we really have to construct the Coligny Beach Park in the middle of tourist season?) A deeply felt sense of mission. A belief in one town under God. A history of building wonderful relationships. The ability to inspire people and bring them together. The ability to promote Hilton Head Island. The ability to bring in news business. A track record of several wonderful local successful start-ups. A sense of aesthetics: Does anyone love the Compass Rose Park? How about the pink pavers in the Sea Pines Circle?

2. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected and how would you address them?

Fiscal responsibility, transparency, accountability. I am a man on a mission for the money. I will run Town Hall like the small business service companies I have started and run since I arrived here 26 years ago. I will personally go through every line in the detailed general ledger. I will form a volunteer task force to identify every single dollar of out of control spending and waste. I will form a partnership with council, staff and citizens to responsibly eliminate every single dollar of that waste. I will reduce the size of town government. I will post online every single dollar spent every single day.

Create a new town culture. Every organization takes its cue from the leader. I will lead the town to create a new culture that is honest, streamlined, efficient, customer-service driven and incredibly friendly to good business. The current anti-business culture of Town Hall is broken and it is costing Hilton Head Island millions of dollars every year in properties that don't get redeveloped and businesses that leave and businesses that don't relocate here and projects that get stalled in bureaucratic red tape and projects that get dropped altogether. I will change all that.

Promote Hilton Head Island. I am a successful, local front-of-the-house business promoter. I have successfully promoted New Leaf, Second Nature, the Boys & Girls Club, the Bluffton Farmers Market and Swipe4Charities. I will re-enliven the Hilton Head Island brand. I will successfully promote Hilton Head Island for a new Heritage sponsor, for re-creating re-purposing The Mall at Shelter Cove, for revitalizing and re-developing of every aging property on Hilton Head Island and for re-emerging the Hilton Head Island brand as an absolutely world class destination resort community.

3. What other issues do you see as important?

Preservation of our beaches; preservation of our environment; attract the right kind of new business; rewrite the Land Management Ordinance so it makes sense for today's business reality; support for the arts; public safety; a new private-public partnership model that treats native island heirs property fairly; dog walking on the beach; dredging; control of illegal immigrants in workforce; bike-friendly community designation; first-class sailing center; promotion of nonprofits; promotion of volunteerism; promotion of education; a farmers market like the really good one in Bluffton; literacy; promotion of recreation; labor force development; extend the runway; trash recycling; improved cell phone service; affordable child care; affordable housing; births to teens; dropout rates; prenatal care; children living in poverty; access to services for the elderly.

4. What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?

I will post online every single transaction showing every single dollar spent. I will go the extra mile to do business with our own local small businesses (unlike the current town trash recycling proposal that made it impossible for local businesses to bid and is actually taking business away from them and putting them out of business).

I will utilize social media to engage in a constant real time give and take conversation with citizens to involve them in all processes.

I will host a nightly TV program to communicate with citizens about important issues.

I will implement high-tech, low-cost Gov. 2 software like SeeClickFix and SuggestionBox that facilitate participation of citizens in the process that is way more fun and effective than sitting through meetings at Town Hall.

5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please give details.

No

6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.

No

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

On January 24, I was blessed to marry Dianne Kosto, the most beautiful and wonderful wife this world has ever known. I have an identical twin brother, Paul. So, if you think I ever did anything bad, please understand it was not me. It was Paul. I grew up with an absolutely crippling fear of speaking in front of people.

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