Peter Zych questionnaire

Peter F. Zych

Age: 71

Number of years living in Ward 3: 17

Family: Wife, Mary; son, Peter J. Zych

Education: BA from Rutgers University, economics honors degree, Phi Beta Kappa; Rutgers Economic Honors Society; National Honorary Society in Economics.

Employment and military history: Soldier, 101st Airborne; electrician; salesman; worked 23 years for HSBC in money and risk management; worked in Asia, Europe and New York.

Volunteer history: Grand knight, Knights of Columbus, Holy Family Church; parish council president, St. Ambrose Church; Stephens minister, St. Luke's Church; treasurer, Pregnancy Center and Clinic of the Low Country; coordinator, Operation Hope; president, Hilton Head Island Ski Club; treasurer, Shipyard Men's Association; tutor, Boys & Girls Club; golf chairman, Port Royal Golf Club; basketball coach, Special Olympics.

Public offices to which you've been elected: None

Unsuccessful bids for public office: 2002 Hilton Head Island Town Council Ward 3 seat -- lost to Jim Carlin by 28 votes; 2004 Ward 3 seat -- lost to Drew Laughlin by 41 votes.

Other prior political and government experience: None.

Key endorsements you've received: Haven't sought any but my contributors think I'm qualified.

Why should people vote for you?

I'm smart enough and have a great deal of experience working with all types of people. Working in New York and internationally required good diplomatic skills while on the job. Managing trading operations required extreme mental concentration as to changes in the myriad factors that cause valuation changes of monetary instruments. Managing for profit required leadership skills. I have been sent overseas several times as a problem-solver. These awareness and problem-solving skills are readily transferable to a council position where one's influence is determined by good analysis, communication skills and one vote. It's my experience, maturity and balance that makes me a good choice.

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

Above all else, the environmental character of the island must be protected. It is the key to long-term prosperity and the maintenance of property values.

We must reevaluate the land management ordinance in order to remove the nuisances to upgrading our tourist facilities to world-class status.

The government of Hilton Head must remain a limited government. There is too much political talk in the newspaper about utilizing taxpayer funds for private purposes. This is almost never a good idea. Land swaps must be very carefully evaluated.

What other issues do you see as important?

  • The Heritage golf tournament. National corporations seem not to be overly interested in spending $9 million in order to sponsor our tournament. Are the TV ratings too low? If the town sponsored it, it would probably need to raise taxes $700 to $900 per household in order to raise $9 million, and those taxed would still have to buy a ticket. This will not be done. We need a national sponsor or we might lose the tournament. It would be a big loss but not a mortal wound. Martha's Vineyard does not have a PGA golf tournament.
  • Top-to-bottom examination of the payroll and personnel employed by our town. Are we overstaffed and are we efficient? All governmental bodies need to do this.
  • We must always be aware that property owners have made a big investment in order to live here. Our town's government should be always aware of this when business leaders petition for changes in land-use ordinances.
  • A "privately funded" town center at Coligny is an interesting proposition.
  • What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?

    I will be available because I don't need monetary employment. I can't speak for the other councilmen.

    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?


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


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

    I love the outdoors. What a place we live in. It's so unique in this world.