Edwards best candidate to fill Ward 3 council seat

Lee Edwards would bring to the Hilton Head Island Town Council a voice that it needs.

Voters in Ward 3 are fortunate to have five candidates on the ballot in Tuesday's special election. They seek to fill the unexpired term of Drew Laughlin, who was elected mayor in November.

Edwards would bring to the council the voice of a person who was reared here, who attended Hilton Head Elementary School, whose parents chucked it all as young people and cast their lot on a sparsely populated island that in 1972 offered much more hope than stability. They were successful, and Edwards is now the president and CEO of the family landscaping business.

He would bring to a council the voice of a 43-year-old working father of three. That includes an infant, and Edwards says, "My wife, Becca, and I plan to raise our daughters here."

His generation needs to step up to the plate, and Edwards did so last year as one of the founders of a group called HHI 25. It was a way for some 25 younger islanders, who stand to gain or lose the most from decisions on the future of Hilton Head, to contribute to the Mayor's Task Force for the Island's Future.

Edwards wants a future with a Heritage golf tournament, a town more aggressive in targeting new business, improved town interaction with the public and more streamlined standards for redevelopment. His business is directly related to the land-use process so he should bring to the table an experienced voice on what it's like to push plans through Town Hall.

To the discussion about where Hilton Head goes from here, Edwards also brings a valued conservation ethic. He is endorsed by Coastal Conservation League executive director Dana Beach and has served as a board member of the Beaufort County Open Land Trust.

We believe Edwards is in a unique position to add a strong voice to the balancing act between opportunity and conservation.