Letters to the Editor

Gulfstream shows town has limited role to play

Although the mayoral election is over, I wonder if either of the runoff candidates, and their supporters, appreciate the irony for Hilton Head Island of Gulfstream's expansion announcement.

Here we have a world-class company, less than an hour away, adding 1,000 jobs in high-tech manufacturing -- something that could bring employment to current and future Hilton Head residents. And not one iota of time or money was spent on a town economic development plan or town-led and financed campaigns to "diversify our economic base."

Town government and its leaders should stop trying to use local government to direct, recruit, subsidize or advertise for any business or industry. They should facilitate privately driven investment decisions by creating and maintaining the infrastructure all will use, not just special interests.

First and foremost is maintaining public safety by increasing the presence of deputies in our tourist, commercial and high crime areas. Use the town-owned properties for the cell towers we need for dependable cellular service. Get rid of the ridiculously structured business license formula and re-create it into something that approximates fees for real services rendered and received.

And keep the stupid potholes filled on Main Street, Marshland Road, etc. Relax the Land Management Ordinance so old properties can be renewed. But don't use town government to try to direct or support specific industries, businesses or special interests.

Let's end the politically arrogant attitude that government, local or national, should direct the future of free people.

Warren HillHilton Head Island