Lisa Sulka was elected mayor of the Town of Bluffton in 2008. Sulka answers questions from Monthly about mobile town halls and upcoming projects.
- The Town hosts Mobile Town Halls throughout the community. What is the intended impact of these sessions and how has it grown? Bluffton is always welcoming new residents from different parts of the country. Some of them naturally compare Bluffton’s governance to the frame of reference of where they came. Mobile Town Halls are Bluffton’s way of orienting residents to the town and how its local government serves them and operates. Staff members discuss Bluffton’s history, culture, growth management ordinances and contracts and gives a snapshot of where the town is today in terms of its expected growth.
- What is an upcoming development project in Bluffton that you are most excited about and why? The New Riverside Barn Park is the public project garnering the most excitement. This 37-acre park is in Bluffton’s fastest growing area. The park will feature the Riverside iconic barn, walking trails, lighting, landscaping, parking and infrastructure for restrooms, water, electricity and so forth.
- Through a partnership with the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, Bluffton has established three charitable funds. How will these funds help make a difference? The Bluffton Police Department Benevolence Fund will support the department’s mission, program, services, and outreach program, including its annual Toy Drive. The Town of Bluffton Parks and Public Art Fund supports the development and enhancement of public parks and art. The Bluffton Lutzie 43 Scholarship Fund provides annual scholarships to students who are ambassadors of safe driving habits. This scholarship fund is also supported by the Town’s annual Lutzie 43 5K race.
- Is there an aspect of Bluffton’s history that you appreciate but might not be widely known? Since Bluffton’s history was documented, our town has been defined as resilient, self-reliant, and always stepping to the beat of our own drum. Whether it’s wanting to secede from the Union in 1844 or helping our neighbors through Bluffton Self Help or establishing the first economic development organization in our region, these traits have guided us throughout the centuries. As much as we have changed, our community is still unlike any other, and we take deep pride in our uniqueness.
- What is your ideal weekend of relaxation in Bluffton? Enjoying Bluffton, whether I am sitting on a quiet sandbar or kayaking though the tidal creeks, is and always will be my ideal way of relaxing and enjoying Bluffton’s beauty.
The responses have been edited for length and clarity.