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Mayor's Blog



Jun 22

Chief Chapmond changed department for the better

Posted on June 22, 2020 at 12:32 PM by Lindsay Housaman

As many of you have heard, Bluffton Police Chief Chris Chapmond’s last day with the town was Friday. I can’t tell you how much he will be missed because of who he is and what he has done for Bluffton in the two years he was our chief and leader of our department.

Chief Chapmond has been a true role model for all the officers of the police department. He brought 22 years of law enforcement experience to the department and when he took the oath as chief in August 2018 he immediately started to change the department for the better.

From updating department policies to new hiring standards ensuring the best officers are employed at the department and developing more community relationships, Chief Chapmond has contributed so much and more in the last two years.

One of the new practices he put in place, which we never had before, was a physical fitness test. This is now included in all new hires and also implemented with the current department.

Last fall, he had the fitness route up at the park across from the department and I decided to go out and take the test. I didn’t fail, but he said if I was applying I would be asked to take it again. So Chief, I am working on this and will make you proud once I complete this in the next round of testing.

He will be missed by me personally and I know he will be missed by Town Council, staff and the Bluffton Police Department officers. I wish him nothing but the best and I am excited for him to return to the Hot Springs Police Department in Arkansas and lead the officers there.

The town is receiving applications for a new police chief. We have big shoes to fill with Chief Chapmond leaving, but we’ll make sure the new chief has the qualifications and is the right fit to lead Bluffton.

Our department, at his lead, has set the bar very high and our promise to these men and women is that we will continue to strive to be better than the best.

If you ever have questions about our wonderful town, don’t hesitate to contact Town Hall at 706-4500 or email Lisa Sulka at lsulka@townofbluffton.com.
Jun 17

Let’s be No. 1 in completing the census

Posted on June 17, 2020 at 8:10 AM by Lindsay Housaman

This past week I was on a call with the mayors of South Carolina and Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette. She has been asked to lead the 2020 census committee for our state.

I learned so much information on this call and hope this column will help you understand the importance of filling out your census. There are great sites to look at and if you are competitive like me, you will want our town to have the highest percentage of response.

The state will have a kickoff on June 17 and you will begin seeing a lot of information on social media and the news on encouraging people to fill out their census, either online or by mail. The deadline this year to self-report is Oct. 17, so we have a lot of time to get this completed.

We all have been told in the past that results from the census help states, counties and towns with funding schools, parks, infrastructure and much more. Everything we get from the federal government today comes from the results of the 2010 census and the results from that decade were 20% under what we should have completed.

Guess what? Today when so many businesses are trying to get funding to keep their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact is that this state was 20% underfunded on the CARES Act because they rely on the census data to fund states. That, alone, is unacceptable.

The common reason for many residents is they are fearful the data they give will be handed off to other departments in our government. That is not true. In fact, this data is secure and not allowed to be released for 72 years.

If you want to read more on this, go to www.census.gov/history/www/genealogy/decennial_census_records/the_72_year_rule_1.html or email me and I will send you the link to connect.

I filled out my census online last month and it took all of 90 seconds to do it, so there really is no excuse not to help this town by filling out your information.

There is a great site to see how we match up for this census and compare to 2010. Go to www.public.tableau.com or www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us.

Let’s be No. 1 in the state for completing our census in 2020.

If you ever have questions about our wonderful town, don’t hesitate to contact Town Hall at 706-4500 or email Lisa Sulka at lsulka@townofbluffton.com.
Jun 17

Buckle up SC

Posted on June 17, 2020 at 8:09 AM by Lindsay Housaman

It’s hard to believe we’ve made it to the summer. Sometimes it feels the last few months, while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, have been more like a few years.

However, the summer is here. South Carolina is slowly getting back to a new normal. For most of us, the summer months include traveling. Since March, many of us haven’t been able to travel, so I’m sure many of you will be getting in the car soon to see friends and family.

I’m here today to remind you, once you get the family in the car, to make sure everyone is buckled up. The Bluffton Police Department, along with all the law enforcement agencies across the state, is participating in the Buckle Up South Carolina campaign, which kicked off last weekend.

The intention is to remind drivers how important it is to buckle up and make sure all passengers are buckled up. Using a seatbelt isn’t a choice. It’s a law. In fact, as of Dec. 9, 2005, South Carolina’s safety belt law changed from a secondary enforcement to a primary enforcement.

This gives officers the authority to stop a driver if the officer has a clear and unobstructed view of a driver or occupant not wearing a safety belt or not having a child in a proper restraint system. If cited for not wearing a seatbelt, it will cost $25 to $50 depending on how many people in the vehicle are not restrained by a seatbelt.

There are some exceptions to the law, which include written verification from a physician stating a person is unable to wear a seatbelt; medical personnel attending to an injured person in an emergency; vehicle, school, church or daycare buses; public transportation vehicles except taxis/rideshares, etc; occupants of vehicles in parades; United States mail carriers; an occupant for which no seatbelt is available; and a driver or occupant in a vehicle not originally equipped with safety belts.

Remember, wearing a seatbelt could be the difference of life or death. So far this year, South Carolina has had more than 250 fatalities on our roads. That is 250 too many.

All you need to do is click it to get to your destination safely. And remember this is part of our Lutzie 43 partnership on ending distracted driving: clear head, clear hands, clear eyes. Click it (it’s the law).

If you ever have questions about our wonderful town, don’t hesitate to contact Town Hall at 706-4500 or email Lisa Sulka at lsulka@townofbluffton.com.