Grant unseats Ferguson; Edwards re-elected; McCann tops Collett

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Grant unseats Ferguson; Edwards re-elected; McCann tops Collett

By TOM BARTON
tbarton@islandpacket.com
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2012   |  477 Words  |  

Two new faces will join Hilton Head Island Town Council, and a longtime incumbent will take his leave.

Newcomer and fellow native-islander Marc Grant unseated Bill Ferguson for the Ward 1 seat, taking 52 percent of the vote with one precinct left to report, according to unofficial results late Tuesday. Ferguson had 33.7 percent of the vote, and challenger Charles Houston was a distant third, with 14 percent in the non-partisan election.

Ward 3 incumbent Lee Edwards handily won a second term over three challengers, with about 62 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

John McCann won his first bid for public office, defeating former mayoral candidate Jim Collett Jr. to represent Ward 6, with 52 percent of the vote and 1 precinct left to report.

Ferguson, 64, council's longest-serving member and lone minority, had rarely faced a challenge until this election.

Grant, 41, a former teacher and administrator who now runs the family business, Grant's Mini Market, said Ferguson had become detached from the people he represents. Grant has said he will be more engaged and conduct regular meetings with his constituents.

Attempts Tuesday to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.

Edwards, 45, president and CEO of The Greenery, was elected to council 21 months ago in a special election to fill the seat vacated when Drew Laughlin became mayor. He ran on a platform of updating zoning and land-use rules to revive the local economy.

"I'm excited and glad people are giving me an opportunity to continue my commitment to recruit new business to this island, redevelop our commercial centers and look at the types of businesses we want to see here," Edwards said.

Running against him were political newcomer Andrew Jablonecki II, 28, an island golf apparel merchandiser; Jeff Myers, 50, chief operating officer and part-owner of island laser-component manufacturer Kigre Inc.; and Ryan McAvoy, 33, a Hilton Head Guest Services employee. This was McAvoy's third unsuccessful attempt at town office.

McCann said he will encourage more transparency and participation in town decisions by televising council meetings and providing online access to quarterly financial reports.

He also supports a joint effort among the town, Bluffton, and Beaufort and Jasper counties to attract business. He also believes the town should involve retired business people and banks in developing an economic-development policy for the island.

Related content

  1. Hilton Head voters face choices in Wards 1, 3 and 6: Oct. 20, 2012
  2. Ward 1 council candidates make their cases to voters: Oct. 24, 2012
  3. Ward 3 council candidates focus on fixing island economy: Oct. 9, 2012