Did you ever wonder how development happens in Bluffton? How did the town grow from a 1-square-mile town to a 54-square-mile town?

What are the rules, regulations and ordinances that govern how our town is developed or not developed? How does South Carolina annexation law operate and how does this law explain why the Town’s jurisdictional boundaries zig zag through areas?

The Town has two venues for baseline education about Bluffton’s government and our town’s culture: Mobile Town Halls and the Bluffton Ambassador Program.

Town staff members host the Mobile Town Halls. The event management and hospitality training staff members at the University of South Carolina at Beaufort host the Bluffton Ambassador Program.

Mobile Town Halls are held for neighborhoods and civic groups as well as public sessions. The last one, held at the Bluffton Police Department, June 30, was well attended and included a tour of the department.

During this free workshop, participants will receive an overview of town government, operations, initiatives, projects, and policies. Town staff will also give short presentations on annexation, economic development and governance.

Representatives of the Town’s departments – such as the Bluffton Police Department, Public Services, Watershed Management and Growth Management – are available for a question-and-answer session after the presentations.   

The Mobile Town Halls are focused on how local government operates and its parameters. This is designed to give residents a 360-degree perspective of what local government does and the services it provides. This baseline knowledge helps residents participate more effectively in the decision-making of our government.

The Bluffton Ambassador Program, held via ZOOM, is also free. This program is composed of quick summaries of Bluffton history, amenities, governance, future planning and touches on cultural aspects such as natural resources, marine life, festivals and the arts. 

The Bluffton Ambassador Program is designed to give an overview of “what is means to be a Blufftonian” and is perfect for new residents, local realtors, merchants and, especially, for hospitality employees. This program is highly recommended for new employees who interact with the public.

For more information about the Mobile Town Halls, contact the Town’s Public Information Officer Debbie Szpanka at dszpanka@townofbluffton.com. For more information about the Bluffton Ambassador Program, contact Su Gibson at gibsonsl@uscb.edu. Both programs can be presented to private groups as well as presented in a public session.

Lisa Sulka is the mayor of the Town of Bluffton. lsulka@townofbluffton.com