Q&A with Alan Perry

July 27, 2023

Born in Charlottesville, Va., Alan Perry began spending summers on the island as an infant. His family made the move full-time when he was a toddler, setting the wheels in motion for him to one day stand as Hilton Head Island’s mayor. We sat down with Perry to find out more about his path to the position and what he hopes to accomplish.

Q: What have you learned in your first few months as mayor?
A:  Think before you speak. Make certain you’re saying the right thing. But also listen appropriately, because there are messages out there sometimes that the delivery of the message may not be the best but the message is important. You really have to make sure you understand people’s positions and opinions and make sure you’re taking that into account.

Q: What are some of your primary goals and visions for the remainder of your tenure, however long that may be?
A:  I want people to see that we’re doing the right things from a government standpoint, and we’re having fun doing it. Clear and accurate communication is so important to the community, and that’s something that always drives the complaints and people not knowing certain things. So, the better we can communicate, the clearer we can communicate, the more knowledge that we can provide to our citizens and our guests, the better off everybody is when there’s an understanding as to why we’re going in this or that direction.

Q: When folks find out you’re the mayor of Hilton Head, I imagine there’s a reaction. What’s that typically like?
A:  Disbelief. They’re like, really, you’re the mayor? Somebody gave me the best compliment the other day. He introduced me to somebody as, “This is Alan Perry, aka the mayor. But he’s more Alan Perry than he is the mayor.” That tells me that I’m doing myself right because I’m not trying to use the position to further me. When I’m out and about, I’m wearing shorts, T-shirt, flip-flops and a hat. Sometimes I have to show them a picture to prove who I am.

Q: What do you like to do when you get a little downtime?

A:  My wife and I are boaters, so we always hit the water and enjoy the waters around us and go to the sandbars and cruise around. We went to Port Royal last weekend. Just get out and relax.