HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) — Change is coming to Hilton Head Island. Mayor John McCann has decided he will be stepping down from his post.

In 2018, McCann promised his supporters he would be a one-term mayor. Tuesday he held firm to that promise, saying he will not be running in November.

“After a great deal of thought I have decided not to run for re-election,” McCann said Tuesday at Town Hall.

McCann has spent more than 15 years in Town Hall as Mayor and a Councilman, so it was fitting that his announcement he would not seek re-election was made in the chamber he cared about so much.

He thanked his fellow council people, Town staff, and the citizens of Hilton Head for working with him and electing him.

McCann says his biggest accomplishment in his four years in office was putting the right people, like Town Manager Marc Orlando, in place to keep Hilton Head moving forward.

“This town does not need a Mayor to take it in the direction it needs,” McCann said. “It needs a Town Manager to perform all the duties of the town staff and the town council layout along the way.”

McCann’s one term will be remembered for finalizing Celebration Park and helping pass a new strategic plan for the Town.

It wasn’t all hits, the proposed arts campus he envisioned was pulled before it could get to voters. And the expanded 278 bridge project is still up for debate.

Some of the things on his agenda became more difficult when the coronavirus hit in 2020.

“I’m asking you please do not come to Hilton Head at this time. It’s the wrong time to come down,” McCann told potential visitors in a YouTube message in April 2020.

McCann said despite the setbacks to business and tourism for 18 months, COVID wasn’t a bad thing for the Island.

“I thought COVID was a good thing for the town, it pulled the town together, the mayor explained. “COVID in effect was an asset for us to show who we really are and what we can do.”

Now the Mayor has four months, until Dec. 5, to put a final mark on his legacy and make sure he leaves the job and the town in better shape than when he took over four years ago.

His message to the next mayor?

“If you aren’t willing to put a lot of time in and don’t love your job, don’t play.”

McCann says he will support longtime Hilton Head Island resident Alan Perry in the upcoming election.

Perry and Michael Santomauro, who both ran for Mayor in 2018 as well, are the only candidates who have been announced so far.

In addition to the Mayor, candidates will be seeking election or re-election for Town Council Wards 2, 4, and 5. They will also serve for four years.

Candidates for Council and Mayor on the Island have until noon on Aug. 15 to file for November’s election.

For more information on filing for election, click or tap here or contact Krista Wiedmeyer, Town Clerk, at 843-341-4701, or TownClerk@hiltonheadislandsc.gov.