SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The mayor of Hilton Head Island has accepted an invitation to go to the White House this week to go to a meeting that will honor the Italian president and his wife. The mayor says this could have huge benefits for the island.
Mayor John McCann received an invitation about a week ago to attend a reception for the Italian president and his wife in Washington DC. The reception, which is this Wednesday, is an opportunity for the mayor to meet with the heads of states for Italy and the United States and bring Hilton Head to a national and international level of attention.
He says the Italian delegation is planning on coming to the island next November, and this meeting will be a step in between to show how excited the island is for any business dealings the country and town can agree to. The mayor believes he was invited because of Italy and Hilton Head’s Sister City agreement.
When the news was announced, the mayor received some backlash from citizens who didn’t want him meeting with President Trump. He says he’s doing what he believes is best for Hilton Head’s relationship with Italy and DC.
"I think it never hurts to foster relationships. We already started with the sister city in Italy, I think it’s something we can enrich for them and us. It’s a good opportunity for us culture wise, business wise, and it doesn’t hurt getting the support of the president if we need him for something. So, I’m excited about going. I think someday we’ll need more money for the road, and I’d like to make that phone call. But it’s a big thing,” McCann said.
McCann also says if he has the opportunity to speak with President Trump he knows what he will say.
"If I have time, I’m going to invite him to come down and play golf at the Heritage golf tournament. He plays golf all over the country so we might as well invite him down here,” McCann said.
The island last heard from the White House during Hurricane Dorian, when the administration reached out to the city to check on its wellbeing during the storm.