By Mark Weeks
Over its 35 years of existence the Lady’s Island Business and Professional Association has evolved in the manner and methods by which it serves the Lady’s Island community.
The organization has come a long way from the days when Pat Harvey Palmer, a founding member of LIBPA, led the drive to raise money to purchase street signs followed by leading a “self-help” program to install them on Lady’s Island roads.
Over the years the organization has, from time to time, had to almost reinvent itself to be able to cope with the latest challenges. This year may be another one of those times as the city of Beaufort expands its boundaries and influence on Lady’s Island, national-level companies establish an increased presence on the island and population growth returns with enthusiasm.
If the answer is that as a result of these changing factors LIBPA can better represent the island with a bit of reorganization, the next question is what changes should be considered and what should remain the same?
Before we begin considering potential changes to LIBPA, perhaps we should identify some things that have stood the test of time and should be continued as general “rules of the road” in the way LIBPA does business. Following are a few of such general policies:
• LIBPA is not political in the sense that it does not endorse or oppose any individual political candidate. It is political in the sense that it will publicly take positions on subjects, such as roads and schools, which affect the Lady’s Island community.
• LIBPA will strive to maintain good communication and relations with the elected officials and public servants who must make key decisions regarding Lady’s Island.
• LIBPA will play nice with others. If anything was learned from the “annexation wars” it was that communication, cooperation and courtesy produces much better results than anger, animosity and lawsuits. In that same respect it is much easier to work with professional friends even when you don’t always agree.
• LIBPA is not a fundraiser and will attempt to keep its membership dues at a level that allows it to fund programs which significantly benefit the community.
• LIBPA fully understands and appreciates that building and maintaining a great community is a team effort involving political, environmental, financial, business and educational interest.
• LIBPA will be actively involved in the support of both the private and public schools on the island.
In keeping with our search to find ways to better serve the community, LIBPA board member Paul Butare is working with Kelly Chelten of Lowcountry Spotlight to find ways to better use social media and especially our Facebook page.
All suggestions or recommendations from our members as to how we can improve are most welcome and encouraged.
Mark Weeks is the president of the Lady’s Island Business and Professional Association.