Letter to the editor from City Council member: City strives to be open, transparent

in Community/Voices by

By George O’Kelley
Many citizens have posited good questions about the City of Beaufort, and some concerns spring from perceptions about the Master Plan.
For instance, there is talk about making Ribaut Road two lanes and opening a parallel street through Hundred Pines. Such ideas are flawed and I will oppose such plans. I think other Beaufort City Council members agree with me. When Ribaut was widened in 1970, we had about 40,000 people in the whole county. Now we have more than three times that number. I can’t see this idea ever getting traction.
I also get questioned about the projects on our streets. So many downtown streets are being worked on.  Thankfully, Bladen is almost complete.  We are also working on Duke (city).  Other disruptions are being done by other agencies (BJWSA). The city can’t control such, but I’m told that some of the pipes are so old they must be replaced. However, better coordination is probably needed.
Let me also address the question of openness. Many folks think decisions are made behind closed doors — I assure you this is not so. City Council strives to be open and transparent. Important issues are studied in open work sessions (three each month) and regular meetings (two each month).  Citizens are welcome to attend. If you can’t attend, I encourage you to look on the city’s web page. Input from the public helps me make informed decisions.
Attend meetings, ask questions and stay involved. Beaufort is our home, whether our residence is in town, Lady’s Island, Burton or outlying areas.  It is an honor for me to serve you.