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City political races warming up

BEAUFORT – With the filing deadline for city elections less than a month away, you could almost say things are warming up.

With the announcement last week by Billy Keyserling he wasn’t going to seek re-election, local businessman Mike Sutton was the first to throw his “hat” into the political ring for the mayoral seat, follo
wed by current Councilman Stephen Murray.

Rumor is there may be others interested in that seat, not to mention businessman and artist Eric Longo, who was the target of a “write in” candidacy before Keyserling even announced his plans.

Also filing is Neil Lipsitz who’s interested in one of the two council seats up for grabs. Those seats are currently held by Nan Sutton and Mike McFee, neither of which have announced their future political plans.

Interested candidates, who have to live in the city, have until noon on Friday, Aug. 14 to file at City Hall. Elections are for four-year terms and are non-partisan, which means you don’t run as a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Socialist, etc.

Touring golf cart tours on the way

BEAUFORT – City officials are agreeing it just might work to bring another form of touring options to the historic district, this time, electric golf carts.

Two business owners have approached the city about changing the touring ordinance to include electric multi-passenger golf carts to the mix. And the council, probably agreeing that maybe the poor horses DO deserve a break in this heat (although the horse tours will still be out there) are in the process of doing just that.

The multi-passenger cart tour operators would have to adhere to basically the same rules as the van and bus operations, including participation in a rotation system that limits the number of tour vehicles on the roads at one time.

One interested owner suggested the Council needed to do more to bring tourists to the area in these troubled pandemic days. It works in Orlando, it should work in Beaufort, he noted.

Get ready, Disney World, here we come.

Quarantining In Atlanta

PARRIS ISLAND – In case you were wondering, 1,200-plus incoming Marine Corps recruits and their officers are no longer being quarantined at The Citadel in Charleston but rather in Atlanta hotels.

When the quarantine for COVID-19 began back in March, incoming recruits were initially being housed in tents, rather than the traditional barracks. But an agreement was reached with The Citadel officials to send the young men and women to Charleston to be housed in the shuttered barracks there.

But with classes getting ready to start at The Citadel in early August, the Marine Corps had to come up with another plan. So Atlanta it was, for the 14-day quarantine period.

Then back to Parris Island, which certainly is no Atlanta hotel.

Officials at the recruit depot have not said when recruit graduations may start back but they’re not expected until at least late this year.

Lolita Huckaby Watson is a community volunteer, I-95 and U.S. 17 voyager and works for an online news service covering local government. She is a former reporter/editorial assistant/columnist with The Beaufort Gazette, The Savannah Morning News, Bluffton Today and Beaufort Today. She can be reached at bftbay@gmail.com.

Above: Mike Sutton was the first the throw his hat in the ring for Beaufort’s mayoral election.