LOWCOUNTRY LOWDOWN

in Lolita Huckaby/News by

By LOLITA WATSON

No dancing in the streets of Port Royal … for now

PORT ROYAL – This old coronavirus just needs to go! Now it’s led to the postponing of the popular fall music-in-the-streets schedule which was scheduled to begin Aug. 8.

The Town Council wisely agreed last week they needed to at least push back the start of the series until September … and maybe later, depending on the virus’ vitality.

The music series, just like so many things in our lives, from scheduled surgeries to Water Festival to sandbar parties to weddings and funerals, is the latest community victim.

We’ll just keep wearing our masks and hope for the best.

Don’t put the welcome mat out just yet

YEMASSEE – The Beaufort Gazette and WSAV-TV report the folks of Yemassee want to join our ranks.

The railroad depot town of about 1,500 is partially in Beaufort County and partially in Hampton County, but some folks on the Hampton side want to become Beaufort County taxpayers. Signed annexation petitions have been submitted to the Governor, who’s certainly had his hands busy with the cornoavirus and now hurricanes.

An election would have to be held before the annexation can take place.

Supporters of the idea say they want to join Beaufort County for economic development reasons. It certainly wouldn’t help Hampton County to lose that tax revenue.

Annexation has been discussed on and off over the years. After all, the area, just like the rest of Hampton County, was once part of the Beaufort District.

He-said, she-said debate continues behind closed doors

BEAUFORT – Former Beaufort County Deputy Administrator Chris Inglese’s complaints against County Administrator Ashley Jacobs were aired behind closed doors last week, again, because of the virus.

Inglese left county employment last month saying he was fired; the county’s official line was he resigned.

Inglese asked for a public hearing on his complaints but the county grievance committee, made up of county employees, said that would have to wait until county offices reopen. Which raises a good question – when’s that going to happen? – since the doors were shut to the public two weeks ago, suddenly, because of the virus and nothing has been said publicly about when they might reopen.

He was given the option of having his hearing behind closed doors with the committee and that’s the option he took. We, the public and taxpayers, have no idea what was said.

… and then there were five

BEAUFORT – A fifth candidate has filed to run for one of the two Beaufort City Council seats open in November’s general election.

Brantley Wilson, who lives in Mossy Oaks and is an assistant principal at Hilton Head Island Middle School, filed to run against Mike McFee, Mitch Mitchell, Neil Lipsitz and Scott Gibbs.

Filing for the municipal races, which includes the mayoral race, ends at noon Aug. 14.

Here they come!

BEAUFORT – By the time you read this, golf carts hauling tourists may be buzzing past your house.

The City Council was slated to give final approval to an ordinance change Tuesday night to allow multi-passenger electric golf carts to provide tours, much like vans and motor coaches.

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.

(Since our press deadline is before Tuesday night’s meeting, we’ll operate under the assumption the ordinance is going to pass – which can be risky business.)

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.