By Mike McFee, City Council member
It has truly been my honor over the last four years to represent my neighbors on The Beaufort City Council. When I originally decided to run, I felt I could contribute to council and give back to my hometown as the community had given so much to me. I have been dedicated to the ideal that through cooperation and collaboration, we can accomplish much. In supporting our civic master plan, we position the city to grow and become more sustainable and progressive.
We live in a tremendous corner of the country where sweeping oaks and gracious mansions reflect our 300-year heritage. But deeper than that is the reality that this city of less than 13,000 has been slowly shrinking, with population reductions over the last two census periods.
Since I have been on council, I have made it my priority to play a big part in accomplishing the following:
• Adoption of the Civic Master Plan to our 2009 Vision Comprehensive Plan, a necessary first step toward private sector investment and “city-build” redevelopment
• Expansion of meeting formats to include two required monthly meetings and three work sessions, all open to the public and/or available online at cityofbeaufort.org
• Celebration of our 300th Birthday in 2011 and with that milestone embraced realization that we must encourage and promote economic diversification of our economy and to that end, provided leadership for:
• Acquisition of the Beaufort Commerce Park to provide a conduit for Economic Development diversity
• Support teams that established 60 four-year partial scholarships to Historic Arts Campus at USCB, a vital partner and resident in our historic district and core downtown
• Receipt of Certified Annual Financial Reporting Award for third straight year, for maintaining excellence in accounting practices and fiscal responsibility
• The award of $25,000,000 in grants for capital improvements in the city with no additional expense to the taxpayers
I feel I bring a fresh, innovative business approach and ethic to the council. I have spent my entire professional career in this community, and feel I understand the needs and obstacles in our city. As a former alumni of both Mossy Oaks and Beaufort Elementary and a graduate of Beaufort High, I know my hometown and its people. I pride myself in being receptive and attentive to the needs of all residents. During my first term, I supported transparent and fiscally responsible government, while encouraging staff to think progressively while implementing elements of our Comprehensive Plan Vision 2009. I believe in knowing the heritage of our city, we position ourselves to protect the historic and cultural assets that are so important to the diversity of our home, while recognizing the need to move forward and embrace small business development and enhancement. Beaufort is a vibrant and exciting community and can be even more so for us all in the future.
Mike McFee for City Council.