There are many public servants who will be missed in 2017

in Voices by

By the Lady’s Island Business and Professional Association

The New Year finds us congratulating some friends of Lady’s Island on their retirement and knowing that as they transition into a less stressful life we will miss them and their support of our community.

Such individuals include:

• George O’Kelly: In addition to his private law practice O’Kelly has served as a judge and as a member of Beaufort City Council. A retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel with a local law practice during times of heightened disagreement between Lady’s Island and the city of Beaufort as a result of the “annexation wars,” his door was always open to listen to the concerns of our community and could always be relied upon for fair and objective action as a city councilman. He will be replaced on the Beaufort City Council by Nan Sutton.

• Phyllis White: That the Beaufort County School District recently received an exemplary financial review by an outside auditor for the 17th year is no accident.

White has been with the school district since 2000 and served in various positions, including chief financial officer.

Her ability to present extremely complicated financial information in an understandable format which, when combined with her reputation for integrity in all matters, provided the school district with a superb spokesperson.

Always open and responsive to funding-related questions by LIBPA, she was a “breath of fresh air” in what could have been a bureaucratic maze.

A search is underway by the school district for her replacement.

• William (Bill) L. McBride: For over 40 years, McBride has been the voice of St. Helena on Beaufort County Council.

With redistricting into what is today District 3, he also became the council representative for a portion of Lady’s Island and a portion of the city of Beaufort.

A retired school teacher, his history of public service is an example to everyone.

During the turbulent periods of the history of Beaufort County as it transitioned from a rural, poor community to the fastest growing county in South Carolina, McBride, always a gentleman, has served on the council as a quiet voice of reason and intelligence.  He will be replaced as the District 3 representative by York Glover.

• Reed Armstrong: Since 2001, when he joined the Coastal Conservation League, Armstrong was the face of the Beaufort branch of the league at most local government meetings on the subjects of the environment or land planning.

The combination of his knowledge as an oceanographer and 30 years of experience with NOAA insured his contributions on these subjects always merited consideration. He will be replaced in the local branch of the Conservation League by Rikki Parker.

To each of these individuals we extend our sincere appreciation for their contribution to our county and our community and wish them a great new year.