Our Future

05 Nov Our Future

Thinking about the future.

Over the past year, I have been spending more time than usual in Charleston helping my friend of forty years, John Tecklenburg, who is running for Mayor. Over the course of this period I have seen much of the city I did not even realize is part of the City. We think of Charleston as the peninsula and do not think about other areas, such as vast areas west of the Ashely River and Daniel Island that make up about 75 percent of Charleston’s population.
John and I, who share a deep respect for Mayor Joe Riley, have talked about the city’s  success in making downtown Charleston the world’s most celebrated tourism destination. Yet the quality of life for residents on the peninsula and the outlying areas need attention.  I was surprised to see parts of the city without sidewalks, street lights and neighborhood identities. I have seen the downtown cluttered with tourism traffic causing those who work in the city to struggle with traffic congestion.
I have no illusions that, other than our charm and beauty,  Beaufort is like Charleston. Our mass and scale is much different and our challenges are also different.
That said, the experience has me thinking about how Beaufort will grow as we will undoubtedly grow and what we can learn from the experiences of other unique hometowns.
In this newsletter, I share stories about a number of issues we should be considering as we move forward to maintain our character while growing and making opportunities for the younger people who grow up here.
Among these issues are the use of Accommodations Tax, new to the area Uber transportation, Airbnbs which are similar to short term rentals, nuisance flooding, sea level rise, offshore oil exploration, our new fire chief, how our electric utility has runaway costs which are passed on to us, and the many daily activities that are going on in our special hometown.  I hope you enjoy the read and that the new formate makes it easier for your to find what interests you without having to wade through stories that are of less interest.