Beaufort City Council: 'A city for everybody'

emoody@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 10, 2012 

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Summing up the annual Beaufort City Council retreat concisely, councilman George O'Kelley broke out in song: "Come together, right now," he crooned when the chorus of The Beatles song started on Councilman Mike Sutton's iPad at the end of Friday's meeting.

Dozens of lists hung around the classroom at the University of South Carolina Beaufort's Center for the Arts, testament to the scope of accomplishments the council hopes to make this year.

The most prevalent theme: Keeping those involved in or affected by the city's work informed.

"The doing, now, is up to us and our partners and everyone else," Councilwoman Donnie Beer said.

The stakeholders include residents and their neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations, current and prospective business owners, schools, Beaufort Memorial Hospital, and other governments, such as Beaufort County. City government also should strive for better communication between departments.

Sutton said he wants more information about ongoing projects so he can better explain and discuss them with residents. He suggested council members be given presentations or information packets.

The council might not have fully formed all of its plans for the coming year, but it is now prepared to improve pieces of it, Mayor Billy Keyserling said.

He added the city needs to do more to foster the creation of quality jobs.

"(I)f we throw out everything else, that's the one that has been missing in this city for the last 100 years," Keyserling said.

Those jobs and the other community improvements need to improve the lives of all residents, he said.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at

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  2. Treating development projects as catalysts, Feb. 8, 2012
  3. Improved communication a key concern at Beaufort City Council retreat, Feb. 8, 2011

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