Tabor Vaux's priorities are straight and his community roots deep, making him our choice for Beaufort County Council District 9 in the Jan. 29 Republican primary.
Vaux grew up on the shores of the May River. He understands its importance, not only to southern Beaufort County, but to all of the county. He is committed to protecting it and other local waterways. He's also committed to working with town of Bluffton officials to increase the chances for success.
He supports the county's land-buying program, recognizing that is an investment for residents today, as well as future generations. The overwhelming vote in favor of the referendum to borrow $25 million to continue the program show many county residents agree.
Vaux takes a pragmatic view on the county's coming reassessment and its impact on the county budget, as well as other local governments' budget. Indications are that County Council will follow legal advice that says it should raise the property tax rate to stay revenue neutral, but then look at the budget to see where it can be cut to reduce the rate.
"We must re-evaluate the county's spending on nonessential services," he writes in his questionnaire. "We don't need more money for our government; we need more government for our money."
But he also recognizes that taking an inflexible position on raising taxes without critical information in hand is not the way to go: "I would not want to take a hard-line stance until I have all the facts and figures."
The 29-year-old Vaux's age should not be viewed as a disadvantage. Rather it should be viewed as an opportunity to bridge the community service gap between his peers and the rest of the community.
"I think having someone (on County Council) whom they've grown up with and can relate to will make a difference," Vaux said. "People my age are mature enough to be elected, to serve, to make progress."
Indeed, his professional and volunteer experience to date bear him out. He is a graduate of The Citadel and the Charleston School of Law. He has worked with the 14th Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office, prosecuting cases in Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Allendale counties.
His regional contacts will be important in County Council work, particularly in the area of economic development.
He represented the Solicitor's Office on the Safe Schools Interagency Planning Team. He is practicing law now at his father's Bluffton law firm. His volunteer service includes the Bluffton Rotary Club and the AllJoy Beach Preservation Commission.
Vaux has seasoned elected officials supporting his bid for office, including state Rep. Weston Newton, whose County Council seat he is seeking.
Vaux says they have counseled him about their accomplishments, but also where they thought they fell short. That's important.
He is well positioned to make a strong contribution to his home community on County Council. We urge you to support him.