Beaufort voters will choose two City Council members Tuesday from a field of four candidates.
Incumbents Donnie Beer and Mike Sutton have earned the privilege to be those two choices.
The experience of the incumbents and their detailed knowledge of issues stands out.
They have helped steer the city through extremely difficult times over the past several years as revenue has plummeted and the long-planned, but costly, new City Hall and police and judicial center have come online.
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The fiscal discipline of this council has put the city government ahead of others in dealing with the harsh realities of a recession. And city services have kept pace, and perhaps even improved, in the process. Landscaping, garbage collection with recycling and city-led efforts to make the city safer and cleaner are at a high point.
Beer has served on City Council for 19 years, and perhaps voters keep electing her in part because of her broad and deep list of community involvement outside of City Hall.
Beer has experience, she works hard in the community, she is accessible, visible and straightforward. She is clear in her support for the Department of the Navy's top choice for the future of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. She favors incentives to prospective businesses to choose Beaufort. She is strong on public safety and fiscal responsibility.
Sutton knows well the city and its issues. He is a Beaufort native who challenges the status quo and understands that the city's tax base needs work. Sutton has done much more than talk about the need to rebuild the city from the inside out. He has personally and physically helped do it with volunteer home improvements in the Northwest Quadrant.
Sutton favors term limits, and says that if elected he would not run for City Council again in 2014. He has the energy and knowledge to be a strong council member over the next four years.