Office: Beaufort City Council
Number of years living in the district you seek to represent: 23 years
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Family: Wife, Sarah Sanford Rauch; two sons at home, 8 and 10, and four grown children.
Education: B.A., Harvard College
Current occupation/employer: Ghostwriter/self
Employment, military and volunteer history: Reporter/editor at various newspapers: 1965-78; City of New York: advance man, assistant to the mayor, press secretary 1978-86; managing director, Henley Group: 1986-88; Lowcountry Ledger publisher: 1988-91; Intergovernmental Affairs at FEMA 2009-11; have written and ghostwritten numerous books.
Public offices held: Beaufort City Council 1992-99; Mayor of Beaufort 1999-2008
Unsuccessful bids for public office: None
Other prior political and government experience: None
Key endorsements you've received: None
Campaign contributions: $975
Campaign expenditures: $37.10
Biggest contributor: John Trask, Howard Blum, $200 each
Why should people vote for you?
I've done the job. As a city councilman, I led the city to get the ISTEA grants that funded the then long-awaited Streetscape Project that remade the downtown Bay Street streets and sidewalks. As a councilman, I also led the city to embrace community policing. As mayor pro tem, I got the Woods Bridge opening times changed to the best (for motorists) opening schedule on the ICW.
In my first year as mayor we settled nine lawsuits with our neighbors (e.g. Burton Fire District, town of Port Royal, Beaufort County and more) and began the process of fence-mending with our neighbors. The longer I was mayor, the more Port Royal, Beaufort County and the city worked together. (Space prevents examples here, but ask me.) When I was mayor, we got the Waterfront Park (per the Sasaki Plan) restored, upfitted substantially the Pigeon Point Park, laid claim to the Southside Park and began its design.
In pursuit of my interest in disaster recovery, as mayor I personally formed a unique coalition of three small cities: Leesburg, Fla.; Long Beach, Miss., and Beaufort to come to one another's aid in the immediate wake of a disaster. I've served on three successful BRAC committees that three times have preserved and enhanced the military's presence in Beaufort.
I'm the only candidate in this race or current City Council member who has school-aged children who are currently at home and growing up in Beaufort. If we had a couple of more, the city probably wouldn't have given away the Basil Green parking lot. I'm also the only candidate in the race, or sitting council member, who has shown he/she will cut the property tax.
What are the three most important issues you would address if elected?
What other issues do you see as important?
What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?
The city's website needs a close look. Not a redesign, but more care must be taken by City Hall to get complete information up in a timely manner. It seems like half the pages are under construction. This will probably require several special meetings and a formal change to policies and procedures. It will not require new expenditures.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony, been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you?
No, no and yes. After I defeated Billy Keyserling in the 2004 Beaufort mayoral election, the next year he brought an ethics charge against me that was upon their review dismissed by the S.C. Ethics Commission.
Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.
No. No. Yes. If it is relevant, I have been on payment plans with the IRS, and from time to time I'm sure I've been late on county boat, vehicle or real property taxes, but I always paid the penalty when I went in to pay up in full.
Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?
I like to read to my children, and I like to go into the elementary schools, when invited, to read to the children there.