I am saddened by what I heard at the Sept. 25 Beaufort City Council meeting; surprised that past city fathers talked vehemently against the day dock and that so few downtown merchants spoke favorably of the project.
One speaker summed it up quite nicely by saying that if Port Royal develops its waterfront before Beaufort, the mecca for tourists and the businesses supporting them will move to Port Royal. It might take years for Port Royal to develop a shopping area comparable to our current selection, but if it happened, all of Beaufort's problems would be solved. Parking would no longer be an issue, the Waterfront Park would always stay pristine and people could sit on the waterfront and watch all the boats head to Port Royal.
On the other hand, if Beaufort wants to stay vibrant and connected to the world, it might consider making its waterfront friendlier to all boaters. Beaufort is situated on the Intracoastal Waterway between Charleston and Savannah, making it an ideal spot to stop, rest and refresh while traveling.
Beaufort needs to use all of its resources to stay alive. It is and will always be a waterfront community. Beaufort's heritage, opportunities and image are all being ignored. Look at Beaufort's city seal; boats are proudly depicted. Allow Beaufort to keep its heritage as a vibrant waterfront community and share our friendliness.
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So far, I have heard neither friendliness nor openness. I heard: "It's ours, and we don't share." When did we stop being friendly?
Editor's note: The writer is commander of the Beaufort Sail & Power Squadron.