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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 articles (index)
Letter to editor from Alton Aimar: Is this monster really killed and dead?

Letter to editor from Alton Aimar

Is this monster really killed and dead?

I read with interest all that you have published regarding the proposed re-zoning and subsequent development to follow and it has all been enlightening and the The Beaufort Tribune’s position has been very clear until today.

Can I ask why your position has changed? I have seen nothing to date to indicate a change in the direction that this train wreck is headed.

Granted, the mayor has slowed the train down, but I have not seen nor heard anything that would allow me to believe that the council and mayor will not bring this up again, possibly during the summer months when folks are on vacation, summering in their homes up north or in the mountains.

I quote The Beaufort Tribune yesterday: “The Beaufort Tribune will delve into the answer to that question soon enough, but for today it’s enough to note that Billy Keyserling, Donnie Beer and the other three members of council have the opportunity at their meeting this afternoon to kill this monster once and for all.”

This morning the Tribune had this to say; “With these three announcements at the opening of last evening’s public work session at city hall, a majority of the members of city council stated to the assembled concerned citizenry that the Navarro/Chaffin/Verity proposal is essentially dead.”

There is a vast ocean of difference between “killing the monster once and for all” vs. “the proposal is essentially dead.”

Would you please share with your reading audience the about face that The Beaufort Tribune has taken on its editorial page? Did the public miss something in translation?

I ask because we all know how this council has behaved in the past–start a discussion, get the heat on the table, delay, delay, delay, until the opportune time comes along to vote it in.

So I ask why do you see this any differently? A call of the question and a vote to not re-zone would have been “killing the monster”, a delay is not “essentially dead”.

Alton Aimar
Beaufort SC

Editor’s reply:

With apologies for the mixed metaphors of monsters and trains, I must point out that last evening’s council work session, at which members of the public including your venerable editor asked questions and made comments, was not a regular council meeting. Therefore it was not possible for council members to make a motion, second it, and call for the question.

Further, after the work session council did hold a regular meeting but the re-zoning queston was not on the agenda so it was also not possible for council members to bring it to a vote then.

What a majority of council members did do last evening was to make clear that they understand the will of the voters and are not about to re-zone that property but instead must turn their attention to other solutions to the city’s budgetary and economic growth challenges.

Was the monster slain by vote? No, but it was essentially rendered dead by the clear public statements of Billy Keyserling, Mike Sutton and George O’Kelley. Donnie Beer sat silent but, one might assume from years of following, that she was sufficiently swayed by Billy K’s about face to support this type of death by delay.

Mike McFee was not at the session so we don’t know what his current position is. Since he is a member of the Redevelopment Board we must think he would support the position of Mr. Verity, that board’s chairman.

We did not report in our editorial this morning, but we do report now, that Mr. Verity was quite meek at the session. He no longer appears to be fired up for this proposal, perhaps because he now understands that folks in Beaufort are not going to allow our fair town to go the way of Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Mount Pleasant, or scores of other once lovely coastal towns now destroyed by chock-a-block hotels, condos, apartments, shops and offices along their formerly open-space downtown waterfronts.

How are we going to make sure Billy K, Donnie B and the others don’t sneak something on us this summer or later? It’s called eternal vigilance, which we are sure Mr. Aimar and a host of other Beaufort citizens, now in a high state of alert, are going to enforce by propounding the Civic Green alternative, attending every city meeting, alerting the Tribune and other news organizations of any shenanigans, making sure qualified folks run against certain council members, and turning out the vote.

George Trask



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