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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 articles (index)
Council to address Memorandum of Understanding next Tuesday, Mayor Billy Keyserling confirms River Place is dead

Council to address Memorandum of Understanding next Tuesday

Mayor Billy Keyserling confirms River Place is dead

River Place is dead. The Memorandum of Understanding will be killed at council’s meeting next Tuesday. The Civic Master Plan “runs contrary to what the public wants.” And “we failed to engage people’s concerns over the past two years.”

That is what Mayor Billy Keyserling said in the following email he sent to his fellow members of city council today, April 29:

After spending full time over the past eight days listening to people, reading emails and petitions and talk around town, I am convinced that the vast majority of residents of Beaufort and the surrounding area are opposed to River Place as presented. Furthermore, I am convinced that the renderings in the Civic Plan run contrary to what the public wants. Accordingly I will not support River Place or what the renderings represent. This brings the vote to three or a majority of Council.

An outstanding issue is the Memorandum of Understanding. I cannot make a unilateral decision on this as it is a City Council decision, in consultation with the Redevelopment Commission. That said, I have asked the City Manager to schedule an executive session between our work session and our regular meeting next Tuesday. And I am confident we will come out of that session with an announcement so the public can fully understand Council’s position and we as a community can move forward as we would all like.

I appreciate the citizen engagement over the past few weeks and intend to work with those who have been speaking out, both for and against, to come up with a plan to make the marina parking lot add value to the economic future and quality of live in the city. That is the mission of the Civic Master Plan and that is what we will do.

My only regret is that we failed to engage people’s concerns over the past two years when the RDC [Redevelopment Commission] and hundreds of citizens sat around tables talking about the CMP [Civic Master Plan] and City Council and the Planning Commission reviewed and voted on Sector I twice.

But that is yesterday and I am looking to the sun shining even brighter tomorrow as the community comes together to make Beaufort even better and to ensure our long term economic viability.

Billy Keyserling
Mayor of Beaufort

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