One of the first things I did upon moving to the Lowcountry 15 months ago was pick up a copy of Pat Conroy’s The Water Is Wide at a downtown Beaufort bookstore. It’s a great book. Conroy grew up here and he masterfully sets his best selling stories here. A couple of days ago the Beaufort Gazette set one of his nativist ecoriffs to type.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why Mayor Bill Rauch and most of the members of the City Council seem to loathe the exquisite and endangered town of Beaufort. I’ve made a career out of praising this town’s irreplaceable beauty and the incomparable sea islands that form the archipelago that makes Beaufort County the loveliest spot on Earth to me.
I think southern Beaufort County is both lost and ruined. Hilton Head has traffic jams that make me feel like I’m still in Atlanta. The coming of Sun City brought about the destruction of the jewel-like town of Bluffton.
Now I read that Mayor Rauch and the City Council are planning to annex a plantation where a developer plans to put in a modest 16,000 houses with a population that could reach 40,000 people. I can’t believe there have not been riots in the streets over this stupid proposal. If Rauch and his associates on the City Council succeed in this monstrous and unjustified annexation, Beaufort will soon be Hilton Head, Mount Pleasant, Myrtle Beach — the utter destruction of the South Carolina Lowcountry will begin its race to the finish line.
[via The Island Packet]