City Council

City Council group photo Dec 2023

From left, City Councilman Mitch Mitchell, Mayor Pro Tem Mike McFee, Mayor Phil Cromer, City Councilman Neil Lipsitz, and City Councilman Josh Scallate.

Mission

The mission of the City of Beaufort is to provide responsible, cost-effective, and courteous service with professionalism and integrity. Beaufort is a community of choice, building on our history and working in harmony with our natural environment to provide diverse opportunities for the highest quality of life.

We’re proud to say that Beaufort is where history, charm and business thrive!

Beaufort City Council

The Beaufort City Council is composed of five members, including the mayor. Each member is elected at-large by voters within the city limits to four-year, staggered terms, with elections held every two years.

Council members set policy and govern through their single employee, the city manager. The city manager is responsible for day-to-day operations, as well as carrying out policy decisions made by the City Council. Each member is devoted to keeping the well-being of the City and its residents and visitors top of mind while fulfilling their responsibilities.

Council members elect a mayor pro tem from within the body to serve in the absence of the mayor.

Regular Meetings

  • Held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month
  • Held at 1911 Boundary Street, City Hall, 2nd Floor -- Council Chambers
  • Begin at 7 p.m.

Work Session Meetings

  • Held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month
  • Held at 1911 Boundary Street, City Hall, 1st Floor Planning Conference Room
  • Begin at 5 p.m.

Special Meetings

City Council may hold an occasional special meeting throughout the year as needed.

Meeting schedule

2024 City Council meeting schedule

Agendas & minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
Most recent agendas and minutes

Correspondence

Council members do not maintain offices at City Hall; however, official correspondence may be sent to the attention of the City Clerk.

Phil Cromer_Headshot_Dec2020

Mayor Phil Cromer

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Phil Cromer was elected mayor of Beaufort on Dec. 12, 2023, in a Special Election.

Previously, he served two consecutive terms as a member of City Council, from 2014 to 2022.

He has a B.A. degree from the University of South Carolina (USC), and a joint Master’s degree from USC and the College of Charleston. He has an Associate in Risk Management from the Insurance Institute of America. He served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves.

Mayor Cromer’s public service career included positions as town administrator of Ridgeland and town manager of Port Royal. He was also a risk management consultant for the Municipal Association of South Carolina.

He and his wife, Amelie, have two married daughters and sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. 

Mayor Cromer is also a docent at Beaufort History Museum, president of the Beaufort County Historical Society, and president of St. Andrew’s Society of the Lowcountry.

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Mayor  Pro Tem

Mike McFee

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Mike McFee was first elected to Beaufort City Council in November 2008, re-elected in 2012 and 2016, in a two-year special election term in 2021, and again in November 2022 for a full four-year term. He became acting mayor in September of 2023, and again mayor pro tem in December of 2023.

A fourth-generation Beaufortonian, he graduated from Beaufort High School (Go Eagles 2022 SC State 3A Football Champions!). He earned a Bachelor of Science in biology and business from the University of South Carolina.

Mayor Pro Tem McFee has been broker for HomeTown Realty since its opening in 1991. He currently serves on the South Carolina Realtors Professional Standards and Ethics Committee. He is a past president of the Beaufort Jasper County Realtors Association and 1995 Realtor of the Year.

McFee is a graduate of the South Carolina Elected Officers Advanced Institute with the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC). He is two-term past chairman of the board for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, past chair of the Palmetto Chapter American Red Cross and SC Fields Service Team of the ARC, past chair of the USC Small Business Development Center Advisory Board, and previously served on the City of Beaufort’s Tourism Management Advisory Commission (TMAC) and the Waterways Commission.

McFee has studied voice and piano and is a member of the Carteret Street United Methodist Chancel Choir, and has been privileged to perform both nationally and internationally with the Mesilla Valley Chorale in Las Cruces, N.M.   

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Councilman Neil Lipsitz

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Neil Lipsitz was elected to City Council in November of 2020. He is a lifelong Beaufort resident. He graduated from Beaufort High School, and has a Bachelor of Science from USC-Coastal Carolina University, where he studied management and real estate. 

Councilman Lipsitz is a 2022 graduate of Leadership Beaufort. In 2023, he graduated from the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s Advanced Municipal Elected Officials Institute.   

Councilman Lipsitz represents City Council on Council on the Lowcountry Council of Government (LCOG ) and on the Southern Lowcountry Regional Board (SOLOCO).

He worked in his family’s department store – the Lipsitz Department Store in downtown Beaufort – which closed in 2009 after more than 100 years of operation.He also owned a shoe store on Bay Street, and also worked in real estate. 

He has been a docent at the Beaufort History Museum, and was a member of the Beaufort County Tax Equalization Board. Before being elected to council he served on the South Carolina Board of Nursing. He and his wife, Michele, have an adult son, Adam.



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Councilman Mitch Mitchell

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Councilman Mitch Mitchell was elected to City Council in November of 2020. 

He is a proud graduate of Robert Smalls High School and South Carolina State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marines Corps.

Councilman Mitchell is a retired U.S. Air Force major general, retired commercial airline pilot, and a retired Federal Aviation Administration pilot check airman.

He has served as a board member for Beaufort History Museum and Penn Center. He also served on the Beaufort County Planning Commission, and as a community organizer. In addition to his service as a City of Beaufort councilman, Mitch also partnered with community members, the City of Beaufort, and Beaufort County in reopening the Charles Lind Brown Community Center and the naming of its pool in honor of Mr. Alvin Settles. 

Councilman Mitchell is a 2021 recipient of The Museum of Flight Pathfinder Awards, a 2022 Leadership Beaufort graduate, and a South Carolina Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative Fellow.  

He and his wife, Kelly, are proud parents of three sons, three daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.

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Councilman Josh Scallate

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Josh Scallate began his first City Council term in December 2022. He is a native of Beaufort, and graduated from Beaufort High School in 2009. He graduated from the South Carolina Fire Academy in 2012, and completed the EMT program at the Technical College of the Lowcountry in 2013.

Scallate is a lieutenant with the Lady’s Island St. Helena Fire District, where he has worked since 2013. In 2018, he was named Firefighter of the Year. He has completed 1,200 hours of continuing education during his tenure at the Fire District.

In 2019, Councilman Scallate was nominated to sit on the 1% Committee for the Fire District. 

Scallate is a real estate agent and has been with the HomesFinder Realty Group for the past 5 years. 

He and his wife, Ryan, have two children, Scarlet Rose and Jacob Walker.