BEAUFORT, S.C. (Dec. 10, 2020) – New city officials were sworn into office at the Beaufort City Council meeting on Dec. 8. Municipal Judge Ned Tupper gave the oath of office to new Mayor Stephen Murray, and new Councilmembers Neil Lipsitz and Harold ‘Mitch’ Mitchell.
At the same meeting, City Manager Bill Prokop expressed his thanks and the appreciation of all the staff to outgoing Mayor Billy Keyserling, and outgoing Council Members Mike McFee and Nan Sutton.
Murray was elected on Nov. 3 after being twice elected to City Council. He began his remarks by thanking Keyserling. “Billy has served our hometown with distinction and guided us with a steady hand of civility and inclusion. … It is appropriate to say that our city and our region are better today because of Billy Keyserling’s great devotions as our mayor.” (Murray is seen in photo at top right with his wife, Melissa, and daughters Genevieve and Josephine.)
Murray added, “Stewardship is going to be a strong theme during my tenure. … We must always challenge our direction, our investments, our policies, our regional relationships through the lens of stewardship, in the belief that we are merely caretakers shouldered with the responsibility of leading a strong and enduring community to future generations.”
Councilman Mitchell (photo above with his wife, Kelly) said, “I am extremely humbled by this opportunity to serve. … I pledge to you my very best. I commit to you be informed about your concerns, to listen attentively and act objectively. I shall be accessible and responsive.”
Councilman Lipsitz (photo left with his wife, Michele) said, “I am very grateful to the citizens of Beaufort for bestowing their trust on me as a councilman. … With this council you’ve elected and this fantastic staff, I believe you’re going to see great things in the years to come.”
In his remarks, Keyserling said, “It’s been a fabulous ride for me and there’s never been a higher honor than to be mayor of my hometown.” He served 12 years as mayor, and before that four years on City Council. Councilman Phil Cromer was not up for election this year. A special election will be held to fill Murray’s council seat.