Monday last day in office for Beaufort mayor

By Kristen Rary| December 7, 2020 at 5:10 PM EST - Updated December 7 at 7:26 PM 

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - Tuesday evening the city of Beaufort will swear in their new mayor, but on Monday the current mayor looked back on 12 years.

“I feel great. I don’t think of it as my last day in office. I think of it as my last day on this job,” said Mayor Billy Keyserling.

Billy Keyserling has been the mayor of Beaufort for 12 years. He says looking back on his time, the most important thing he ever did was simple.

“The most important thing is the most fun I’ve had in leading our work sessions.”

He says he’s proud of the way he worked with the city through a recession, through growth, and through a pandemic. Now, he’s looking to the future.

“I think that we have, excuse me, I think they have a lot of work to do. That work is no shortlist,” he said. “Diversifying the economy, housing, sticking to our plan, responding and continuing our diligence on the virus, which is going to be here longer than we like, and keeping a steady hand on the budget in relation to doing what we are able to do”

But he feels confident.

“Beaufort’s in good shape.”

He says he knows firsthand, because he knows the people he’s leaving behind.

“The staff couldn’t have been better, the citizens could not have been better, my colleagues couldn’t have been better. And you know, it’s time to make room for the next generation.”

After hundreds of ribbon-cutting’s, meetings, and hours of hard work, he feels he has done the right thing.

“I’m walking away with no regrets, with great hope, that the wonderful citizens of the best hometown in America are going to move forward in the right way.”

He says he knows it’s time and he’s grateful for the time he was given.

“I leave with great joy. Will I miss the job? Yeah. Can someone else do the job as well or better than I? Of course.”

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Photo: WTOC

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