Last night, Beaufort County Council voted to accept the immediate resignation of County Administrator Ashely Jacobs. We thank Ms. Jacobs for her service and wish her well in her future endeavors.
Many will question the circumstances that led to this outcome, but what matters most is what County Council will do now to lead Beaufort County government forward.
A prosperous and thriving community demands an effective and efficient county government. The level of discord and distrust among council members and county staff that is now widely reported and apparent at public meetings is not conducive to the kind of government Beaufort County residents and businesses need.
We encourage County Council to use this transition as an opportunity to reset and rebuild a culture of trust and cooperation among council members, with county staff, and with residents. Central to this will be Council’s hiring a well-qualified county administrator and empowering the new administrator to do his or her job. Without leadership by Council, a new administrator can do little to change the culture at County government.
The stakes are great. The pandemic still threatens public health, and a precarious economic recovery threatens businesses. MCRD Parris Island’s future is in question and a new countywide comprehensive plan in development. Leadership is required on all these fronts and more.
As business leaders invested in the long-term prosperity of the Beaufort-Port Royal region and all of Beaufort County, we stand ready to work with County Council as they rise to meet this difficult endeavor.