About Bill Rauch

For nearly a decade, Bill Rauch served as mayor of the city of Beaufort, South Carolina, a historic city beautifully situated among the sea islands. Mayor Rauch established strategic partnerships in his role as a statesman, raised revenues as a businessman, and strengthened public works as a dealmaker. Mayor Rauch, brought practical know-how and inspired vision in his government post.

Moving to Beaufort from New York in order to raise his family in a safe, tight-knit community, Bill Rauch first became involved in city government by running for city council with encouragement from friends and fellow residents. Before winning a council seat, Rauch founded The Lowcountry Ledger, Beaufort’s first-ever Sunday newspaper. Within five years, Mr. Rauch brought the paper to revenues of over $500,000 a year.

After six years on city council, Rauch ran for mayor to finish the term of the previous mayor in Beaufort’s open elections. Mayor Rauch won with 50.1 percent of the vote, due to the large amount of candidates running. Mayor Rauch ended up serving three terms, reelected in 2001 and 2004. Rauch wrote and published Politicking in 2004, which chronicled his journey in government and provided advice to statesmen looking to enter politics at a local level.

During his terms, Mayor Bill Rauch achieved many improvements for the city. As a fiscal conservative, Rauch and his City Councils twice caused Beaufort’s bond rating to be upgraded, a status it still maintains. Mayor Rauch pursued successful businesses to come to Beaufort, tripling the city’s revenues without raising taxes. In order to provide the fastest and best public safety for his constituents, Mayor Rauch established a relationship between the city’s fire department, the adjoining town’s fire district, and a third fire district in the unincorporated area that created an “automatic aid agreement” that crossed jurisdictional lines. During his service Rauch also led the way for the city to sell its water and sewer works to the regional provider, cutting residents’ water bills, putting millions into the city’s treasury for other city purposes, and strengthening the regional provider.

Mayor Rauch insisted on political honesty with his constituents, a value he honed during his time in the New York City Mayor Ed Koch’s administration. As press secretary, Rauch smoothed over a series of famous fiascos and media scandals, the “Bess mess” and “The Parking Violations Bureau Scandal,” for two. Rauch took on the role of protecting Mayor Koch, enabling him to finish out his terms positively. After ghost writing two books with Koch, Bill Rauch brought his experience and excitement for politics to the local level, proudly serving Beaufort. The city’s first Yankee mayor, he never lost an election.

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