Post Tagged with: "Cam Crawford"

County Council’s Phony Tax Referendum

July 10, 2018 1:32 PM
County Council’s Phony Tax Referendum

Horry County Council is expected to have a discussion next week about placing an advisory referendum on the November 2018 general election ballot regarding tax increases for public safety.

The issue was proposed by council member Tyler Servant at last month’s council meeting. Acknowledging the main topic of the primary election which cost council chairman Mark Lazarus nomination to another term in office, Servant said he was opposed to raising taxes but believed the voters should have a say on whether they wanted to pay higher taxes to increase public safety services in the county.

Council members Dennis DiSabato and Cam Crawford jumped on the bandwagon, acknowledging a need for more public safety personnel and facilities in the county but saying the voters should make the decision.

The discussion will be a waste of time as an advisory referendum will not solve the problem of funding for public safety needs. Regardless of how the referendum is worded and what percentage of the vote it may receive, an advisory binds the council to no action and, furthermore, does not provide permission from voters to raise taxes above the limits of Act 388.

The proposal for a discussion and resolution vote to place the advisory referendum on the ballot appears to be an attempt to divert the discussion from various alternatives for public safety funding to a possible tax increase.

Republican chairman nominee Johnny Gardner, who defeated Lazarus in the June primary voting, never mentioned raising taxes while he campaigned on increasing public safety personnel numbers and pay throughout the county.

Gardner said the current 20 ½ minutes average elapsed time it takes from when a 911 call is answered until a first responder arrives on the scene is unacceptable. Gardner pledged to make public safety funding priority one in the budget process.

At times, when extra sources of tax dollars become available, public safety staffing is never on the radar of most council members and county staff.

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County Council Breaks Budget Promise to Treasurer

June 21, 2018 3:32 AM
County Council Breaks Budget Promise to Treasurer

When Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones agreed to drop her lawsuit against Horry County Government last month, there was an unwritten understanding that county council would include funding needs for her department in the budget for the coming fiscal year.

Now that understanding not only remains unwritten, but also remains unpassed.

During its third reading of the Horry County budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19 Tuesday night, council defeated, by a 6-6 vote, an amendment including budget enhancements for the Treasurer’s department. The budget amendment also called for additions in the $40,000 range each for the Clerk of Courts, Veterans Affairs and Voter Registration budgets.

Council member Johnny Vaught introduced the amendment, seconded by council member Harold Worley. Council chairman Mark Lazarus spoke strongly in its favor.

According to discussions of the amendment by council members, Jones identified revenue additions and/or savings in the amount of $123,000 for the coming fiscal year. Her request for budget enhancements would have only cost the county $111,000.

Additionally, one position provided in the enhancements would have gone to collection of the nearly $88 million in unpaid property taxes that are owed to the county.

In other words, the county would have made more money from voting for the enhancements than it saves by not voting for them.

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Johnny Gardner’s Campaign Message Spurs County Council Discussion

June 20, 2018 2:03 AM
Johnny Gardner’s Campaign Message Spurs County Council Discussion

One week after defeating incumbent Mark Lazarus for the Republican nomination for Horry County Council Chairman, Johnny Gardner’s campaign message is already driving council discussions.

Throughout his campaign Gardner spoke of putting “Public Safety First” and charging fees on new development to help pay for the impact it causes on county goods and services.

During its regular meeting Tuesday night, council approved two resolutions directly tied to those issues.

By an 11-1 margin, council member Tyler Servant opposing, council approved a resolution to encourage the South Carolina General Assembly to amend the current state Impact Fee law to make it more user friendly for local governments struggling to meet the costs associated with new development.

Later in the meeting, Servant introduced a resolution to instruct staff to bring back to council a proposed advisory referendum question to address raising tax millage to fund increased salaries and additional personnel for police and fire/rescue departments as well as an additional police precinct for Carolina Forest.

After discussion, it was agreed to split the issue into two referendum questions, one for police and rescue personnel and another for fire, because of the different ways in which police and rescue personnel are funded in the budget from that used to fund fire personnel.

County Administrator Chris Eldridge was instructed to meet with the the Police and Fire/Rescue chiefs to determine the increased needs in their respective departments to fully meet the county’s public safety requirements.

Council must approve referendum questions by the end of July in order to meet the August 15th deadline to have them included on the November 2018 general election ballot.

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Changing the Guard in Horry County Republican Politics

March 28, 2016 5:04 AM
Changing the Guard in Horry County Republican Politics

We are seeing a changing of the guard in Republican politics in Horry County. The last election cycle brought some new faces to the fore as some of our older incumbents chose to retire.

That trend is continuing in 2016.

I asked my good friend and former television partner John Bonsignor to help me produce eight thumbnail sketches of some up and coming office holders and candidates in the Republican Party.

The Republican party is beginning to welcome with open arms, into the political arena, young, talented, and desirable new faces to replace their old guard. As many of the elected old timers, having been in office for many years, feel it’s time to move on and give way to the new blood of talented candidates coming up.

Jeff Johnson – completing his first term as representative for SC House District 58, Johnson has consistently supported small government, conservative issues. He is a strong believer in family values and believes the state has an obligation to maintain its existing infrastructure that is so vital to small business.

Heather Ammons Crawford – finishing her second full term as representative for SC House District 68, fiscal responsibility, pro life and second amendment issues are at the top of her goals. Ammons Crawford is also South Carolina National Committeewoman for the Young Republican National Federation engaging young people across the country.

Russell Fry – our newest representative to the SC House, he has served SC House District 106 since winning a special election to fill an unexpired term last fall. Fry’s goals are working for a “prosperous South Carolina for our kids, ensuring they got a good education and a strong foundation.”

Tyler Servant – representing Horry County Council District 5 since January 2015, Servant seeks to bring new and innovative thinking to Horry County Council including waste cutting plans. He looks hard at road improvements needed in District 5 and has been successful in acquiring a federal grant for beach renourishment on the South Strand.

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Council Nixes HCSWA – Charleston County Contract

September 2, 2015 5:00 AM
Council Nixes HCSWA – Charleston County Contract

Horry County Council failed to pass second reading of a budget amendment that is required for the HCSWA to take recyclables from Charleston County.

A budget amendment requires an absolute super majority vote of council, nine “Yes” votes, in order to pass.

The amendment received a vote of 7-4. A vote of 9-2 was required to pass second reading. Horry County Council District 3 is without a member pending a special election this fall to replace Marion Foxworth who resigned after the August 18th council meeting to accept the Registrar of Deeds job.

Without a budget amendment approved by county council, the Horry County Solid Waste Authority has no authority to contract with Charleston County to take recyclables from Charleston County.

But, the HCSWA already has signed that contract and has been processing recyclables from Charleston County since late July.

And, it’s not the contract itself that caused four council members to vote against the budget amendment Tuesday night.

Rather, it’s the process, or lack of it, that the HCSWA used to come to an agreement with Charleston County in the first place.

According to past statements by several HCSWA officials, Charleston County first approached the HCSWA in late May 2015 about taking recyclables for processing at the HCSWA material recovery facility on Hwy 90.

At that point, the HCSWA should have informed Horry County Council what was being discussed and the ramifications for the HCSWA budget, which is part of the overall county budget approved by council.

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Cam Crawford Newest Horry County Council Member

August 5, 2015 5:28 AM
Cam Crawford Newest Horry County Council Member

Cam Crawford swept through the special general election for Horry County Council District 6 Tuesday.

Crawford, who was unopposed on the ballot, gathered 240 of the 250 votes cast.

Rumors of a write-in campaign to challenge Crawford did not pan out as only eight write-in votes were cast.

Crawford can now be sworn into office in time to attend the next scheduled Horry County Council meeting on August 18, 2015.

This election brings council back to full strength, at least for the time being.

In other local election news, Republican runoff candidates Russell Fry and Tyler Servant are scheduled to face off in a debate Thursday August 6, 2015.

Fry and Servant will be opposing each other in a special Republican primary runoff election net Tuesday, August 11, 2015, to see who will be the Republican nominee in the SC House District 106 special general election scheduled for September 15, 2015.

Fry led the first round of primary voting last week with 1,152 votes to 851 votes for Servant who finished second. The winner of the runoff election will be the only name on the special general election ballot as there are no Democratic candidates in the race.

The South Strand Republican Club will be hosting tomorrow’s debate. It will be held at the Horry County Recreation Center in the South Strand government complex on Scipio Lane.

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Vote Tomorrow Horry County Council District 6

August 3, 2015 4:13 AM
Vote Tomorrow Horry County Council District 6

By Paul Gable
Vote tomorrow, August 4, 2015, in the special general election for Horry County Council District 6.

Republican Cam Crawford will be the only name on the ballot.

Crawford turned back five other candidates in the special primary election just over a month ago. The Democratic Party did not have any candidates file for this seat.

The citizens of Horry County Council District 6 have had no representation on county council since the death of Bob Grabowski in late March 2015.

In the interim, Horry County Council passed the largest tax increase in a generation in a series of 6-5 votes.

Nothing highlights the need of every district to be represented than those votes.

Even though Crawford’s will be the only name on the ballot, a write-in candidacy is always a possibility. It is important to make your voice heard through the ballot box.

This summer has been an extraordinary time for special elections in the southern end of Horry County.

Last week, Russell Fry and Tyler Servant finished one and two, respectively, in a special Republican Primary for SC House District 106. Next week will see the primary runoff election between these two candidates.

Again, the Democratic Party has no candidates in the SC House District 106 race.

Some areas of these two districts overlap, leaving voters in those precincts the opportunity to vote in both elections.

I know the Dog Days of Summer are a difficult time to get out and get around the Grand Strand as the height (and heat) of the tourist season is still upon us. However, it is important we have as many voters turn out as possible for these important elections.

So please get out and vote.

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Cam Crawford Wins County Council Primary

June 30, 2015 9:00 PM
Cam Crawford Wins County Council Primary

Cam Crawford won the Republican primary special election for the Horry County Council District 6 nomination.

Crawford gathered 547 votes (53%) to 482 votes (47%) for opponent Kirk Hanna. The totals are uncertified at this point. They will be certified by the Horry County Election Commission Thursday July 2, 2015 at 10 a.m.

Hanna topped Crawford by 31 votes in the first round of the primary two weeks ago, but Crawford reversed that result to win by 65 votes in the election that counted.

Still to come is the special general election on August 4, 2015 where Crawford will be the only name on the ballot as there is no Democratic nominee. However, a write-in challenge to Crawford is always possible.

However, a successful write-in campaign is extremely unlikely, which means Cam Crawford should be the next Horry County Council member from District 6 after the August election formalities.

The election heated up in the last few days as revelations that Peter Bishop, a one-time employee of Hanna’s construction company Hanco of SC, was arrested on June 11, 2015 for submitting nine fabricated and forged soil compaction reports to Horry County Code Enforcement while working at Hanco.

Over the last 36 hours of the campaign, a mail piece intended to be negative to Cam Crawford, surfaced in some District 6 mailboxes.

Both campaigns denied any knowledge of the large postcard size mailer. However, as the alleged sender, the LGBT Association of Horry County, does not exist, those claims, for one camp, appear to be false.

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Dirty Tricks Hit Horry County Council District 6

June 29, 2015 2:45 PM
Dirty Tricks Hit Horry County Council District 6

By Paul Gable
It took a while, but what passes for dirty tricks has arrived in the special primary runoff election for Horry County Council District 6.
A piece arrived in the mail today for District 6 voters stating the LGBT Association of Horry County supports Cam Crawford.
On the back side of the card it states Crawford will sponsor a county ordinance that will provide tax breaks for same-sex couples.
Such an ordinance is an impossibility to introduce. There is no provision in state law, which is what county ordinances must conform to, to allow for such a tax break. Just goes to show how little the author knows about South Carolina law and county legislation.
Then, when you consider there is no LGBT Association of Horry County, the only conclusion that can be drawn is Crawford’s opponent thinks this mailer will hurt Crawford’s vote count.
The piece looks to be exactly the same stock and typesetting that was used in an attempt to smear Tyler Servant during his campaign for Horry County Council District 5.
Now it has moved over to the special election campaign for Horry County Council District 6.
Is there a common denominator in both campaigns?
Possibly one. Jay Specter managed Chuck Ottwell’s campaign for District 5. The same Jay Specter is managing the campaign of Kirk Hanna for District 6.
Is Specter the common denominator? No way to know for sure, but if this piece does hurt Crawford, Hanna would be the only beneficiary.
Dirty Tricks 2.0 is more inflammatory than its predecessor in District 5 with a final line which reads in part, “let Cam know you are here because you are queer and are queer because you are here.”
I doubt it will work. The attempt backfired in the District 5 race as Servant’s voters were energized to get out the vote in response.
Not only should Crawford’s supporters be energized, but the entire LGBT community as well as all reasonable people who see this for what it is.

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Towering Political Egos

June 14, 2015 5:10 AM
Towering Political Egos

Towering political egos are the bane of sensible political discussion and of the ability of a politician to take a reflective look at him or herself.

It doesn’t take long for the average politician to believe that anyone criticizing them is wrong by definition and that any criticism of them is a mean-spirited personal attack.

Too often this attitude is the result of an inner insecurity that is masked by a false confidence and arrogance.

No, this isn’t meant to be a column on the psychology of politicians. The above is merely an expression of my conclusions over many years of observing the political scene, criticizing many statements, decisions and votes and watching the reactions of those politicians involved.

Word has reached me that I bruised a few egos again this week.

Evidently I hurt some feelings when I called Cam Crawford the stealth candidate for dodging candidate forums in the current Horry County Council District 6 Republican special primary campaign.

I have even been told Crawford’s wife, Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford, was making statements about being mad not only at me, but also at political consultant Donald Smith.

Mad at me for writing that Cam should not be a political candidate if he was unwilling to answer questions from the public and engage voters and the other candidates and mad at Smith for not stopping me from writing those statements.

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