Post Tagged with: "flow control"

Questions Surrounding the HCSWA Board Member Elections

May 7, 2017 5:46 PM
Questions Surrounding the HCSWA Board Member Elections

Nothing is ever simple and straightforward when it involves the Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) Board of Directors.

Last Tuesday, Horry County Council voted to appoint two members to the HCSWA board from among three nominated candidates. Two of the candidates, current board chairman Pam Creech and vice chairman Norfleet Jones, were incumbents. Candidate Sam Johnson was the outsider in the voting.

Creech was reelected by a majority of council members. However, Johnson and Jones tied in two successive votes with six each. After the first vote, Creech was named to remain on the board by council chairman Mark Lazarus who proceeded to hold a second ballot with just Jones and Johnson competing for one opening, against the advice of Horry County Attorney Arrigo Carotti.

Jones and Johnson tied with six votes each on both ballots.

Lazarus announced the second opening on the HCSWA board would be filled by council vote during council’s regular May 16, 2017 meeting. However, Lazarus stated nominations for the second position would remain open adding an additional question mark to the process.

The voting, however, only showed minor problems compared to what transpired before the vote.

On April 28, 2017, Esther Murphy, HCSWA’s Director of Recycling and Corporate Affairs sent an email to Horry County Council Clerk Pat Hartley with copies to all 12 members of county council as well as HCSWA Executive Director Danny Knight, Creech and Jones.

The email began, “Board member Norfleet Jones asked that we contact you regarding his term on the Solid Waste Authority Board, which ends on June 30, 2017. Mr. Jones indicated he would be completing his first term and would like to be reappointed to the Board for a second term…”

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Realtors Support Devon Blackwell

June 9, 2016 5:48 AM
Realtors Support Devon Blackwell

Horry County Council District 10 candidate Devon Blackwell secured the support of the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors last week.

Each election cycle, CCAR interviews candidates and announces support with a letter and campaign contribution for various local and state candidates.

CCAR chose Devon Blackwell as the candidate it is supporting in the Horry County Council District 10 Republican Primary.

“I am very proud of being chosen by the association of realtors,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell said District 10 is the largest council district in area in Horry County. He understands the needs of different neighborhoods within the district will differ. He said he will be responsive to all his constituents to meet their needs.

Blackwell supports infrastructure improvements, especially roads and drainage, throughout District 10. He also said he supports reviewing the many regulations on small business to make sure the county is not being hindering the opportunities for small businesses to be successful.

Blackwell said his approach to spending public money will be guided by the question “would you spend your own money for this?”

Blackwell’s opponent in the primary is Danny Hardee, a long time businessman in the Mt. Vernon community in District 10, but who appears to have his primary residence at the Floral Lake subdivision in Surfside Beach, which is not in District 10.

Hardee’s campaign touts his service on the now defunct Horry County Airport Advisory Board and Horry County Solid Waste Authority Board.

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Horry County Council Rejects HCSWA Board Requests

March 26, 2016 5:05 AM
Horry County Council Rejects HCSWA Board Requests

Horry County Council members recently rejected two requests from the HCSWA (Horry County Solid Waste Authority) board demonstrating which group holds final say on HCSWA decisions.

Several weeks ago, a group of council members told HCSWA officials to forget any ideas of raising tipping fees at the Hwy 90 landfill in the fiscal year 2016-17 budget.

HCSWA board and staff said a $5-$6 per ton increase in tipping fees was needed to offset a projected deficit in next year’s authority budget.

Council members said ‘Not going to happen.’

More recently, council informed the HCSWA board it supported authority board member Dan Gray remaining on the HCSWA board.

Several months ago, the HCSWA board tried to build a case for removing Gray from the board. The case was built on a foundation of sand and, frankly, was completely without merit.

The comments about Gray’s supposed transgressions, by five board members during a two hour discussion, were petty, personal and totally unprofessional by those involved.

Nevertheless, the HCSWA board voted 5-2 to request county council remove Gray from the HCSWA board.

Again council replied, ‘Not going to happen.’

What these denials mean is this group of Horry County Council members is going to exercise its ultimate right of oversight on HCSWA decisions.

For far too long, a succession of councils meekly allowed HCSWA officials to effectively do what they wanted with regard to waste handling policy without oversight.

This resulted in increased taxes on citizens in the unincorporated areas of the county to support increases in the unincorporated waste collection centers. It resulted in millions of dollars of public money being spent by HCSWA officials on such unnecessary items as lobbying, public relations and advertising and legal expenses to defend questionable decisions.

The ultimate transgression was county ordinance 09-02, which established flow control. This ordinance gave the HCSWA dictatorial power over all waste generated within Horry County while attempting to squeeze the private sector out of waste handling.

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HCSWA Board Hubris Round Three

January 8, 2016 5:14 AM
HCSWA Board Hubris Round Three

Horry County Solid Waste Authority board chairman Lance Thompson sent a letter to Horry County administrator Chris Eldridge last month notifying Eldridge of the 5-2 vote by the HCSWA board recommending removal of Dan Gray from the HCSWA board.

The letter and its accompanying documents were obtained by GSD through a Freedom of Information Act request to Horry County government.

Included in the accompanying documents was a letter to Gray that states in part, “While the Board regrets having to make this decision, it has determined that you have engaged in an ongoing course of conduct, which appears to be designed to undermine the Board’s actions and to hamper the functioning of the Board in a deliberative manner.”

I submit the above statement is one of opinion, not fact. I further submit the HCSWA board rarely acts in a deliberative manner.

The HCSWA board certainly did not deliberate long on the decision to spend over $1 million of public money with a lobbyist to advocate against changing state law and local ordinances with respect to flow control of waste streams.

County council ultimately amended the county flow control ordinance over the objections of the HCSWA and its lobbyist.

I submit the entire issue of removing Gray from the HCSWA board is one of personal agendas of certain HCSWA board members, certain HCSWA staff and certain Horry County Council members. In other words, Horry County politics at its worst.

The HCSWA board has taken its vote and sent its letter. I expect that is as far as the issue will go.

Gray is a nominee of the League of Cities approved by vote of Horry County Council.

Council chairman Mark Lazarus has said he will not put the issue of removing Gray on council agenda if the League of Cities does not support the HCSWA vote.

Despite behind the scenes phone calls by some HCSWA board members to mayors in the county, sources tell me the League of Cities is firmly behind Gray remaining on the HCSWA board.

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HCSWA Board Hubris Update

November 24, 2015 7:20 AM
HCSWA Board Hubris Update

By unanimous vote, after a long discussion, the HCSWA board voted to defer consideration of a recommendation to Horry County Council to remove Dan Gray from the HCSWA board until the Thursday December 10, 2015 regular board meeting.

It requires a super majority vote of the seven board members to pass such a recommendation. It was obvious the vote would split 4-3 at best for the board members seeking Gray’s removal. The votes were not there.

Possibly, the HCSWA board is beginning to come to its senses, although I would find that shocking.

We will have more to discuss on this matter prior to that meeting.

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FREE SPEECH OUTLAWED AT HORRY COUNTY SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY

Mention the HCSWA board and hubris is generally the first word that pops into my mind.

Hubris is a word that has evolved from ancient Greece. In ancient times it generally referred to violent or abusive behavior that shamed or humiliated the victim for the gratification or pleasure of the abuser.

In more modern times, hubris generally refers to extreme pride or self-confidence associated with a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or abilities.

In 21st century America, hubris routinely rears its ugly head in the political arena. One could say it’s the number one reason the federal government in Washington doesn’t work.

We are Horry County. We don’t care how they do it in Washington. So why do we insist on copying them?

Late yesterday afternoon, the HCSWA sent out an amended agenda for its 5:30 p.m. board meeting today.

One item was added under new business, “Discussion of Board Member Conduct (Regarding Mr. {Dan} Gray) and Consideration of Recommendation from the Board to Horry County Council of Removal of said Board Member.” (The caps are theirs not mine.)

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HCSWA Waste Stream Study Planned

March 10, 2015 5:45 AM
HCSWA Waste Stream Study Planned

The Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) is budgeting $50,000 net fiscal year to study the components in its waste stream.

The results of the study will be used as a basis for the HCSWA to issue either a request for qualifications or proposals from firms interested in helping save airspace at the HCSWA landfill on Hwy 90.

The more airspace that can be saved by diverting waste from being buried in the landfill, the longer the life of the landfill can be extended.

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Local Officials Look at HCSWA Waste Diversion

February 27, 2015 6:00 AM
Local Officials Look at HCSWA Waste Diversion

Recent discussions about waste stream diversion at the Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) have spurred some local officials to look into the process.

One example is Aynor mayor Keb Johnson, who is also serving as chairman of the League of Cities this year.

The League of Cities membership is composed of the mayors from the eight incorporated municipalities in Horry County. The League of Cities nominates three members to the HCSWA board and is kept apprised of policies and other decisions of the HCSWA.

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The Proper Motivation for HCSWA Waste Stream Diversion

February 22, 2015 6:00 AM
The Proper Motivation for HCSWA Waste Stream Diversion

Diverting the waste stream from the HCSWA landfill was the primary directive of Horry County Council when it passed the ordinance creating the solid waste authority over 24 years ago.

For most of the intervening period, this directive was given less than full attention as a succession of HCSWA board members and senior staff pursued personal, selfish agendas.

To its credit, the HCSWA has been successful in more recently developing a recycling agenda that may now divert as much as 50% of the county’s total solid waste stream from the landfill.

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Diverting the HCSWA Waste Stream

February 20, 2015 5:30 AM
Diverting the HCSWA Waste Stream

The HCSWA (Horry County Solid Waste Authority) solid waste stream is again a topic of discussion among officials in Horry County.

One year ago, the discussion was whether the Horry County flow control ordinance should be amended to eliminate construction and demolition (C&D) debris from restrictions.

The flow control ordinance mandated all solid waste generated within the county must be disposed of at the HCSWA landfill on Highway 90.

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Further Council Scrutiny of HCSWA Needed

July 8, 2014 7:15 AM
Further Council Scrutiny of HCSWA Needed

It is time for Horry County Council to bring the Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) more into line with the actual status of that agency.

Over the past six months, council has taken some good first steps toward establishing more control over its maverick authority on Hwy 90.

But, the work is not done.

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