Post Tagged with: "Gary Loftus"

Coast RTA 4th Quarter Funding Approved

April 22, 2015 6:00 AM
Coast RTA 4th Quarter Funding Approved

Coast RTA will receive its 4th quarter funding from Horry County despite not completing some required tasks in its funding agreement with the county.

However, if Horry County Council comments Tuesday night were any indication, it is still unclear if Coast RTA will receive the same level, or any, funding from the county in the new fiscal year that begins July 1, 2015.

By an 8-3 vote, council followed the suggestion of council chairman Mark Lazarus to release 4th quarter funding “for the public’s benefit, for riders and for employees (of Coast RTA).”

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Former CEO Myers Rollins Sues Coast RTA, Others

June 19, 2014 8:15 AM
Former CEO Myers Rollins Sues Coast RTA, Others

Myers Rollins, former General Manager/CEO of Coast RTA, filed suit Tuesday against the agency he headed before being fired April 30th.

In addition to Coast RTA, Rollins is suing SCDOT, Coast RTA board members Bernie Silverman and Kitty D’Angelo, Horry County Council members Mark Lazarus and Gary Loftus, SCDOT employees Doug Frate and Hart Baker and interim Coast RTA General Manager Julie Norton Dew.

Rollins is seeking five million dollars in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages to be determined and reinstatement as GM/CEO of Coast RTA.

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WestJet Guarantee to Cost Horry County Half Million

September 13, 2013 11:05 AM
WestJet Guarantee to Cost Horry County Half Million

If current passenger expectations remain valid through the end of October, Horry County will pay WestJet over $500,000 pursuant to a guarantee to the airline county council approved in February 2013.

According to a source familiar with airport operations, the county is already in the hole to WestJet to the tune of $325,000 and expects the bottom line, after WestJet ends this year’s operations October 31st, to be approximately $510,000.

County council approved setting aside a contingency fund of up to $1 million that would be used to guarantee WestJet 60% occupancy, the break-even point for WestJet, on each flight to Myrtle Beach. The county would buy up empty seats on each flight so WestJet would not lose money.

WestJet won’t lose money, but the county did.

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Airport Express Video on Adult Entertainment Issue

August 20, 2013 3:00 PM
Airport Express Video on Adult Entertainment Issue

It is and has always been the position and vision of Airport Express Video that “if” this adult entertainment ordinance passes we want to do everything within our power to be a proper corporate citizen, including relocation of our business, if that is what Planning Director Janet Carter, and the County’s Top Gun legal counsel Scott Bergthold would like to see happen.

In that regard they have left us with only one viable option and this is the 501 Corridor area of Carolina Forest. We have never said, suggested or indicated that we planned to relocate “inside” of Carolina Forest proper, due solely to the fact that the development agreement prohibits that until 2017.

Of course once that agreement expires then presumably it would open up several more developable locations for the clubs and stores which sell adult related merchandise. Having been a part of this community for many years, we truly feel that all property from Highway 31 West to the Carolina Forest Wal Mart is truly Carolina Forest, regardless of what specific roadway you are physically on.

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Coast RTA Budget, Horry County and Communication

July 1, 2013 3:00 PM
Coast RTA Budget, Horry County and Communication

The controversy generated by a county budget amendment regarding a Coast RTA revenue grant, added during third reading of the Fiscal Year 2014 county budget, appears to be the result of lack of communication between county and Coast RTA officials.

A two hour meeting with Coast RTA officials last week revealed how the potential loss of a county payment to Coast RTA of $263,758, for the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2014, would result in a total loss to Coast RTA of $599,733.

The potential loss of the county grant payment costs Coast RTA an additional $236,523 in matching federal funds, $50,000 in ad revenue and $49,460 in lost passenger fares from two routes that will be cut, Entertainment Express and Airport to Ocean Boulevard. The Coast RTA budget, submitted to the Federal Transportation Authority must reflect these potential cuts.

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Mark Lazarus Hits a Grand Slam

June 20, 2013 7:06 PM
Mark Lazarus Hits a Grand Slam

With just a few appearances as Horry County Council chairman under his belt, Mark Lazarus hit a grand slam home run at Tuesday night’s regular meeting of council.

After many years of despairing over poor to non-existent leadership on Horry County Council, Lazarus has quickly stepped into the void, in my opinion.

He runs a good meeting and the other 11 council members seem comfortable with him at the helm. That’s certainly not a statement that could have been made very often, if at all, over the last several decades.

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Economic Development Secret Revealed

August 6, 2012 1:55 PM
Economic Development Secret Revealed

The hoped for home run from Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation was reduced to a bunt single when it was revealed the secret Project Blue is really just a 1,000 job call center.

County council debated the project behind closed doors in executive session for two weeks, before council member Gary Loftus and EDC CEO Brad Lofton made the details of the project public in an interview with the Myrtle Beach Herald last week? Why all the initial secrecy?

A 1,000 job call center project that offers $14 per hour to employees while it receives $24-$30 million of combined incentives is about as good as it is going to get for Horry County economic development. At least that is what Loftus told the Herald last week.

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Observations on the Bike Rally Vote

March 15, 2012 10:52 AM
Observations on the Bike Rally Vote

After the generally dysfunctional debate on bike rally vendor permits by Horry County Council Tuesday night, one veteran Horry County political observer commented to me that they believed the decision to again take on the bike rally issue, at the county level, was made in the “card room at the Dunes Club.”

I believe this comment is quite astute. It can be reasonably argued that the “Take Back May” movement, which resulted in the City of Myrtle Beach movement to end the May bike rallies was hatched at the Dunes Club. A small group of movers and shakers in the city saw the chance to take advantage of the public (above 38th Avenue North) unrest with the rallies, to advance personal agendas.

Tom Rice, then a private citizen, was the point spokesman for the “Take Back May” movement as the group lobbied both the Myrtle Beach and Horry County councils to essentially end the rallies. The effort was generally regarded successful at the city level, but a failure at the county level.

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Arrogance and Confusion, but a Victory for Bike Vendors

March 13, 2012 7:57 PM
Arrogance and Confusion, but a Victory for Bike Vendors

In what can only be called an arrogant abuse of parliamentary procedure, Horry County Council chairman Tom Rice called a five minute break, in the midst of debating an ordinance on the floor, because voting on amendments to the ordinance didn’t go his way.

This blatant lack of respect for the elected body he serves and abuse of power as chairman came during council’s regular meeting Tuesday night, but did not produce the result Rice hoped for.

The ordinance, of course, was about reducing the number of permit days for vendor and special event permits from the current seven days to five days. The ordinance, if passed as originally written, would have directly affected the Harley Davidson bike rally and the local small businesses that depend on it for revenue.

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Sponseller Discovery – Questions, No Answers

February 29, 2012 8:20 AM
Sponseller Discovery – Questions, No Answers

The discovery of SC Hospitality Association CEO Tom Sponseller’s body yesterday left many who knew him in Horry County absolutely devastated by the news, but also asking questions about the circumstances surrounding his death.

Horry County Council member Gary Loftus, a longtime friend and associate of Sponseller in tourism industry circles, gave a moving tribute to his friend as the county council adjourned their meeting Tuesday night in Sponseller’s memory.

Other local area tourism leaders spoke all day of the kind, decent, loving family man and friend who they had rubbed elbows with many times through the years as Sponseller led the state’s tourism industry interests.

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