Post Tagged with: "Horry County Council"

David L. Rocker and Project Blue

August 28, 2012 9:12 AM
David L. Rocker and Project Blue

The real reason for the big secret called Project Blue by the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation may have surfaced Monday when myhorrynews.com, the website for Waccamaw Publishers, broke a story on the shady past of David L. Rocker.

According to documents provided to Horry County Council, Rocker is listed as the Chief Operating Officer of Covation Holdings, a startup Georgia company that is trying to land a call center jobs project in the Carolina Forest area. However, last night the EDC was trying to spin Rocker as merely a consultant on the project.

Whatever the truth is behind Rocker’s participation, his past difficulties should raise some eyebrows about whether the county should be risking public dollars on a project which has, so far, been much hype with very little substance.

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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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Top Secret Economic Development

August 3, 2012 10:26 PM
Top Secret Economic Development

The secrecy surrounding a project of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, which will soon be up for second reading by county council on an ordinance to issue $8 million in public debt for the project, may be very good news for county residents.

I have had several conversations recently with local Republican activist, and one of the founders of the South Strand Republican Club, John Bonsignor about possibilities for the project. Bonsignor said he was asked, by EDC board member and former county Republican Party chairman Robert Rabon, to help promote passage of the ordinance by council members.

Even though he was given few details of the project, Bonsignor agreed to do so. Bonsignor did mention to me that he was of the understanding the total incentive package for the project totaled approximately $30 million for a 1,000 job call center. Bonsignor said he would like to get more details to have confidence in the project.

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Why All the Secrecy

July 28, 2012 11:20 PM
Why All the Secrecy

Several days ago, we ran a story about how South Carolina ranks dead last among the 50 states for freedom of information access to government information. Thursday night, we learned that Horry County is attempting to rank at the bottom of the state’s 46 counties for public disclosure of information about its actions.

Horry County Council voted 7-2 Thursday night to pass first reading of an ordinance that would allow the issuance of $8 million of general obligation debt while refusing to publicly state what the money will be used for. Council members Harold Worley and Marion Foxworth voted no on the ordinance while members Brent Schulz, Paul Price and Paul Prince were not present at the meeting.

This vote took place during the second specially called council meeting in three days, both dedicated to executive sessions on a Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation initiative called “Project Blue.”

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Light Goes Out at CASA

June 11, 2012 8:43 AM
Light Goes Out at CASA

I was saddened last week to read that SLED is investigating Citizens Against Spouse Abuse for misappropriation of funds.

My first thought was ‘there goes another point of light, extinguished through the selfishness of public policy.’

On second thought, I realized this has nothing to do with public policy, because in today’s political environment, there is no public policy. There is government policy, business policy, even wine policy but the public doesn’t deserve a policy.

President George H.W. Bush warned this was coming in his inaugural address nearly 24 years ago:

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Tom Rice and the Failed Campaign Ploy

June 6, 2012 5:09 AM
Tom Rice and the Failed Campaign Ploy

Obvious campaigning with the Horry County budget didn’t work for county council chairman and 7th Congressional District candidate Tom Rice Wednesday as his fellow council members saw through the attempt.

During a council Committee of the Whole meeting, Rice suggested a series of proposed budget changes that appeared to be designed more for their voter appeal than county fiscal stability.

The county budget for FY2013 has passed two readings and will be up for third reading at the regular council meeting scheduled for June 19, 2012.

During budget discussions, workshops and readings since January, Rice has opposed proposed pay raises for county workers while he advocated building a reserve fund for projected budget deficits beginning with FY2014.

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Garbage Wars and Slimy Politics

May 20, 2012 5:59 AM
Garbage Wars and Slimy Politics

The political war over garbage escalated this past week as the state senate may be close to passing a bill that would eliminate county government’s ability to be monopolist garbage czars.

Specifically at risk is Horry County’s flow control ordinance that requires all garbage generated in the county to be disposed of at the Horry County Solid Waste Authority landfill on Hwy 90. The new bill would make flow control illegal throughout the state.

News of the bill surfaced in newspapers serving Columbia and Horry County over the past couple of days raising the specter of massive amounts of toxic waste from New York City flowing into Horry County if the bill passes.

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County Undermining Bike Rally?

May 9, 2012 11:06 AM
County Undermining Bike Rally?

Only five days before the start of this year’s Harley Davidson Spring Bike Rally, Grand Strand Daily has learned that the county is apparently not living up to its responsibilities on the issuance of vendor permits and other areas related to the event.

County council killed an ordinance that attempted to further limit bike rally vendor permits and attendance last month by a 10-2 vote. This action resulted in no change to current county law with respect to special event and vendor permits.

However, Grand Strand Daily learned this morning that a temporary restraining order was issued against the county to stop changes on a special event permit for the Suck, Bang and Blow restaurant.

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Flow Control Costing Citizens Money

April 30, 2012 1:41 AM
Flow Control Costing Citizens Money

Demanding that all solid waste generated in Horry County be disposed at the Horry County Solid Waste Authority landfill on Hwy 90 forces the citizens of Horry County to pay higher fees for the disposal of construction and demolition waste than would otherwise be the case.

This revelation came during an SWA presentation of its FY 2013 proposed budget made to Horry County Council during council’s budget retreat last week.

Despite its claims to being an independent, non-profit, public benefit corporation, as it is registered with the S.C. Secretary of State’s office, the SWA budget is included in the county budget each year.

The SWA recently announced a new construction and demolition waste recycling program. The program will apply to loads of C&D waste that includes recyclable items such as metal, plastic, cardboard, clean wood and carpets.

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Bike Rally Ordinance Dies

April 17, 2012 6:02 PM
Bike Rally Ordinance Dies

Two months, much confusion and many hard feelings later, the ordinance to change bike rallies was killed by Horry County Council Tuesday night by a 10-2 vote. Council members Harold Worley and Gary Loftus voted against the majority.

This means the current law under which vendor permits are issued will remain as it has been for the past three years.

Vendor permits will be issued for seven days at a cost of $800 east of the waterway and $500 west of the waterway.

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