Post Tagged with: "horry county government"

A Call for Political Activism

November 9, 2012 6:01 AM
A Call for Political Activism

The need for political activism at the local level is a constant one in my opinion. Our governments, at all levels, are only as good as we demand them to be.

Too often, citizens get hyped up about certain issues, often by outside organizations, as we approach the two-year general election mark. These organizations, backed by big budgets, promote their viewpoint on issues they care about, usually for various selfish benefits.

These issues may be important, but they pale in comparison to the many issues on the local level that pass by, almost unnoticed, on a monthly basis.

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A Lesson in Government Folly

June 30, 2012 2:48 PM
A Lesson in Government Folly

It was interesting to note, earlier this week, a media story that passenger arrivals at Myrtle Beach International Airport were down approximately 13 percent for the current year. The downturn in passenger numbers occurs while the airport is in the midst of an approximately $120 million expansion of its terminal facilities.

Horry County Council member Carl Schwartzkopf called me up to ask if I had read the story and asked my reaction.

I told him my reaction was limited to four words, “I told you so.”

The reason for the conversation is Schwartzkopf was elected to council in a special election in district 8 in late 2003 to fill the unexpired term of member Liz Gilland after Gilland was elected council chairman in a special election earlier in the year.

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Our Shadow Quasi-Governments

June 17, 2012 8:05 AM
Our Shadow Quasi-Governments

Government waste, sacred cows, special interests are all topics of almost constant conversation among the taxpaying public especially in difficult economic times as we have now.

Everybody has an opinion on where public money is wasted. Citizens can quickly point out how they, their neighborhood or their community needs are being ignored while someone else’s are being favored.

And everybody has a concept of what we call special interests working behind the scenes to get favorable treatment at the expense of the general public.

But what do we really know about what we suspect is happening?

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Rankin Stops Flow Control Ban

June 10, 2012 6:00 AM
Rankin Stops Flow Control Ban

Horry County Sen. Luke Rankin (R-Dist 33) performed well for his friends and contributors in the last month of the recent legislative session by holding off Senate passage of a bill that would have eliminated a government monopoly on garbage disposal in Horry County.

Called the “Business Freedom to Choose Act”, Rankin worked hard on the Senate floor to keep the bill from receiving passage in the final month of the legislative session. As a result of his work, the Horry County Solid Waste Authority will continue to monopolize garbage disposal at the expense of businesses and municipalities.

The irony in Rankin’s actions was open for all to see when he spoke against efforts by poor, rural communities to amend a telecommunications bill. The amendment would have provided some type of incentive to extend broadband communications coverage into currently unserved areas, probably through small cooperatives.

Rankin said, “We want to instill competition in the state and do not want to provide advantage for a tax subsidized provider. If you’re going to compete, you cannot do it at a subsidized rate.”

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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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Trash, Dollars and Horry County Government

April 13, 2012 4:26 AM
Trash, Dollars and Horry County Government

As the Horry County budget process gains momentum later this month through the end of June, one entity we will be watching with interest is the Horry County Solid Waste Authority.

In our opinion, this quasi-independent government created authority works counter to the interests of private business and the public in Horry County, provides no real value to Horry County government, but works hard on propaganda and its self-image while amassing millions of dollars in excess funds that could be put to better use.

The SWA controls the waste stream (garbage and debris) within the county through a flow control ordinance passed by county council several years ago. The ordinance dictates that all garbage generated within the county must be disposed of at the SWA Hwy 90 landfill at rates dictated by the SWA.

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Bike Rally Issue Still Undecided

April 4, 2012 2:17 AM
Bike Rally Issue Still Undecided

An eleventh hour discovery that the ordinance amending the vendor and special events permits needed to go to the Planning Commission for a recommendation prior to final consideration from council keeps an issue potentially affecting the May bike rallies undecided.

Third reading of the ordinance was scheduled for county council last night. If the ordinance had been approved in its present form, vendor permits would be allowed for seven days at reduced fees from prior years. Both would be positive results for the bike rallies.

Instead, council chairman Tom Rice announced county attorney Arrigo Carotti had contacted him earlier in the day stating the ordinance must be reviewed and a recommendation received from the Planning Commission prior to final consideration from council.

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Horry Move Would Restrict Gun Use

March 21, 2012 2:27 PM
Horry Move Would Restrict Gun Use

The Horry County Public Safety Committee will discuss a proposed ordinance tomorrow night that would seriously restrict gun use in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Prompted by several complaints received by the county within the last 12 months, county attorney Arrigo Carotti drafted an ordinance for county council consideration that would eliminate many areas currently used for hunting. The ordinance would also limit the ability of homeowners to protect their property from animals they consider to pose a direct threat to people or property.

The restrictions of the ordinance are:

1) It shall be unlawful for any person in the unincorporated area of the county to discharge any rifle, gun, pistol, revolver, bow or other similar instrument from any means of which any bullet, shot or other missile of any kind may be projected within one thousand two hundred (1,200) feet of the property boundaries of any school, or other public building or park.

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Horry County Police Changing at Top (Updated 2/10)

February 8, 2012 5:49 AM
Horry County Police Changing at Top (Updated 2/10)

With the SLED investigation of the Horry County Police Department complete and the Attorney General’s Office finding nothing of prosecutorial merit in the findings, the Horry County Police Department is now in position to move on to a new beginning.

With the investigation exonerating the police department and its evidence handling procedures, Chief Johnny Morgan will soon announce his retirement. Sources tell Grand Strand Daily that Morgan has been in the process of cleaning out his office and was just waiting for the investigation to be completed so he would not retire under a cloud of suspicion.

According to sources close to the department, Assistant Chief David Beatty’s days are also numbered. Beatty is rumored to not be the choice to replace Morgan and he has been applying for positions in other departments around the state.

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County Employees Could See Pay Raise

February 3, 2012 8:32 AM
County Employees Could See Pay Raise

Horry County employees have not had a raise in the past three budget years, but that could change in the upcoming year. A majority of council members currently seem inclined to include an employee pay raise in the FY 2013 budget.

The county has weathered three difficult budget years and is currently running an approximately $9 million surplus in this year’s budget. It’s not that revenues are making a real comeback, it’s more that county government has significantly cut expenses over the past three years.

Much of the blame for local budget shortfall in the past three years can be laid at the feet of the state General Assembly. When Act 388 was passed in 2006, eliminating owner occupied homes from property taxes that funded school operating budgets, the state raised the sales tax one penny, promising to fund school operating costs from the state budget.

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