Post Tagged with: "Horry County Legislative Delegation"

Horry County Voters Send Message on Impact Fees, Representation to County Council

November 7, 2018 10:35 AM
Horry County Voters Send Message on Impact Fees, Representation to County Council

Horry County voters resoundingly supported the concept of having new construction pay for the improvements in county goods and services it requires on a referendum question Tuesday night.

Asked whether they supported imposing impact fees on new development, 74,904 voters out of the 103,186 answering the question, said YES.

The question was asked as an advisory referendum, which means it is non-binding and only an expression of voter will. However, when such an overwhelming majority of voters supports an issue, elected officials would do well to hear the message being sent.

State law currently includes language for imposing impact fees, but the legislation is so restrictive as to make it generally useless to a local government.

In the past, Horry County’s legislative delegation has been responsible for much of that language and has generally listened to the wishes of the real estate and development lobby at the expense of average citizens.

Many of these legislators have been given a ‘free pass’ in elections with little or no opposition to their holding office. It is time for that to change.

Results from Horry County Council contests in this election cycle provide an interesting view of what may be to come when solid challengers take on incumbents.

There were two contested Republican primaries with challenger Johnny Gardner defeating incumbent Mark Lazarus by 111 votes for the council chairman nomination. Gardner was unopposed in last night’s general election and will take office in January 2019.

Incumbent Bill Howard squeaked by challenger Dean Pappas by 33 votes in the other contested primary to barely hold onto his Council District Two seat.

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International Drive Delay SCDNR Fault

February 11, 2016 12:03 PM
International Drive Delay SCDNR Fault

The delay in completion of International Drive can be laid directly at the feet of SC Department of Natural Resources.

I saw where a local media outlet attempted to get information on bear population in the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve from the SCDNR recently, only to be told the documents sought would cost $133.64.

Many South Carolina governments and their associated agencies attempt to hide behind the clause in the FOIA law that allows them to charge requesters for the cost of providing the informatiion. They frankly hope the cost won’t be paid and the information will stay secret.

Our own Horry County Solid Waste Authority is one of the worst transgressors.

But, this response to a request that has direct bearing on the continuing delay over permitting for International Drive was to be expected.

Specifically, SC Department of Natural Resources officials have, seemingly, intentionally held up finishing and paving the road bed of International Drive for over 10 years.

Initially the SCDNR attempted to keep Horry County from even considering expanding International Drive from its original dirt track through the woods into a passable, two lane road because of alleged red cockaded woodpeckers supposedly nesting in the right of way.

It was ludicrous, but underneath lay a bigger problem – for whatever reason, SCDNR did not want the road built.

After several years of being stalled, the county managed to solve problem by changing the position of the International Drive right of way to avoid the alleged woodpecker habitat.

As the county got into serious planning and acquired the funds to complete International Drive, SCDNR shifted its concerns to black bears in the woods near the road. This included forcing the county to plan for bear crossing tunnels underneath the road, raising the cost of construction and further delaying the start.

This SCDNR roadblock was, again, ridiculous. By this logic, most roads in Horry County, at least west of the waterway, should include bear crossing tunnels.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. James Vaught, a strong supporter of the International Drive project, asked a meeting of Horry County Council the question, “Where is a black bear going to cross the road?” He provided the answer in his own inimitable style, “Any damn where he pleases!”

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Horry County Tax Increase Not for Public Safety

May 31, 2015 6:00 AM
Horry County Tax Increase Not for Public Safety

The proposed Horry County tax increase being considered by Horry County Council will not provide much benefit to public safety services.

This is contrary to what has been publicized about it – a tax increase for public safety.

The proposal does include adding seven new detectives, only four of which will serve the county directly. No new patrol officers will be added, according to information provided to Horry County Council members at last Wednesday’s budget workshop.

According to county officials, 63% of the county’s general fund budget is spent on the Department of Public Safety. Since 2006, the Department of Public Safety has absorbed the bulk of the increase in the budget.

In that sense and that sense only, the proposed 7.2 mil tax increase can be considered a public safety increase.

However, as council member Harold Worley said at last week’s Horry County Council budget workshop, not one penny of the tax increase will go toward putting one extra officer on the street. Response times will not go down nor will community policing increase because of the tax increase.

The tax increase is really a response by Horry County Council to widespread discontent among county employees with respect to the new four year contract, including $10,000 per year pay increases, approved recently for Horry County Administrator Chris Eldridge.

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HOA Public Hearing Tomorrow

October 28, 2014 8:00 AM
HOA Public Hearing Tomorrow

A public hearing on Homeowner Associations (HOA) is being held by the Horry County Legislative Delegation tomorrow night.

This is the time to begin public input on much needed, possible state legislation by the S.C. General Assembly to make HOA’s answerable to the homeowners they purportedly represent.

With the rules and financial decisions it makes, an HOA board serves as a virtual mini-government for the property owners in the sub-division it represents.

Are the financial statements open and subject to review by the homeowners or does the board and/or management company put stumbling blocks in the way of seeing how money is spent?

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Horry County Delegation Schedules HOA Public Hearing

October 16, 2014 6:30 AM
Horry County Delegation Schedules HOA Public Hearing

A much needed public hearing on Homeowner Associations (HOA) complaints has been scheduled by the Horry County Legislative Delegation for October 29th.

The meeting will be held at Horry Georgetown Technical College in the Burroughs and Chapin Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.

Complaints about the arbitrariness of HOA rules and secrecy of HOA financial documents have been rising across the state for a number of years.

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Thad Viers and Coastal Kickback: What If…

August 10, 2014 8:16 AM
Thad Viers and Coastal Kickback: What If…

The 14 count federal indictment, with a potential 145 years in prison, brought against former state Rep. Thad Viers earlier this week brings several questions to mind.

Twelve of the counts were for what lawyers do every day – remove money from their trust account at the direction of the client.

If all of the withdrawals were made with the intent to hide assets and if Viers knew this as alleged, wouldn’t the 13th count of conspiracy to hide assets cover these transactions?

Maybe the answer to why such a draconian indictment was brought lies with the 14th count – lying to an IRS investigator.

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Coast RTA Meetings

July 9, 2013 8:00 AM
Coast RTA Meetings

Two meetings will be held today that will look to how Coast RTA will be conducting its operations in the future.

The first will be at 10:30 a.m. at the Coast RTA board room where Coast RTA officials will meet with members of the Horry County legislative delegation, a Georgetown County representative and several members of Horry County council.

The purpose of the morning meeting is to investigate changes in state law to provide Horry County more representation on the Coast RTA board in line with its local grant contributions to the Coast RTA budget.

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Coast RTA vs. Horry County Budget Fight

June 25, 2013 7:00 AM
Coast RTA vs. Horry County Budget Fight

It never takes much to stir up a political controversy in Horry County, but the one that has erupted in the last couple of days between Coast RTA and Horry County Council, over budgets, is ridiculous beyond belief.

Like any good political battle, egos are up and there are charges and counter-charges and more misinformation than real information in the air. But, the victor in these types of controversies is usually the one who controls the purse strings and that’s not good news for Coast RTA.

The genesis of this foolishness rests with the Horry County advisory referendum of 2010 in which 62.5 percent of voters said they would support giving tax dollars from the county’s general fund to Coast RTA to help fund its operations.

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The Horry County SWA and Mis-information

February 17, 2012 3:55 PM
The Horry County SWA and Mis-information

A meeting today between Horry County council members and members of the Horry County Legislative Delegation evolved through many points of discussion, reached no consensus on the issue of flow control of the county’s waste stream, but did address charges of mis-information about proposed state legislation.

The flow control issue is currently being debated at the state level as Senate Bill 514 makes its way through the legislative process. Horry County currently is the only county in the state to mandate flow control of its waste stream by county ordinance 02-09. The ordinance requires that all waste generated in the county must be disposed at the Horry County Solid Waste Authority landfill on Hwy 90, giving the SWA monopoly control over the county’s waste.

The state legislation, if enacted, states that an ordinance “is void to the extent that a county ordinance restricts solid waste disposal at a permitted site outside a county’s boundaries or impedes a recycling program.”

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Flow Control Divides Horry County Pols

February 15, 2012 1:52 PM
Flow Control Divides Horry County Pols

Internecine warfare among politicians over the issue of waste stream flow control is the current dominant issue of political discussion in Horry County.

The most recent round of the verbal battle over flow control began at last Tuesday night’s county council meeting when council voted 11-0 to support a resolution that urged state lawmakers to drop legislation that would allow free market capitalism in the waste industry and, instead, allow flow control, which is really monopoly government control, of the garbage generated in the county and the state.

A new round of flow control discussions took place at yesterday’s Committee of the Whole meeting of Horry County Council and will again be a subject of discussion when council holds a joint meeting with the Horry County delegation of state legislators Friday.

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