Post Tagged with: "Horry County Treasurer"

Horry County Spins More Negativity Toward Treasurer

April 20, 2018 4:00 AM
Horry County Spins More Negativity Toward Treasurer

Horry County officials again put a negative spin on comments about the Horry County Treasurer’s Office in a story by a local news outlet this week.

The story questioned Treasurer Angie Jones hiring of former Horry County Clerk of Courts Melanie Huggins-Ward to clear up the backlog of tax refunds owed to Horry County taxpayers.

The issue dates back to July 6, 2017, three days after Jones took office. Jones requested the county contract with Huggins-Ward for a part-time position to work on the refund backlog.

Assistant County Administrator Justin Powell responded by saying Jones was $20,591.72 over budget based on proposed salaries. He also included the following statement: “It is my understanding it is financially favorable to her (Huggins-Ward) to work as a contractor rather than as an employee because it prevents her pension from being cut off after earning $10,000 with the county. Human Resources is contacting the South Carolina Retirement System and IRS this morning to ask their opinion on the use of a contract to circumvent the SCRS earnings limitations on retirees. The last thing any of us wants is the appearance of an attempt to “game” the Internal Revenue Code or laws governing the South Carolina Retirement System.”

County officials made certain this email was included in documents provided to the media outlet. Of course, the comment about ‘gaming the system’ was jumped all over.

It appears this was the intention of county officials all along, because an email to Jones from Horry County Human Resources Director Patrick Owens bearing the same July 6, 2017 date was not included, but contained the following suggestion:

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County Adds to Flames in Treasurer Lawsuit

February 26, 2018 8:31 AM
County Adds to Flames in Treasurer Lawsuit

Horry County Government threw more gasoline on the fire it has created with the Horry County Treasurer’s Office with a new filing in court Friday on the Treasurer lawsuit filed by Angie Jones.

The new filing is an amended answer and amended counterclaims associated with the original lawsuit against Horry County Government and Administrator Chris Eldridge, which was filed in November 2017.

One of the new complaints by Horry County is that Jones has refused to provide detailed information about her budget request for the next fiscal year to the Horry County Assistant Administrator Justin Powell.

The counterclaim states, “The Horry County budgeting process is handled by Horry County Council and administered by the Horry County Administrator.”

An email from Jones to Powell states, “I will deal directly with council in regards to my budget needs …”

From the above two quotes, it would appear that Jones is adhering to the provisions in state law. She is a countywide elected official elected by the people to run the Treasurer’s Office. The administrator is appointed by Horry County Council to administrate policies decided by vote of council for the departments that council has control over.

A South Carolina Attorney General’s Opinion dated October 26, 2007 states, “With reference to budgetary matters, while it’s true that the council exercises totally the budgetary authority of a county and can decrease, increase, or otherwise alter appropriations for county offices, nevertheless, it cannot so decrease the appropriations of an elected official’s office so as to prevent the proper functioning thereof.

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Horry County Treasurer Request Nixed by Administrator, County Council

January 25, 2018 5:00 AM
Horry County Treasurer Request Nixed by Administrator, County Council

A request by Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones to have county administrator Chris Eldridge sign off on an addendum to a contract with a county software supplier was shot down at Tuesday’s regular meeting of county council.

Jones made a presentation to county council about a new service the Treasurer wanted to institute in Horry County. The service would provide taxpayers who pay vehicle taxes in person at the Treasurer’s Office or one of the satellite offices with a new vehicle registration and decal for the license plate when the payment is made.

A convenience fee of $1 would be added to the vehicle tax notices to add this service.

According to Jones presentation, this service is already in place in 32 of the 46 counties in South Carolina and the $1 convenience fee is established by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.

After Jones presentation, council chairman Mark Lazarus called for Horry County staff to address some issues with allowing the Treasurer’s Office to offer this convenience.

Eldridge moved to the microphone to speak for the staff. He began his remarks with the statement, “Of course there is litigation going on currently between the Treasurer’s Office and Horry County Council.”

Actually, the litigation is Angie Jones, Individually and as Horry County Treasurer v. Horry County, a body Politic and Chris Eldridge, in his capacity as Horry County Administrator.

Eldridge went on to say the request was a budgetary issue and if council wants it done, “it isn’t that much.” He would prefer to see it go through the normal budgetary process and would not support the $1 fee.

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New Year Brings New Hope and New Challenges

January 2, 2018 5:49 AM
New Year Brings New Hope and New Challenges

A New Year traditionally brings with it new hope and positive feelings about the year ahead.

Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus commented in a Facebook post on New Year’s Day about making 2018 a year of positivism. I hope Lazarus is able to achieve that positivism in county government.

This year will be interesting with three new members recently elected to Myrtle Beach City Council, including a new mayor, and seven council members up for re-election for Horry County Council including Chairman Lazarus.

But it takes more than hopes and feelings to achieve positive results in government. It takes hard work, transparency and proper goal setting to get the most “bang” for each “buck” collected from the taxpaying public.

Both Myrtle Beach City Council and Horry County Council have been lax in this area in years past.

Maybe the most important thing both councils have to remember is the citizens elect them to make decisions that benefit the community as a whole. Council then directs staff to carry out these decisions.

Too often, this process has become muddled with certain council and staff members working behind closed doors to benefit special interests at the expense of the general public. This is at least part of the reason Myrtle Beach has three new members of council.

Below are just a few of the actions by city council that the public voted against in November:

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Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones Lawsuit Raises Questions About County Budget

November 25, 2017 11:04 AM
Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones Lawsuit Raises Questions About County Budget

A lawsuit filed by Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones against Horry County Government earlier this week raises questions about the county budget and the process used to establish it.

In her complaint, Jones claims the county government is not meeting its constitutional responsibility to adequately fund and staff her department.

As a result, Jones says her department is short of personnel necessitating closing of satellite offices for periods of time during the workday, thereby inhibiting the amount and timeliness of service provided by the department to the public.

Jones was elected to office in November 2016, but was not sworn in until the beginning of the current fiscal year on July 1, 2017, in accordance with state law.

During the interim period between election and swearing in, Jones says she was not allowed by county council to take part in the budget process for the current fiscal year, even though she knew additional personnel were needed in the department.

During an interview on “Talking Politics”, a television show co-hosted by John Bonsignor and this writer, Jones said she approached the county administration committee to request funds to hire another administrative assistant to help alleviate the shortages in satellite offices.

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Angie Jones Press Conference Answers NO Questions

June 11, 2016 12:24 PM
Angie Jones Press Conference Answers NO Questions

(Above pic Angie Jones, left with Lois Eargle)

A press conference held Friday by Angie Jones, a candidate for Horry County Treasurer in the Tuesday June 14, 2016 Republican primary election, left unanswered questions as to why Jones resigned her position as Deputy Treasurer just five days before the primary.

Jones will begin a position in the Horry County Clerk of Courts office Monday morning. Jones mother, Nancy Jones, is currently Deputy Clerk of Courts.

Jones claimed she resigned from the Treasurer’s office because of a hostile work environment toward her since February.

I believe that reason it total political spin and has nothing to do with why Jones resigned.

According to several sources within Horry County Government, prior to her resignation Jones was the subject of an internal investigation on alleged removal of penalties from a tax notice sent to her brother.

After receiving inquiries earlier in the week from local media about documents supporting the allegations, Treasurer Roddy Dickinson reportedly looked into the allegations.

Jones resigned from her Deputy Treasurer position Thursday and the only comment Dickinson would make was to confirm her resignation.

Jones’ press conference Friday was to supposedly address Jones’ resignation. This was the perfect time for Jones to address the investigation and answer questions about it. She didn’t.

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Large Crowd Comes Out for Jonathan Hyman Campaign Kickoff

April 8, 2016 5:01 AM
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(Pictured above Rep. Jeff Johnson (left) and Jonathan Hyman (right).

Over two hundred people attended Jonathan Hyman’s campaign kickoff event at Arnold Johnson’s shed on Hwy 701 South. Hyman is running for Horry County Treasurer.

Johnson said the event drew a larger crowd than others he has hosted and the crowd was at least as large as the one that showed up for Tom Rice’s campaign kickoff for chairman of Horry County Council in 2010.

“I have no doubt Jonathan will do a good job as Treasurer,” said Johnson. “I remember when (former Treasurer) Johnny C. Allen hired him. Johnny always had good things to say about Jonathan.”

This was the kind of event that former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neill alluded to when he said all politics are local. Families from the community came out to support Hyman with the adults enjoying good food and fellowship and the children playing ball outside.

The event was not short of political officeholders and candidates either. S.C. Senate Luke Rankin and S.C. Rep. Jeff Johnson were in attendance.

Rankin said the first thing he thinks of when he hears Hyman’s name is humility, competence and temperament.

“Jonathan is well groomed for this position,” said Rankin. “There will be no surprises. He knows how to carry out the duties of Treasurer.”

Johnson said he wished Hyman well in his campaign for election.

“He is a great guy,” Johnson said. “I go to church with him and know what type of person he is and what a wonderful family he has.”

Former Treasurer Johnny C. Allen said, “I hired him 16 years ago because I knew he was a good, smart kid. I am happy he asked me to endorse him, which I am pleased to do. Jonathan will be an asset to Horry County as its next Treasurer.”

Current Treasurer Roddy Dickinson said it was time for him to retire and pass on the office.

“I have no regrets and I’m looking forward to be able to do other things in life,” said Dickinson. “I am happy to endorse Jonathan for Treasurer. Jonathan works well with people and will make a great Treasurer. He has respect and understanding for others and that is very important in dealing with the public.”

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Jonathan Hyman Announces Candidacy for Horry County Treasurer

April 5, 2016 7:21 AM
Jonathan Hyman Announces Candidacy for Horry County Treasurer

(Above Jonathan Hyman with wife Nicole and children Jay and Carly)

Jonathan Mark Hyman, native of Horry County and Conway resident, recently announced his candidacy for Horry County Treasurer.

Hyman is a 1994 graduate of Conway High School. In 1998 he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a focus on business management and finance from the Wall School of Business at Coastal Carolina University. Following graduation, he pursued a career in Real Estate Appraisal and has been appraising residential and commercial real estate for nearly 17 years.

Hyman is a certified real estate appraiser and has partnered in appraisal firms and managed apprentice appraisers. He is currently a candidate for the MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute. He manages his own appraisal firm and is also a real estate consultant for Valbridge Property Advisors where he provides comprehensive valuation & advisory services.

Hyman has also been employed with Horry County Government since 2000. He was first hired in the Code Enforcement Department to enforce building code laws. Shortly thereafter, he was recruited by long-time Horry County Treasurer, Mr. Johnny C. Allen, as a Revenue Collector in the Treasurer’s Office.

Hyman has served in the Horry County Treasurer’s office for approximately 15 years under the leadership and guidance of current Treasurer, Roddy Dickinson, and his predecessor, Johnny C. Allen. With the full endorsement and support of both Dickinson and Allen, Hyman is excited to announce his decision to file the necessary paperwork to serve as your next Treasurer of Horry County.

Hyman is a member of the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors, the Appraisal Institute, the Horry County Republican Club and the South Strand Republican Club.

Hyman and his wife, Nicole, have been married for nearly 16 years and have two children Jay (10) and Carly (7). They are faithful members of Juniper Bay Baptist Church where Jonathan actively serves as a sound system technician and Royal Ambassador Leader.

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Roddy Dickinson Retiring from Treasurer’s Post

March 22, 2016 6:05 AM
Roddy Dickinson Retiring from Treasurer’s Post

In the final year of his third term as Horry County Treasurer, Roddy Dickinson announced recently that he would not be seeking a fourth term in office.

“I could not commit to spending another full four year term in office and I’m not going to run for office and quit halfway through,” said Dickinson. “It’s time for me to move on.”

When he completes his 12th and final year as Treasurer at the end of December 2016, Dickinson will have a total of 32 years of service with Horry County Government.

“My first 15 years were with the Finance Office,” said Dickinson. “I moved to the Treasurer’s office when Johnnie Allen was Treasurer. When Allen retired, he supported me in my bid to succeed him.”

The Treasurer’s office has responsibility for collecting current and delinquent property taxes; has oversight over accommodations and hospitality tax collections in the county; is responsible for delinquent tax sale of property and invests revenue for Horry County, Horry County Schools, Horry County Department of Airports and Horry County Solid Waste Authority.

During his time in office, the population of Horry County grew by approximately 100,000 placing demands on the office as a significant amount of new residential property was added to the tax rolls.

“The Treasurer’s job was probably the biggest challenge of my life,” said Dickinson. “We went through a significant explosion of technology since I first took office in 2005 and have added services to the public while keeping staff positions steady.”

Dickinson also steered the office through the difficult period of economic recession caused by the burst of the national housing bubble and succeeding banking crisis in 2008.

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