Post Tagged with: "infrastructure improvements"

Decisions by County Government Determined by Who the Voters Elect

June 8, 2020 9:22 AM
Decisions by County Government Determined by Who the Voters Elect

Ultimately the type of government we have is a consequence of those we elect to serve in it.

In Horry County, I submit some of our incumbent council members are the wrong choice. These are charlatans who hold elective office for self-aggrandizing, self-enriching or ego boosting reasons, or some combination thereof.

They are happy to serve themselves, their large campaign donors and those they perceive to be power brokers. The needs of the citizens at large are a rare afterthought.

For decades, the development industry in Horry County has held influence over this type of council member, using that influence to get virtually anything it wanted, including developing wetlands, flood plains and areas without the necessary supporting infrastructure, approved by council.

Three council members up for reelection who fit completely into that mold are Dennis Disabato, Cam Crawford and Gary Loftus, in my opinion. Disabato and Crawford each draw over 50% of their campaign contributions from the development industry. Loftus was appointed to the advisory board of a developer funded institute at Coastal Carolina University that the development donors hoped would “tell their side”, as one of the big donors put it, on any study completed by the institute.

Crawford, Loftus and Disabato strongly supported the reelection of Mark Lazarus two years ago. After Lazarus lost the council chairman seat to Johnny Gardner, they bought into the fictitious plot, devised by former administrator Chris Eldridge, in consultation with Lazarus, to attempt to keep Gardner from taking office.

After a SLED investigation concluded there was nothing to the allegations by Eldridge, these three did everything they could to keep Eldridge in his administrator’s position including a bombastic display by Disabato in a special council meeting held to discuss Eldridge’s future.

They continue to support the Lazarus agenda two years after Lazarus lost a primary for reelection. For example, when Lazarus worked behind the scenes to get an area designated scenic and conservation rezoned for development, Crawford, Loftus and Disabato voted for the rezoning regardless of the potential flooding issues associated with the development.

Council will be making important decisions over the next few years regarding land use regulations, impact fees and improvements to the county’s stormwater management plan. Citizens need council members who will consider the welfare of the county as a whole as these important issues are considered, not ones who consider nothing more than what developers want.

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The Choice for North Myrtle Beach Voters

March 3, 2018 7:18 AM
The Choice for North Myrtle Beach Voters

Voters in North Myrtle Beach have a choice on Tuesday when they go to the polls to vote on whether or not to approve a Tourism Development Fee in the city.

Interestingly, the choice is not between voting the TDF up or down, although that will be decided. The real choice is how voters want to pay for infrastructure and other improvement needs in the city and who should be doing the paying.

From recent discussions at the North Myrtle Beach City Council budget retreat, it appears some type of revenue increase is in the offing for North Myrtle Beach residents.

According to information I have received, the North Myrtle Beach City Council discussed a property tax increase of 2-3 mills during their budget retreat earlier in the week.

A property tax increase would be paid only by the property owners in the city. The TDF would be paid by everybody, tourists included, who makes purchases in the city.

The TDF has the added advantage of providing revenue for targeted marketing of the North Myrtle Beach brand (cleaner, safer, family oriented) to tourists who are the lifeblood of the economy in the city.

I attended a meeting of the Tidewater HOA recently where the North Myrtle Beach City Manager made a presentation on the TDF.

Part of the presentation showed pictures demonstrating the need for more parking facilities in the city, an infrastructure improvement that increased revenue to the city will fund, according to statements by council. In addition, road improvements and continued staffing of public safety personnel were discussed as needs.

Another part of the presentation compared revenue increases available from the TDF versus the possibilities from something called the Municipal Tax Reform Act, which is only at best a vague hope to at worst a pipe dream in the minds of city council.

The Municipal Tax Reform Act is a bill that has been stuck in committee in the S.C. Senate for over a year and has no hope of passage in this legislative year or the near future. (You can see more on this in other articles I have written about the referendum.)

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Horry County Council to Study Carolina Forest MCBP

February 4, 2015 7:03 AM
Horry County Council to Study Carolina Forest MCBP

Horry County Council gave county staff the go ahead to develop a multi-county business park plan associated with the Gander Mountain development in Carolina Forest.

The general concept in the planning will be to add roads, water, sewer, stormwater drainage, underdrains, curbs, gutters and sidewalks in Carolina Forest.

The project would be initially funded by $2.2 million in special purpose bonds, issued by the county, to be paid off by a fee in lieu of taxes equivalent to 35% of the property taxes generated within the MCBP area.

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