The City of Myrtle Beach holds a potential nuclear option that could blow up the current parking fee debate between the city and Horry County into a much bigger and more explosive issue.
Nuclear options in political discussion come in various categories. One we hear about often is a threatened change in U.S. Senate rules that could effectively prohibit filibusters.
However, the nuclear option that Myrtle Beach appears to hold could change taxation for many residents within the county, both inside and outside the city limits.
A little background:
The city and county have been at odds over parking fees and areas they are charged in Myrtle Beach city limits.
Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus has addressed city council on several occasions attempting to reach some type of compromise that would allow county residents to pay $100 per year for a parking decal that would allow county residents to park at all city owned paid parking locations.
To date, the city has been reluctant to adopt Lazarus’ plan.
Personally, I don’t believe any of the city’s parking fees are justified, especially because they go to fund the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, a notoriously underperforming enterprise.
In response to the city’s reticence, county council voted last week to not include $200,000 for the city’s planned museum/library complex and $30,000 specifically for Chapin Memorial Library in the county budget. The city requested both amounts.
At Tuesday’s Myrtle Beach City Council meeting, council member Mary Jeffcoat requested city staff to prepare a review of the amount of property tax revenue city residents pay to the county and what services city residents receive as a result of those taxes.
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Horry County’s Community Violence Subcommittee is scheduled to meet again next week, hopefully to move forward on a plan to address crime problems in neighborhoods.
For its first four months of existence, the subcommittee has been stuck on compiling statistics comparing Horry County to counties in neighboring states.
I suppose that’s an approach. In the meantime, Horry County is experiencing approximately 20 deaths per month from heroin overdoses, according to local media reports, and violent crimes are on the rise.
All of the violence in our local communities can’t be tied directly to an increasing heroin epidemic that officials are beginning to acknowledge exists in Horry County. Poverty and lack of opportunities to rise above it play their parts also.
Interestingly, the Myrtle Beach Police Department is hosting a forum called “Facing the Heroin Epidemic Head On” at the Recreation Center on the former Air Force Base Tuesday August 16th beginning at 6:30 p.m.
When local community activists went before Myrtle Beach City Council nearly six months ago asking for help in combating community violence, Mayor John Rhodes blamed the activists for the problems and said crime was decreasing in Myrtle Beach.
The activists were also told they were ‘hurting tourism’ by focusing on community violence problems.
A raging heroin epidemic will hurt tourism a lot more. Maybe that’s why the Myrtle Beach forum will address the problem next week.
While local governments have begun to address the community violence problem, at least acknowledging it exists, a local group of pastors has been holding meetings in various communities around the county. This seems to be the most intelligent approach. It does seem logical to learn about community violence problems from those most affected by them.
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Retired Myrtle Beach police officer Brenda Christy will have the first public viewing of her book on the real inner workings of the Myrtle Beach Police Department in conjunction with the last two days of the fall Harley Davidson Rally.
Christy will be available to discuss and sign her book, “Superlative Soul or Nefarious Soul”, Thursday October 3rd and Friday October 4th at Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson, 4710 South Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach.
In her book, Christy outlines the treatment she received at the hands of senior staff after being called “a thorn in my side” by Chief Warren Gall.
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Last week we reported on the publication of “Superlative Soul or Nefarious Soul” a book by former Myrtle Beach Police Department officer Brenda Christy.
Christy’s book documents her experiences in the department leading to, and after, her filing a sexual discrimination and harassment lawsuit against MBPD and the city including the resulting retaliation directed at her.
Creative memory during depositions, changed stories as time went on and the creation of documents to bring clouds on Christy’s performance were all part of the formula to help the city beat Christy’s charges.
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I have heard many good things about the new book, “Superlative Soul or Nefarious Soul” by retired Myrtle Beach police officer Brenda Christie.
The book is a memoir by Christie describing her experiences within the clique ridden Myrtle Beach Police Department and about how she rediscovered herself through a series of adversities connected to her employment.
“The book tells the truth about the dirtiness within the Myrtle Beach Police Department,” said one source, who worked with the department for a number of years and just completed the book. “It uncovers a lot of the stuff that has been swept under the rug for many years.”
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