Post Tagged with: "Tyler Servant"

Horry County’s Political Schism

July 22, 2018 9:22 AM
Horry County’s Political Schism

One glance at the agenda for Tuesday’s upcoming special meeting and workshop of Horry County Council demonstrates the political schism that exists in local politics.

Council will consider two resolutions that propose advisory referendums on the upcoming November 2018 general election ballot to raise countywide property taxes by 10 mils to fund police, EMS, Sheriff and E911service improvements throughout the county and one to raise property taxes by an additional 9.5 mils in the unincorporated areas of the county to fund fire improvements.

The entire discussion of these two referendums is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to the defeat of incumbent council chairman Mark Lazarus by Johnny Gardner in the June 2018 Republican Primary for the nomination for council chairman.

One of the reasons Gardner won the nomination was his motto of “First Responders First” and his promise to take care of the additional needs of public safety departments in upcoming county budgets. It must be noted, Gardner never proposed tax increases to fund additional personnel and pay raises for first responders. Rather, he proposed prioritizing the needs of public safety during the budget process with current revenues and funds.

Over the last five years, Lazarus and council have basically ignored the increasing needs of public safety. After the voters made themselves heard by voting Lazarus out in June, it is all of a sudden a council priority necessitating a special meeting.

Being advisory rather than binding referendums, the results will mean nothing. The resolutions were first proposed by council member Tyler Servant at the June 19, 2018 regular meeting of council.

Servant said he was a strong fiscal conservative Republican who opposed tax increases, but proposed allowing the voters to make the decision. A true, fiscal conservative would first look to current revenues and funds to meet these needs and consider tax increases only after every other option has been considered and discarded.

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County Council’s Phony Tax Referendum

July 10, 2018 1:32 PM
County Council’s Phony Tax Referendum

Horry County Council is expected to have a discussion next week about placing an advisory referendum on the November 2018 general election ballot regarding tax increases for public safety.

The issue was proposed by council member Tyler Servant at last month’s council meeting. Acknowledging the main topic of the primary election which cost council chairman Mark Lazarus nomination to another term in office, Servant said he was opposed to raising taxes but believed the voters should have a say on whether they wanted to pay higher taxes to increase public safety services in the county.

Council members Dennis DiSabato and Cam Crawford jumped on the bandwagon, acknowledging a need for more public safety personnel and facilities in the county but saying the voters should make the decision.

The discussion will be a waste of time as an advisory referendum will not solve the problem of funding for public safety needs. Regardless of how the referendum is worded and what percentage of the vote it may receive, an advisory binds the council to no action and, furthermore, does not provide permission from voters to raise taxes above the limits of Act 388.

The proposal for a discussion and resolution vote to place the advisory referendum on the ballot appears to be an attempt to divert the discussion from various alternatives for public safety funding to a possible tax increase.

Republican chairman nominee Johnny Gardner, who defeated Lazarus in the June primary voting, never mentioned raising taxes while he campaigned on increasing public safety personnel numbers and pay throughout the county.

Gardner said the current 20 ½ minutes average elapsed time it takes from when a 911 call is answered until a first responder arrives on the scene is unacceptable. Gardner pledged to make public safety funding priority one in the budget process.

At times, when extra sources of tax dollars become available, public safety staffing is never on the radar of most council members and county staff.

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County Council Breaks Budget Promise to Treasurer

June 21, 2018 3:32 AM
County Council Breaks Budget Promise to Treasurer

When Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones agreed to drop her lawsuit against Horry County Government last month, there was an unwritten understanding that county council would include funding needs for her department in the budget for the coming fiscal year.

Now that understanding not only remains unwritten, but also remains unpassed.

During its third reading of the Horry County budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19 Tuesday night, council defeated, by a 6-6 vote, an amendment including budget enhancements for the Treasurer’s department. The budget amendment also called for additions in the $40,000 range each for the Clerk of Courts, Veterans Affairs and Voter Registration budgets.

Council member Johnny Vaught introduced the amendment, seconded by council member Harold Worley. Council chairman Mark Lazarus spoke strongly in its favor.

According to discussions of the amendment by council members, Jones identified revenue additions and/or savings in the amount of $123,000 for the coming fiscal year. Her request for budget enhancements would have only cost the county $111,000.

Additionally, one position provided in the enhancements would have gone to collection of the nearly $88 million in unpaid property taxes that are owed to the county.

In other words, the county would have made more money from voting for the enhancements than it saves by not voting for them.

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Changing the Guard in Horry County Republican Politics

March 28, 2016 5:04 AM
Changing the Guard in Horry County Republican Politics

We are seeing a changing of the guard in Republican politics in Horry County. The last election cycle brought some new faces to the fore as some of our older incumbents chose to retire.

That trend is continuing in 2016.

I asked my good friend and former television partner John Bonsignor to help me produce eight thumbnail sketches of some up and coming office holders and candidates in the Republican Party.

The Republican party is beginning to welcome with open arms, into the political arena, young, talented, and desirable new faces to replace their old guard. As many of the elected old timers, having been in office for many years, feel it’s time to move on and give way to the new blood of talented candidates coming up.

Jeff Johnson – completing his first term as representative for SC House District 58, Johnson has consistently supported small government, conservative issues. He is a strong believer in family values and believes the state has an obligation to maintain its existing infrastructure that is so vital to small business.

Heather Ammons Crawford – finishing her second full term as representative for SC House District 68, fiscal responsibility, pro life and second amendment issues are at the top of her goals. Ammons Crawford is also South Carolina National Committeewoman for the Young Republican National Federation engaging young people across the country.

Russell Fry – our newest representative to the SC House, he has served SC House District 106 since winning a special election to fill an unexpired term last fall. Fry’s goals are working for a “prosperous South Carolina for our kids, ensuring they got a good education and a strong foundation.”

Tyler Servant – representing Horry County Council District 5 since January 2015, Servant seeks to bring new and innovative thinking to Horry County Council including waste cutting plans. He looks hard at road improvements needed in District 5 and has been successful in acquiring a federal grant for beach renourishment on the South Strand.

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No Extortion on International Drive

August 18, 2015 9:09 PM
No Extortion on International Drive

Horry County Council gave a resounding NO to the possibility of giving any money to The Nature Conservancy for extra mitigation on International Drive.

The new request came up during a meeting between Horry County officials and representatives from the Coastal Conservation League and the SC Wildlife Federation.

Essentially what was asked for was the county to pay The Nature Conservancy approximately $1.6 million so that agency could purchase land to be used ostensibly for wildlife preservation.

Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus ended the meeting after the new demand was made.

Lazarus reported on the International Drive project during the regular council meeting Tuesday night. He said he wasn’t going to give money from the taxpayers of Horry County to a private nonprofit organization so it could buy land.

It is probably not something that could legally be done either. International Drive is one of the projects paid for by the one cent local option sales tax (Ride II).

Ride II was approved by referendum of county voters in 2006. At that time, each project with the anticipated expenses associated with it was listed in the referendum. The county has already paid for the mitigation credits required by the US Army Corps of Engineers and SCDHEC for the project.

To expend extra dollars just to please conservation groups for land that is neither associated with the project nor required for mitigation certainly seems to be in conflict with state law on capital projects sales tax.

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Russell Fry Wins Nomination in Rout

August 12, 2015 7:30 AM
Russell Fry Wins Nomination in Rout

Russell Fry claimed the SC House District 106 Republican nomination yesterday in a rout over opponent Tyler Servant.

The final vote totals saw Fry with 1,736 votes (59.82%) to Servant’s 1,166 votes (40.18%).

Fry’s name will be the only one on the ballot in the September 15, 2015 special general election for SC House District 106, which makes him a virtual shoo-in to be the newest member of the SC House.

Fry will serve out the remainder of Nelson Hardwick’s unexpired term and be up for re-election in 2016.

Fry thanked the many campaign volunteers who worked through the summer heat to help him win the nomination.

“This is all about the people of District 106,” Fry said in addressing the crowd. “I intend to work hard for them and I truly appreciate the trust they have put in me.”

Fry, who has been very active in the local Republican Party, ran an excellent grassroots campaign in his first attempt at elected office. He nearly doubled his margin of victory over Servant from the first round of primary voting.

Servant’s loss means he will continue as the Horry County Council member for District 5, a seat he has held for only seven months.

Therein lies the problem with the Servant candidacy. It is extremely difficult to go to the voters twice in 12 months asking them to elect you to different offices. It gives the impression that you are in politics for yourself only. Any campaign consultant worth his fee would have discouraged this candidacy.

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SC House District 106 Election Absurdities

August 9, 2015 5:00 AM
SC House District 106 Election Absurdities

The special Republican primary election for SC House District 106 has taken some absurd turns in the past two weeks.

The Republican primary runoff between Russell Fry and Tyler Servant will be held Tuesday August 11, 2015 with the winner gaining the nomination and almost assured election since there will be no other candidates on the ballot.

A Facebook post followed by an attempt to turn this post into a credible story saw Fits News question whether the Confederate flag would play a part in this election.

Susan Chapman claimed to change her preference from Russell Fry to Tyler Servant because Fry said he would have voted to take the flag down while Servant said he would have voted for a referendum on the flag.

Evidently Chapman prefers a candidate who passes the buck to one who can make decisions. I don’t pay any attention to what Chapman says, but, does this mean she no longer supports Lindsey Graham who was also outspoken about the flag coming down?

Then, questions about Servant’s legal residence and his affinity to dodge live forums and questions emerged.
According to a report in the Sun News, Servant claims his residence as a house that has been rented to tourists for 56 days over this tourist season.

Attempting to explain the situation, Servant was quoted in the story as comparing his situation to legislators spending several nights a week in Columbia during the legislative session.

“It’s not an issue” Servant was quoted as saying. “If it was an issue that would make every single legislator in the state of South Carolina have a residency problem since they go to Columbia six months out of the year, every week for two days.”

Oh really – are all the legislators renting out their houses each week while they are gone?

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Cam Crawford Newest Horry County Council Member

August 5, 2015 5:28 AM
Cam Crawford Newest Horry County Council Member

Cam Crawford swept through the special general election for Horry County Council District 6 Tuesday.

Crawford, who was unopposed on the ballot, gathered 240 of the 250 votes cast.

Rumors of a write-in campaign to challenge Crawford did not pan out as only eight write-in votes were cast.

Crawford can now be sworn into office in time to attend the next scheduled Horry County Council meeting on August 18, 2015.

This election brings council back to full strength, at least for the time being.

In other local election news, Republican runoff candidates Russell Fry and Tyler Servant are scheduled to face off in a debate Thursday August 6, 2015.

Fry and Servant will be opposing each other in a special Republican primary runoff election net Tuesday, August 11, 2015, to see who will be the Republican nominee in the SC House District 106 special general election scheduled for September 15, 2015.

Fry led the first round of primary voting last week with 1,152 votes to 851 votes for Servant who finished second. The winner of the runoff election will be the only name on the special general election ballot as there are no Democratic candidates in the race.

The South Strand Republican Club will be hosting tomorrow’s debate. It will be held at the Horry County Recreation Center in the South Strand government complex on Scipio Lane.

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Russell Fry Wins First Round

July 28, 2015 9:30 PM
Russell Fry Wins First Round

Russell Fry won the first round of the special Republican Primary for SC House District 106.

Fry gathered 1,152 votes for 44.88 percent of the votes cast. Tyler Servant, Horry County Council District 5 representative, was second with 851 votes or 33.15 percent. Roy Sprinkle finished in third place with 374 votes, 14.57 percent and Sam Graves had 190 votes for 7.4 percent of the vote.

Fry and Servant will face off in a special primary runoff in two weeks to see who will gain the Republican nomination and only name on the ballot for the September 15, 2015 special general election as the Democrats have no one in the race.

Fry, in his first attempt at elected office, said he was in complete disbelief when the returns started coming in and he was leading in the vast majority of precincts reporting.

“As late as yesterday (Monday), I was talking to people who didn’t know there was a special election,” Fry said. “I consider this a stunning upset in the first round, but the real work begins now.”

For Servant, it is the first time he has finished outside of first place in his short political career. He finished first in the primary voting for Horry County Council District 5 last June and won the runoff. He was unopposed in the general election.

Servant only assumed his county council seat January 1, 2015 and already he is looking to move on. Maybe he is finding out when you ask people to vote for you, they don’t expect you to come back after only seven months in office looking to get elected to something else.

One would think his political consultant and other advisors would have warned Servant that jumping into one race after another, as opportunity appears to present itself, makes it look like he is more interested in himself than the citizens he purports to represent.

We’ll see in two weeks.

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Special Election Voting on the South End

July 27, 2015 6:09 AM
Special Election Voting on the South End

Voters on the south end of Horry County will have special elections at least the next two and probably three Tuesdays.

Beginning tomorrow, voters in House District 106 will get their first crack at selecting a Republican nominee to replace Rep. Nelson Hardwick who resigned in the spring.

Russell Fry, Sam Graves, Dr. Roy Sprinkle and recently elected Horry County Council member for District 5 Tyler Servant will vie for the Republican nomination.

There are no Democrats or third party candidates in the race.

If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one vote from the voters who show up to the polls, a runoff election among the top two vote getters in the House District 106 race will be held Tuesday August 11th.

In between those two dates, the special general election for Horry County Council District 6 will be held Tuesday August 4th.

Republican nominee Cam Crawford will be the only name on the ballot, but we are hearing rumblings of a possible write-in vote campaign in a stop Crawford effort.

Write-in campaigns are difficult in the best of times, but voters who support Crawford should get out to the polls next week.

Voter turnout has been exceptionally low in the special primary summer elections. The District 6 primary saw 7% of eligible voters go to the polls.

Only a few hundred votes are needed to be elected in any of these races.

If you are a supporter of any of the candidates, be sure you make it to the polls. It is this type of low turnout special election where one vote can make a difference.

Our pick for tomorrow?

Fry and Servant will face off in a primary election runoff in two weeks.

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