By Paul Gable
Horry County Council will consider third reading of the new adult entertainment ordinances Tuesday night.
Expect the ordinances to pass by a fairly wide margin.
By passing the new ordinances, all strip clubs and adult bookstores/novelty shops in the unincorporated areas of the county will be out of compliance and subject to closure.
Does this mean the end of strip clubs and adult retail businesses in the county area? NO!
The only thing council will accomplish with the passage of these two ordinances is to commit hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to attorneys, specifically Scott Bergthold, the Tennessee consultant attorney the county has brought on board to fight the inevitable court battles that will result.
Already, the county has spent over $37,000 with Bergthold and that’s a drop in the bucket of what it will ultimately cost the county.
And in the end, strip clubs and adult retail stores will still be open in the unincorporated areas, although maybe in new areas like the U.S. 501 corridor through the Carolina Forest area.
But hey, it’s not council’s money. It’s only tax dollars!
I have a recommendation. If this is such a great idea, let council put its money where its votes are. Council members earn $15,000 per year in salary and the chairman earns $25,000. Let the first $190,000 spent on this mess come out of council salaries (11@$15,000 and 1@$25,000).
If council members are going to vote for something that is expected to cost the county considerable money in legal fees, let them have a little skin in the game.
Because it is a game, played by attorneys for high stakes, that ultimately will make no difference on the adult entertainment industry.