By Paul Gable
Two campaign events this week highlight how bizarre the current election season in Myrtle Beach politics has become.
An open candidate forum on Sunday October 15th has been scheduled over a month. The event is open to all candidates for the upcoming city elections.
It will be held at the Myrtle Beach Recreation Center at Market Commons. City council candidates will be up first beginning at 2:30 p.m. with mayoral candidates following at 4 p.m.
As has been the trend throughout the fall campaign, incumbent mayor John Rhodes and incumbent council members Randal Wallace and Mike Lowder have indicated they will not participate in the above mentioned event.
Instead, Rhodes, Wallace and Lowder have scheduled a closed campaign event at the same venue on Thursday October 12th. The event will be by invitation only and is limited to Market Common residents.
In this instance, we have three incumbents seeking re-election holding a campaign event on city property and limiting that event to only certain residents in the city.
You may ask why the incumbents didn’t join the challengers in a candidate forum open to all city residents at the same location only three days later?
The answer that comes to mind is that the incumbents, Rhodes, Wallace and Lowder, who are seeking re-election on November 7th, are apparently afraid to speak to voters except in circumstances totally controlled by themselves.
How bizarre is that?
In the atmosphere that surrounds city elections this year, the bizarre has become quite normal.
However, with Myrtle Beach facing rising crime, plunging tourism numbers, an apparent Ponzi scheme by Chinese investors who were billed as saviors to the golf market only a short time ago and the demonstrated willingness of current council members to seize private property for unspecified “public purposes”, I guess you can’t blame the incumbents.
The same old, tired utterances from the incumbents will inevitably highlight the Thursday event. For views on real changes needed in Myrtle Beach for the city to become alive and thriving again, plan to attend Sunday’s event.
You are probably not invited to the Thursday night event anyway.