By Paul Gable
As public interviews loom for candidates for the permanent administrator position for Horry County, I sense a hint of panic in those council members who are pushing Steve Gosnell for administrator because they want to maintain the status quo.
They are the same council members who attempted to circumvent the administrator selection process before it began.
They are the same council members who stumped unsuccessfully to keep former council chairman Mark Lazarus in office.
They are many of the same council members who tried to excuse away the actions of former administrator Chris Eldridge and county attorney Arrigo Carotti when that pair concocted their fictitious story alleging wrongdoing on the part of new chairman Johnny Gardner.
These are members who try to get you to believe that ‘up’ is actually ‘down’, ‘stop’ is actually ‘go’ and ‘orange’ is actually ‘purple’.
Or, put another way, insist building I-73 is necessary while roads that have flooded in three of the last four years are ignored; new developments are okay even though infrastructure and public safety needs are lacking for development the county already has in place and planning future spending of tens of millions of dollars to continue to bury trash in the county is better than looking for reasonable alternatives.
These are the same council members who are afraid of change because it may upset their own personal, selfish agendas.
In the last few days they have found several shills to do their bidding on social media with one media outlet publishing an article claiming transparency in the selection process is a bad thing and a person in love with social media videos flip flopping positions on Gosnell based on false information.
All of the above is to be expected. Politics in Horry County is generally a full contact sport. If you’re not willing to figuratively shed a little blood, don’t get in the arena.
But, does any of this serve the citizens of the county? I contend not. It’s really just a modern case of ‘Nero fiddling while Rome burns.’
The county faces challenges, which may have become considerably more problematic with the recent drubbing the county took on the hospitality fee lawsuit. It was many of these same council members blindly following the lead of the former chairman, former administrator, attorney and other members of senior staff who confidently, and incorrectly, claimed removing the sunset clause from the hospitality fee ordinance posed no problem.
These are the many of the same council members who now push Gosnell without even the willingness to listen to what the other four candidates may bring to the table to benefit the county.
Change threatens them. Transparency threatens them. They believe Gosnell is their only chance to keep their personal, selfish agendas in place.