Changing Dynamics on Horry County Council

By Paul Gable

Changing dynamics among members of Horry County Council could have important impacts in the next several months on several important issues.

Nothing in politics happens in a vacuum and the recent vote on a resolution regarding Huffman Helicopters is expected to have some effects on issues such as adult entertainment, the Horry County Solid Waste Authority and possibly Coast RTA.

The proposed adult entertainment ordinance will be first up with a meeting of a special Ad Hoc Committee to discuss the issue. The meeting will take place August 1 with more than the six council members appointed to the committee expected to attend.

At that meeting, county staff will present its case for a new, strict ordinance governing all adult entertainment establishments, including strip clubs, adult bookstores, adult novelty stores and, possibly, swingers clubs. Yes, they are all currently operating in and around our family friendly resort area.

If county staff makes a convincing case, it is now expected the ordinance will successfully receive public review and second reading, making the path to its adoption all downhill from there. Several weeks ago, this didn’t seem to be the case, but there’s those changing dynamics for you.

The SWA will need approval to changes in its bylaws shortly. Currently, they are little measures, but it’s hard to see council allowing so much decision making power to remain with the SWA board, especially when it is requesting more of a direct voice on the Coast RTA board.

Look for actions such as dissolving the authority and disbursing its assets, if applicable, to require council votes, rather than residing within the purview of the SWA board as they do now. After all, this is an agency that is currently claiming to the IRS that it is a unit of county government.

Who other than county government should make those types of decisions, especially about assets well in excess of the $37 million the authority has in the bank?

What, at one time, may have been considered traditional voting alliances among council members on these issues appear to now be in flux with some surprising votes probable to occur in the next several months.


Leave a Comment