Further Council Scrutiny of HCSWA Needed

By Paul Gable

It is time for Horry County Council to bring the Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) more into line with the actual status of that agency.

Over the past six months, council has taken some good first steps toward establishing more control over its maverick authority on Hwy 90.

But, the work is not done.

Council eliminated the bogus flow control monopoly the HCSWA exercised over all waste generated within the county by eliminating construction and demolition debris from its purview.

A new county ordinance establishing the procedure for dissolution of the HCSWA was passed. But, it can’t end there.

For over a year now, the HCSWA has been holding back on submitting by-law changes to Horry County Council for approval. Those changes are more urgent than ever since the current HCSWA bylaws do not conform to county ordinance with respect to dissolving the HCSWA and the distribution of its assets.

The HCSWA is an agency that is totally dependent on public dollars for its entire revenue while trying to maintain the myth of its independence.

Only last year, an email from HCSWA board chairman Rev. James Cokley to fellow board members stated, “It is not our obligation nor responsibility to ensure that the desires of others, including those desires of individual members of Horry County Council, be met or instituted unless our bylaws are judicially ruled against the bylaws of Horry County Council. Anyone who sits on a Board for an agency ought be able to be entrusted to do what is best for that particular agency over and against what others on the outside looking in may desire…”

The arrogance and ignorance displayed in that communication demonstrates all that is needed to require more council scrutiny.

Much as the HCSWA board and senior staff like to think it is an independent agency, it is not.

The board members of the HCSWA are appointed by vote of county council and serve at the pleasure of county council.

The bylaws that supposedly guide the HCSWA board are flawed and out of date.

It is time for county council to demand those bylaws be changed to accurately reflect the true status of the HCSWA – merely a county department in another form.

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