By Paul Gable
Filing for candidacy does not open until Monday, but incumbent county council member for District 6. Cam Crawford, has already ratcheted up posturing of alleged actions to help his constituents.
Known for rarely speaking on any topic during council discussions, Crawford recently posted on his reelection Facebook page about his “primary flood mitigation objectives” and the “talks” he allegedly has ongoing with “relevant officials” about possible construction of a dam on the Pee Dee River to generate electricity and help mitigate flooding.
Sounds impressive until you drill down into the statements a bit.
Crawford’s grand plan to mitigate flooding is to apply county stormwater requirements to developments of 10 units or less. They already apply to larger development sub-divisions.
County council is asked to approve rezoning on very few sub-divisions of the 10 unit or less size. According to sources familiar with these requests, most fall into the category of family land being sub-divided so children can own the property on which they intend to build a house.
Stormwater runoff from large sub-divisions is a problem in the county but requiring stormwater mitigation for John Doe’s son or daughter to build a house on a couple of acres of land they are being given is not going to solve it.
The engineers and developers involved in large sub-divisions are among Crawford’s campaign chest donors so applying more restrictions to them is apparently out of the question. Pick on the little guy.
As for the dam, the river flows in generally flat land much of it outside of Horry County. Technically, the height of the dam and size of the reservoir needed to generate enough water pressure to turn the turbines to generate enough electricity to make this a viable project is probably nothing more than a fanciful concept.
If a dam is being seriously discussed, I urge Crawford to share the content of these conversations he supposedly has had with full council, from the dais, during a regularly scheduled meeting.
For the year 2019, Crawford was a member of the county Infrastructure and Regulation Committee. Nothing in minutes of these meetings indicates Crawford introduced any of these initiatives to the committee, nor do council members who served on the committee at the same time recall ever hearing Crawford discussing the initiatives he spoke about on Facebook.
Additionally, the Facebook post complained that New Business had recently been eliminated from full council agenda so he can’t bring up items like this to council. However, it was an agenda item during 2019 and Crawford was, typically, silent.
Another recent Facebook post by Crawford included a video announcing how “proud” he was to vote in favor of “this resolution” making Horry County a sanctuary county for the 2nd Amendment. The “resolution” he spoke about was actually 2nd Reading of a county ordinance to make Horry County a sanctuary county for the 2nd Amendment. As a five year council member, Crawford should by now understand the difference between a resolution and an ordinance and know what he voted on when bragging about his support.
Another interesting fact about the 2nd Amendment sanctuary ordinance is that Chad Caton was instrumental in bringing the idea for the ordinance to council members and strongly supports its passage. Caton is the same individual Crawford’s wife called a “thug” when she was running the unsuccessful re-election campaign for Mark Lazarus in 2018.
As for bringing ideas to council, it was Crawford’s opponent, Jeremy Halpin, who first suggested the establishment of a special committee to consider the causes and possible solutions for mitigating flooding to council Chairman Johnny Gardner.
Gardner liked the idea and appointed such a committee, which will hold its first meeting shortly. I would expect Crawford to be at these committee meetings sharing everything he has been working on to mitigate flooding for consideration by committee members.
Unfortunately, from what I have seen of his Facebook posts, there is little of real consequence for Crawford to discuss.
H. L. Mencken once said, “For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong!” These are the types of answers Crawford seems to be posting about.