By Paul Gable
Last week former county council chairman and current candidate Liz Gilland used the flow control monopoly Horry County Solid Waste Authority as an example of how she fights the good ole boys.
However, in choosing to use the authority, Gilland forgot much of her history with the flow control agency.
Gilland spoke of how she worked hard to clean up the SWA in her first eight years on council, including introducing an ordinance to disband the authority.
Her friend, then county administrator Linda Angus, had learned the Authority was hoarding millions of taxpayer dollars, using it in a high-handed manor.
An example Gilland used was purchasing land, from the family of the SWA board chairman at that time, with no independent appraisal and in only a few weeks’ time from start to finish, while the former owner took back a 100 ft. perpetual easement through the property to a sub-division development.
Why? To block plans of one of the private haulers to haul trash out of the county to the Lee County landfill. Over a decade later, the land continues to sit empty and attempts by the SWA to sell it have been unsuccessful.
But, the land served its purpose and public dollars were used to purchase it, so who cares?
Then, Angus was fired, Gilland was elected council chairman and was invited to an out of state SWA board retreat. While at the retreat, Gilland experienced some kind of ‘epiphany’ and from that point forward she worked hard to help the SWA establish a flow control monopoly over solid waste disposal in the county to assure millions of dollars would continue to pour into the SWA’s coffers.
True, the makeup of the board had changed, but the philosophy of the organization remained the same – keep the flow of public dollars running to the SWA.
During the current campaign, Gilland has said she will enthusiastically support the county’s plans to sue state government if the General Assembly outlaws flow control. Why not, it’s only public dollars!
With its monopoly government power, the SWA has driven small, private hauling and recycling operations to the brink of extermination while it now considers how to get into the hauling business in a big way. Reportedly, franchising agreements and contracts with preferred haulers, as well as increased tipping fees and property taxes are being considered.
It’s all about the money and money interests control politics in this county to the detriment of average citizens, whether you want to believe it or not.