The HCSWA board voted 5-2 to recommend to Horry County Council to vote to remove Dan Gray from the board.
As I’ve said before, this is one of the most arrogant decisions made by a public body in the 32 years I have been living in Horry County.
The five board members who voted yay – Lance Thompson, Pam Creech, Norfleet Jones, Mike Campbell and Sam Graves should be ashamed of themselves and they should immediately resign from the board.
By Paul Gable
Another discussion to recommend removal of HCSWA board member Dan Gray is listed on the agenda for the Thursday December 10, 2015 solid waste authority board meeting.
An attempt to force such a vote was unsuccessful at the November 24, 2015 meeting of the HCSWA board. The board voted unanimously to defer the issue.
It does not appear that a vote Thursday night will garner the necessary super-majority margin of board members for the recommendation to pass.
However, even if it does, the vote by the HCSWA board only serves as a recommendation to Horry County Council to vote on the issue.
In the case of Mr. Gray, there is an added level of consideration as he is a nominee of the League of Cities to the HCSWA board.
The HCSWA board is comprised of seven members. Four of those members are nominated by Horry County Council. Three of the members are nominated by the League of Cities. All seven members of the HCSWA board are appointed by vote of Horry County Council.
According to several Horry County Council members I have spoken with, there will be no vote by council on the issue unless the League of Cities supports the HCSWA board vote.
According to Aynor mayor and League of Cities chairman, Keb Johnson, the League of Cities remains solidly behind Dan Gray remaining on the HCSWA board.
Therefore, it appears the HCSWA board discussion Thursday night is a waste of time. Even if a super-majority of board members vote to recommend removing Gray from the board, it appears this will nothing more than an attempt to publicly humiliate him because the League of Cities will not support the HCSWA board decision.
Maybe that’s the way the HCSWA board spreads Christmas cheer. Where are the ghosts of Christmas when you need them?
HCSWA board members who are behind this effort to remove Gray are, reportedly, acting in response to the content of a number of emails Gray has sent during his four year tenure on the HCSWA board.
One comment about these emails is “significant harm has been done to allowing our organization to be as successful, productive and efficient as possible.”
I would disagree. Mr. Gray is allowed to say whatever he wants within the limited constraints of the 1st Amendment. As his comments refer to political decisions concerning the expenditure of public money, those constraints are few and Mr. Gray has certainly not exceeded 1st Amendment liberties.
As to the success, productivity and efficiency of the HCSWA, three of the board members behind this effort to remove Gray supported the expenditure of over $1 million public dollars for a lobbyist to advocate keeping flow control in place at the state and county levels.
(More millions were spent on attorneys and a public relations firm to support these efforts.)
Ultimately, Horry County Council voted to amend the county flow control ordinance to allow construction and demolition debris to leave the county.
The HCSWA board was not in tune with a majority of Horry County Council members regarding that decision.
If success, productivity and efficiency are what the HCSWA board is striving for, I would suggest those board members who supported these lavish expenditures of public money should immediately resign their positions on the board.
The issue of Mr. Gray’s emails is nothing more than a ‘tempest in a teapot’ by comparison.