By Paul Gable
The HCSWA (Horry County Solid Waste Authority) Board of Directors spent several hours Thursday in a workshop to finalize changes to the agency’s bylaws.
One topic of discussion was how the dissolution of the authority will be handled, if it occurs. Actually, it’s not the board’s call.
Don’t you remember that county council recently passed an ordinance covering just that very situation?
The board continues to worry about how to get rid of a board member that it doesn’t like. Not your job folks – you don’t appoint them, you don’t dismiss them and you don’t really have any say in the process regardless of what you think.
Part of this confusion is the fault of Horry County Council. It created this vague entity as a “public nonprofit” and allowed it for many years to view itself as public when it benefits the HCSWA (such as not filing an IRS Form 990) and private when it comes to accountability to the public (such as over $1 million paid in lobbying fees over a two year period).
If you want to know just how “private” the HCSWA is, you have to go no further than what happens in the case of environmental damage caused by the landfill.
Private landfills have to post a cash bond or provide an insurance policy against such an event. In the case of the HCSWA, the “full faith and credit” of Horry County – our tax dollars – guarantee cleanup.
Virtually all the revenue of the HCSWA comes from taxpayers – county millage for unincorporated area residents and city fees for city residents.
All of the HCSWA employees are covered under the state health and retirement plans – more tax dollars at risk.
It’s time for Horry County Council to end the confusion at HCSWA headquarters on Hwy 90. Rather than listing the HCSWA as a component unit of Horry County Government, take it back in as a department under the Infrastructure and Regulation Division.
Stop allowing this board to think it is in control of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Make it an advisory board, which should remove any thought that it is independent from Horry County Council, and let all the decisions rest with the staff and elected representatives of Horry County Government where they belong.