By Paul Gable
Johnny Gardner, a candidate for Horry County Council Chairman in the upcoming June 12, 2018 Republican Primary, has received the endorsement of his campaign from the Horry County Professional Firefighter Local 4345 of the International Association of Firefighters.
Robert Mullaney, President of Local 4345 IAAF told GSD, “We are happily endorsing Mr. Gardner and looking forward to helping Horry County and making fire rescue the place people want to work for again because of outstanding leadership.”
Mullaney has been critical in local media of the pay raise and shifting around of personnel proposed for firefighters and EMS personnel with next fiscal year’s county budget. The new fiscal year begins July 1, 2018.
Mullaney called the proposal a “band aid” that does not deal with the underlying problems in the department.
“I am humbled to have received endorsement from Horry County Professional Firefighters Local 4345,” said Gardner. “Their endorsement is indicative of the change in county government being sought by working citizens. Horry County is a great place to live and work and I want to make sure it stays that way for all of our citizens.”
“With this being National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, I want to ensure not only our public safety employees but also all county government employees and the citizens they serve that the lines of communication will always remain open between them and the county chairman, if I am elected,” Gardner continued. “I promise to listen and hear what is being said rather than spend my time talking at them.”
Gardner is a native of Conway, a graduate of Coastal Carolina University and the University of South Carolina School of Law, a U.S. Army veteran having served as a Captain in the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division and the founder of Johnny Gardner Law, P.A.
In the short time since he has filed his candidacy, Gardner said he realizes there is a large disconnect between county employees and county leadership.
Gardner said one of the most important functions he performs as an attorney is negotiation. He intends to bring this skill to the job of county chairman as he works through the many issues facing Horry County Government.
“In honest negotiations, you never get everything you want, but you can reach a fair compromise for all if everyone negotiates in good faith,” Gardner said.
There is no question that Gardner entered this race as the underdog. He will probably not get the support of the power structure in the county, i.e. Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Strand Business Alliance, developers and the like, all of whom have consistently supported Lazarus through the years.
Gardner said he became a lawyer because he wanted to attempt to make a difference for the average citizens in the county who he perceived were often treated unfairly. He intends to bring the same attempt to the chairman’s race to make a difference for the average employees and citizens of the county.