By Paul Gable
Horry County Council has received information requested from Coast RTA, Myrtle Beach Economic Development Corporation and Horry County Solid Waste Authority regarding compensation packages for the CEO of each.
Each agency receives public dollar funding from Horry County and how that funding was allocated became an issue at last week’s Horry County Council fall budget workshop.
Actually, the compensation for Coast RTA CEO Myers Rollins was questioned by council member Gary Loftus. When charges of possible racism were leveled over the questions, inquiries were expanded to include MBREDC CEO Brad Lofton and HCSWA CEO Danny Knight.
Base salaries for the CEO of each of the three agencies reporting are: Brad Lofton, MBREDC – $123,624 plus $20,000 bonus; Myers Rollins, Coast RTA – $134,500; Danny Knight, HCSWA – $159,500.
When all perks, such as retirement, medical, car allowance and the like, are included each has annual compensation and benefits in the $180,000 per year neighborhood.
Both Knight and Lofton are funded from Horry County public dollars. Rollins’ compensation is based on a federal transportation cost allowance formula (federal, state and local public funds) with approximately $12,500 coming from Horry County funding.
Those are the basic comparisons.
However, this is Horry County folks. This county is routinely listed last among the 335 largest counties in the country in per capita income.
According to recent statistics, the average male worker in Horry County earns approximately $30,000 per year while the average female worker earns approximately $23,000. Many of those workers have no health insurance or retirement benefits provided by their employers.
Nationwide it is reported that a full 75% of workers live from paycheck to paycheck with no extra for emergencies.
Considering those statistics, is it proper for agencies funded with county tax dollars to compensate their CEO’s at a level six times or more of the average wage in the county?
Is this the best use of county tax dollars? Is it included in providing necessary services to county taxpayers?
Look out for Jason and his Argonauts!