By Paul Gable
Horry County Council District 7 incumbent James Frazier is the longest consecutive serving member of that elected body.
As such, you would expect Frazier to know and abide by the laws regarding election campaigns. However, that does not seem to be the case.
Section 1005 of the Horry County Zoning Ordinance clearly states that “political or campaign signs may not be placed within a public right of way” and “are allowed no sooner than 45 days before an election.”
The November general election will be held on November 4, 2014. Forty-five days before that election is September 19, 2014.
Furthermore, no type of advertising, including political advertising, is allowed on land owned by Horry County or its agencies.
Yet, Frazier’s political signs, calling for his re-election to the District 7 seat, began being put out for public viewing just after July 4th.
To make these violations even more egregious, some of these signs have found their way onto publicly owned land.
Below is a photo of one such example sign, which is in the public right of way to the Horry County Solid Waste Authority Convenience Center in Toddville, in Frazier’s district. The photo was taken last week.
The HCSWA is a component unit of Horry County government and the convenience centers are operated with over $6 million of Horry County property tax funds.
Through the over 20 years of its existence, the HCSWA has often acted as the lone arbiter of its policies, often in support of special interests, even though it is an agency wholly created by and answerable to Horry County Council.
Since it was created, Frazier has been a strong supporter of HCSWA actions and a vote the authority could count on when needed. He was a strong supporter of solid waste flow control even though that policy caused lost jobs and other serious negative effects on the small business private haulers operating in the county until it was modified early this year with Frazier voting against the amendments.
While Frazier and the HCSWA may not be joined at the hip, they are not far apart.
It appears that the HCSWA is returning years of favorable Frazier votes by allowing him to place his campaign signs on public land more than 45 days before the upcoming election in clear violation of Horry County ordinances.
Larger photo for detail: