By Paul Gable
It must be the water at Pinopolis because the City of Myrtle Beach budget retreat provided plenty of unusual highlights this year.
From $125 per year library cards to major surgical procedures under the city healthcare plan being shipped off to Costa Rica to the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation having a new secret plan for the pavilion site, the budget retreat had its moments.
Police Chief Warren Gall actually admitted that his force of caped crusaders does not do as effective a job of policing the south end of the city as it does the city’s north end. For anybody familiar with the city and its politics, that’s not news. In fact it’s quite obvious.
But for Gall it was evidently a revelation. Later in the week he was reportedly heard saying water is wet and the sky is blue proving that after over 30 years at MBPD, Gall is becoming well versed on the obvious.
If you find your favorite city employees missing for a few weeks, don’t panic, they probably just had to be shipped off to Costa Rica to have some surgical procedure under the city’s new cost saving measures in its healthcare plan.
Actually this is not as strange as it sounds. HMO’s and even some private insurance plans have been shipping patients off to foreign climes for major surgeries for a while. Heart surgery that costs upwards of $100,000 in the U.S. can be done for $10,000 in India. Makes it a little difficult for the family to visit, but everything in life has obstacles to overcome.
The U.S. has shipped off its manufacturing base to foreign countries over the last 30 years, why not healthcare? It’s not the Republicans that will be the demise of Obamacare, it will be India, China and Costa Rica.
As for Chapin Memorial Library, it is probably gone as we know it. Sounds like it’s either the $125 per person per year fee or turn off the lights, lock the doors and hand the keys to the county if it wants them. It’s a county function to run public libraries in South Carolina and the city has grown tired of running a library.
As for the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation’s new plan, it would be a first. Now in its 14th year of existence, the DRC is notable only for its lack of accomplishment. The only thing it is notable for is attempting to get rates on the city’s parking meters raised every year. The DRC is basically funded from revenue from the parking meters. And, Oh Yes, there was Barry Landreth.
The budget isn’t final yet and some of this stuff may go away, now that city council is no longer drinking the water in Pinopolis, but, the budget retreat did have its share of memorable moments.
The city that gave us “Myrtle Manor” just keeps giving.