Overseeing Horry County Department of Airports

By Paul Gable

Oversight of the Horry County Department of Airports may change based on an ordinance that will be considered by the county’s Administration Committee.

The ordinance, if approved by Horry County Council, would eliminate the Horry County Airport Advisory Board.

The Airport Advisory Board is appointed by Horry County Council. It meets once a month to provide input and recommendations to council about airport matters.

In the past, the Airport Advisory Board has been a rubber stamp for airport staff and Horry County Council, especially on issues like new terminals at Myrtle Beach International Airport. Frankly, it failed to perform its advisory oversight mission.

More recently, however, it was questions by several board members that led to not tearing down portions of the old terminal complex at the airport.

From past experience of covering advisory board meetings, I can see arguments on both sides of this issue.

But, especially with the airports, history tells us that more oversight of airport staff, not less, is desirable. Independent viewpoints outside the Horry County organizational chart are a good thing.

Another issue for the Administration Committee to consider at its regular meeting Thursday April 30, 2015, is the Coast RTA budget as well as the introduction of the proposed new Coast RTA general manager to the committee.

The Administration Committee recommendation on the Coast RTA budget will not be a complete indicator of how council will view funding Coast RTA next fiscal year. Most opposition council members are not members of the Administration Committee.

However, time is drawing short for the next budget and Coast RTA must begin building support for its funding if it hopes to be included in the county’s Fiscal Year 2015-16 budget.


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