By Paul Gable
Horry County Council District 10 candidate Devon Blackwell secured the support of the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors last week.
Each election cycle, CCAR interviews candidates and announces support with a letter and campaign contribution for various local and state candidates.
CCAR chose Devon Blackwell as the candidate it is supporting in the Horry County Council District 10 Republican Primary.
“I am very proud of being chosen by the association of realtors,” Blackwell said.
Blackwell said District 10 is the largest council district in area in Horry County. He understands the needs of different neighborhoods within the district will differ. He said he will be responsive to all his constituents to meet their needs.
Blackwell supports infrastructure improvements, especially roads and drainage, throughout District 10. He also said he supports reviewing the many regulations on small business to make sure the county is not being hindering the opportunities for small businesses to be successful.
Blackwell said his approach to spending public money will be guided by the question “would you spend your own money for this?”
Blackwell’s opponent in the primary is Danny Hardee, a long time businessman in the Mt. Vernon community in District 10, but who appears to have his primary residence at the Floral Lake subdivision in Surfside Beach, which is not in District 10.
Hardee’s campaign touts his service on the now defunct Horry County Airport Advisory Board and Horry County Solid Waste Authority Board.
His tenure on the Airport Advisory Board coincided with some of the biggest public money wasting decisions in airport history. Hardee was a board member and/or board chairman when the board recommended building the west side passenger terminal, using FAA grant money to purchase snowplows for Myrtle Beach International Airport and bringing AvCraft Support Services to the airport with public money incentives.
The west side terminal project was cancelled as a bad idea after it cost the county approximately $25 million. AvCraft was never a viable business model and, despite successive rent decreases and additional public money incentives ultimately filed for bankruptcy. The snowplows haven’t been needed to plow snow since they were purchased.
Hardee’s tenure on the HCSWA board is most notable for his support of the county’s flow control ordinance which gave the HCSWA a monopoly in waste disposal within Horry County costing jobs in the private business sector while keeping rates artificially high for construction and demolition debris disposal.
There appears to be a distinct difference between candidates Blackwell and Hardee. Blackwell will be conservative with the expense of public dollars while addressing required infrastructure needs of District 10 and the county in general.
Hardee’s track record on county boards is one of supporting unwise spending of public dollars on questionable projects.