Based on his actions over the past six days, it appears Horry County Council member Harold Worley is attempting to lead an insurrection against new council chairman Johnny Gardner.
It began last Friday when Worley appeared determined to avoid having council discuss recent actions by County Administrator Chris Eldridge designed to smear Gardner before he had even assumed office.
This included an interpretation by County Attorney Arrigo Carotti of state law regarding requirements for removing the administrator that three attorneys I have consulted say was a complete misinterpretation of the law.
According to an email chain provided to GSD, Worley has succeeded in enlisting four additional council members, Tyler Servant, Cam Crawford, Bill Howard and Gary Loftus into what I will call the Gang of Five in a new attempt aimed at embarrassing and marginalizing the new chairman.
Those same four supported Worley’s antics last Friday to suppress discussion of the administrator’s actions in embarrassing the county.
This new attempt regards a change in seating arrangement on the council dais that Gardner has called for. The arrangement is numerical which Gardner believes will make it easier for meeting attendees and home viewers to identify their particular district member.
On the surface, this looks like a completely ridiculous division to have.
With the real problems in the county, public safety shortages, infrastructure, storm water and so on, the most pressing issue to five council members is where they sit on the dais?
But is it really about where members sit?
I have been told by business people in the county since last Friday that the Dunes Club Crowd is not happy with Gardner in the chairman’s seat. Worley has long positioned himself as a champion of the people against that crowd, but I wonder.
What is most interesting here is the Gang of Five all represent council districts totally or substantially east of the waterway and all five live east of the waterway.