Tag: election

Myrtle Beach’s Unequal Application of Law

One thing that has become consistent in the City of Myrtle Beach over recent years is the law will be applied inconsistently. It’s not what you do, it’s who you are that matters.

The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution guarantee due process and equal application of the law to both federal and state jurisdictions.

But not in Myrtle Beach!

The city is currently being sued by business owners in the city for violating the owners’ rights guaranteed by the Constitution and those amendments with what the city calls its Entertainment Overlay District.

Inside that district, businesses are prohibited from selling legal products such as CBD oils and Vape accessories with the threat of having their business licenses revoked and the business being closed down.

Those same products are sold in other areas of the city without any restriction or harassment by city officials.

Most, if not all, of these businesses are beachwear stores owned by Jewish businessmen, which brings in other issues to the lawsuit in the form of violations of the Civil Rights Act and discrimination.

City officials have said these restrictions were put in place by city ordinance in an effort to make the district “family friendly” – the city’s favorite buzzword.

However, there have recently been three raids on two hotels within the same district for the sale of illegal drugs on the properties, you know heroin, cocaine and those types of drugs, with no threat to business licenses.

There is no indication that the owners or operators of those hotels were involved in the illegal activity, but that hasn’t stopped the city from closing down businesses as “nuisances” for similar activity in the past – Natalia’s Bar and Grill in the Superblock area comes quickly to mind.

Natalia’s was closed down by the city in December 2016 as a nuisance for activities such as drug sales that occurred outside the building but in the near vicinity. One month later, the city owned the property.

Gardner Wins Council Chairman Race – UPDATED

UPDATE – After counting provisional and challenge ballots, the results of the election for Horry County Council Chairman were certified as Gardner 12,358 votes, Lazarus 12,160. An automatic recount will be held Friday June 15th at 10:30 a.m., but it is expected that there will be little, if any, change in the above results.

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Challenger Johnny Gardner defeated incumbent Mark Lazarus by 196 votes for the Republican nomination for Horry County Council Chairman.

As no Democrat filed for the seat, Gardner’s victory in the November 2018 general election is a virtual lock.

Election night results showed a count of 12,252 for Gardner to 12,058 for Lazarus a lead of 194 votes. There were problems with closing of eight election machines on election night, which had to wait until Wednesday afternoon to be counted.

According to Sandy Martin, Director of Voter Registration and Elections for Horry County, an additional 100 votes were counted from the eight machines. When all were counted, Gardner gained two votes to his victory margin. Since the margin of victory falls within one percent of the total vote, an automatic recount will be conducted in accordance with state law.

The election results will be certified by the Horry County Election Commission at 10:00 a.m. Thursday June 14, 2018.

Lazarus will have until noon Wednesday June 20, 2018 to file an appeal of the certification. However, there do not appear to be any reasonable grounds to base an appeal that would need to show the 196 vote margin could be overcome.

Gardner’s victory is considered a big upset by many political pundits in the area. Several compared it to former Congressman John Jenrette’s victory over 17 term incumbent John McMillan in the 1972 Democratic Primary for the, then, S.C. 6th Congressional District nomination.

Roddy Dickinson Retiring from Treasurer’s Post

In the final year of his third term as Horry County Treasurer, Roddy Dickinson announced recently that he would not be seeking a fourth term in office.

“I could not commit to spending another full four year term in office and I’m not going to run for office and quit halfway through,” said Dickinson. “It’s time for me to move on.”

When he completes his 12th and final year as Treasurer at the end of December 2016, Dickinson will have a total of 32 years of service with Horry County Government.

“My first 15 years were with the Finance Office,” said Dickinson. “I moved to the Treasurer’s office when Johnnie Allen was Treasurer. When Allen retired, he supported me in my bid to succeed him.”

The Treasurer’s office has responsibility for collecting current and delinquent property taxes; has oversight over accommodations and hospitality tax collections in the county; is responsible for delinquent tax sale of property and invests revenue for Horry County, Horry County Schools, Horry County Department of Airports and Horry County Solid Waste Authority.

During his time in office, the population of Horry County grew by approximately 100,000 placing demands on the office as a significant amount of new residential property was added to the tax rolls.

“The Treasurer’s job was probably the biggest challenge of my life,” said Dickinson. “We went through a significant explosion of technology since I first took office in 2005 and have added services to the public while keeping staff positions steady.”

Dickinson also steered the office through the difficult period of economic recession caused by the burst of the national housing bubble and succeeding banking crisis in 2008.