Tag: Select Committee on Coast RTA

Coast RTA Funding from Horry County Intact

After Tuesday’s Horry County Council budget workshop, Coast RTA was still on track to receive $1.055 million in grant funding for next fiscal year from Horry County.

Council member Marion Foxworth presented a synopsis of the findings of the Select Committee on Coast RTA, which council chairman Mark Lazarus appointed and Foxworth chaired.

Foxworth said the Select Committee voted unanimously and was adamant in recommending to continue the county’s commitment to public transportation and the taxpayers who pay for the grant.

Forgery Uncovered in Coast RTA Review

A letter from SCDOT that purportedly removed Coast RTA from being designated as a “High Risk Agency” is apparently a forgery, according to a follow-up letter from SCDOT.

Dated October 11, 2011, the letter, allegedly from SCDOT Deputy Secretary Hart Baker to Coast RTA General Manager Myers Rollins, states, “I have rescinded the letter (designating Coast RTA as High Risk Agency) and removed the Waccamaw Regional Transportation Authority’s designation as a “High Risk Agency”…”

In replying to a request for validation of the October 11, 2011 letter, SCDOT Director of Intermodal and Freight Programs Doug Frate sent a letter to Coast RTA board chairmen Bernie Silverman dated May 2, 2014. The letter said in part, “Please know that I have been informed that this letter was neither signed by or for Mr. Hart Baker, nor did it originate from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT).”

NAACP Head Threatens National Attention on Coast RTA Issues

Abdullah Mustafa, President of the Conway Branch of the NAACP, told Horry County Council he planned to bring “national attention” to events regarding the Select Committee on Coast RTA and the firing of former Coast RTA general manager Myers Rollins.

Mustafa addressed Horry County Council during public input at its regular meeting of May 6, 2014. Mustafa claimed he was addressing council “on behalf of the citizens who cannot speak for themselves”, namely the riders of Coast RTA. But, he didn’t.

Instead, Mustafa challenged the right of county council chairman Mark Lazarus to form a Select Committee to study the failure of two projects at Coast RTA and to make a recommendation on continued funding of the bus agency.

Select Committee Recommends Continued Funding of Coast RTA

The Select Committee on Coast RTA voted unanimously to recommend to county council that funding of the bus agency be continued with additional controls.

That decision was made at the committee’s fourth and final meeting Monday night. The recommendation was adopted by committee members along with 20 findings of fact about the failed shelter project and suspended intermodal center project.

Failure, especially of the shelter project, falls predominantly on poor program management at Coast RTA with some blame also attributed to the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study (GSATS) and SCDOT, according to the findings.

SNAFU on HCSWA Board Appointment

After seeing notice of a proposed nominee to the Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) Board of Directors, it appears that everything is back to normal on Hwy 90.

As we have recently seen with Coast RTA, oversight is the single most important function that an appointed board should exercise over the public agency it is associated with.

Otherwise, you can wind up owing hundreds of thousands of public dollars to state and federal agencies because of poor program management leading to failed projects.
To be fair, in the case of the HCSWA, it is much more the wasting of millions of public dollars on lobbyists, attorneys and public relations firms because the board fails to say no to wasteful management recommendations.