Newcomer, veteran get top votes in Surfside Beach

akelley@thesunnews.comApril 8, 2014 

  • Surfside Beach Town Council

    Bob Childs | 392

    Keith Dame | 104

    Sandra Elliott | 162

    Carrie Johnson | 84

    Beth Kohlmann | 270

    Ralph Magliette | 298

    David Pellegrino | 412

    Rod Smith | 165

    Sammy Truett | 278

— A political newcomer and a former councilman will be joining Surfside Beach Town Council, though a runoff is expected to determine the third council member after Tuesday’s election.

David Pellegrino, who owns the Cold Stone Creamery with two locations in Myrtle Beach, had the most votes in Tuesday’s election with 412 and Bob Childs followed with 392 votes, based on preliminary results.

A runoff will be held between Ralph Magliette with 298 votes and Sammy Truett, with 278, pending certification of the votes, which are unofficial until a certification hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday in Council Chambers at Town Hall. The runoff would be April 22.

Winners will be sworn in on May 13, and each will serve four-year terms.

Childs said he is looking forward to serving the people again and working with the mayor and council. He said one of the main concerns he spoke to voters about during the campaign was the parking meters.

“We’ve got to revisit the meters and do something about them,” he said late Tuesday.

Pellegrino said he was confident in his campaign, but surprised by the results.

“I had a good feeling, but by no means did I think I was going to have the most votes,” he said.

Pellegrino said he thinks his positivity throughout the campaign and the suggestion that the town develop a clear and detailed plan for the future put him ahead of the other candidates.

“I talked a lot about having a true vision for the town … so that we can establish the right priorities,” he said . “I really think that is something that is missing and needs to be focused on.”

He hopes that vision includes stabilizing the town’s finances and rebuilding a fund for beach renourishment and reserves for emergencies like a natural disaster.

Magliette said he will spend the next fortnight hitting the streets and knocking on doors preaching the need for “loving kindness.”

Truett, who previously served on Town Council for 10 years, said the attitude in town and on council in his last tenure was different.

“We had a positive attitude and we were getting things done,” he said. “It seems like now we are getting bogged down on things like parking meters, and docks and the pier and not focusing on the bigger picture.”

About 700 voters turned out Tuesday with another 26 absentee ballots, said Judy Tuttle, chair of the town’s municipal election commission. She said there are about 3,100 registered voters in the town. Tuttle said it was a slow start to the day, likely because of the rain, but grew more steady in the afternoon.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.

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