Does Myrtle Beach really want to be a family beach for locals and tourists? If it does, Myrtle Beach government must operate for the good of the region, not just for a select few.
When a council meeting is held to a packed house and many speakers call for mass resignations because of “chasing the dollars,” something is wrong
The City Council and mayor are constantly fighting to dispel the image that they only care about the Golden Mile, Burroughs and Chapin, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and a handful of property companies. Their actions do not dispel that perception. Operating a city for the benefit of a few at the expense of the many is a prime reason the region has lost its family-beach feel.
Councilwoman Mary Jeffcoat wants the city to take credit for fast growth in our metro area - even though the city is less than 10 percent of the region.
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The mayor said, “All of Horry County needs to be heard in opposition to drilling.”
County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus says we are all “Team Horry.”
Politicians look at us as a region only when it is convenient. Jeffcoat said to a group of Horry County residents, “If you don’t live in the city, you do not matter to us.”
The mayor told a group of Carolina Forest residents, “I hate Carolina Forest; I wish it was never developed.”
County Council has shown little ability to end cronyism. This cronyism is embedded in the city, county and state government. It must end today.
The recent crime spree in Myrtle Beach is not the cause of the problem. The issues in Myrtle Beach are the result of managing the city as an insular unit for the good of only a few elitists.
How does the city get its family-beach atmosphere back?
1) Divorce itself from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. On June 13, the city handed over about $30 million tax dollars to Brad Dean to be spent, ostensibly, to drive tourists here. There is little oversight and it is questionable if that is the best use of tax dollars. If it was working, there would be no need for a multi-million dollar “It’s Working“ campaign. That money would help the whole region by being poured into public safety. Leave the big property management companies to handle their own advertising. Make Myrtle Beach safe and family friendly, and they will come.
2) Memorial Day must be returned to families. Start the weekend with a parade to honor fallen military. Create a family-friendly festival with vendors, family-friendly entertainment and food along the waterfront area.
3) The entire beach needs to be accessible to everyone, not just the area south of 31st Avenue.
If the politicians can’t or won’t do these three simple steps, change the politicians.
The writer is from Make Myrtle Beaches Free Clean and Safe.