Myrtle Beach City Council holds 2.5-hour closed meeting on security plans

Myrtle Beach City Council met in a closed session for more than two hours during a Tuesday morning workshop, citing developing security measures related to Memorial Day weekend violence among other topics of discussion.

Council members went into closed session around 11:35 a.m. and adjourned around 1:55 p.m., just in time to make it to their 2 p.m. council meeting.

Police Chief Warren Gall was called into the room for discussion about a Memorial Day weekend safety plan. Three people died and seven others were injured in eight confirmed shootings Memorial Day weekend along Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach.

City Council cited a rule in state law that allows public bodies to discuss development of security personnel or devices in closed session.

The Coastal Alliance has called for the formation of two task forces – one of law enforcement professionals and one of attorneys – to come up with a county-wide safety plan for Memorial Day weekend.

Before the executive session, Gall said he has not been informed of any task force meetings, but the city already is considering steps to ensure safety next year.

Some council members said they would not disclose what was discussed during the executive session other than putting together a safety plan to deal with the overflow from Atlantic Beach Bikefest, which occurs Memorial Day weekend.

Other topics cited for discussion included a contractual agreement with a management firm for Whispering Pines Golf Course, a contractual agreement with the Downtown Redevelopment Corp., and discussion about the replacement of city manager Tom Leath later this year. Leath and other city staff members were not in the room for discussion about the city manager search.

According to S.C. law, a public body may also meet in closed session to discuss personnel issues, contractual arrangements, receive legal advice, for proceedings regarding criminal allegations, and matters relating to the location or expansion of industries or other businesses.