Surfside Beach elections come to a close with mixed results for incumbents

Surfside Beach town elections came to a close Tuesday night, as seven candidates battled for three open seats.

Now, incumbent David Pellegrino, Bruce Dietrich and write-in Debbie Scoles will sit on the Surfside Beach Town Council until May 10, 2022. The term begins May 8.

The candidates running included Carol Cook, incumbent Tim Courtney, Deitrich, Pellegrino, Scoles, MaryNell True and Cabell Young.

Current councilwoman Julie Samples did not run for reelection.

After the votes were tallied, Pellegrino got 389 votes, Dietrich got 354 votes and Scoles received 274 votes.

Courtney came in closely behind Scoles, receiving 261 votes.

The issues

One of the major election issues this year was rebuilding the iconic Surfside pier.

However, in early March, the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted the town nearly $10 million to rebuild the pier after it was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

By the end of March, council had already picked a design for the pier, which consists of three single-story buildings on a new concrete pier.

"The number one is the budget, which includes the pier," Pellegrino said. "The biggest thing moving forward will be pier reconstruction."

Scoles said, "I'm really glad the present council made a decision to move forward with one-story buildings on the pier, but to build it with enough reinforcement that in future years we could go up to two-stories, which I think had a lot of foresight on their part."

However, for Dietrich, a unified council was more important than the pier.

"That was my major concern coming into this," Dietrich said. "I'm very excited. I think once we unify council, the rest will be pretty easy. The pier's a big issue, not a big issue, a big project. The [entertainment district], a big project. We just need to figure out a way to work together and that's, I think tonight was a big step toward that."