Georgetown County Council awaits verdict on bill

The Georgetown County Council could get back some power if a bill under discussion in the S.C. House of Representatives moves forward.

S.C. Rep. Kevin Ryan, R-Pawleys Island, wants to let the County Council, rather than the county legislative delegation, make appointments to certain boards.

Under his proposed bill, appointments to the Horry-Georgetown Commission for Technical Education, the County Transportation Committee, the Waccamaw Regional Planning Council and the Georgetown County Board of Elections and Registration would be under the purview of the county council.

He said that since those boards deal with mostly local issues, it is "a common sense thing" to have the County Council make the appointments.

"There is no reason for us to keep these appointments," Ryan said. "We are supposed to focus on statewide issues."

But Rep. Carl Anderson, D- Georgetown, takes a different approach.

"If it's not broken then we shouldn't try to fix it," he said. "We have not heard from anybody saying they wanted it changed."

He said since those boards receive and divvy out state funds, the legislative delegation "should have some involvement in" the appointments.

County Council Vice-Chairman Jerry Oakley said he supports the legislation.

"At one time council had those appointments," he said.

The appointments to those boards were removed by legislative action over the last decade.

The council will vote on a resolution at its next meeting, on Feb. 22, to agree that if the legislation is passed it will accept the responsibility for the appointments to those boards, Oakley said.

It is currently unclear what will happen with the legislation. The bill has been referred to the House's county delegation - Ryan and Anderson - for consideration.

Ryan is hopeful that he and Anderson will "come to an agreement."

Anderson, six other state representatives, former S.C. Rep. Vida Miller and current Georgetown County Council Chairman Johnny Morant currently serve on the Waccamaw Regional Planning Council, according to its website.

Joe Thomas "Tommy" Branyon Jr., is the vice-chairman of the Horry-Georgetown Technical College's commission and since 1991 has been appointed to that board by the county delegation.

"How I'm appointed doesn't really affect me," he said. "I can't see it making any kind of a difference."