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A conversation with a collusionist bureaucrat



John Pedersen Gets Merit Raise

MyrtleBeachSC: City Manager Pedersen,

Congratulations on your new contract and pay raise from the City of Myrtle Beach. I have responded to your questions below as you requested in bold. 

———- Forwarded message ———
From: John Pedersen <>
Subject: RE: Working together, moving forward
To: Myrtle Beach SC News

Pedersen: No.  I share your trepidations, and am unwilling to meet with Mr. Wilks again.  I will respond to his emails (to the degree that they contain specific suggestions) as I wish to have my responses documented. 

As to your comments about trading “Free Market” economic policies for peace, I believe that to be an overstatement.  


JOHN –  Myrtle Beach operates as a “city government-run”  Mixed, “COMMAND ECONOMY.” It is not a free market town.  Working with no more than a handful of business insiders,  Myrtle Beach City Government decides who can and can not do business in the town.   Examples:  The SuperBlock,  Ocean Boulevard Vape Selective Zoning,  Special considerations on parking given to Mayor Bethune’s restaurant on 44th,  charging each Oceanfront Condo owner a business license, etc.  Government overreach, lead entirely by you,  goes on and on.  


 Pedersen: I do not disagree with your assessment of some of our community issues that need to be resolved, although I disagree that we are afflicted with these issues to the degree that you allege in your posts, and I think it is unfair that you do not recognize the efforts being made to address each one.    These are multi-faceted problems requiring multi-faceted approaches.   

That being said, I don’t see how you can simultaneously hold local government accountable for resolving these issues, yet decry nearly every effort to do so. 


John – Myrtle Beach City Government should provide infrastructure (example – underground pipes, roads, side-walks cleaned, etc), police our streets, provide a good fire department, trash pick up, trim trees along streets,  educate our children, and effectively manage city staff.    GOVERNMENT SHOULD ALSO REGULATE BUSINESS [as well] 

AND NOT BE IN BED WITH LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS.    What we decry is your ongoing belief that you are somehow a Government appointed businessman.   THE {perhaps now former} DRC, the City-owned federally tax subsidized opportunity zone credit investments, the TDF, Primary Home-Owner Real Estate Tax credits paid for by tourists, selective zoning of legal products, and all of your government sponsored economic development nonsense must end.  It works to tax the many for the sake of a few friends of government.  Government Sanctioned Economic development leads to collusive cronyism and should not be the purview of any local city government. 

Pedersen: Nor do I agree that we should wait until the private sector solves these problems for us.  

MyrtleBeachSC: AND THAT IS WHY THE CITY OF MYRTLE BEACH HAS 123 empty storefronts.  What private sector investor wants to invest in a town with such a heavy handed approach to local government?  It’s too constrictive and too risky.   Get out of the way John,  and let the free market work. 

 Pedersen:  As I think you will agree, issues like the opioid issue are not fixed by turning a light switch.  There is no single tool for “fixing” this issue.  It is going to take a multi-faceted approach.  I do not see any profit motive in addressing this issue, so I do not think this is one that the private sector will fix for us.  Waiting for that is to me tantamount to burying our head in the sand.   I would be glad to share the actions that we are taking with you if you have an interest in learning what we actually are doing and attempting to do with this issue, or any other issue for that matter. 


The right question John:  WHY IS THE CITY OF MYRTLE BEACH ATTRACTING SO MANY MORE HEROIN ADDICTS, HOMELESS PEOPLE AND PROSTITUTES than the cities of NMB, Surfside Beach, Garden City Beach, Conway, Carolina Forest, etc?”

THE ANSWER:   BECAUSE WE ATTRACT WHO WE ARE AND NOT WHAT WE WANT, JOHN.   To have something the city of Myrtle Beach has missed for decades,  requires the City of Myrtle Beach becoming something it has not been willing to be in a very long time. 

Why are these people disproportionately showing up in your town, John?   If you want answers to that question,  let’s do lunch.  You may not like the answers. 

Pedersen: I acknowledge, that it is possible that the issues we have in our downtown could be solved by the private sector, but it just hasn’t happened.  In the case of Charlotte (the only one I can think of) the redevelopment of the downtown was pushed by a coalition of really big businesses like the Bank  of America.  Our local businesses do not command the wealth needed to make this happen, nor is there been an economic incentive to do so in a community where the growth has been on the extreme north and south ends and developable green space still exists.  In every other case of a successful downtown redevelopment of which I am aware, government primed the pump by accepting the risk of making the first tier of investments.  Historically, one can argue that, as the City had never made an investment in the Arts and Innovation District, that such a “Free Market” strategy was actually employed in the area now known as the Arts and Innovation District for decades already.  How much longer should we have waited for such a totally private sector solution to manifest itself?


Tell me JOHN,  What was the DRC?   It certainly helped close scores of private, small businesses.   The taxpayers poured over $20 million in parking fees [tax monies]  into that Government owned, private entity.   Twenty years later…  TWENTY YEARS JOHN –  and the town is now left with ongoing lawsuits.   Your DRC board member, NOAM PAYADE, does now own a big portion of the downtown.  Considering the typical client he rents to,  does he get preferential treatment from the city, John on what amounts to converting old hotels into unofficial section 8 housing?  I think you typically call those nuisance properties (or you did when Shai David owned the Oasis),  now owned by Noam. 

We could both drive down to the Lancer Motel and ask Chandrakant Patel and his son Sanchin Patel if Noam gets treated differently.  I understand the Lancer continues to be on your list of problem properties. 

Pedersen: Again, please feel free to provide your thoughts on specific remedies to these problems.  I promise to take them seriously.  In doing so though, I would ask that you also be cognizant of the inter-relationships of these issues. 

INTER-RELATIONSHIPS –  Does that mean collusive John?

While local media has been carrying a ton of water working to rehabilitate the local Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, John,  I note that this is one group you and Mayor Bethune are reticent to talk about.   No city,  and I mean no city wants to be nailed with the brand name Myrtle Beach, John.   Yet MBACC continues to promote that brand name exclusively in all of its advertising.

I AGREE,  $24 million comes directly to this MBACC from the city charging a tourist tax.  I also agree that MBACC should fully keep those tax dollars.   HOWEVER,  $26 million are coming from other various tax sources.   The community needs to investigate if this is a wise use of those funds.  


Despite however you may respond,  tourism isn’t growing in the city of Myrtle Beach.  Neither Surfside Beach, Pawleys Island, Garden City, nor NORTH MYRTLE BEACH want to be called Myrtle Beach.


Yet this overfunded chamber pulls stunts like this one.  NOTE THE SEARCH TERM “NORTH MYRTLE BEACH”. 

You should know that the North Myrtle Beach Chamber markets itself as EXPLORE NORTH MYRTLE BEACH.    On the Google search above,  please note:  Result #1 is   That is your MBACC tax dollars at work, JOHN.   They have optimized themselves with the North Myrtle Beach Chamber name above the North Myrtle Beach Chamber site on the City of North Myrtle Beach search term.

This is called PARASITIC MARKETING John.  It creates deliberate brand confusion, converting people looking for the better NMB brand over to the less desired Myrtle Beach brand.  Oh,  and just so you know, it is frowned upon. 

WHAT IS COLLUSION? John,  you keep saying there has to be a direct pay-off.   You are so wrong John.   Government collusion happens in two concrete ways:  PROCUREMENT and through PASSING LEGISLATIVE ORDINANCES.

When government passes ordinances that work to pick winners and losers in the marketplace,  everyone loses.  Direct monies never change hands, John.  The systemic relationships are circular.   SEE FORMER DRC BOARD, if you are confused John.

AS TO PROCUREMENT:  11 crony, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber created companies getting the lion’s share of $50 million in MBACC tax funded purchases?   Really?

We have always suspected either Scott Brandon (Brandon Advertising) or Matthew Brittain (Brittain Resort Hotels) [or both] were the principal owners of Visibilities and Conversions.  NO ONE KNOWS,  because the city won’t let us have the publicly funded information.   WHOEVER OWNS VISIBILITIES AND CONVERSIONS is putting a net $3 million in marked up tax dollars in their pockets annually.    Who owns that company John?
What has MBACC done to grow tourism in the City of Myrtle Beach, John?

 Pedersen: For instance you have asked that we accelerate the replacement of our sewer lines, and you have taken the City to task for our existing indebtedness.  While I disagree with your assessment of each of those issues individually, I hope that you can acknowledge that it is virtually impossible to accelerate the replacement of this infrastructure without issuing debt.  You just can’t have both at the same time.

Half of that MBACC money should either be going to infrastructure (underground pipes) or to fund a MBACC competitor John.  Competition is a good thing John. 


John Pedersen

 SO – HERE IS THE DEAL JOHN.   June is coming.   My prayer to my king Jesus Christ continues to be:  “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

True Capitalism and true democracy are coming to Horry County soon, John.  Myrtle Beach can do whatever.

Horry County residents will vote this June in large numbers.  High voter turnout is horrible for those candidates that your group supports,  John.   Ask Julie Samples.  

Any State Legislator, State Senator, or County Councilman carrying water for Collusive Myrtle Beach should take note.   Horry County residents will have resident represented government.

The City of Myrtle Beach can carry on with whatever form of Big Government/Big Business nonsense you want.   The days of taxing the many for the few are over, John.  Horry County residents are NOT “atm machines” for a few Myrtle Beach business owners, nor the City of Myrtle Beach itself. 

Tell Karen Riordan, Walter Whetsell,  Jimmy Gray, Matthew Brittain, Steve Chapman, Brenda Bethune, Benjy Hardee, Brown Bethune, Laura Crowthers, et all….  Bring your [tax circular]  millions in support of your collusive-minded favored candidates.    

We, Horry County residents have had enough of  this type of government. 

Current conditions are these:

After June,  we hope to be here:

SC Watchdog




David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at