Myrtle Beach area media personality, mom, and business woman, Mande Wilkes, wrote a must read article on the city of Myrtle Beach’s recent ban. Locals have been sharing the article city and county wide all day.
Last week Myrtle Beach City Council and Mayor Brenda Bethune voted in a ban on Ocean Boulevard merchant sales of certain products. Mayor Bethune and City Manager John Pedersen admitted to the media that the products were legal. They stated the products would continue to be sold in all other areas of the city. Mayor Bethune, who owns Better Brands Beer Distributors, said she did not believe the products were “Family Friendly”.
The vote was 5 for with 2 against a new overlay district. The new district will run from 6th Avenue South to 16th Avenue North on Ocean Boulevard and to the just West side of Business Highway 17 (not including store fronts on the west side) on those same streets. The banned products include: CBD oils, alternative nicotine, vapor products, and e-cigarettes. Councilmen Mike Lowder and Gregg Smith voted against the measure.
Wrote Wilkes, “Why did the city target this particular stretch? Certainly not because of a legitimate public safety concern. Of 136 arrests that occurred within the very recent past, 53 were alcohol-related. Not a single one of those arrests involved any of the banned items.
Officials claim their actions are in service of engineering family-friendliness, but all evidence points to more sinister intentions.
It appears that nearly 100 percent of affected businesses are owned or operated by Jewish people. Whether that’s by design or mere coincidence, the effect is that Jews — a protected class under the Constitution — are being disproportionately displaced by the city’s bizarre vote.
Even more galling is the deprivation of property rights. Any sane zoning decision uses a “grandfather” provision to preserve existent businesses. In the absence of this very ordinary provision, expect in the coming months to see shuttered store fronts and foreclosure signs and a much longer line at the unemployment office.
Downtown could be a ghost town by Dec. 31, when the law, unless challenged, will take effect.
The prevailing bedrock of our justice system is predictability: Courts routinely reject laws that are arbitrary, hasty and vague.
Imagine what potential investors are thinking right now! Surely they’re reluctant to sign leases, take out mortgages, purchase inventory, install fixtures, and open their doors when, at any moment, local government can waste it all with the wave of a hand.”
Wrote local Keith VanWinkle: 11:30 p.m. [Wed] night on Ocean Blvd in Myrtle Beach. It was like the middle of winter. Vacant. Dead! Having grown up here, I never saw anything like it until after Labor Day!! Even then it was not that dead. Video ? included.
Said Myrtle Beach Local Tracy Ann in the comments field of Wilkes’ Article:
“Here’s the thing Mande Wilkes…… if the Mayor and Council believe these products to be the menace they claim they are, then the ban would be city-wide. It’s not. That opens the door to lots of questions, and as yet, there have been no answers.If the Mayor and the 5 voting council members believe they are truly doing a good thing, then they should show up to display their solidarity with the affected businesses.For example, I noticed on the Facebook page of Brenda Bethune Mayor of Myrtle Beach (and hopefully she doesn’t remove this tag as she tends to do) …that she visited a local business in The Market Common. She also thanked El Cerro for growing their business in Myrtle Beach So, what she should be doing to offset the detrimental effects of this vote is to show up at all of the businesses on this “block” and thank them for their years and decades of doing business in Myrtle Beach and to express to the local owners how they plan to help them succeed regardless of their disgraceful and soon-to-be-eradicated-in-
court-at-great-cost-to-the- taxpayers ban?Why doesn’t she have a post on her Facebook page like that? Why go gallivanting about into these brand-new businesses and leave off showing support for those who have been with the city in good and bad times…through hurricanes and barricades and helmet laws and loops and the tearing down of the Pavilion and the erecting of Zip-lines which no one uses and running hard-working business owners out of the area and paying a Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to produce nothing tangible except questions about how they conduct their business….. ….all of which is dissuading any investor from forking over money in the downtown and surrounding areas. No investments + banning legal products from businesses in a certain small area = a ghost town and ghosts don’t pay taxes.What book did she read on How To Manage a City which advises to make yourself an enemy of the local businesses and taxpayers during your first 6 months in office? I’d return it and get my money back if I were her. ;(“
The city of Myrtle Beach posted the following on its website today.
Posted on City Of Myrtle Beach’s Website (apologies for grainy photo)
After it was posted, the image soon disappeared from the site.