CITY MANAGER APOLOGIZES TO CHALLENGERS WHOSE CAMPAIGN SIGNS WERE TAKEN BY CITY EMPLOYEES
The contract of Myrtle Beach City Manager, John Pedersen, expires this week. The renewal of his contract was intentionally left off last week’s city council agenda.
Questions now remain as to whether the current mayor and city council intend to keep the city manager at his post long term.
Just this past Summer, Myrtle Beach merchants signed a vote of no confidence in the city manager. The letter was emailed to each city council member.
The city manager has employed several strategies that have upset the city including residents, merchants, the mayor and city council members alike.
In July, the city manager ordered barricades placed along ocean boulevard. Merchants felt those measures scared away tourists during the peak summer season.
The city manager, working with city council and the mayor, purchased properties in the Superblock through a straw buyer in an attempt to hide the true buyer in the transaction. The true buyer was the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation. Mr. Pedersen serves as the treasurer of that organization.
Most recently, the city manager was required (by the mayor and city council) to apologize to challenger candidates after city employees removed the challengers’ campaign signs from private property.
Candidate for Mayor Mark McBride has continually stated that the city manager has inserted himself into the political process this Fall campaign season. Mr. McBride was required by the city to move the location of a technology summit in September. The city claimed, on the day of the event, it had cancelled that event for a lack of “event insurance”. Only later in the day, did the city manager waive that requirement. This after Mr. McBride had already moved his summit to another location.
Mark McBride stated in the video above, “I have asked them [city council] to continue the contract, let him operate under the same terms and conditions through January. In January, … allow the newly elected council to address and come up with Mr. Pedersen’s further employment.”
Myrtle Beach is a city manager managed form of government.