Editorial – Mande Wilkes
While taxes in the City of Myrtle Beach climb ever higher, neighboring North Myrtle Beach just approved a tax decrease.
Whereas the City of Myrtle Beach recently refused business licenses to a church (yes, really), an axe-throwing center, a watersports rental company, and a car wash, North Myrtle Beach welcomes all of those establishments. And when the City of Myrtle Beach last fall refused access to a trade industry expo, the organizers found in North Myrtle Beach a home for the event – and a home for all of the millions of dollars in revenue the expo brought.
Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach is right now very proud of one new addition to the area: an alcohol-infused ice creamery, located inside of a candy store marketed to children. Yuck. Many people are wondering if the mayor is profiting from that, considering that she is the Budweiser distributor for the town. Double yuck.
But back to the sad differences between Myrtle Beach and its sister city. Myrtle Beach’s shores are littered with addicts’ needles; North Myrtle Beach’s shores are filled with happy taxpayers and tourists. On social media, Myrtle Beach is nicknamed Murder Beach.
That’s not all, folks.
The City of Myrtle Beach is battling about half a dozen civil lawsuits, and counting. The cost of all of that litigation is mounting, and taxpayers are of course on the hook for the whole of it. The City is even in a battle with the state, for which the General Assembly is hard at work to pass a law that would reign in the rogue city council. And! The City is openly fighting Horry County on a number of issues.
That’s still not all, folks. . .unfortunately.
All of that is to say nothing of the “Superblock,” which continues to fester despite massive and wasted taxpayer generosity. And the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation? That slush fund has been alive longer than I have, literally, and what part of downtown has it ever redeveloped?
Local government has gone wild. Overreach and over regulation have replaced common sense. City officials face no consequences – they keep collecting their checks, on the backs of the very taxpayers they hurt.
So, what can we do, besides praying for early retirement for these bozos? I’d tell you to write your representatives, but I’ve found that city officials have fragile egos. They get catty and defensive when questioned on social media. Heck, the mayor’s husband even threatened to sue me – little ole me! – simply because he didn’t like my sincere criticism of my hometown’s leaders.
What can we do, then? File to run for a council seat in the upcoming elections. There will be three open seats – exactly enough votes to turn this ship around before it runs itself aground.
In the meantime, let’s encourage our officials to make like a compass and look to the north – North Myrtle Beach – as a guide to making a town prosperous and peaceful.
Mande Wilkes is a media personality and a native of Myrtle Beach.