Myrtle Beach Local Brenda Bethune
Over the last few years, Myrtle Beach locals and merchants have had growing concerns about the direction and future of the city of Myrtle Beach. Ongoing issues such as downtown crime, beach bacteria pollution, high city government debt, DRC related parking issues, heavy-handed redevelopment issues, and an over-focus on international investments have created a public dialogue in which Mayor Rhodes and City Council have at times appeared tone deaf and unresponsive. The dialogue online has many weighing the next election cycle.
Myrtle Beach residents and local leaders alike are urging Brenda Spadoni Bethune to run for office this Fall 2017.
Bethune is a long-standing Myrtle Beach native, who has invested in the Myrtle Beach community her entire life. As a Myrtle Beach business owner, she understands the everyday issues average locals face. Bethune owns Better Brands, Myrtle Beach’s second largest and one of its most successful businesses operating inside the city limits. Better Brands previous owner was Brenda’s father, William “Spud” Spadoni, who worked his way up in the company to becoming the owner after starting out as its first route salesman. When her father’s health began to fail, Brenda purchased the business. Locals we spoke with describe Brenda as a hard working, solutions-oriented business leader. City residents believe Brenda would bring great humility and grace to City Hall. Brenda has managed large multi-million dollar budgets and has grown Better Brands into the industry leader it is today.
Those we interviewed told MyrtleBeachSC.com that Brenda has the blueprint of skillsets Myrtle Beach needs most right now to deal with a growing city crime problem and to help restore the good name Myrtle Beach has enjoyed up and until this most recent present era.
Said long time local Melanie Helmer, who has worked closely with Brenda, “I am encouraging Brenda to run for one of the city government positions that are coming up for reelection this fall. I had the unique experience to work alongside her when we opened a local business a few years ago. To watch someone take a concept on paper and build it into a successful brick and mortar store was an incredible opportunity for me. Through her methodical and innovative steps, a successful and respected small business grew. Brenda is a listener, a learner, and a leader. Myrtle Beach would benefit greatly from these attributes as she has the skill set to implement change. Most importantly, Brenda genuinely cares for our community and wants to make it better.”
Helmer added, “The difference with Brenda is she would be running to get things done and not for the power of the position. Brenda Spadoni Bethune is qualified because she is a business woman. She owns and manages a small business and is CEO and majority partner of one of our areas largest companies. She is well respected in this community for her hours of service and countless contributions. Brenda would bring a fresh perspective. Her motivation for running for office would not be for the power that these leadership positions bring. Her only motivation for running would be to make our community better and safer. I believe that she would be a voice for the small business owner.
As a lifelong local she was born and raised here. She and her family have given generously to the community for decades. We are so blessed in this community with beautiful beaches and nice people. Unfortunately, Myrtle Beach suffers from an image problem. I was recently out of town and someone asked me where I was from and I said Myrtle Beach and they replied in all seriousness “I am sorry for you!” What a sad statement that was, but that is how our town is perceived! Our city has such potential. We need an outsider to shake things up. Someone with fresh vision and the business experience to change the direction of our city… and when I say outsider, I mean someone that is not a part of the inside network that is running Myrtle Beach. We all want to live in a community that is safe, respected and thriving economically and under Brenda Spadoni Bethune’s leadership, Myrtle Beach can be that city.”
Mike Hobieka, a local, who owns properties in the Myrtle Beach Superblock area said, “As a lifelong resident and multi-generational business owner in the city of Myrtle Beach, it is downright shameful what has become of our city’s reputation under the current leadership. It seems the city can not do anything right. Our city has lost its way and our leaders are in China. We need people who love Myrtle Beach and people with skin in the game. We need a life long resident who cares as much about your home and your family as they do about their own. Brenda Bethune is that person. She has the vision and the courage necessary to lead us into a better future. With a dedicated group around her, Brenda will bring the leadership we have been missing to make Myrtle Beach great again.”
Hazy Elia, owner of Tsunami Surfshop said, “Brenda Bethune would be a great fit for City Council. She is a very intelligent business woman and an extremely hard worker. She always delivers perfection and professional in any project that she is involved with. Our city would be fortunate to have her on the board.”
While the city-wide chorus of those urging Brenda to run is comprehensive and covers the full spectrum of residents from every corner, the city does face huge obstacles. Mrs. Bethune says she is weighing the time commitment that would be required before she makes her final decision.
Mrs. Bethune said, “I am extremely honored by the outpouring of support from so many in our community that I highly respect. Entering politics has never been a goal of mine, however, I see the continuing decline of our great city and it truly concerns me. I believe I could play a major role in being a catalyst for much-needed change as well as a visionary in helping Myrtle Beach evolve into a greater community. Not the Myrtle Beach of the past, because we don’t need to regress.”
Mrs. Bethune added, “We can become a better, stronger community that is prepared to face the next generation. This is by far the hardest decision I have ever made and one that I do not take lightly. Brown and I both feel the pull to serve our community. We both greatly appreciate all of the encouragement from so, so many and together we will continue to pray about the direction God wants us to go.”