Next Tuesday, voters in Surfside Beach will choose a mayor for the town.
This past Sunday, we published that a high profile Surfside Beach City Councilman filed a complaint against Julie Samples as a result of the Sabrina Morris firing. Councilman Randle Stevens filed the complaint based on a statement he claimed Samples made in her election campaign of 2016 to “fire Ms. Morris.”
Planning and Zoning Director Sabrina Morris was fired by the then town administrator Micki Fellner in August 2017, and re-hired again to the same position during a staff shake-up in January 2018. Morris was fired from her position in Surfside Beach for recording a conversation with Town Administrator Micki Fellner, Fellner said in a recording of a closed town council session.
As WPDE news reported on January 23, 2108:
At a town council meeting Tuesday night, several Surfside Beach leaders were fired, while one was re-hired.
A motion to appoint a fired employee was added to the agenda as the meeting began.
Former Planning, Building, and Zoning Director Sabrina Morris was re-hired.
Town Administrator Micki Fellner and the Deputy Town Administrator John Harrah were both fired.
Morris then threatened to sue the town over the issue as can be seen here.
TOWN COUNCIL INFIGHTING
The behind the scenes conflict between Samples and Stevens continues to this day. The case Stevens filed was dismissed on March 6, 2019.
Stevens calls former Mayor Doug Samples and Julie Samples the “Bill and Hillary Clinton of Surfside Beach.” (Meaning Stevens believes the couple are the foundation of all things Surfside Beach political drama.) Our readers will note that Mayoral Candidate Julie Samples is currently running as a “reform” candidate.
Mayor Doug Samples lost to current Mayor Bob Childs in the closest of races (436 votes to 431 votes) in 2016.
The establishment, political drama only continued after Mayor Samples’ loss in Surfside Beach and continues to this very day.
A political mailer ushered in Councilman Dietrich, Councilwoman Scoles, and the re-eletion of David Pellegrino to victory in 2017.
Our news team questioned the mailers. We believed the Surfside Strong group could create havoc in what is called the E District. We wrote about those concerns in 2017.
E DISTRICT DRAMA
The “E District Drama” occurred just as we predicted. This despite 2017 candidate Debbie Scoles going on radio station WRNN assuring the voters this “would not happen.” As our readers recall, 23 last minute amendments were added to an E District ordinance. The planning and zoning commission, who sued the city over the amendments, were fired.
Town Council and Mayor Childs reversed themselves on the one issue costing the town its CRS rating. The other 22 questionable amendments remain in the ordinance.
TOWN’S REACTION TO BAIT AND SWITCH POLITICS
Naturally, when politicians campaign promising one thing and then deliver something else, residents get upset.
Residents then challenge Town Council at council meetings. As can be witnessed here, council then accuses the residents of creating town drama, when actually this drama was caused when the 23 amendments added last minute to the E District cancelled the town resident’s ability to purchase flood insurance.
In the airing on WPDE last Sunday, Mayoral Candidate Bob Hellyer says he wants to empower Surfside Beach residents. Note the comments from establishment candidate Julie Samples in response. (please turn on the volume on this video to hear it.)
WHY THE PAST MATTERS
We elect politicians because of their abilities to make wise choices. The past is the only reference we can go on in making those election decisions.
Elections are the only time voters can hold former and current elected officials accountable for their choices in office.
Establishment Surfside Beach candidates for government use a two tiered approach to campaigning. Typically, they run a beauty contest campaign for the residents, while making promises to a select few in the business community.
Collusive voters then turn out and become the base of the establishment candidate. Julie Samples garnered just over 400 votes on November 5th. This certainly was her base of voters. They 100% will vote again on November 19th.
For Mayoral Candidate, and former Judge of Judges, Bob Hellyer to break the current establishment dramatic theater, a minimum of 1000 people must vote on November 19th.
All of Horry County will have a front row seat.