LOCAL GROUP TO ASK CITY MANAGER JOHN PEDERSEN TO RESIGN
A local group of business owners and residents reached out to MyrtleBeachSC.com stating that the city manager had failed in maintaining the trust of area residents. That group will be asking the city manager to resign after the budget process occurs on March 21st and 22nd.
A separate group of more than 20 business owners formed a human shield around a Myrtle Beach area business asking the city not to tear it down. City Manager John Pedersen has said he will destroy those local businesses through the use of eminent domain.
Some area business leaders including Irene Kirszd, Tom Davis Sr., Tom Davis Jr., Pam Davis Guthrie, John Pruett, Natalie Litsey, Shai David, Owners and friends of the Myrtle Beach House Parts store, Henry and Virginia Brewington (among others) have each either hired lawyers, spoken to the media, or at recent city meetings concerning what they have termed the non-transparent, deceptive and heavy-handed way that both city council and City Manager, John Pedersen have operated.
Natalie Litsey, who owned Natalia’s in the Superblock, said, “It’s time Myrtle Beach was freed from the bootstraps of this city government.” Ms. Litsey is just one of several business owners who are currently suing the city of Myrtle Beach.
Just after reports of the Human Shield made local news, MyrtleBeachSC.com was contacted by several members of a group of local business owners and residents who believe that City Manager, John Pedersen has lost the confidence of the residents and small business owners at large. They believe a host of actions by the city manager have shown a lack of his ability to manage critical areas from incidents that include: Mikease McFarland drowning under the watch of uncertified Myrtle Beach Lifeguards July 6, 2016; City Manager Not Reprimanding City Employees Bruce Arnel and Glen Broach(?) for destroying the railings of a private hotel property; The current city financial picture which now limits city borrowing to a $6 million cap; City Lt. Joe Murrel approving the Sea Palms as all clear for operations with no violations on August 4, 2015 only to have the city serve a complaint through Bruce Boulineau for the exact same property under the city’s Unfit Dwelling Ordinance on March 14, 2016; Non-attention to a documented, time lined plan for fixing 8 infected beach areas on the oceanfront of Myrtle Beach; The lack of transparency between the Chapin Foundation, the city, and the newly discussed Chapin Library (which the group says can not operate as a Public Library by section Home Rule 75 of S.C. Law), Myrtle Beach ranked as one of the 17th most dangerous cities in America by Neighborhood Scout, Myrtle Beach’s high heroin epidemic, and an overall lack of transparency in the way the city manager conducts city business.
ONE CITY EMPLOYEE DESTROYS PRIVATE PROPERTY WHILE ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPHS. The Motel Owner was later cited for damages done by this employee. The business threatened to be closed. The employee with the strap introduced himself as Bruce Boulineau. Locals later confirmed he was not Boulineau. Some locals say the photographer is Glen Broach? City Manager, Pedersen has never spoken of this matter even after our repeated requests for information.
The group is now putting together a petition asking for the immediate resignation of the city manager. Those signing say they plan to hand deliver the petition to the city manager after the city budget retreat being held on March 22nd. Signers have stated that the budget retreat will only serve to highlight the current poor fiscal condition the city finds itself in from proposed unfunded items that include: Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium – a $5.4 million project to improve the sports venue, Myrtle Beach amphitheater – The nearly $10 million needed for the project has not been finalized, The $10 million dollar Chapin Library and past poor performing city investments that include a $60 million convention hotel, and a sports complex that continues to under perform.
POWER VERSUS AUTHORITY
The group says it is really a matter of Power versus Authority. City Manager John Pedersen is actually the 3rd most powerful man in the city just behind Brad Dean of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and, powerful Democrat, Matthew Brittain, who owns the Brittain Resort Hotel group. Much of the City Manager’s leverage is said to emanate from the stronghold power Matthew Brittain holds over city, county and state government.
The group contends city manager Pedersen has lost the authority to lead. Small business owners tell us that the underhanded and heavy-handed ways Myrtle Beach is currently operating are not the way they are used to doing business. They believe that despite who wins the Superblock eminent domain battle, John Pedersen’s ability to maintain trust in the community has been permanently compromised by his and city council’s own actions.
MyrtleBeachSC.com reached out to Nathan Ketsdever, Editor in Chief at Compassion in Politics. Mr. Ketsdever explained the two dynamics this way, “Power is the rule one is given through his position. While Authority is the trust a group puts into a person appointed to lead. It is ideal when those high in power also possess high authority. When a leader loses the trust of those he rules, his time of true leadership is at its end. While he can still maintain power, he must then rule through autonomy, manipulation, and control to be effective.”
Freedom Defense Myrtle Beach has put up a Facebook page. Members can join, but must be approved by the group.
MyrtleBeachSC.com asked concerning the responsibilities and actions of City Council and the Mayor. Residents told us those matters were to be decided the first Tuesday in November 2017 when Councilmen Wayne Gray, Randal Wallace, and Mike Lowder, as well as, Mayor John Rhodes were up for re-election.