Steve Gosnell

Steve Gosnell is picked as the new Horry County administrator on Tuesday. A committee has been established to negotiate Gosnell's contract. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

Horry County Council overwhelmingly voted to offer Steve Gosnell the county administrator’s job Tuesday night.

A 26-year county employee, Gosnell has served as interim administrator since his predecessor, Chris Eldridge, stepped down in April. Before taking the interim role, Gosnell served as the assistant county administrator over infrastructure and regulation.

Gosnell’s selection wasn’t particularly surprising. When council members learned of his interest in the job, some of them discussed scrapping the search and just removing the interim tag.

However, council chairman Johnny Gardner and councilman Al Allen pushed back, saying council members should follow the procedures they publicly committed to. The council then moved forward with the process, though councilmen Harold Worley and Johnny Vaught both said Gosnell was their preferred candidate.

Although 45 people applied for the job, 20 of them did not meet the minimum requirements for the position. Council reviewed the applications of the remaining 25. 

Council members then submitted lists of their top candidates. Based on those rankings, county officials chose five finalists: Gosnell, former York County Manager Bill Shanahan, Laurens County Administrator Jon Caime, former Myrtle Beach City Councilman Wayne Gray and state Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Myrtle Beach.

An engineer by trade, Gosnell's lengthy tenure played a role in the council choosing him. Gosnell received the strongest support early on, appearing on the lists of eight councilmen before the interviews. 

Council interviewed all five finalists on June 26. Late last week, Clemmons called council members and withdrew his name from consideration. 

During Tuesday night's meeting, council members voted by ballot for administrator. Gosnell was chosen with an 11-1 vote. Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner did not vote for Gosnell. He said he supported Caime.

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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I'm the editor of myhorrynews.com and the Carolina Forest Chronicle, a weekly newspaper in Horry County, South Carolina. I cover county government, the justice system and agriculture. Know of a story that needs to be covered? Call me at 843-488-7236.

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