Ten candidates will be on the ballot when North Myrtle Beach voters go to the polls on Tuesday to choose a new at-large council member.
The post was recently held by Bob Cavanaugh, who retired to move closer to his family in Virginia.
Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The North Myrtle Beach Municipal Election Commission will certify the results on March 4, and any runoff election will be held on March 16.
The term for the winner of the election will last from March until November.
To give voters a snapshot of each candidate, the North Strand News asked all of them to respond to a questionnaire.
Their responses have been edited for clarity and style.
Ray Edwin ‘Trey’ Skidmore III
Current or former occupation: Contractor
Neighborhood where you live (Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, Cherry Grove or Crescent Beach): Currently living in Windy Hill, building a house in Cherry Grove.
Number of years spent living in North Myrtle Beach: 38
What is your educational background? High school and Horry-Georgetown Technical College
What do you love most about North Myrtle Beach? “Quality of life, small community feel, safe place to live.”
Why do you want to be a council member? “To do my part to help my community and the people who live here, to help better my great city and to pay close attention to growth.”
In what areas can the city improve? “Better streets, traffic studies, pedestrian safety, and smart, orderly growth.
What do you want to accomplish if elected? “Continue to improve our beaches, add sidewalks, and improve streets and U.S. 17.”
Do you have prior government experience, and if so what did you do? “I have been on the Board of Zoning Appeals.”
The city of North Myrtle Beach has a robust short-term rental industry that sometimes draws the ire of permanent residents. Would you favor more regulation of short-term rentals? “I think it’s very important to work together as a city to educate vacationers. We are all here for the same reason: to enjoy the beach and our beautiful community. I think it’s important that vacationers understand and respect their neighbors.
• More trash pick-ups for short term rentals.
• Strict noise curfews (quiet hours).
• Number of cars allowed to be parked on one property.
• Zero tolerance on fireworks citywide — very important to co-exist.
Ronnie E. Nichols
Current or former occupation: Owner and broker-in-charge of New Way Properties
Neighborhood where you live (Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, Cherry Grove or Crescent Beach): Cherry Grove
Number of years spent living in North Myrtle Beach: 19
What is your educational background? “In the U.S. Army, I was trained as a military intelligence coordinator and as a track vehicle mechanic. My duty stations were Fort Jackson; Baltimore, Maryland; Louisville, Kentucky; Camp Roberts, California; and Mannheim, Germany.
"I held a top secret security clearance and the rank of sergeant.
“After my honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in September of 1966, I enrolled in college where I majored in business administration and played football. I graduated from Santa Barbara College with a business administration degree.
"While employed as a security representative, I was one of the few people selected to train as an arbitrator for the National Association of Security Dealers.”
What do you love most about North Myrtle Beach? “My family and I embrace the unmatched lifestyle of this safe, affordable small town with its robust economy. Its business-friendly environment allowed me in 2004 to build a successful, veteran-owned business. We love its family-friendly atmosphere and enjoy sharing our hometown with three generations of our own family of six children and 23 grand- and great-grandchildren. The community is caring and giving. I treasure all the opportunities I have had to give back to my community through its many organizations and philanthropies, even volunteering my Elvis tribute-artist hobby for fun and charity.
“I love, too, that the city is well-run. I take a lot of pride that the city has the lowest millage of any full-service municipality in South Carolina. As a family-oriented small businessman, I appreciate the low tax rate and the city’s focus on maintaining a good balance among residents’ and businesses’ needs and concerns. And, of course, it's all about the beach!”
Why do you want to be a council member? “I have attended many council meetings, been a city volunteer, helped found and been a longtime participant in the NMB Community Prayer Breakfast and have learned much about how the various city departments work through the comprehensive NMB Citizens Academy. I have witnessed firsthand how an effective council working together can produce excellent quality of life results for its citizens over the past years, even in the midst of much unexpected change and national crisis. I know that I have the skill set, desire and background to contribute effectively to help the community continue to prosper — taking care of business for North Myrtle Beach!”
In what areas can the city improve? “The 41.4% of our population within the 55 to 74-years-old age group will continue to increase, so I encourage a focus on this group. To support them, we need to find ways to expand medical facilities. We need to promote developments that include compact but comfortable living spaces with included maintenance.
“We must find more ways to provide increased recreational opportunities for seniors and citizens of all ages at city facilities. The city is currently encouraging new large developments to contain opportunities for on-site recreation and entertainment, to provide walking trails, bike paths, open areas and neighborhood parks. I would like to work with the council to figure out how to extend these requirements to by-right zones.
“Growth in the county in areas surrounding the city will continue to stress the beach and the city's recreational resources. The current council is working on this issue. I see my strong negotiating skills as important to finding solutions to working with the county, particularly on concepts like ‘park and ride’ programs. Parking itself is always a major concern.
“Affordable housing is just not available for our seasonal employees and low-income individuals. Moreover, affordable housing is critical to the future of our young families who want the American dream of home ownership. We must find ways to diversify our housing infrastructure.”
What do you want to accomplish if elected? “The city passed a 7.5 mill tax increase to pay off the newly purchased sports complex property and to offset losses due to COVID-19. We have to open the city back up. One way to do that is with technology. Far-UVC light safely kills airborne coronaviruses. It could significantly reduce the level of airborne viruses in indoor environments by people. It is expensive right now, but the cost should decrease with wider use. Install it at the council chambers, our recreation centers, administrative offices and the sports complex facilities as demonstration projects. After our community becomes comfortable with it, we could encourage its adoption in businesses throughout North Myrtle Beach. This technology would open up the city and give us a competitive edge by being known as the safest tourist community in the nation.
“Future economic health and quality of life depend upon finding a solution to the stress that growth in the county brings. Work with this excellent city council and the county to solve that problem for the short and long term. Improve communication with residents, such as better communicating events at the sports park to promote attendance by locals as well as visitors. [Make] infrastructure more attractive to tourists, expanding landscaping and moving utilities underground. Support beach re-nourishment and the stormwater outfall programs. My arbitration skills will benefit increased state and federal funding. The city-owned 25-acre tract on Little River Neck Road [could be] developed as a park. Police and fire departments [could be]expanded as the city grows west of the waterway.”
Do you have prior government experience, and if so what did you do? “I have not worked in government but have provided counseling for governmental employees on retirement services through my former employment: in the early 90s as a business owner/independent plan coordinator, I did IRA planning for federal employees; I owned a financial services company in Delaware which beginning in 1985 administered Section 457 Government Deferred Compensation Plans; later, and until 2017, I was a consultant for a Colorado company, traveling the U.S. to confer with existing state, county, and city employees to assess and to propose retirement solutions. This included the state of South Carolina and Horry County employees.
“I have extensive HOA board experience, including serving on the board and as president of Laguna Keyes, Tidewater Plantation and Lighthouse Point Villas. In those leadership positions, I have negotiated with government entities regarding homeowner issues and concerns. I attended the North Myrtle Beach Citizens Leadership Academy, have been a frequent visitor to city council meetings and workshops, and served on the A-Tax Committee.”
The city of North Myrtle Beach has a robust short-term rental industry that sometimes draws the ire of permanent residents. Would you favor more regulation of short-term rentals? “We must be protective of our rental business. Most of our housing is used as second homes and rentals. Only 25% are occupied by permanent residents. Rentals units pay higher property tax rates and pay business license fees. The tourists they bring pay accommodation and hospitality taxes and spend money that supports our economy. All this contributes significantly to our prosperity. The problem arises when short-term rentals are in residential areas. Online services like VRBO and Airbnb have turned many single-family properties into hotels, greatly exceeding designed occupancy and parking and generating lots of noise and garbage. In these cases, more regulation is required. Still, any new ordinance must balance the permanent residents' needs with those who wish to rent their homes and focus specifically on this problem.”
Current or former occupation: Lowe's Home Improvement pro services, retired from Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Neighborhood where you live (Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, Cherry Grove or Crescent Beach): Ocean Drive
Number of years spent living in North Myrtle Beach: 5
What is your educational background? “I attended Garinger High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. After I graduated, I made the tough decision to forgo college and instead entered the workforce to help support my family. As a part of the workforce, I got certifications in auto body repair and painting, electrical contracting and business management. As my oldest son was preparing to attend college, I decided that it was a good to time go get my college degree, which I did in receiving my associate’s degree.”
What do you love most about North Myrtle Beach? “Since my childhood, North Myrtle Beach has been my family's favorite place to be. My parents would always bring myself and my siblings here for family vacation, and when I became a parent there was no hesitation from my wife or myself where we wanted to bring our kids for vacation. What my family and I love about North Myrtle is that while it is a major tourist destination, it still has that small-town feel that we all love. The biggest thing that contributes to that feeling is the small businesses and family restaurants that fill the streets. Then you have all the amazing entertainment options to enjoy … the shag halls on Ocean Drive, the shops at Barefoot Landing and the performing arts centers. You can always find myself and my family visiting these places and enjoying them.”
Why do you want to be a council member? “I am a big supporter of small businesses, as that was a major reason why my parents and now me and my family live here. Through these hard times with COVID and the restrictions on these businesses, I want to do all that I can to keep them open and supporting the local economy of North Myrtle Beach. While wanting to support the small businesses in the area, I also want to protect the city and make sure we do not overcommercialize it and ruin the natural beauty of the city.
“My entire 30-year working life I have been involved in city/county government while I worked at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. During that time, I worked closely with the city council, having daily and weekly discussions with the members. While I was never a part of the city council, I became very familiar with the inner workings of the council and how it can be run efficiently and be effective for the city and the community. While working with the city council of Charlotte, one of the things that I was adamant about was the inclusion of small businesses in any and all contracts that dealt with the city so they benefited and helped the local economy.”
In what areas can the city improve? “An area that the city can improve upon is the streets and drainage. With our location to the ocean and the strong storms we are susceptible to, the drainage along the streets can cause a problem for both businesses and pedestrians. A tragic example of that was in January when we lost a beloved, brave police officer, Sgt. Gordon Best, when he lost control of his patrol car answering a call.
“Along with drainage, I also think that the repaving of many of the roads will aid in the drainage issue. Also, I want to make sure that the local small businesses get their fair share of city contracts so they, too, can flourish. I did that working with the city council of Charlotte and aim to do the same on the city council of North Myrtle Beach. Another improvement I believe in is the city would greatly benefit from a consideration to new buildings as to not overload the local infrastructure of the cities. Also, that the city employees are fairly represented and compensated for their services and contributions to the city. Lastly, the short-term rental [issue] needs to be addressed as I think the city may need to consider adding temporary summer employees to address some of the concerns of trash, police presence and safety of the people visiting our area and local businesses.”
What do you want to accomplish if elected? “I would like to look into city contracts and ensure that small businesses are and will be awarded a percentage of all contracts. Also, small businesses all along the North Myrtle Beach area are represented and supported by the city to encourage their survival and growth. I also want to make sure that all of the safety workers have the supplies and equipment that they need to provide excellent service to the citizens and visiting public.
“I would look into expanding the recycling and sustainability of North Myrtle Beach to reduce trash generated along the beach and involve the local business into a more robust recycling program. I would like to also make sure that all city workers are paid equal to the national average for their trade. To keep the small-town feel and to keep North Myrtle Beach a bustling vacation destination, we need to make sure the city is held to the highest standard.”
The city of North Myrtle Beach has a robust short-term rental industry that sometimes draws the ire of permanent residents. Would you favor more regulation of short-term rentals? “The city of North Myrtle Beach is a beautiful place. While I do not think there should be any regulation on short-term rentals, I do believe that those short-term rental companies should be held to a high standard when it comes to keeping their rental properties clean. The quickest way we as a city can lose visitors is if they find the city dirty and unappealing. I feel that the short-term rental companies should be held to a high standard of keeping the city clean and beautiful to help promote more visitors to our city.”
Elizabeth Anne Prince
Occupation: Registered nurse
Neighborhood where you live (Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, Cherry Grove or Crescent Beach): Ocean Drive
Number of years spent living in North Myrtle Beach: 13
What is your educational background? High school graduate, 1992. Associate’s degree in nursing, 1999. Bachelor’s degree in nursing, 2003
What do you love most about North Myrtle Beach? “The thing I love most about North Myrtle Beach is the friendly neighbors from everywhere, and that there are so many things to do for a town this size.”
Why do you want to be a council member? “My desire to be on North Myrtle Beach City Council is to control spending and keep a lid on taxes.”
In what areas can the city improve? “The neighborhood watch program needs to be revitalized throughout the communities of North Myrtle Beach.”
What do you want to accomplish if elected? “If elected, I would like to see full accountability from all departments of the city of North Myrtle Beach.”
Do you have prior government experience, and if so what did you do? No
The city of North Myrtle Beach has a robust short-term rental industry that sometimes draws the ire of permanent residents. Would you favor more regulation of short-term rentals? “No. Short term rentals are some residents’ primary income, and they also help to keep the city’s economy afloat. More regulation on private property is not something I am in favor of.”
Neighborhood where you live (Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, Cherry Grove or Crescent Beach): Windy Hill Section, North Myrtle Beach - Barefoot Resort
Number of years spent living in North Myrtle Beach: Lifetime – raised in Cherry Grove
What is your educational background? Bachelor’s degree in accounting, MBA in finance, Ed.S and Ph.D in instructional technology/Ed.S educational specialist
What do you love most about North Myrtle Beach? “Having lived through the changes of North Myrtle Beach as it has developed over the years. Cherry Grove remains No. 11 in Best South Carolina Beaches in U.S. News & World Report for remaining a small town for a low key vacation in what was once ranked some of the ‘widest sandy beaches in the world.’ It further is the only Horry County beach in Tripadvisor’s Top 25 U.S. Beaches ranked also No. 11 as well as ranked No. 7 for ‘safest city.’ Not only do I love these two characteristics – but so do our guests!
Why do you want to be a council member? “Because I understand the economic factors that affect our area of a S.C. lowland coastal area, I understand our history of what drives repeat guest to our local area whether it is food, customs, traditions of the South – or just shagging. And I understand finance - what is important to our neighborhoods in order to sustain North Myrtle Beach.”
In what areas can the city improve? “Continuing to remain vigilant in land use development where our priority is to protect our local S.C. wetlands in preservation and conservation. Yet in doing this, still able to grow development in infrastructure.”
What do you want to accomplish if elected? “Being a voice in the area that hears and understands what our permanent residents are concerned with. Representing these voices is what I want to accomplish in service only as I have found many past representatives failed in the ability to be approachable in just this goal.”
Do you have prior government experience, and if so what did you do? “Many appointed state educational committees with the SCDOE.”
The city of North Myrtle Beach has a robust short-term rental industry that sometimes draws the ire of permanent residents. Would you favor more regulation of short-term rentals? “I have too owned and participated in this industry, even as my grandfather purchased his first property from Dick Elliott. The ‘ire’ I find is established more from the part-time residents who want the benefits of the South geographically and financially as a tax shelter without investing in our residents, such as when land developments are negotiated and reduced taxes contributed in exchange for development. In this capacity, I favor greater regulation across the board.”
Current or former occupation: Retired U.S. Army colonel
Neighborhood where you live (Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, Cherry Grove or Crescent Beach): Tilghman Estates/Ocean Drive
Number of years spent living in North Myrtle Beach: 3
What is your educational background? Master's in public safety, minor in education; studied at the University of South Carolina.
What do you love most about North Myrtle Beach? “First of all, it is on the beach. Second, it is very friendly to families. I enjoy having family and friends come and stay with me. We enjoy the local restaurants, attractions and spending lots of time digging sand castles with the grandkids.”
Why do you want to be a council member? “I do not come to this with a specific agenda. I am intrigued by the idea of a councilor-at-large in that I would represent all of the residents, businesses and, yes, even tax-paying nonresidents. I am not in a business, a developer or have any dog in any fight. No special interest groups are funding or advising me. I wish to advocate for all. I have no motive but the best for the residents and visitors. Having served 12 years as a military police officer, I have a strong sense for public safety and emergency preparedness. Once a year we face the prospect of a catastrophic weather event. I experienced Hurricane Hugo here in 1989. We need to be ready. We need to be ready to prepare (now), evacuate, assess damage and rebuild. Public safety means enforcing laws and ordinances. A strong police presence prevents us from becoming a crime-of-opportunity area.
In what areas can the city improve? “Single-use plastic ban, green ways to link neighborhoods via pedestrian, bike and golf cart paths, address the continued issues associated with short-term rentals. Beach access parking.”
What do you want to accomplish if elected? “Be the tip of the spear for developing a comprehensive 100-year strategic plan. Years ago, our city made some horrible infrastructure decisions. The worst may be putting the sewage treatment facility in the center of town on prime intracoastal property. We need to make the right decision now and develop a 100-year plan, a plan that will harness the potential of our undeveloped land, mostly west of the intracoastal, to protect our utilities from hurricane damage. And answer the question: how do we want to leave our city to not our children but our grandchildren’s children?”
Do you have prior government experience, and if so what did you do? "Thirty-five years as a U.S. Army officer. Law enforcement officer in the U.S. Army serving in Panama, Korea and the U.S. Civil military officer with the State Department/embassy level experience in Egypt, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. While serving in Iraq, I acted as the U.S. Government/military liaison to the Kurdish Government with duties which included supervision and project management and the expenditure of millions of dollars to build schools, medical clinics, infrastructure projects for water, roads, power and the construction of a maximum-security prison in northern Iraq.”
The city of North Myrtle Beach has a robust short-term rental industry that sometimes draws the ire of permanent residents. Would you favor more regulation of short-term rentals? “This topic came up recently and is a concern among many in North Myrtle Beach. I can say personally where I live it would not be something that I would feel comfortable with. I remember my Uncle Thomas renting his oceanfront home in Cherry Grove and describing the spring break kids ripping out the bathroom fixtures and throwing them off the second-story deck. Who would want this in their neighborhood? Some neighborhoods have strong homeowner associations which clearly prohibit short-term rentals (problem solved). My neighborhood has no such association. I know of little legal recourse if I had a short-term rental next door. I am initially thinking of short-term rentals being limited to or restricted to areas where it is most likely to thrive and be compatible with neighborhood values. This is consistent with other zoning issues (priorities). Zoning should complement adjoining communities, not conflict. Finally, keep in mind short-term rental [business] is a funding source for the city. Any reduction in funding will need to be resourced somewhere else or services reduced. To add on, I think something like a max number of people per square feet of living space, max number of vehicles at any one single family residence, no on-street parking except in front of the rental, no parking on the lawns, no rental less than a week, etc. would probably be legal with the right findings at the front end of an ordinance.
“The legal issues which come up and have been before courts [involve] ordinances which equate to the city’s ‘taking’ of the property. When we cross over into taking, then compensation by the city to the property owner is required. The authority to enact zoning laws to restrict STRs is extensive, it should be exercised in a way that addresses the complexity of the phenomenon. A failure to do so results in either constitutional challenges or void ordinances, which send underpaid and overworked city attorneys back to the drawing board. As is my strategy in many problem-solving issues, my question is, ‘What does right (or success) look like?’ Other cities have looked at and approached STR using differing strategies, some successful, some not. The city of Austin has taken some of the right steps. I cannot go into more detail, but suffice it to say only by more thoroughly accounting for the new ways in which property owners are using their homes will cities be able to find their way forward in solving the STR controversy.”
Current or former occupation: Retired from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Personnel Management
Neighborhood where you live (Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, Cherry Grove or Crescent Beach): Ocean Drive
Number of years spent living in North Myrtle Beach: 14 years full time
What is your educational background? High school graduate and U.S. Army veteran
What do you love most about North Myrtle Beach? “Location, location, location. Everything is nearby. Love the concerts in summer, but COVID took care of that last year.”
Why do you want to be a council member? “I am not going to sugarcoat my goal, so some of my following ideas may not be what voters want to hear, but it is my belief and I can live with it. I want to be part of a solution to stop raising property taxes without any voter input. If it involves taxes, then the people should hear the reasons and be able to ask questions. The city should make its case, then a referendum for voter input.”
In what areas can the city improve? “I know I am going to take a hit on this, but when the city enacted the parking fees, it alienated everyone outside of the city, especially Horry County residents. The ocean is a natural resource that God made, and everyone should have the same access; with no fees. I like it that I can park for free, but it’s just not right. Unfortunately, it has turned into a ‘cash cow.’ I’d like to see it go away. My plan would involve the impact fees listed below to offset these and other fees. I have been told that parking fees help pay for lifeguards, but the city runs all the concessions on the beach, i.e. beach/umbrella rentals, Italian ice, and the large water slide near Main Street.
“I had always said in the past, we were lucky not to have parking fees like the rest of the municipalities on the Grand Strand. I also feel the city overinvested in the sports complex. It grew too fast and then came the pandemic, nothing anyone has seen in their lifetime, but it did. It has basically come to a crawl and I feel part of the recent property tax increase, was to help keep it afloat. And we’re still not out of the woods, the pandemic is still here. Think of the businesses that failed this past year with nothing to fall back on, like taxpayers’ dollars.
What do you want to accomplish if elected? “I hope everyone understands, this election is only an eight-month position, temporary until November 2021, then the seat will be filled for a full term, thus a new election. I can share my views and what I can plan moving forward with your help. I am up for the challenge. I can’t please everybody, but hopefully, the most.
“Moving forward, having my votes heard, of being a non-business owner on the council. I am not a builder, real estate broker or have any business interests other than my own and the best interest of the citizens of North Myrtle Beach.
“There is a population explosion happening right now here in North Myrtle Beach and Horry County. All you have to do is drive up or down U.S. 17 and S.C. 31 to see it for yourself. The city just annexed property at Possum Trot for a Dell Webb community, with plans for 553 new homes. Contractors and investors are pouring in money, and then make a ton of money, then leave. We are left with no money for roads, schools and infrastructure after this massive growth. There should be an impact fee on any new home built within the city limits, in the range of $10K to $15K per new home to offset real estate taxes.
“This is not going to be popular among real estate companies, but it’s coming sooner than later. We cannot sustain this growth without taxes going up and this is a way to help prevent that. The impact fee, in my opinion, will not result in any sales decrease of real estate. People from the north are coming in, with their current real estate taxes in the $7K – 10K range, buying new homes under $300K; they still think the area is a ‘steal.’ This is not going away unless measures are taken.”
Do you have prior government experience, and if so what did you do? “I worked and retired from the federal government for 18 years as a computer technician at the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, in Washington D.C. I know how government works and how to do acquisitions that are within the guidelines.
“I led a project with a $5 million budget to create and build 11 computer training centers, used for the Direct Student Loan Program under President Clinton, to teach post-secondary institutions in 11 cities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico how to lend students money directly, without going to banks or other lending institutions. I came in under the $5 million budget.
“I also was the first to introduce video conferencing/distance learning at the Department of Education.”
The city of North Myrtle Beach has a robust short-term rental industry that sometimes draws the ire of permanent residents. Would you favor more regulation of short-term rentals? “Absolutely. I think the owners should be held responsible for the behavior of these large gatherings in a small house.
“It should be the three-strike rule: warning the first time, warning the second time with a fine, and the third time revoke their license to rent.
“Being on 5th Avenue South on the ocean side, we hear and see this behavior every year, very discouraging.”
Current or former occupation: Commercial account manager for Trane Technologies
Neighborhood where you live (Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, Cherry Grove or Crescent Beach): Tilghman Estates in Ocean Drive
Number of years spent living in North Myrtle Beach: 12
What is your educational background? Bachelor’s degree in accounting from UNC-Charlotte, master’s degree in business from Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina.
What do you love most about North Myrtle Beach? “The people, southern charm and quaintness, golf, fishing, shagging, Music on Main and the beach.”
Why do you want to be a council member? “With my education and background in business and finance, I have experience that could be valuable to the planning and continued growth in North Myrtle Beach. I plan to retire here and watch my grandchildren grow up here, so I feel obligated to do my part to make North Myrtle Beach a great place to live and raise a family, not only for me but for future generations to come.”
In what areas can the city improve? “I think the city has challenges with beach parking, golf cart usage, growth and safety to our citizens; so I would like to see more discussions on how to improve those areas.
“Also, I think the city has done an excellent job handling the growth, and I would like to continue to keep North Myrtle Beach a clean and great place for families to live and vacation.”
What do you want to accomplish if elected? “To understand the viewpoints of the other council staff and to contribute in a way that has a positive, meaningful impact. I think it’s important to share different viewpoints and to make sure we agree to disagree sometimes.
“As the community continues to grow at a rapid pace, I would like to see the culture and charm of this city remain as we continue to monitor the aesthetics of new buildings and communities.”
Do you have prior government experience, and if so what did you do? “No experience in government but lots of experience with HOA boards.”
The city of North Myrtle Beach has a robust short-term rental industry that sometimes draws the ire of permanent residents. Would you favor more regulation of short-term rentals? “I feel that this issue must be discussed in more detail, but I do not feel we should interfere with an individual’s right to earn revenue as long as the property is maintained properly and renters are respectful and follow the laws, rules and regulations of North Myrtle Beach.
(No picture provided)
Current or former occupation: Retired former executive vice president of First County Bank in Stamford, Connecticut
Neighborhood where you live (Windy Hill, Ocean Drive, Cherry Grove or Crescent Beach): Cherry Grove
Number of years spent living in North Myrtle Beach: 11
What is your educational background? Stonier Graduate School of Banking
What do you love most about North Myrtle Beach? “The people.”
Why do you want to be a council member? “Development is going to continue to occur whether we like it or not. I want any new development to be done smartly. Make sure the road infrastructure can handle the amount of traffic.”
In what areas can the city improve? “Road safety, and we need to begin to facilitate a plan to bury all electrical wiring.”
What do you want to accomplish if elected? “To keep this city beautiful and safe.”
Do you have prior government experience, and if so what did you do? No.
The city of North Myrtle Beach has a robust short-term rental industry that sometimes draws the ire of permanent residents. Would you favor more regulation of short-term rentals? “Again, let’s face the facts. Tourism is key in the Grand Strand. The HOAs (of which there are many) can vote themselves to limit or abolish short-term rentals.”
Current occupation or former occupation if retired; not including any current elected position: Taxi driver
Number of years you have lived in North Myrtle Beach: 20-plus years
Editor’s note: Ed Ramey submitted the same responses that he provided for a North Strand News questionnaire during a council race in 2019.
Why are you running for office? “The state of politics in this country is the reason why I'm getting involved and running for public office. Every elected official in North Myrtle Beach is a multi-term incumbent. New leadership would be an encouraging sign as we strive to accommodate the future challenges and growth of our city.”
Why do you think you’re qualified to hold public office? “Living here for over 20 years and being a part of this community qualifies me for public office. Listening and learning from others and finding solutions is what I will bring to the position.”
What’s your biggest accomplishment in either the private sector or public service? Former owner/operator of Flash Cab
Do you have any plans or specific policy goals you want to accomplish if elected? “Burying our remaining power lines as we deal with the prospect of deadlier and more destructive hurricanes should be addressed. Finish paving our decaying roads is also a top priority as more vehicles populate our roads.
“Continue refurbishing and restoring our beaches. The ocean and sand are the main reason many of our visitors come to our shores every year. Looking into new policies that would utilize more re-usable energy such as solar and wind to help power our city.
How do you plan to handle growth and development as North Myrtle Beach expands? Please explain whether or not you want to see more development within the city limits. “Thoughtful and informative dialogue with the community to provide smart strategies to use our growth to our advantage. Identify and designate specific areas for future growth i.e. the Sport Park. As a city, we are allowing millions of dollars for our community to go to surrounding areas because we have not developed and expanded upon this revenue source.
“Find ways to become economically diverse, socially vibrant and welcoming as our population grows. Address obsolete businesses and structures and replace with new construction or renovation.”