FULL STATEMENT: City official responds to Bikefest inquiries

Below is the full statement from City of Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea after repeated requests for details on what was discussed behind closed doors during an executive session regarding Memorial Day Bikefest safety plans.

Read the Freedom of Information Act.  It's part of state law, approved by the General Assembly, signed by the governor and upheld by the courts.  State law contemplates that there are safety and security issues which may need to be discussed privately, for the public's protection.  Disclosing security measures prematurely can defeat the protection they afford.  Consider a bank.  Banks do not tell the public all of the safety and security measures they employ to protect not only your money, but also you as a customer when you are physically inside a bank.  Consider the money itself.  The US government does not disclose all of the security features incorporated into the paper money that is within your wallet or purse.  Why?  Because disclosing those security features would defeat the purpose of having them in the first place, which is to provide safety and security.  Again, read the state law on the subject of public information and executive sessions.  You'll find the entire South Carolina Freedom of Information Act on the city's web site at www.cityofmyrtlebeach.com/foia.html.

Please know that the local jurisdictions are beginning to think and plan for next year, to address the issues which arose during May.  It will take time and conversation and cooperation and deliberation, and that will be readily apparent to the public in coming weeks and months.  Perhaps it will require additional rules and regulations.  If so, those certainly will be discussed publicly, as City Council or one of the other jurisdictions deliberates them.  This planning effort is not something to be rushed.  It's certainly not something to be rushed just because the news media want to fill their newscasts and newspapers with stories about this subject.  The news media – your station included – see this topic as a hot one for ratings/audience/viewership/readership/hits/revenues.  But the news media does a disservice to the public by failing to recognize when your hyperactivity is self-defeating, by failing to keep the overall process in perspective and by failing to recognize the explicit permissions granted in state law and the reasons why those permissions are there in the first place.   Get some common sense, please.

If you are going to use any of this, I request that you use all of it.