Governor Nikki Haley meets with Atlantic Beach leaders

Governor Nikki Haley feels she has a better understanding why Atlantic Beach wants to stick with Bikefest, but says the conversation won't be ending here.
Governor Nikki Haley feels she has a better understanding why Atlantic Beach wants to stick with Bikefest, but says the conversation won't be ending here.
Atlantic Beach Police Chief Timothy Taylor was at this morning's meeting with the Governor and three other Atlantic Beach leaders.
Atlantic Beach Police Chief Timothy Taylor was at this morning's meeting with the Governor and three other Atlantic Beach leaders.

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - Governor Nikki Haley and Atlantic Beach town leaders finally sat down to discuss Bikefest Thursday.

There was very little dialogue during their last encounter in Atlantic Beach. However, the two met in Columbia Thursday afternoon.

They did not say when or where the meeting would be, but WMBF News Reporter Lisa Gresci caught up with the Governor at another event to find out how the meeting went.

WMBF News has learned the meeting was to clear the air.

Both parties agree, it was a conversation that was a long time coming. Governor Nikki Haley feels she has a better understanding why Atlantic Beach wants to stick with Bikefest, but says the conversation won't be ending here.

"It was a very honest, emotional discussion, in that, we found out where they were coming from in Atlantic Beach," Governor Haley said They understood what my concerns were. What we did was talk about the fact that we need to communicate."

Atlantic Beach Police Chief Timothy Taylor was at this morning's meeting with the Governor and three other Atlantic Beach leaders.

"It's a meeting that needed to happen, we took the trip down to Columbia and I think in our 45 minutes of meeting, we came to a good understanding of things and we are willing to work with the Governor and anyone else surrounding us," Chief Taylor said.

Governor Haley stressed the importance of having relationships with those surrounding municipalities.

"...they're doing everything they can to be good neighbors, and we're doing everything we can to preserve the historic state they're trying to keep," Haley said. "So what we decided is we are going to keep talking."

Chief Taylor explained he wants to build that relationship with North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach.

"I think once we all come to the table and get a clear understanding, I think we are going to work together and do great things here and prevent it, and prevent what happened last time in Myrtle Beach," Taylor said.

Governor Haley says the two had a great respect for each other. But at the same time they both knew there had been miscommunication.

WMBF News asked Governor Haley if she still planned to put an end to Bikefest.

"We can't make them stop coming," she said. "But we can let them know if they want to keep coming, they have to follow the rules of living here. That's what we're doing with the leadership of Public Safety and SLED as we're going forward, and I think that's the way county council wants to go, and I think Atlantic Beach - we're going to start having conversations to tell them what they can do to help us move forward."

"It's not going to get worked out over night, but in the end I think we will all be happy with the outcome, and work together and move forward from there," Taylor said.​

Governor Haley wants to assure the public that there will not be another violent Memorial Day weekend and they are doing everything they can to make sure people feel good in their homes.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.