HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - After 36 years of service to Horry County, council members accepted James Frazier's resignation Tuesday night.
Chairman Mark Lazarus said Frazier is the longest-sitting council member in Horry County's history.
Frazier was not in attendance and his seat was empty. It's been that way for the past several months since Frazier was admitted to an assisted living facility.
But many came out to honor him. Leaders also read a proclamation from the City of Myrtle Beach in his honor before hanging a portrait of Frazier inside council chambers.
It's meant to be a lasting memento to the time Frazier has spent working for the people of Horry County.
"It's a loss of a lot of knowledge, just wisdom, compassion for the people of his district," Thresla Dewitt, who works for Horry County Human Resources, said. "It's going to be a great loss, and it's a great loss for the community. It really is because he's been so great throughout his tenure on council."
Lazarus said Tuesday night's presentation was the first time a council member's photo has gone up inside council chambers. Frazier's portrait was a great way to start the tradition of honoring long-serving council members.
A special celebration will be held for Frazier on June 18 in the Bucksport community. More details will be released at a later time, according to Lazarus.
Another community member council members remembered was Kay Loftus.
She had served on the Horry County School Board for several years before passing away Monday at Grand Strand Medical Center.
The council honored her with a moment of silence.
Her husband, Gary Loftus, is an Horry County Council member as well. He was also missing from Tuesday night's meeting.
His wife's funeral is planned for Thursday, according to county officials.
"She's been a great community member. She's served on the school board for a long time and served our community well and worked hard in the hotel industry all her life and raised a family here," Lazarus said. "She's a special person to all of us."
After Frazier and Loftus were honored it was down to business for the council. The budget was the biggest topic of conversation ahead of a workshop planned for April.
"We pretty much know it's going to be a status quo budget," said Lisa Bourcier, public information director for Horry County. "Our budget is a little over $400 million. We had a tax increase last year. We are going to be pretty conservative on this year's budget."
The council also gave second approval to an ordinance to take $500,000 from the county's storm water fund.
It has just one more reading to go before it's official.
Bourcier said that money will go toward repair work from Hurricane Joaquin last October and some of the other flooding issues Horry County has seen over the last several months.
The money will also be used for storm water studies and focusing heavily on the Highway 9 and Highway 57 corridor, as well as a few others.
The last big issue council covered Tuesday night was litter in Horry County.
The county administrator said crews collected more than 1,600 bags of trash and recyclables along roads in February alone. Officers wrote 13 tickets for people in that same month.
But looking at the past year, they've seen crews gather more than 14,000 bags of trash.
They say litter is really a challenge for Horry County, and it's a challenge to catch people doing it.