MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach City Council candidate Mike Hobeika grew up in the hotel business on 3rd Avenue North. He went through the ROTC in college and was honorably discharged after a decade in the Army.
His campaign brochure begins with the phrase: "Frankly, my dear, I've had enough..." and continues: "enough of City Council spending OUR tax dollars on private ventures. Enough of using deceit & eminent domain to drive good people out of business. Enough of spending $Millions advertising "heads on beds" ... but attracting the criminal element instead of the families that made Myrtle Beach America's finest vacation destination. Enough career politicians serving for 12, 16 - even 20 years! Bottom line? All this nonsense has to stop. Let's replace it with common sense & morality. If you elect me to serve on City Council, that's exactly what I promise to do for you!"
Hobeika on public safety
Hobeika said salaries need to be raised to improve Myrtle Beach policing. He said 70 new police positions in 7 years will not make Myrtle Beach safer. He says statistics show two officers are needed per one thousand people. With over 15,000 homes in the process of being built in Myrtle Beach, Hobeika said Myrtle Beach Police will be lacking before the seven year plan is seen through.
"The deal with public safety really is very simple," he said. "One thing Myrtle Beach does not have a shortage of is money. We have an abundance of money within city hall to do the things that we need to do...and our police need a jobs package. We have to make the jobs at Myrtle Beach attractive so we can bring the police officers needed as well as retain the officers we have. Right now, our policemen start out about $32,000 a year. It's my understanding the average salary across the country is about $51,000, and if we can bring those salaries up, we can have those policemen we need, and they'll be able to do the job that they're asked to do."
His other public safety-related stances, according to his campaign literature, are:
-Reduce crime by attractive more traditional business with family events and activities
-Restore confidence in public safety (ample, properly trained, well-air community police to protect guests and merchants)
-Maintain property tax credits and divert funds to public safety and infrastructure (now given to Chamber of Commerce)
Hobeika on re-development
More of Hobeika's related states, according to his campaign brochure, include:
-Maintain clear, beautiful beaches (and the finest water quality in America)
-Provide full handicap beach access (along with attractive changing facilities)
-End use of eminent domain to seize property
-Redefine the role of the Chamber of Commerce (demand a full accounting of every tax dollar)
-Efficient, low-cost public transportation (keep cars off our streets)
-Provide free, safe, well-lit parking areas. (attract more law-abiding citizens)
Hobeika on why he should be elected
More of Hobeika's campaign promises include:
-Reduce debt (incumbents have borrowed $220 million)
-Term limits – 2 terms of 4 years (current Council averages 12 to 20 years)
-Single-member voting districts (every voter and neighborhood represented)
This is the third of WMBF News' profiles of Myrtle Beach City Council candidates. The series began Oct. 16, and will run nine days, with the last candidate being profiled Oct. 26. WMBF News will interview each of the nine candidates in alphabetical order, and will ask the same three questions to each. Those questions are about re-development, public safety and why he or she should be chosen for city council.
Here are the air dates for each candidate:
Oct. 16: Ann Dunham
Oct. 17: Matthew Hardee
Oct. 18 Mike Hobeika
Oct. 19 Mike Lowder (incumbent)
Oct. 20 Brooks Myers
Oct. 23 Gregg Smith
Oct 24 Kevin VanWinkle
Oct 25 Jackie Vereen
Oct 26 Randall Wallace (incumbent)