Chairman: Some on Horry County Council attempted ‘coup’ before considering county administrator candidates

Chairman: Some on Horry County Council attempted ‘coup’ before considering county administrator candidates
Johnny Gardner

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner took to social media to discuss the “arduous process” of selecting a permanent county administrator.

In a June 21 Facebook post, Gardner said after the county council made the decision to have an open application process for the administrator position, several council members tried to “subvert the process by effectively attempting a coup to appoint our interim administrator to the permanent position before even considering the qualifications of other potential candidates.”

Back in April, Steve Gosnell was named the county’s interim administrator after the council voted to relieve former administrator Chris Eldridge of his duties.

Gardner said he opposed the attempt to make Gosnell the permanent administrator, as it wasn’t “in the best interests of the county and our citizens.”

“After knowledge of this attempted coup became public, many of council backed away from the initial plan,” Gardner wrote.

Citizens and friends, I wanted to share a few things with you as council is coming to the important interview process...

Posted by Johnny Can Help on Friday, June 21, 2019

The county council has a special meeting scheduled for Wednesday in which the governing body will interview five candidates interested in the administrator position. Gosnell is one of the candidates, as are Rep. Alan Clemmons and former Myrtle Beach City Council member Wayne Gray.

The interviews will be held in council chambers starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday. According to Gardner, each candidate will be given two minutes for an opening statement and three for a closing statement. Every council member will have a five-minute maximum to question the candidates.

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