SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Town council will look a little different in Surfside Beach after residents elected four new members in Tuesday’s runoff election, which includes a new mayor.
While those elected won’t take office for three more weeks, they’re already making sure that decisions made by the current council are in the best interest of the Surfside Beach residents.
The current town council called a special meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss a leasing agreement in regard to one of the buildings that will sit on the new Surfside Beach Pier.
However, Mayor-elect Bob Hellyer stood up in front of council and asked them to hold off on making any major decision before the new council members and mayor take office in December.
“We don’t have a problem with leases on the pier and we’re willing to take a look at it but to do a last-minute thing doesn’t make sense if our buildings on the pier aren’t going to be built for another two years,” said Hellyer.
Alongside Hellyer were newly-elected council members, Michael Drake, Paul Holder, and Cindy Keating, who want to be a voice for residents.
Each expressed hope for better communication with residents, eliminating drama, focusing on issues that matter and better the town of Surfside Beach as a whole.
“We need to make sure they’re not making some type of commitment on behalf of the town that the residents aren’t agreeing with,” said Keating.
After nearly an hour and a half in executive session, no action was taken. Mayor Bob Childs said the future of the pier is now in the hands of the next council.
“The number one thing I got asked about every day when I was going door to door was the pier,” said Holder.
For nearly three years the Surfside Beach Pier has stood in disrepair.
“The pier needs to be completed and I think too much time has been wasted, the people want it back and they want it built right,” said Drake.
After months of disputes between council members, town leaders and residents, the town of Surfside Beach will turn over a new chapter.
“We want have the residents involved in what we’re doing and want to keep them informed through transparency of what we’re doing so that way they know the reasoning of why we do something, but also be part of that decision,” said Hellyer.
Hellyer along with the three new council members will officially be sworn-in in three weeks on Dec. 10.