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Newcomer seeks to unseat longtime mayor in North Myrtle Beach mayoral race

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 7:01 PM EDT
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Two people are vying for the North Myrtle Beach mayor’s seat in the November election.

Current North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley is looking to win her sixth term in office, while newcomer Wayne Troutman hopes to be the first person to win against Hatley in 20 years.

Troutman grew up in the Charlotte area and is a retired businessman and Vietnam War veteran.

He said his background in business and serving on political boards in North Carolina, brings not only the right experience, but he also said he has a fresh set of eyes needed to lead North Myrtle Beach. He has owned property along the Grand Strand since the late 1980s but just recently moved to North Myrtle Beach.

“Number one, the residents and people who live here, the taxpayers, the people who are here year-round, need to be the main interest,” Troutman said.

He said the number one issue facing North Myrtle Beach is growth. He wants to make sure the roads can keep up with the new people moving in. He added that said budget control without property tax increases for people who call North Myrtle Beach home is a top priority.

“We have to make sure not only are we attracting the visitors, but we gotta make sure the local residents are being represented in the city administration,” he added.

Currently, Hatley has served as mayor since 2001. Before that, she served on the city council and had businesses throughout the city. She said while she’s proud of her progress over the years as mayor but said she’s not done yet.

“Since I have been mayor we’ve gone from being a sleepy little community of Myrtle Beach to a thriving destination,” Hatley said.

Hatley said during her years in office, she’s managed to keep the budget balanced, keep the property tax rate the lowest out of any cities in Horry County and has worked on projects like underground utilities. She said she’s working now to bring a special needs playground to the Park and Sports Complex.

She said if elected again, addressing growth is a top priority for her too. But she is focused all around on continuing what she’s started.

“Our city is a wonderful city, it’s voted the number one safest city in the state of South Carolina. My goal is to continue that,” she said.

She says her long-term relationships with other leaders like Gov. Henry McMaster on top of other local and statewide lawmakers only help the people of North Myrtle Beach.

“It really makes the difference when a mayor can get on the phone and say hey we need some help,” she said.

Still, even though Troutman has only lived full-time in the area for a few years, he said he’s ready to take on the job.

“I will run this city like a business. I will make sure it is run very efficiently, I am very conservative by nature of being a businessman,” he added.

The election will be held on Nov. 2.

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