Carolina Forest Civic Association hosts Q&A with county candidates ahead of June election

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 11:19 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Residents in the Carolina Forest area had an opportunity to hear from candidates in a pair of local races in next month’s elections.

The Carolina Forest Civic Association hosted the event featuring candidates for Horry County Council Chair and the Horry County School Board.

The turnout, however, wasn’t what organizers were hoping for.

“Actually I’m very disappointed in the turnout. We knew we were doing a special time to open up the time limits for Horry County School Board and Horry County Council,” said Carole VanSickler, President of the Carolina Forest Civic Association.

Eight candidates for the school board took the podium, addressing the handful of Carolina Forest Residents in attendance. Community questions included concern over safety around school zones and bussing students.

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“We don’t get enough buses from the state to support the buses we have now, so that’s an expensive thing that we have to do,” District 6 candidate Helen Smith said when asked how to incentive more students to take the bus.

In terms of the Horry County Council races, only four candidates made an appearance.

One of the hot topics discussed? Interstate 73.

“I-73 to me is on the backburner, I think it’s a great road, a great idea, but ride around Horry County,” said Johnny Vaught, a current councilman who’s running for the chair on the council.

That question was also open to candidates running for other seats on the council.

“The idea sounds nice but without the Federal Funding, there’s no way that I’m gonna tell constituents, I know your roadways are bad because I drive on the same roads you do. Let’s make a brand new interstate for the tourists,” said Shannon Grady, who’s running for the council’s eighth district seat.

Residents that spoke to WMBF News

Did the two-hour meeting help those in attendance decide who will earn their vote?

“No, not yet, I’ll still review some of the information on all the candidates and do a process of elimination,” said Craig Beaudry, who lives in Carolina Forest.

“Yes, I have. So this meeting was good,” said fellow resident James Maderas.

Voters will head to the polls on June 14.

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