Deadlock vote stalls search expansion for Horry Co. administrator

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The search for a new Horry County administrator remains at a standstill, following a deadlock vote among leaders at Tuesday night's Horry County Council meeting.

Councilwoman Liz Gilland confirms the vote that would budget an extra $5,000 to expand the searching field for a new administrator resulted in a 6-6 tie.

The Mercer Group, an executive search team hired by Horry County officials to conduct the search, indicated the need for additional expenses on Dec. 1.

Following a non-conclusive search for a person to fill the position in November, leaders extended the contract of current interim administrator John Weaver through March 1, 2010.

Weaver, alongside Duncan Ballantyne, were the two candidates Horry County leaders failed to name as the next Horry County administrator. After an executive session failed to reach an agreement on a suitable candidate in November, county officials announced neither would be awarded the position.

A third candidate, Terry Stewart, announced his resignation from the race before the final vote by county leaders.

Officials say Stewart was not only uncomfortable with his interview, but was also sensitive to the FOIA open meeting requirements and possible repercussions.

The topic remains up for discussion at the next Horry County Council meeting.

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