Horry County approves contract for new administrator Steve Gosnell

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Nine months of arguments, interviews and negotiating have finally come to an end for Horry County Council, as the county has officially named its new administrator.

Council voted 10-1 Tuesday night to approve a contract for Steve Gosnell, who was named to the job last month. Council member Tyler Servant of Surfside Beach was the only vote against the deal and council member Al Allen of Aynor was absent from the meeting. Gosnell was not at the meeting because he was already scheduled to be on vacation.

Council chair Johnny Gardner says he didn’t want to make the same mistakes that were in the contract of former county administrator Chris Eldridge.

“I didn’t want that contract because it wasn’t fair to the people of Horry County,” Gardner said. “It wasn’t fair to the employees and the citizens because it had too many things. It was one-sided.”

Gosnell took over as interim administrator in April after Eldridge was given a severance package. Gosnell was then made permanent administrator in July and now he has a new contract.

It’s a three-year deal worth just under $205,000 a year. It also includes an option after each year.

It does not have an evergreen clause, which Gardner says made it difficult for the county and Eldridge to separate.

“If you had to give somebody six months notice before you were going to terminate them and if you don’t do that, they automatically get another year,” said Gardner. “It’s like a subscription you can’t get out of.”

Gosnell will also get a vehicle allowance similar to the one he already had. Gardner says this one is cheaper than Eldridge’s allowance.

Gardner also says it feels good to reach a deal and end the uncertainty around this top county position.

“We wanted a fair contract, a contract fair to the administrator and a contract fair to the county,” he said.

Gardner says the contract will officially be made public Wednesday morning.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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