CAROLINA FOREST, S.C. (WBTW) — Several candidates for different races in Horry County were at a meet and greet in Carolina Forest Wednesday night.
There were candidates for Horry County school board and board chair, plus Horry County council and council chair.
The event was hosted by the Carolina Forest Civic Association.
“[I was] very impressed with most everybody here tonight,” Carolina Forest resident Craig Beaudry said.
The candidates discussed hot button issues in Carolina Forest and across the county from growth, to overcrowded schools, to infrastructure and even Interstate 73. Just about every Horry County buzzword was addressed in some way by the people in the audience and the candidates.
“For me personally, I would rate [the event] top notch,” said Carolina Forest resident Norm Fay. “I thought it was well run. It’s unfortunate that more people don’t take advantage of it.”
Three of the four candidates for Horry County Council chair were present. Current chairman Johnny Gardner was not in attendance, despite the civic association announcing his registration for the event.
His challengers Mark Lazarus, Katrina Morrison and Johnny Vaught all agreed the current council is disjointed.
Vaught said there’s a division on county council between people on opposite sides of the Intracoastal Waterway.
“I don’t feel like the west of the waterway people have gotten their fair shake,” Vaught said. “I really don’t. So there’s a disconnect.”
Some people voiced concerns about road congestion and overcrowded schools.
Katrina Morrison said the council is not listening to constituents who want to see growth slow down.
“We are growing at too fast a rate,” Morrison said. “It is imperative that larger impact fees are imposed to help with the infrastructure.”
Others said Carolina Forest needs more first responders.
Mark Lazarus said filling current public safety openings should come before creating new ones.
“My thought process is if we have 36 positions to fill, let’s fill those and then let’s add more positions,” Lazarus said.
The primary election is June 14.