Myrtle Beach Emergency Manager retires as part of city’s early retirement plan to cut costs

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach Emergency Manager Bruce Arnel is retiring as part of the city’s early retirement plan to cut costs due to the pandemic affecting the budget.

Arnel served as the Emergency Manager for four years. He previously was the Fire Marshal for 17 years and served the Myrtle Beach Fire Department for 29 years.

City Public Information Officer Mark Kruea said Arnel was one of approximately 35 people who took advantage of the early retirement plan.

Kruea said Tuesday the positions of those retiring early will not be filled until at least July 1, 2021.

News13 asked Kruea if the timing of the decision during the peak of hurricane season and a pandemic would force any re-organization changes to handle the duties of the Emergency Manager. Kruea said the responsibilities would be divided up among existing staff.

“If I recall correctly, [Arnel] has worked in that capacity for about three years now,” Kruea said. “Prior to that, the responsibility rotated between the Police and Fire Chiefs, who obviously have an active role to play in any emergency such as a hurricane threat.”

“Thanks to [Arnel’s] efforts to bring everything current during his tenure at emergency manager, I believe we are at state-of-the-art and in good shape going forward [with the plans to divide up responsibilities], even during the last two and a half months of this hurricane season.”

Kruea said Tuesday the early retirement plan was necessary due to the budget being affected by the pandemic.

The plan extended health care through December and mincluded a contribution of 25% of each person’s salary into retirement systems.

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