Surfside Beach rehires former Building and Codes director amid concerns about qualifications

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SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – The Surfside Beach Town Council voted 4-3 Tuesday night to immediately rehire a former Building and Codes Department director despite concerns about whether she is qualified for the job.

Mayor Bob Hellyer cast the deciding vote in favor of rehiring Sabrina Morris after a number of residents at the meeting spoke both for and against her hiring.

According to the job posting, the Building and Codes Director “controls the quality of construction and safety of all structures and property through enforcement of building and zoning codes.”

Among other things, the director must be certified as a “Certified Building Official,” according to the posting, which lists the range for the job as between $70,019 and $99,427.

A town official said during Tuesday night’s meeting that Morris is not qualified for the job. However, according to the meeting’s agenda, she will be given two years to obtain a CBO license.

Councilman William “Bill” Kinken said that there were multiple qualified candidates for the position, yet they won’t be given an opportunity because of the vote to rehire Morris.

It’s not the first time Morris’ role in the town’s government has been a focal point. In January 2018, she was reinstated to the position of Planning Building and Zoning Director after being fired in 2017 for “recording conversations in the workplace.”

Her firing took place during a dispute in which Surfside Beach town officials claimed that the owner of the Wild Water and Wheels water park may have been given special treatment despite possible code violations.

In other action Tuesday night, the town council passed a motion to form a parking committee that will look at various issues, including golf cart parking at beach accesses. It was mentioned that a number of golf carts without a proper sticker have been parking at the beach.

Hellyer also raised concerns about not having enough parking around the town’s pier, which is currently being rebuilt after being destroyed in 2016 during Hurricane Matthew.

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