1 Vote for Laurens Administrator; 11 Votes for Horry Interim Administrator
Caime received chairman’s vote for Horry County administrator
Laurens County Administrator Jon Caime received one vote - from council chairman Johnny Gardner - for the position of Horry County Administrator.
Eleven others on the council voted to take the interim tag off Steve Gosnell, and make Gosnell the new administrator of one of the state’s fastest-growing counties. A contract was being put together for Gosnell, but a previous Horry County administrator, Chris Eldridge, received a salary of more than $200,000/annual. Caime’s salary is $130,000/annual. As assistant administrator, before being named the interim administrator, Gosnell’s salary was $174,836/annual.
Caime said last month, “I’m not going anywhere,” but he was one of four candidates interviewed last month in closed session for the Horry County position.
Gardner said Gosnell will do a good job.
“I think Mr. Gosnell respects me, and I certainly respect him,” Gardner told the Sun News, Myrtle Beach. “We have unified this council to work together. I don’t think you’ll see any more split councils especially on issues that are not what the public perceives as important.”
The newspaper reported that Gosnell has 26 years of experience in the infrastructure sector of Horry County government. “Since April when he took over as interim administrator, he oversaw the passing of the fiscal year 2020 budget, which included pay raises for the staff,” an on-line article said.
“I’m glad council has confidence in me. I am ready to move forward,” Gosnell told the newspaper. “We have a lot of positions to fill and then we will start addressing the business of council.”
Caime, an engineer, came to Laurens County from Hart County, Ga., and has brought a different perspective to local finances.
Caime’s perspective has led to Laurens County having its credit rating restored (related article this issue).
Horry County has an internal issue related to its fire department, the Myrtle Beach paper’s article indicated. Laurens County recently took action to make its EMS salaries more competitive among Upstate counties (related article this issue).
Caime is a vocal supporter - as a Laurens County citizen - of a proposed local option sales tax for capital projects. He said, if voters approve in 2020, Laurens County could have $44 million for projects like renovation of the historic courthouse, a new emergency response headquarters, and a library in Clinton.
In Horry County, that same tax generates $400 million for capital projects, most of which is paid by millions of visitors to the South Carolina Grand Strand.