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Council District 6: Candidates say growth in area managed properly

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

Between regulations put in place by Georgetown County and the vigilance of concerned residents, development on Waccamaw Neck has been effectively kept under control, two candidates for County Council District 6 said this week.

They were asked, in a forum hosted by the Waccamaw Neck Republican Club, how much more development will be allowed on the Neck before “we roll-up the sidewalks” and put a stop to it.

It was one of only a handful of questions voters tossed at Bob Anderson and Barry McCall, who will compete in the June 8 Republican primary to replace retiring Council Member Glen O’Connell.

“From my perspective, I think we crossed that bridge during the big box era,” said Anderson, owner of Anderson Home Design and Sales.

He recalled when Lowe’s wanted to open a store in the Pawleys Island area and the public outcry that created. It brought out people he said he never would have expected to get involved.

“That gave me confidence that we will always manage growth in this area. As long as we put people on council with the same beliefs, I don’t think it will be a problem.”

McCall, a retired Pawleys Island magistrate, said growth has been controlled “as far as what you build, how you build it and how it looks.”

New people moving into the area can be good for preserving its beauty, he added.

“A lot of times they’re more protective of it than those who have lived here for years and years,” he said.

But he also lamented changes development has created. Motorists on Highway 17 used to drive through a tunnel created by trees lining the highway from Pawleys Island to Murrells Inlet, he said.

“Because of growth, they put in the four-lane and took all that out.”

Forming a new committee might be a solution to keep growth under control in the future, he added.

The candidates were also asked how they would address the county’s budget and, if new projects or programs were added, what actions they would suggest to fund them.

McCall said he would not support new or increased taxes and fees. He would be very careful with taxpayer money, he said, adding that he even feels guilty spending campaign contributions on signs and other materials.

Anderson talked about the county’s projected 2011 budget deficit and an additional shortfall that might be created by reassessment. He is running as a conservative Republican and in answer to a later question, said he “will take that philosophy to heart, whatever the issue is.”

Asked about ways for the public to keep informed about meetings of county commissions and committees, Anderson passed the question to current council members in the audience.

McCall was questioned about why Republicans should elect him when he originally wanted to run as an independent. He said he has been a Republican all his life. He considered running as an independent, he said previously, because he believes the position of council member should be nonpartisan.

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