Starting tomorrow, we'll be interviewing the candidates to be the next Horry County Council chair. So it's about time to get off my duff and think of some intelligent questions to put to them. Some I've met or followed in the past. Others I've never met before, so this will be my first good impression. It's always an interesting and tough task to try to measure a person's fitness for office in a 45-60 minute interview. If you've got issues or questions you think should be asked, leave a comment and let me know. I'm always interested in other perspectives.
At the risk of tipping candidates off to what they might face (not like these issues are big secrets) I'm thinking so far of asking the following:
What impact, if any, do you think the upcoming countywide reassessment will have on the county budget and what will need to be done to adjust?
Do you support extending the RIDE tax beyond its current sunset date? (I should look this up before tomorrow, but I believe it's 2014.) If so, would you propose extending it via a council vote or as part of a referendum?
You've said you're against wasteful spending of county tax dollars. Give us some specific examples of what you consider wasteful in the current budget and what you'd spend the money on instead.
Economic development is a top priority for all of the candidates, and we've seen the county get into the incentive business to lure new companies and jobs. Research, however, shows that most job growth comes from existing companies hiring (or rehiring) an employee here or there, which can add up to a bigger gain than one-time company announcements. New businesses are wonderful, but what can you do as chairman/woman to make it easier for existing companies to hire or expand?
And then I'll just start fishing.
Horry County's an enormous and diverse county. What's your plan for getting to know the needs of all its citizens?
What's the biggest upcoming or current county issue that has been ignored by the media?
And we'll see where the interview goes from there.