A small town in the Grand Strand shook up its staff this week as nearly all of the town’s employees were given the pink slip.
The town of Atlantic Beach’s turbulent politics frequently gets it thrust in the state spotlight. For instance, the former mayor was removed from office by Governor Mark Sanford in 2009 after her fourth arrest. And, earlier this month the state Supreme Court had harsh words for town leaders after they did not allow two new council members to take their seats following their election wins and instead ordered a second vote.
Those two new members, Carolyn Cole and Windy Price, took office Tuesday and immediately cleaned house– firing all three of the town’s police officers, two municipal judges, and four other employees. The Myrtle Beach Sun-News reports the new council also told Town Manager William Booker to take a three-week vacation and appointed an interim manager in his place. Booker said his future would be decided when he returned.
One of the new council members, Carolyn Cole, was town manager herself until she was fired by the previous members of city council in 2005.
The clerk of court, the town attorney, a financial officer, and an administrative assistant were also fired.
The paper noted concerns from some observers that the council met behind closed doors in an emergency session for much of Tuesday’s meeting.
Atlantic Beach is a town of about 350 people. It is located a few miles north of Myrtle Beach.