By Annie Rigby
The Loris City Council and mayor met in executive session on Monday, July 20, at 6:16 p.m. to discuss personnel issues.
When council returned to the special council meeting Mayor Todd Harrelson announced the decision made in executive session and offered the position of interim city administrator to Brandon Harrelson.
Harrelson accepted the position on Tuesday, July 21. He said, “I think I can bring the same attitude and desire to push Loris in the right direction as I have tried to do since my employment in Loris.” He has been with the city for three years and has taken on many tasks and assignments. His job titles are director of Public Works; director of Code Enforcement and director of Water and Sewer.
When Tom Cocke tendered his resignation this past spring to work for a university in Virginia, Harrelson took over the duties as interim director of the Loris Recreation Department, now called the Loris Sports Complex. All titles were combined and changed to Director of Operations and Facilities.
His education background is some college in engineering and management and leadership through the United States Air Force. Harrelson has shown his professionalism in each task he undertakes, is articulate and has the capabilities to oversee the work in each division of teams he works with. He said, “We have a good team and good people; that makes the difference.” He continued, “With LPD Chief Gary Buley, Amanda Causey, Jenna Winborne, Ford Slater and Joey Letts everybody is always willing to help in any department; it makes it easier and sometimes can be stressful but we make it through.”
Harrelson said, “I feel I can bring to the city as interim city administrator the same attitude and desire to push Loris in the right direction; as I’ve tried to do since my employment in Loris.” He continued, “Loris has a great team of employees and is destined for great things; I also bring a new younger fresh desire to see Loris successful.” With all his duties he stated he will manage his time better prioritizing and make the appropriate adjustments to provide each department the strength and character he has shown since beginning working with the city.
He worked closely with Dennis Drozdak who Harrelson says was an expert in financials. He said, “I took every available chance to learn from him;” he continued, “I think he was instrumental in making me prepared for the position.”
Harrelson also has the enthusiasm to seek out companies to move to Loris and filling the empty buildings on Main Street. He said, “I have been working on these same things since I began employment here.” He states he has a close relationship with the Myrtle Beach Economic Development Corp and Loris Chamber of Commerce. He said, “I am in continuous communication with commercial developers about Loris.” He claims he has not been as vocal about things as “Mr. Dennis” (Drozdak). He said, “Mayor Harrelson, Mr. Dennis, and I worked alongside each other on many of Mr. Dennis’ projects.”
He states his wife, Paiton, has always supported him in any decisions made. He said, “She’s in constant prayer for our major decisions and that’s all I could ask for in a wife.” He added that if the position was available to him permanently that it is an option. Harrelson said, “I think that is something I would need to pray about and discuss with my family.
Mayor Todd Harrelson said, “Brandon has proven to be one of the hardest working young men I have ever met.” He continued, “He is an asset to the city of Loris and we are setting the standards high.”
He stated that the citizens of Loris have confidence in Harrelson and think highly of him; he believes the rest of the city employees feel the same way. The mayor said, “He is a man of many hats and I am happy to say he is an employee of the city.” He continued, “I am proud of the job he does and the reputation he has built for himself on and off the job.” He stated without a doubt that Harrelson will always give his all. He said, “God blessed us by placing Brandon here.”
Harrelson is somebody who likes to do things properly, while working in the trenches, water up to the top of his boots is one of his favorite spots to be as he oversees the Public Works and the Water and Sewer departments.
Harrelson is a hands-on type person who enjoys going into the trenches with mud up to his boottops as he manages projects throughout Loris. He is firm, hardworking and is determined to do things properly. The positions of interim city administrator and Loris Sports Complex are temporary positions at this time; the positions have been posted and applications are being accepted. Harrelson did state if offered the position of city administrator he would consider accepting the position, however, he said, “I would need to discuss the possibility with my wife, Paiton, when the time comes.” He continued, “We would definitely pray about it, and my wife is always in prayer for our family.”
As John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” This quote describes Brandon Harrelson with endless possibilities.
Tournaments were held at the Loris Sports Complex, part of the Sportourism plan to bring people into Loris to shop and eat while visiting. Harrelson wants to remind residents to visit the Loris Sports Complex on the weekends to watch the softball/baseball tournaments. Some are for the NC USSSA softball Tournament and Top Gun. Check the recreation department Facebook page for schedules.