CEO of Coast RTA fired Wednesday

The CEO of Coast RTA, Myers Rollins, was fired by the Board of Bus Service Wednesday morning.

Coast RTA is the Grand Strand's public transportation system.

He was terminated per terms of his contract, which allowed him to be fired without cause, according to Michelle Cantey, the Public Information Officer for Coast RTA.

Rollins contract was up at the end of August.

Bernard Silverman, Chairman of the board of directors said they needed something new as soon as possible, "We wanted a change of leadership and we knew we needed it. This was a fast and easy way to do it," he said.

After the meeting, the board went into executive session to pick an interim CEO.

Soon after, the board announced Julie Norton-Dew, who had previously been the chief financial officer and co-deputy general manager, to be the interim general manager/CEO.

The board says it is "time for a change" and members are ready to move forward.

Norton-Dew wouldn't answer questions, but read a statement saying: "The board is confident that I can lead Coast RTA to meet it's mission which is to provide safe, reliable, affordable and courteous mass public transportation that enhances the quality of life," said Norton-Dew.

Coast RTA is facing an issue this year with the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). The board did not say if this led to their decision to fire Rollins.

However, right now, a select committee is deciding whether to recommend that Horry County council continue to fund Coast RTA.

When asked whether that committee had anything to do with the firing of Rollins, Silverman, who's on that committee, had this to say: "They have that committee, and I think they made it pretty clear what they wanted and maybe we gave them what they wanted, but we did it because we needed to do it," he said.

In March, SCDOT sent a letter to Coast RTA saying $324,093.29 needed to be repaid for bus shelters that weren't finished. Money for the shelters came from a federal grant that was administered by the SCDOT.

Earlier this month Coast RTA sent a letter to the South Carolina Department of Transportation outlining two options to pay back money owed for bus shelters that were never completed.

Norton-Dew's salary and the length of time she'll be the interim director is not known at this time.

The select committee will give its recommendations on Monday as to whether they believe the county should continue funding Coast RTA.

Chairman Silverman says Coast RTA needs the county's support.