COMMUNITY UPDATE: January 2008

Here’s this month’s regular update to keep you informed of what’s going on in the State House and in our community!

If you have events you’d like me to share on the site, please email me at BallentineN@scstatehouse.net and be sure to put the word CONSTITUENT in the subject line so that I can reply to your email before the hundreds of others I receive daily.


STATE HOUSE

Next Tuesday, we’ll return to Columbia for the last year in this legislative session. Up first in the House will be any rules changes and the election to fill two vacant spots on the Ethics Committee. As you know from last month’s update, I am a candidate for this very important committee and look forward to hopefully serving in this capacity.

I’ll be very busy this year serving again on the House Education and Public Works Committee, in addition to the Joint Transportation Review Committee (House and Senate members), and the Education Finance Act Study Committee (House members only). Since day one I’ve kept an Open Door Policy and I’ll continue to keep extended office hours every Friday morning if you’d like to personally meet but could not schedule a time Tuesday through Thursday when we’re in session.

PLEASE be on the lookout for another CONSTITUENT SURVEY from me in the next few weeks. I want to find out how you think we can better reform state government and what ideas and suggestions you have on improving our state.

YOUR MONEY

By now, you’ve received your property tax notice (both Richland and Lexington County constituents) and I appreciate the many calls of “thanks” I’ve received. What you may not realize though is that soon your mortgage company should be sending you an Escrow Analysis Statement (if you escrow your property taxes) and that will be even more good news. You can read more from this article in The State.


COMMUNITY

Both the SC Republican Presidential Primary and the SC Democratic Presidential Primary will take place this month. Regardless of your party or your candidate preference, I encourage you to have your voice heard. The Republican Primary is January 19th. The following week, January 26th, is the Democratic Primary.

The Ballentine Incorporation efforts continue as the measure will be on the ballot soon! Visit the Ballentine-Dutch Fork Civic Association website for more information. Again, whether you are for or against the proposal, please take time to vote. There will be another informational meeting on incorporation January 5th and a regularly schedule BDFCA meeting on the 7th.

The Irmo Little League is holding Spring Registration each Saturday this month at Friarsgate Park. This season will be the first with new sidewalks at the park!

A Gang Awareness Seminar will be held at Ballentine Park on January 22nd. If you think we don’t have gang members in our community, think again.

The Annual Irmo Chamber of Commerce Red Carpet Gala will be held at the Radisson the evening of January 26th beginning at 6:30 p.m. Contact the Chamber for more information.

SCHOOLS

Twenty-three teachers in Lexington/Richland Five were among the 650 teachers in South Carolina to earn National Board Certification in 2007. Certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is the highest credential available in the teaching profession. The process defines knowledge, skills and accomplishments that add up to teaching experience. District Five teachers receiving certification in 2007 include: Laura Adair, Irmo Elementary; Shannon Allonier, Chapin Middle; Gregory Bates, River Springs Elementary; Renee Bosco, Chapin Middle: Sonya Archie, Dutch Fork Middle; Julia Bussells, CrossRoads Middle; Lori Calhoun, CrossRoads Middle; Johnny Cooley, Irmo Middle; Angela Cox, Chapin Elementary; Kristina Debenport, CrossRoads Middle; Sandra Dickert, Irmo High; James Fanning, Irmo Middle; Barbara Frederick, H. E. Corley Elementary; Linda Fuller, Chapin Middle; Peggy Ardrey, Ballentine Elementary; Leon Hogan, Dutch Fork High; Lisa Larmon, Lake Murray Elementary; Laurie O’Kelly, CrossRoads Middle; Dawn Oswalt, Oak Pointe Elementary; Nancy Owen, Irmo High; Jennie Goforth, Ballentine Elementary; Janet Preston-Mack, Dutch Fork Elementary; Derrick Price, Chapin Middle; Sarah Gams, Chapin Middle; Carolyn Searles, Irmo High; Beth Tester, Ballentine Elementary; Shannon Toole, Ballentine Elementary; and Denise Tweito, Irmo Middle.

The Dutch Fork HS Boys’ Soccer Team (Coach Wayne Quinlan) won its 6th straight National Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches Assn of America. No school in SC has won more and the only other school with 6 awards is a magnet school. Additionally, their team GPA was highest in D5. The award is based on last year’s GPA (3.7). The Chapin HS Boys’ Soccer Team (Coach: Dick Hiller) also received the award with a GPA of 3.56. Both the Irmo High School Boys’ (Coach: Phil Savitz) and Girls’ Soccer Team (Coach: Mike Mauldin) were recognized with GPAs of 3.54 and 3.86 respectively.

The School District Five Board of Trustees will hold a public forum prior to their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, January 14. The forum will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Chapin Elementary. The community is invited to use this forum as an opportunity to share ideas on how the district can address present and future facility needs and the shortage of classroom space. The public forum will be informal. Individuals who wish to speak will not be held to time limits; however, every effort will be made to ensure that all who wish to speak have an opportunity to do so.

THANK YOU

Thanks again for visiting the site! Please let your friends and neighbors know about it so that they can stay as informed as possible.

As you can see, I try to write often and regularly update photos from our community as well as videos.
You have given me a great honor by choosing me to represent you in the South Carolina House of Representatives and I remain as committed as ever to staying in touch. Please contact my office, 734-2969, or email me at BallentineN@scstatehouse.net anytime I can be of service to you or your family.

I hope 2008 is the best year yet for you, your family, and our community!

Nathan Ballentine
www.nathanballentine.com
House of Representatives, District 71
Richland-Lexington Counties
320A Blatt Building
Columbia, SC 29221