COMMUNITY UPDATE: September 2010

While I don’t have an opponent in November, I’m always talking with neighbors at their doorsteps and out in the community to hear what’s important to them and learn what I can from the voters! A friend once told me that elected officials who stay in touch year round – and not just at election time – always have a better chance of staying informed and doing the best job for their constituents!

Just this week I ran into a few community members that follow me on Twitter and Facebook and they always appreciate how I keep everyone informed of more than just the “political stuff”.

I probably write too much about the kids, my musical “tastes” (80s mainly) , where I’m going , the Gamecocks and things like that – but that’s just me. I do talk politics a good bit but 140 characters probably isn’t the best way to hear about your concerns or learn about legislation you think can move our state forward.

*** STATE HOUSE ***

A few weeks ago, many members of the House Republican Caucus met to continue crafting an agenda we feel can best move our state forward and improve our economic climate and education system, streamline government and improve our quality of life.

I was pleased to see the cohesiveness of how many of our Republican members are anxiously looking forward to returning and working with one of our former members, Rep. Nikki Haley (R-Lexington), should she be elected as our next Governor this fall.

Reforms, that were once discussed and never made it out of committees, seem to have new life and should have a good chance of getting to the floor for full House debate next year (and hopefully Senate). Each election cycle seems to return power to the voters and elected officials get a chance to hear loud and clear what their constituents demand and how the “status quo” is no longer what the voters are looking for in goverment – local, state, and national.

In other news, many of you have spoken with my legislative aide, Eileen Fogle, over the past six years. She’s the one who keeps the office running and makes sure I’m returning my calls and emails! Unfortunately, her mother passed away this morning after weeks in hospice. Please keep Eileen and her family in your prayers.

*** YOUR MONEY ***

As many know, a significant portion of House District 71 is in Richland County. If you are not already aware, a Transportation Penny Sales Tax will be on the ballot this November. I’d encourage each of you to make next week’s meeting in our area to hear first-hand the details of this plan.

September 15 at the Harbison Recreation Center (106 Hillpine Road) from 6pm to 7pm

*** COMMUNITY ***

Monday was the Chapin Labor Day Parade and later this month, the Irmo Okra Strut will kick into high gear! This year, I hope you’ll join many in our community at the 5th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast to be held at First Baptist of Irmo. We’re almost at 200 RSVPs already to hear Gamecock Football Chaplain, Adrian Despres! This guy is someone you’ve got to hear. Thanks to our sponsors, the event is again FREE this year. Simply RSVP by September 16 to Elizabeth Donehue (843) 864-9414 or elizabethdonehue@gmail.com

If you’re not a member of the Ballentine-Dutch Fork Civic Association (BDFCA), you may not be aware of all the recent details of the proposed apartment complex for Lake Murray Marina. Here’s an article from The State from July but there have been ongoing meetings between the Association and the developer.

Speaking of the BDFCA, this weekend we learned of the passing of a very active member: Phil Kuzlik. Phil did for many things for our community: he served on the BDFCA board, he helped with missions, was active in the Richland County Law Enforcement, and one thing he enjoyed the most was playing Santa for the kids! Phil will be missed by many.

*** OUR SCHOOLS ***

As you’ve probably noticed (at parades, signs along the road), we have School Board elections this November in both the Richland and Lexington side of House District 71. The district’s website has more information and for the sake of fairness and impartiality, I’m not linking any candidate’s websites in this update.

I mentioned Twitter earlier in the update and wanted to share some new additions from our community that you may want to follow related to the schools. Dutch Fork Principal Gregg Morton is now “tweeting” as is Dutch Fork High School Football. If you know of other schools, teachers, teams with social media sites, please share with me so that I can pass along to others in the community!

Lastly, I wanted you to know that I try to update you every Saturday morning with the area’s football teams’ records and whether they won their game on Friday. I can’t be at all the games but sometimes I’m even getting updates from students or parents who are sitting the stands! Thanks for keeping me informed so I can keep others informed as well.

** THANK YOU **

Thanks again for the privilege to return to Columbia and represent the Irmo/Chapin/Ballentine/Dutch Fork community! If you have events or people you’d like me to share with the community through Nathan’s News, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help!

I’m always eager to spend time with you at your Homeowners Association Meetings, Churches, and other civic events in the community! Let me know dates and times and I’ll work to be there!

During the next few months, please contact me here through Nathan’s News anytime
I can help!

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