COMMUNITY UPDATE: September 2011

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STATE HOUSE
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The House and Senate are in recess until most likely January 2012 when we’ll return to finish the second year of the 119th General Assembly. Believe it or not, most officials are busier when we’re not in Columbia (in session) than when we are in session. Whether it be committee meetings , constituent meetings/town halls, or just being out in the district staying in touch, the fall months keep us busy. But it’s the best part of serving! If you’d like me to come speak to your Homeowners Association, Civic Organization, Church or any other group you belong to, please contact me and I’ll work to make it happen! Elected officials who stay in touch all the time (and not just during election time) are better able to do our job and serve our constituents!

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YOUR MONEY
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I’ve mentioned on Nathan’s News before that I serve on the House GOP Tax Study Committee and that is one of the main things we’re working on in the House for 2012. As I shared with the committee last week, we should call it the “Job Creation Committee” since that’s what the primary focus should be! With our rising, high unemployment rate, it’s critical to get South Carolinians back to work and to see job creation in our state. To be clear, I don’t believe government creates jobs; but government policies and actions can help foster an improved climate to encourage existing companies to expand and new companies to come to the Palmetto State.

If you have any ideas, please share. There are bound to be readers out there who have ideas that we may not be considering and I’ll be happy to have those vetted with my colleagues.

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COMMUNITY
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IRMO MAYORAL AND TOWN COUNCIL RACES : After years of service to the community, Mayor John Gibbons is not seeking re-election. On the ballot this fall will be (for mayor): Suzanne Gooch, Hardy King, Barry A. Walker Sr. and Kathy Condom. For Town Council (two at large), Paul Younginer, Harvey Hoots and Sarah Watson

38th ANNUAL OKRA STRUT! Last month was another great turnout in Chapin for the Labor Day Parade and this Saturday, it’s Irmo’s turn to shine! Look for the Lake Murray/Irmo Rotarians and “Okra Man” again this year and also enjoy the Friday Night street dance and the vendors, rides all weekend! My family will be spot #16 in the parade and we look forward to seeing you again along the route!

6TH ANNUAL IRMO COMMUNITY PRAYER BREAKFAST: I hope you’ll join Representative Huggins, me and almost 200 neighbors this week at what we consider “the kickoff to the Okra Strut”. This year, the breakfast will be held at Seven Oaks Presbyterian on the morning of Thursday, September 22nd. Last year was one of our largest crowds ever and regardless how long Representative Huggins and I serve the area, it’s our hope this event will continue for many more years!

ROTARY CLUB OF CHAPIN 17TH ANNUAL CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC: Friday September 30th at Timberlake Country Club. For more information call Pat Zeigler (749-8210) or Thomas Gore (941-4440).

COMMUNITY COOKOUT: I want to again thank everyone who came out to our Community Cookout last month at the Rusty Anchor! We had a great time and enjoyed having several statewide, national, and local elected officials in attendance.

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OUR SCHOOLS
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UPDATE ON CHAPIN HIGH SCHOOL: School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties announced today that it is moving forward with plans to advertise bidding for the Chapin High School renovation and expansion project. Construction has been held up for many months with legal appeals; but in recent weeks there have been two favorable court rulings regarding the building project. The last of the agency approvals needed to bid the project has been issued to the district. The Chapin High project is one of 10 renovation and new construction projects approved by voters in a 2008 bond referendum.

DISTRICT FIVE FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE : is hosting a community benefit October 13th from 6pm to 9pm at Saluda Shoals Park. The evening will include silent and live auctions, drinks and appetizers. Money raised will go the Backpack Program and other educational initiatives that support our students, families, schools and staff. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through their website (linked above)

BACK TO SCHOOL MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT HEFNER : The beginning of a new academic year is always an exciting time. Students are eager to learn, teachers are energized and ready to try new instructional methods and staffs welcome the sounds of children throughout the building. I am pleased that I was able to be a part of this wonderful time in Lexington-Richland Five. I can tell you, that I too, eagerly anticipated the first day of school and the beginning of my first complete school year in Lexington-Richland Five…(read more by clicking link above)

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THANK YOU
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Thanks again for the privilege you give me to represent the Irmo/Chapin/Ballentine/Dutch Fork community! If you have events or people you’d like me to share with our community right here 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!

Nathan Ballentine
www.nathansnews.com
House of Representatives, District 71
Richland-Lexington Counties
320B Blatt Building
Columbia, SC 29201