Search Results for: stay in touch

Getting direct feedback and staying in touch

When I first ran for office, I remember the wonderful experience knocking on over 3,000 doors in our community! (Door #2 wasn’t fun…two drunk adult males answered…but other than that, it was all good)

Since that time, I’ve stayed in touch in many ways – but none better than being out in the neighborhoods going door-to-door or visiting with neighborhood HOAs at their meetings.

Today, I was in a handful of neighborhoods and was reminded of the diverse community we have (many wouldn’t think we have cows/chickens out here in Chapin; but we do). These regular visits help me serve our community better and it’s always good hearing “I saw that on your Twitter feed” or “I read that on your website”. Some that I meet though, have never visited my website (or tell me they really don’t keep up with politics. I don’t blame them for that and appreciate their honesty.)

While there are many people out here that visit Nathan’s News; some visitors are not on the distribution list of more than 2,500 members of our community that regularly receive COMMUNITY UPDATES from me. If you’re not on that distribution list, simply click CONTACT above and ask me to add you to the list. For more than 10 years, those updates were simply word emails. Last year I finally “got high tech” and have heard the emails are better received and easier to follow.

Don’t be left out. Sign up and stay informed! Oh – and definitely let me know your concerns and suggestions for state government!

Public Service Announcement: NEED v WANT

Today I had Jury Duty.

Two weeks ago, I had a colonoscopy.

Forgive me for the “overshare” because you’re either thinking “that’s too much information, Nathan” or “dang, Nathan, that’s two bad events”.

Turns out, neither experience was as bad as I had thought and I’d do both again to “do my part”. Did I WANT to have both of these events over the past two weeks? No. But did I NEED to have them? I’d say “yes”.

Many know I turned 50 a few months ago and that’s apparently the age most people have “the procedure”. (As info, my doctor says now that studies show FORTY FIVE is the age for people to consider it…your call though). Unlike years ago when friends drank “gallons” of fluid prepping for the procedure, all I had was to take 2 pills and drink a 10 oz bottle (magnesium citrate) at 12:30 and repeat both again at 4:30 the day before the colonoscopy. Sure, I couldn’t eat any solids the day before but that actually never was a problem. I thought it would be, but I never once said to myself “I’m hungry”. I ate my “last meal” Saturday with friends around 9 and didn’t eat Sunday or again until Monday morning when we were finished around 9am. Only had water, a cup of chicken broth, and a cup of green jello for about 36 hours. Talk about some weight loss!

In any event, sometimes you gotta do things in life you don’t WANT to do – but you NEED to do.

Obviously monitoring your health is one of those (as info, I got a great report). Another “need to do’ in life is CIVIC DUTY. You don’t have to run for office. You don’t have to serve on a board. But when asked, you NEED to serve as a juror. Today, Judge Manning really stressed how important it was just seeing everyone offering for service and how it happens in every community in our country. It’s NEEDED in every community.

Many who showed up requested to opt out (various reasons) and since the General Assembly is in session this week, I’m sure I could have avoided serving as well. But, I felt like I owed it a as a member of society to serve. Other people have jobs, too, and they were there. I should be too. I needed to serve.

Long story short….we sat around for about 2.5 hours, some were excused, 30 of us were asked to “call back Monday after 6pm” and about a doze of us ended up being asked to “call back Tuesday after 6pm”. I may not end up being chosen for a jury; but I needed to experience it….I got to see one of our judges in action…..got to see a room filled with people from not just my community out here in Chapin/Dutch Fork/Irmo but throughout all of Richland County. Young, old. Black, white. Working, unemployed. We were a community of different people – but everyone wanting to serve and do our part.

It reminded me years ago when a House colleague (Rep. Bessie Moody-Lawrence) was at the podium speaking and I turned to my then-deskmate Nikki Haley and said “I have no idea what she’s talking about (referring Rep Moody-Lawrence). Then-Representative Haley reminded me that “(Rep Moody-Lawrence) was female and you’re male. She’s black, you’re white. She’s old, you’re young. She’s from rural part of state, you’re from suburbs.” That’s when it hit me. Not everyone sees things through the same spectrum. Not everyone has the same backgrounds. Not everyone thinks or acts the same. We are all different; but we all make up our state, community, homes.

I write all this to not just remind you to do the things you NEED to do for your health and community, but as a way of saying I continue to NEED and WANT to hear from everyone in the district on issues important to you. With more than 40,000 living here, obviously my votes can’t please everyone all the time; but my service can, and should.

If you aren’t receiving my COMMUNITY UPDATE emails every month, let me know by emailing me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov. You can also call my office (803) 734-2969 or even call my home (803) 834-4613. I’ve been staying in touch for more than a decade. It’s when I send those updates, that I get the most feedback, advice, ideas on how to continue to work to make our state a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

I hope everyone continues to stay safe – and that everyone continues to stay in touch!

New website coming…after more than 12 years!

More than 12 years ago, NathansNews was up and running !

I had the site created in order to keep you informed (more than just a once a month email that I would send…I still do that too, by the way) and seeing as you know I’m cheap , I didn’t get too many bells and whistles on it; but back then, it was pretty high-tech for me and I have enjoyed regularly posting updates about the State House and our community on the site.

(Whew..talk about a run-on sentence! Sorry, Mom!)

I write all the content (again, too cheap to pay for someone to do that) and I hope you’ve enjoyed not only the political side of the site, but the occassional (or often) posts about family, kids, sports and the dogs! I’ve always been about People, Not Politics and that’s why I offer this site to y’all.

As much as I hate to spend money , I’ve been told 12 years is more than enough time to keep the same format. It’s time for change.

So…..with that said, look for a new website in the coming weeks! Hopefully it won’t receive hundreds of spam comments each week so that I can be sure to find yours.

As always, please share with me any community news you’d like me to post. Especially if you have a neighbor you’d like to brag about and share with everyone!

Before the old site shuts down, I went back to see how many posts I had written through the years. Turns out 1,124 since July 2007…an average of roughly 2 post a week, every week, for more than 12 years. Maybe some of it is the part of me from my highschool days working on our yearbook? Mostly, it’s because I’ve always believed that elected officials who stay in touch often – not just during a campaign – are better able to serve their constituents!

Hopefully the new site won’t cost to much and will still be hosted (is that the word?) here at the same address. I’ll definitely get the word out to you on my regular COMMUNITY UPDATE emails that I’ve been sending since 2005 (pre-website). If you still have not added your name to that distribution, please email me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov and I’ll add you to February’s email which will go out in the next two weeks!

Thanks for continuing to read and to stay informed and share your opinions and advice!

Need your feedback and advice

** For those constituents that post feedback and advice below before Thursday, September 5th at 3pm, you will be entered in a drawing to win 4 FREE lower deck tickets to this weekend’s Gamecocks v. Charleston Southern game. We have a family obligation and won’t be able to attend. I thought this might be a good way to let others in our community who may not get to go to games to have a chance. Just let me know what’s on your mind below and after 3pm Thursday, I’ll randomly draw a winner and contact you! **

It’s September, and while the SC General Assembly isn’t in session, each of us continues to work at our “part-time job”. I could argue it’s actually an “all-the-time job” but I love what I do, so I’m not complaining.

Good representatives stay in touch with their constituents year-round (not just at election time) and it’s often the feedback during these times that help us craft legislation to improve our state. Whether it be education, healthcare, energy, law enforcement, or other areas important to our quality of life; there are many of you out there with the experience and expertise to provide solutions to real problems we face every day.

Consider this a challenge to reach out to me (or your House Rep / Senator ) and share your idea and solution. While I won’t be able to lead on every issue, I can share with colleagues and hopefully you may one day see your idea become a solution that helps others!

You can email me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov or contact me here! Please provide a phone number that I can use or give to staff to follow up in the coming weeks.

Thank you in advance.

I’m back!

Yesterday began the 1st regular session of the 123rd South Carolina General Assembly.

After focusing on family and my paying job over the summer and fall, I’m back to my website where I will regularly post 2-3 articles each week.

Thanks for following along. You can also email me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov to ask to be added to my monthly COMMUNITY UPDATE email that I have sent regularly since my election over a decade ago!

I have always believed elected officials that stay in touch regularly with their constituents are able to do a much better job!

Thank you again for the honor and privilege to represent House District 71 in Columbia.

Nathan

You write the law….


It’s August, and while the SC General Assembly isn’t in session, each of us continues to work at our “part-time job”. I could argue it’s actually an “all-the-time job” but I love what I do, so I’m not complaining.

Good representatives stay in touch with their constituents year-round (not just at election time) and it’s often the feedback during these times that help us craft legislation to improve our state. Whether it be education, healthcare, energy, law enforcement, or other areas important to our quality of life; there are many of you out there with the experience and expertise to provide solutions to real problems we face every day.

Consider this a challenge to reach out to me (or your House Rep / Senator ) and share your idea and solution. While I won’t be able to lead on every issue, I can share with colleagues and hopefully you may one day see your idea become a solution that helps others!

You can email me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov or contact me here! Please provide a phone number that I can use or give to staff to follow up in the coming weeks.

Thank you in advance.

Another fantastic Community Cookout!

It’s been a privilege for more than a decade to bring our community together and give a everyone a chance to meet and speak with their elected officials in a casual setting – FREE right here in Chapin! From Governors, Lt. Governors, Treasurers and SC Senators and Representatives , to our officials in Congress – US Senators and Representatives, to Mayors and Town Council Memberss, Sheriffs, School Board, County Council Members, Coroners, and many, many more. Staying in touch helps us do better jobs for you!

Even with a forecast of showers, the weather held off and the crowd turned out. Like previous cookouts, this year was the first one for several in attendance. Many who just moved to the area or who had never been involved before. That’s what makes these events special.

One surprise was when Nan Barwick (90 years old in October) came up to me and asked “Do you remember knocking on my door 12 years ago?” Actually, I did; but I couldn’t remember her name. I replied “Yes, ma’am. Your dogs are Bertha and Putter!” She smiled and was surprised I remembered her dogs (they’ve crossed the rainbow bridge since). That was a special moment for me. Seeing her for the first time in a while and remembering the early days and those early supporters and memories who gave me a chance!

On top of getting to see many old friends and meet new ones, I was glad to see Governor McMaster present the Order of the Silver Crescent to former constituent Todd Latiff! Many might not be aware but because I was able to get Todd on the Richland Recreation Commission years ago, he was able to help bring about the changes that lead to a completely new board and helped us restore trust in that office. Todd was one who worked to help me clean up Columbia (well, Richland County in this instance).

Last Wednesday wouldn’t have been the success it was if not for our community taking time out of our busy schedules to come together. Also, thanks to the many sponsors, hosts and supporters for helping with the event and my re-election campaign.

As always, if I can ever be of service, please let me know ! I love speaking to your church groups, civic groups, and all the youth groups – Scouts, Backyard Bible Club, etc. Elected officials that stay in touch year round (not just at election time) are able to better serve our communities!

You can make a difference!

One of the great things about being a public servant is being able to help others.

In order to be the best elected officials we can be, we need to constantly stay in contact with our constituents and we need to encourage them to reach out to us and be our eyes and ears around town.

NathansNews readers are always willing to share their advice about legislation and also letting me know where our community needs help!

Whether it’s traffic/safety improvements , housing development issues , potholes , new neighbors in the community ,helping elderly lady keep electricty on, saving an abandoned, malnoursished dog, or all sorts of other issues, it’s YOU that help make a difference by bringing to my attention.

In the past few weeks, residents of Wescott Ridge have come to me about their concerns. And those concerns are now being looked into.

Thanks to Wescott Ridge residents Chris Dornburg and Mark Hendrick bringing to my attention the neighborhood’s concerns, I’ve contacted SCDOT about possible sound barriers as well as safety improvements:

“Representative Ballentine – Thank you for forwarding Mr. Dornburg’s concerns regarding the traffic and speed along Broad River Road near Wescott Ridge subdivision just off the Peak Exit. I have assigned this study to our District One Traffic Engineering staff to complete. Typically, these studies take 45 to 60 days to complete. We will respond with our results once complete.

Additionally, the original encroachment permit for the subdivision stated that an updated traffic impact study would be performed once they had full build-out of the subdivision to determine if a traffic signal would be warranted. If the study shows the signal would meet engineering warrants, this signal installation would be at the developers cost. Our District Permit staff will be following up on this as well.

Please feel free to contact me should you need additional information regarding this request.”

Also “the noise study will be starting next month. If the noise study comes back at a certain level, we are required to put up sound barriers according to federal law”

If you or your HOA needs assistance anytime, please continue to let me know. I’m happy to point you in the right direction, make some calls, and get results for you! Since I was elected back in 2005, I continue to send regular COMMUNITY UPDATES, mailings, and calls about issues important to us here in Irmo/Chapin and at the State House. If you aren’t receiving those updates, please let me know so I can add you to the distribution list so you can stay in touch – and help me stay informed too!

As a friend once told me, “Elected Officials that stay in touch year round are better able to do their job than those politicians that are just around during election time.”

Grateful and honored to represent you in Columbia!

Thank you

My family and I again appreciate your support yesterday (and throughout the years)!

Public service is a calling for me and one I take seriously. Everyday I walk the steps of your State House, I realize the weight of the decisions before us in Columbia. I could not serve without the support of my family at home or without the input and advice from those of you who stay involved and are willing to share your expertise and opinions with me.

As I share with my colleagues “elected officials who stay in touch year round – instead of just at election time – are far better able to serve their constituents.” That is what I’ve strived to do since 2004 and will continue to do for our community.

As always, I encourage you to visit my site often (I’ll post more starting next month when we return to Columbia). Please call or email with advice and opinions ; and feel free to invite me to visit with your neighbors, church or civic organizations.

I’m here to help,

Nathan

You take the pen…write a bill to help your state!

Nathan’s News readers have seen me write many times “elected officials who stay in touch year round – instead of just at election time – are far better able to serve their constituents.” That’s because I firmly believe that hearing from YOU helps each of us do our job better. It’s one of the reasons I send out regular surveys, send out regular community updates, hold constituent nights, and am always able to be reached through the website , State House website , Twitter or Facebook – and of course, around town.

As I continue researching topics/laws for constituents and considering upcoming legislation to file, I again want to ask you to help me (help us – House/Senate) write bills to help our state. Your idea doesn’t have to create something new or “grow govenrment”. Your idea might actually remove regulations that might be holding us back. Your idea could certainly streamline procedures or propose efficiencies that may have not been considered before. Whatever interests you, let us know!

Education?
Jobs?
Infrastructure?
Regulations?
Budget items?
Taxes?
Tourism?
Agriculture?
Energy?

You don’t have to be one of 46 Senators or 124 House Members to have an impact. Start right now and reach out to me (or your elected officials) and help us as we meet with colleagues in the coming weeks and months so that we can work towards improving our state.

For those new to the site, here’s a post I wrote almost five years ago (An Engaged Constituency) that I received great feedback from and feel might have helped enhance the process – not just for us here in Chapin/Irmo area; but others around the state.

Lastly, there are hundreds (actually about 2,000) of bills that are filed every session. If you have an idea to help us improve South Carolina, get it to us in the coming weeks/months so we can hit the ground running when we return in January!

Thanks for getting involved and sharing your thoughts.