Columbia, SC (WLTX) Gov. Nikki Haley met one-on-one in her Statehouse office Wednesday with people from all over the state who wanted her help with problems or issues. She tries to have these "Open Door After 4" meetings once a month.
In the days before the meetings, her office publicizes a phone number for people who are interested to call. The meetings are first-call first-served and last 5 to 10 minutes.
Robbie McDaniel was the first on the list this time, having driven to the Statehouse from Latta to talk about his role as president of the Latta Rescue Squad and ask for the governor's help.
"For a long time, volunteers have been running the emergency services in Dillon County and they're not getting any benefits when they get old and retire and stuff like that," he said before his meeting with the governor. "And I'd like to talk to her about possibly maybe a retirement program and maybe some health benefits."
After the meeting, he said he felt like it was worth his time to come and that the governor listened to what he had to say. "She and her staff are going to research my issues, see if other states are doing it and see what they're doing and go from there. I felt pretty positive about it," he says.
Lambert Narlock is a veteran who wanted to see if the governor could help with veterans' health care, even though that's an issue handled by the federal government. After meeting with her, he said, "She said she's going to get in touch with Sen. Lindsey Graham and work with her partner and bring this to his attention and also give me places to where I can let other veterans know where to go."
Some of the problems could affect just about everyone in the state. Roy McClinton works for a German company called Huesker Geocomposites, which makes a product that goes under asphalt in roads. It prevents roads from cracking and developing potholes as quickly. South Carolina doesn't use the product now, even though other states, including North Carolina, do.
"That's what we're here for, just to show her these products and hopefully she will step forward and have the DOT evaluate these products and start incorporating them in highways," he said before meeting with the governor.
After talking to her, he said, "She's got a meeting with somebody at the DOT tomorrow, I believe she said and she'll present the literature and information to that person and then that person will follow up with us."
We tried to find out what people in previous meetings with the governor had talked to her about and what the governor was able to do to help, but her spokesman said the meetings are private so he couldn't discuss specific problems or what was done about them.