Haley meets individually with S.C. residents - DatelineCarolina

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Haley meets individually with S.C. residents

By Chris Bilko
Edited By Melanie Griffin

All R.W. Berry wanted Monday from Gov. Nikki Haley was a pardon for his son.

Berry, who is handicapped, said that he might not have much time left and would not be able to take care of his son Reggie, who has been in jail for six years for doing "kid stuff."

His sister would normally be here to look after Reggie, he said but she has to go to China to take care of her son.

Berry was one of about 10 constituents who met with Haley at her State House office for two hours to discuss statewide issues in her first "Open Door After 4" meeting.

"Miss Haley is going to help me," Berry said. "I am 100 percent sure she is going to take care of everything I need done."

Adriene Williams of Columbia was there to ask the governor for contacts to help her find a job. She has been unemployed since October 2008.

"I have tried to stay positive these last couple years," Williams said. "I have been gracious for the little work I have gotten."

She said her meeting with Haley went well and that the governor personally gave her contacts to help her get a job.

One man was at the State House to promote one of his passions: storytelling. David Baxley of Cross said he was surprised that he even got through to the governor when appointments were being set up last Friday. His goal was to make Haley aware of his storytellers group and their available services.

Former Gov. Mark Sanford initiated these types of meetings when he started as governor in 2003, and they were regularly booked up rapidly in advance.

Despite troubles toward the end of his tenure as governor, Sanford met with South Carolinians until his term was over last year.

Sanford typically gave each person five minutes, but Haley set aside 10 for each person to share his or her concerns about South Carolina.

Every person Haley met with gave her a glowing review. Williams said the governor made her feel like she was at home.

Berry was also impressed with Haley's demeanor.

"She was a straight-up person," Berry said. "She was very well-spoken. She actually was sincere, and she was not blowing smoke."

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