GA lawmakers hold town hall meeting in Columbus

GA lawmakers hold town hall meeting in Columbus

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Some of Georgia's top leaders made a stop in the Fountain City to talk about casinos, gun rights, and more.

A special legislative town hall meeting was held at the Mildred L. Terry Library and provided an opportunity for people to air out their various concerns.

Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley says events like these help foster better relationships and engage interest in local and state politics.

"Last year when we had a town hall meeting, we had like a little circle, and we could talk to the people who that were there. And as you can see tonight, it was standing room only in the room, and some people weren't even able to get into the room," said State Rep. House District 136, Carolyn Hugley.

People came as far as Early County, GA and South Georgia to have their voice be heard.

"Ever since the election, even a little before it, I have been getting more and more interested in politics. More and more attentive to it," said Elizabeth Romey, who attended the meeting.

Others attended to voice more specific concerns, such as education, environmental issues and healthcare.

"I wanted to know, about economic possibilities for this region, considering we still are having slow growth in the Columbus area, from an economic perspective, and in West Georgia, and job opportunities," said Teddy Reese, who also attended the meeting.

The highly controversial topic of bringing a casino to Columbus was also discussed.

"From our perspective, we haven't taken a perspective for or against a casino, but what we want, is that we offer casino gambling in the state of Georgia, we want to have need based scholarships," said Hugley.

Hugley says she, along with the other state reps are encouraging people to show up, stand up, and speak up, in order to create a better working relationship between their elected officials.

"Our job is to be the voice of the people in this area, and it's always important for us to hear that voice, so we can do a better job," said Hugley.

Besides Hugley, Dean of the House Rep. Calvin Smyre, Rep. Debbie Buckner from Junction City, as well as State Senator Ed Harbison attended the event.

The audience called on representatives to host more of these town hall meetings, so they can feel better involved. Lawmakers say they plan to hold more of these meetings, but did not say when.

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