CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Getting all eight members of the Georgia State Legislature who represent Chatham County in the same place at the same time, outside of Atlanta, can be tricky.
But Monday, in an effort to hear from their constituents before the next legislative session, all six state representatives and two senators gathered at Savannah Technical College and hosted a variety of groups.
The goal of this conference according to the state leaders is to provide an accessible forum for community groups and agencies, and local government leaders alike, to share ideas and concerns with the delegation in their own back yard.
The day began early for the lawmakers, hearing from the likes of the University of Georgia County extension program, Chatham Area Transit and the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.
Children's advocacy groups and organizations lobbying for the elderly and people with disabilities also sat across the board room table, all to share concerns with their elected state officials, and give them food for thought before the next legislative session, which is a little more than a month away.
"We put everybody together once a year, typically in one day, and we have all the requests come to us. We lined them up so we make sure that they've got 100 percent of our attention, all of our attention, instead of just one at a time. And it seems to be more efficient that way and the people seem to appreciate it," said Rep. Ron Stephens, District 164.
Senator Lester Jackson says he and his fellow Chatham County delegation members will be looking at things like increasing funding to the Chatham Area Transit, as well as funding to state schools in Savannah.
WTOC's Sean Evans asked the senator about a public safety measure Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Jack Lumpkin spoke about at the city council budget retreat a few weeks ago, which was the use of drones for the department. Sen. Jackson says Chief Lumpkin has reached out to him and other legislators about the various drone applications. For example, crowd management for events like the Saint Patrick's Day festival.
"Drones are a viable opportunity in expanding our police presence and their visibility," said Sen. Jackson, GA District 2.
Sen. Jackson says legislators are also looking at appropriating funds in the state budget to help police departments purchase drones, as well as help communities install more surveillance cameras.