They may not be toting their favorite cheeses along, but state legislators will arrive armed with answers for their constituents at the 2005 Clay County Cracker Barrel.
The Cracker Barrel meeting is open to the public and set for 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Brazil YMCA.
Republican Sen. Richard Bray of District 37, Republican Sen. John Waterman of District 39, Democrat Rep. Clyde Kersey of District 43, Republican Rep. Andrew Thomas of District 44 and Democrat Rep. Vern Tincher of District 46 will be the event's featured speakers.
Clay County Farm Bureau and the Clay County Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring the meeting, and David Schopmeyer is the Legislative Liaison Person for Clay County Farm Bureau and the State Legislature.
The Cracker Barrel originated decades ago, when residents of small towns would gather at their local general stores.
"In the old days, a lot of the general stores had a cracker barrel, and that's where everybody used to congregate to discuss issues," Schopmeyer said. "That's where everybody came to loaf, and they discussed everything, anything that was pertinent to everyone. It caught on. The cracker barrel is gone, but the name is still there."
While the speakers will give citizens individual overviews of their political activities, audience members will also be able to ask questions.
Upon entering the YMCA Community Room where the meeting will be conducted, attendees will be able to write their names on a tablet with their questions, which they will have the opportunity to ask later in the morning.
Major issues will include the state budget deficit, daylight saving time, reclassification of pickup trucks (to increase tax revenue to rural counties), increasing security for private property and property tax reduction.
Schopmeyer told The Brazil Times he expects a good turnout this year, and recommends persons arrive before 10 a.m. to eliminate potential parking challenges because the YMCA will be operating on its usual schedule and the lot may become full. Recent discussion of a possible school closing may also boost attendance.
"Weather has an awful lot to do with it. But there's a lot of concern about these things. All that will enter into the picture. I believe we'll have a pretty fairturnout," he said. "The deficit concerns everybody. The (Daylight Savings) time thing is very controversial. It gets complicated. Schools may figure pretty heavily. It's going to be interesting what comes out."