Indiana Representatives Jim Baird (Republican, District 44), Robert Heaton (R-District 46), and Clyde Kersey (Democrat, District 43), along with State Senators John Waterman (R-District 39), and Richard Bray (R-District 37) fielded questions from the audience.
Kersey opened discussion Saturday stating he wasn't used to being in the "minority," and adding the state could see more budget cuts this year.
"We've got some real challenges this year," Kersey said. "We're going to see some massive cuts."
Baird told the audience education and jobs were his top priorities.
"They are related," he said.
Heaton said he looked forward to the challenges he faced as a freshman representative.
"You want to help everybody," he said. "It's not about this side or that side. It's about listening before deciding.
"It's been a lot of hard work, but it's been very, very good. People are engaged. People want dialogue."
Many of the residents in attendance Saturday were concerned about education and proposed changes in county government.
In reference to education, many wondered aloud about teacher's tenure and a voucher system, which would allow parents to send their children to schools of their choice.
Both topics center on proposed upgrades to the state's education system by Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indiana Department of Education Supt. Of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.
One resident suggested a merit board should be created in order to evaluate teachers while eliminating tenure.
"There's nothing wrong with evaluating people," Bray said.
"There are reasons to get rid of tenured teachers," Kersey added. "But principals have five years to evaluate (teachers who) aren't doing their job. In those five years, if a teacher is not good, they probably won't be. Principals and superintendents don't have the guts (to let teachers go)."
The topic of vouchers also came up, to which Heaton said he favored. However, Kersey strongly disagreed, saying vouchers could "destroy the public education system."
"We're not putting money where it should be," Kersey said. "If we want a good education system, we have to pay for it."
A handful of additional topics were discussed at Saturday's event, including the possible elimination of township trustees, a topic Daniels has discussed in the past.
"I'm not sure what's going to happen, but there will be some changes made," Bray said, adding volunteer fire departments wouldn't be affected.
Heaton added residents should avoid rumors, saying many residents had asked him about the possibility of doing away with township advisory boards.
"It's a sensitive issue," Heaton said. "Hopefully, we'll know something soon."
In regard to the possible elimination of county commissioners, Bray said that would probably not change.
One resident asked the officials what they planned to do regarding children's rights.
"Law enforcement can do something," Waterman said. "But they stand behind child services."
"Part of the problem is we have the laws there, but they're not being enforced," Kersey added.
Another resident asked what the representatives thought regarding inmates within the Indiana Department of Correction receiving free bachelor's degrees.
Waterman said the system is "broke" and needed fixing.
When asked about the move to Daylight Savings Time, both Bray and Kersey stated they did not support the initial change and believed the entire state should be in the Central Time Zone.
Baird also suggested all county residents take advantage of calling their representatives frequently if they had questions.
The next county Cracker Barrel is scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department.