Roswell's own Sen. Johns Albers and five of his colleagues in the General Assembly whose districts represent parts of North Fulton and Cherokee counties answered constituents' questions in Crabapple on Thursday night.
The town hall meeting brought a few dozen residents to the Crabapple Government Center to ask about topics ranging from gun ownership rights to charter schools.
Dana Teagarden of Roswell wanted to know why legislators hadn't taken action when she presented them with her concerns about Fulton Science Academy Middle School. She particularly wanted to know why some of them supported the school that hadn't accounted for $6 million in bond funds, siding with it over the Fulton School Board when its members voted to deny the school's charter renewal.
Rep. Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta, said that several legislators publicly asked Fulton County Schools to take more time to work out the charter renewal. He spoke to a school board member the same day as the lawmakers' public stance, and was told at the time that the only issue was the length of the charter renewal. At the time they did not know of any financial questions about the school.
Since Teagarden sent him information, Martin said he forwarded it to the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). The GBI returned it with no findings.
Rep. Jan Jones said the state has never issued a charter for the school. The Fulton County School system issued a charter that it held for 10 years. And now the state is recommending against a charter for the school.
Rep. Calvin Hill has been a legislator for 10 years, but is new to representing North Fulton. He told residents that the General Assembly has no investigative or enforcement powers. He wishes that they had subpoena powers, but all they can do is make inquiries. Hill said it sounds as if that's what the lawmakers did.