MACON — The seven candidates running for mayor of the city of Macon will address citizens’ concerns in a public forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at The Grand Opera House, 651 Mulberry Street, downtown Macon. Mercer University, The Telegraph and the League of Women Voters, with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, sponsor the event. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
Candidates will be asked to speak to issues identified in a recent visioning exercise sponsored by The Telegraph and led by the Fanning Institute at the University of Georgia. Among the concerns to be addressed are:
· how to improve the financial condition of city government,
· how to reduce street crime in Macon,
· how Macon and Bibb County can work together more effectively to solve problems, and
· how to best grow the economy and preserve natural resources in Macon and Central Georgia.
Questioning the candidates will be a three-member community panel of Bill Odom, chair of Central Georgia Health System ; Sheryl Towers, interim director, Center for Racial Understanding, and Ruby Roberts, owner, Ruby’s in a Rush. Charles Richardson, editorial page editor of The Telegraph, will serve as moderator. Members of the audience will be allowed to submit written questions for the candidates.
Participating in the forum will be Democratic candidates Thelma Dillard, Henry Ficklin, Anita Ponder, Lance Randall and Robert Reichert, and Republic candidates David Cousino and Arlan Gibson. The candidates will face off in the July 17 primary to represent their parties in the general election in November.
The Forum will be videotaped and broadcast by Cox Communications on WCOX15 (Channel 15) on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, 8:30-10 p.m.; and on Sunday, 2:30-4 p.m.