Candidates for city council and mayor in Gordon had the chance to sound off to voters at a forum Monday night.

Dozens filled the city hall annex to hear from those possible future leaders. Konreid Etheredge was one of them.

“You heard some of the candidates where they can make things go better,” Etheredge said.

Candidates fielded questions from voters about a variety of topics from the water system to the budget.

“The city has overspent the budget by approximately 30% each year four years consecutively, without addressing the issues of revenue or expenditures,” Kenneth Turner said. “It may be that managing of the budget is difficult, the mayor by charter is responsible for the budget and managing the budget.”

Turner’s running against the current mayor, Mary Ann Whipple-Lue. One of his top priorities is bringing the community back together.

“It’s been known throughout the area as a town that gets along, that does not have race issues or class issues, it's been well-known for that,” Turner said.

He says after the last election in 2013, that’s changed. He attributes that to Whipple-Lue’s tenure as mayor. She chose not to attend Monday forum.

“The city is not in a good shape financially, not in a good shape from a moral standpoint, and from other issues,” Turner said. “I wonder if she’s just afraid to address those issues.”

Etheredge was hoping to hear from mayor Whipple-Lue, but he says her being a no-show speaks volumes.

“She’s got no interest in people in general, and apparently, she just takes everything for granted,” Etheredge said. “She thinks she has her constituents who will elect her and she’s not worried about anyone else.”

We went to Whipple-Lue’s house after the forum to give her a chance to respond. It appeared no one was home. We gave her a call, but she didn’t answer.

Whipple-Lue has ignored multiple requests by 13WMAZ for interviews during this campaign season.