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Transparency and outreach at focus of fourth candidate forum

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athensonline.com
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Candidates for Mayor and Commission were grilled on issues of equity and government transparency at a forum on Tuesday.

At the candidate forum hosted by Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, transparency and accessibility were big topics for mayoral candidates. Candidates also covered topics including workforce development, criminal justice, relationships with law enforcement and budget priorities.

Mayoral candidate Fred Moorman and District 5 Commission candidate Dexter Fisher did not attend. District 9 Commissioner Ovita Thornton, though running unopposed, was there.

Audience members seemed most concerned about housing and infrastructure, and questions submitted to the moderator exhibited some mistrust in programs like SPLOST -- under which projects usually take years to complete -- and in the inclusivity of grant funding.

A forum for candidates running for the Board of Education will take place at 6 p.m. on May 2 at Mt. Pleasant. On that day, a forum hosted at Cine for mayoral candidates will be moderated by The Red & Black, Flagpole and the Athens-Banner Herald.