Gordon mayor says citizens must speak with her before getting on agenda

Gordon mayor says citizens must speak with her before getting on agenda

Gordon Mayor Mary Whipple-Lue says citizens won't be allowed to speak during council meetings "unless deemed necessary."
GORDON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Citizens of Gordon are confused on exactly how to address the mayor and council during city council meetings.

Monday, at least four people had requested by form to speak at the meeting, but none of them were approved by the mayor.  The form asks citizens to explain why they want to speak.  Those responses ranged from why the mayor had called for an audit to who has access to city hall.

One resident asked Monday why she wasn't put on the agenda.  The mayor told her she had already spoken with her by phone twice about her issue.  The lady then asked if she could ask council member Terry Reese a question, to which the mayor responded, "No."

When she asked Reese directly if she could ask him a question, Reese told her to wait until after the meeting.  That's when another citizen stood up and said she'd also requested to speak at the meeting but had been denied.

After the meeting, we asked the mayor to explain her policy.

"Call the office and schedule just like you do an appointment, and I will take the time to discuss whatever the issue is," Whipple-Lue told us.  "But not at the meeting?" 41NBC asked.

"Unless deemed necessary," she responded.

At the April 21 meeting, there was a section on the meeting agenda for citizens to speak, but the mayor said no one had requested to speak before the meeting.  We asked her after that meeting what people needed to do to get on the agenda.  She told us all they needed to do was contact the city clerk "four to five days" prior to the meeting.

Main Street Gordon Manager resigns

Gordon Main Street Manager Bruce Daniel submitted his letter of resignation Monday.  In the letter, he talked about the financial uncertainty of the city and how he didn't feel comfortable going through with the Fall-Line Festival as a result.

He says the mayor called him May 1 and told him the festival would continue and that she was appointing councilwoman Barbara Towles as the liaison between the city and Gordon Better Hometown for the festival.  Daniel writes that in his 15 years with Better Hometown, the city has never appointed a liaison between the city and Better Hometown and that the manager has always been the contact person for the city. 

"Rather than place the Main Street Program in an unfavorable position with the city, I have chosen to resign," Daniel writes.  "This letter will serve as official notice that I am giving a two week notice to the city.  My resignation will be effective May 19, 2014."

We called Daniel but haven't heard back from him yet.

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