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City manager vote coming to Madison

MADISON — An election date to vote on a change of governance in the city of Madison will be set in two weeks, the mayor said Monday. The change is from a council-mayor format to a council-city manager format.

“On March 13th, we will have a date in the early part of May on a Tuesday where the vote will occur,” Mayor Paul Finley said at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

The mayor said the number of required signatures for the special election has been certified by Madison Probate Judge Frank Barger and Limestone County Probate Judge James Woodruff.

Finley said he and Barger will meet over the next two weeks to ensure the proper information is getting out to the public.

“It’s critical, the community needs good information,” said Finley.  “We want an informed community to make a good decision.

“We aren’t afraid to let the community vote.”

Jim Ross, co-chair of Madison Forward – the organization behind the change, said the special election has been a long time coming.

”This next step toward a special election to allow the citizens of Madison to vote on this initiative has been a long time coming,” he said in a statement. “Two separate citizen-led committees in 2015 and 2021 unanimously recommended that Madison move forward to a Council-Manager form of government.”

According to the group’s website, if Madison residents vote to change their form of government in the upcoming special election, Madison would be redrawn into six districts, with the mayor elected at-large and serving as the seventh vote. The mayor would also serve as the president of the city council. The city manager would oversee day-to-day operations.

“A change in the form of government for Madison can only be made by a majority of registered voters in the city,” said Terri Johnson, Madison Forward co-chair.

Johnson said, if approved, the new form of city government would be in place in November 2025.

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