76.1 F
79 F
Muscle Shoals
77.5 F
75.7 F
Fort Payne

Showdown on the Westside; who’s in, who’s out in Madison; HCFC coach gets the boot; and more …

Off The Record: The latest rumors and rumblings in North Alabama


Meredith vs. Caudle Lewis

OTR called it months ago, Kim Caudle Lewis is challenging John Meredith for the Huntsville City Council District 5 seat. Caudle Lewis, a Huntsville native and owner and CEO of PROJECTXYZ, is looking to unseat Meredith, who was elected in 2021. A source close to Meredith reports he is “confident” in the upcoming campaign. District 5 lies in west Huntsville and stretches into Limestone County.   

Parlor games people play

The parlor game that is predicting who might run to be Madison’s next mayor continues. While unconfirmed, insiders say current Mayor Paul Finley will possibly seek other opportunities after his term is complete. Those options include a run for Tom Butler’s State Senate seat or a return to the private sector. Expectations were high that current Council President Ranae Bartlett would run and her strength as a candidate might have cleared the field. However, recent news that Bartlett has accepted the top job at the U.S. Chess Federation has fueled speculation that her chess piece might be off the Madison politics board altogether. One name Madison insiders are now encouraging to consider a mayor’s bid is current Madison City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols. When queried about the rumors, Dr. Nichols emphatically dispelled the rumblings saying, “I love my job. It is my calling to work with children and in education. I have no interest in doing anything else.”

District 2 rumblings

Occasionally, OTR receives differing views on various items, including the one about District 2 State Sen. Tom Butler not running for reelection to spend more time with his family. A source close to the campaign reached out to say, “Butler will be running in 2026.” Perhaps the source would be better served by informing Butler’s fellow legislators who are actively recruiting candidates to run for the seat.  

A kick in the grass

It doesn’t sound like the departure of Huntsville City FC Head Coach Jack Collison was his decision. The popular coach was barely into the second year of the MLS Next Pro squad when the unexpected news was delivered this week. Perhaps telling are these quotes from interim head coach Christophe Berra: “It was a whirlwind. I was disappointed. Jack brought me here, but again, I understand it’s football. It’s working life and these things happen.” Whatever the reason that the parent Nashville SC has for sacking Jack, we wish him and his family all the best.

On the Front Row

One of Huntsville’s most anticipated new development projects is kicking off next week. Community leaders received invitations to a ribbon-cutting for the Front Row project across Clinton Avenue from the VBC on what was known as the “Coca Cola plant” site. The party will include local dignitaries along with “cocktails, music and food” and promises that Front Row will be a “landmark project for Huntsville.” Local engineers and architects are also buzzing about a proposed “major” addition to the VBC that could further complement what is happening at the Front Row site.

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