We have had a very busy second quarter so I will try and play catch up here.
As mentioned previously, Mayor Finley sends City Employees an update of the many projects and events happening in Madison. I share those on my “Maura for District 1” Facebook Page but I realize that many of you avoid Social Media.
Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for April 1-14, 2019
Happy Sunday to you! Hope you have enjoyed the weekend and accomplished all that you wanted while dodging the rain. Lots going on in the last couple of weeks…here are just a few of the highlights.
· Our Madison Fire and Rescue reports that in March they received 378 calls for service with 258 of those Rescue and EMS related and 21 fire related. Also they have completed 1585 of 1590 annual inspections to date.
· Our Madison Police Department reported 2438 calls for service during the two week period.
· Public Works has now completed the grading of the library parking lot along with pouring 115 feet of sidewalk on Portal Lane.
· IT worked on multiple large projects including server infrastructure upgrades, 911 Center PC issues, and system security improvements.
· Court opened 225 cases during the two week period and closed 158.
· The inaugural Cardboard Boat regatta took place Saturday, March 30, 2019 at the Dublin Park indoor pool. The event was very successful.
· HR has spent enormous amounts of time monitoring, adjusting, and adding the required RSA information for each employee.
· I enjoyed my pizza lunch with Mrs. Williams 4th grade class at Horizon Elementary. They are the ones who design the birthday cards I have the pleasure of sending.
· I attended and spoke at the Diversity and Inclusion Seminar held at the Botanical Garden and the Huntsville Chamber Ambassador lunch.
· Councilwoman Wroblewski and multiple MPD personnel set up and attended the Community Opioid Forum at BJHS.
· The ribbon cutting for the outdoor Pickleball Courts in Dublin Park took place Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Approximately 20 people attended. Madison Pickleball Club member Tournament held after ribbon cutting – 16 members participated.
· The Bob Jones Softball tournament took place last Thursday. Approximately 38 teams are participated in Palmer Park. Staff was able to play games in spite of rain.
· The Spring Adult Softball League finished last night. The City team won both regular season and tournament championships going undefeated.
· Council approved Right-of-Way and facility grass cutting contracts with Tidewater. Marc Jacobson will now be our city liaison to set up our weekly success plan.
· I enjoyed representing Madison at the Marshall Small Business Alliance meeting and the UAH Advisory Committee meeting this week.
· We enjoyed hosting 19 youth ambassadors from Africa for a discussion….great group of kids.
· Several of us attended the first formal meeting of the new board of the Madison Visionary Partners.
· Our multi-use venue continues to come along nicely, even with all of the rain. Thanks to Mary Beth and her team for continuing to keep things moving forward!
Thanks to everyone for all that you are doing for our citizens and our city. Let’s have another great week!
Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for April 15-28, 2019
Happy Sunny Friday to everyone. Hope you are looking forward to a great weather weekend with all kinds of events planned!
We have had a busy two weeks throughout the city….here are some of the highlights;
· The City Clerk’s office submitted a claim in behalf of the City for unclaimed funds. We received a check last week in the amount of $859.87. Every little bit helps!
· The City has approved building and site renovation plans for two small, but highly visible, former gas station properties: the northeast corner of Madison Blvd. & Sullivan St. and the southeast corner of Sullivan St. and Main St. The Blessin Restaurant, a casual, regionally-owned business, is proposed for the Madison Blvd. property and the other property is available for lease.
· SRO Patrick Hamilton was awarded today at Bob Jones High School with not one—but two Lady Liberty Super Citizens Hero Awards from students who nominated him from both Horizon and Rainbow Elementary Schools. The Super Citizen Program is designed to help elementary educators teach civics, character, financial literacy and our Great American Story.
· IT has found a vendor, KnowB4, that seems to offer a complete solution with Cyber Security training opportunities, reminders, phishing “tests” and the data to prove effectiveness. You will hear more about this in the upcoming weeks as we continue to focus on Internet safety.
· Chief Jernigan, Captain Cook, Captain Stringer, Sgt. McRae, Corporal Tanner Ward, Corporal Chris Townsend, and Officer Taylor-Duncan conducted a Recruiting and Hiring open house for citizens interested in becoming a police officer. Huge thanks to Communications Specialist Samantha Magnuson for making our recruitment video.
· Officer Taylor-Duncan conducted HOA/Neighborhood Watch organization meeting at Lauren’s Preserve residents and Sergeant Jon Stout conducted the HOA Meeting for Foxfield
· Dublin Park locker room renovations are completed and have reopened to the public. This is a long needed upgrade.
· The contract with Pyro Shows Inc. for the 4th of July fireworks display was approved at our last council meeting. This is the same group who did the Trash Panda’s show and we will have a longer show with larger shells.
· I supported the Annual Huntsville-Madison County Chamber trip to Montgomery and heard presentations from Governor Ivey, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, Senator Arthur Orr, and multiple others. Among other things Governor Ivey announced that the State would be 6-laning I-565 to I-65, giving our group one of the main asks that we had come down for.
· Several of us supported the Grand Re-Opening of our Madison Blvd. Wal Mart. The $4.5 million renovation is a major reinvestment for our largest sales tax producer in the city.
· Westa Carlton in Finance (with help from IT) has spent the last eight months working with New World Software Systems and the State Retirement System setting up the new retirement transmittal system. While there is still a few steps to iron out we greatly appreciate her time and effort in refiguring this.
· IT has completed the renewal of all of our SSL security certificates for the various systems throughout the City’s technical infrastructure. This is a time consuming, but necessary process that will help ensure our website and data integrity for “web facing” applications and systems.
· HR hosed city wide Skid Car Training throughout the week. We had great participation!
· HR also hosted our Take Your Kid’s to Work Day. This event was well attended with multiple departments participating to help make the day memorable. Kelly Rolin led the charge….THANK YOU!
· Recreation Staff organized several Easter egg hunts and kite festival on Saturday, April 20th. The events were well attended and successful.
· Our Senior Center was busy with Teresa Taylor-Duncan training about 30 seniors on crime prevention and safety in our community. IN addition the Senior Center had monthly visit from the Huntsville Hospital Mobile Medical Unit with approximately 40 seniors receiving health screenings.
· The MARS program is averaging 47 trips per day. Two of the busses for the program are now over 300,000 miles and will soon be in need of replacement.
· Fire interviewed 45 candidates this week over 4 days to fill their open 5 spots. Final selections have been made and background checks will begin soon.
· I attended the web.com announcement that the PGA is brining professional golf to Huntsville. The event is a five year contract that will be called the Huntsville Classic and will be held next year from April 20-26 for 156 golfers. This is a huge win for the area.
Thanks to everyone for their hard work and focus on our community.
Have a great weekend,
Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for April 29-May 5, 2019
Happy Friday afternoon. Hope you guys have had as productive of a week as we have here in the Mayor’s office.
Here are a few of the high lights that were shared from the week;
· As an update concerning the Arlington Street Light project, the contractor is about to get started. They are meeting with Huntsville Utilities this week for approval and are planning on beginning the conduit install next Monday, May 6th. Weather permitting they should finish the boring and conduit install next week.
· This week the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) is in Huntsville for their national conference. Our Madison Police Department is on their agenda to receive our level one agency Accreditation certificate on Saturday evening at the awards banquet. Madison will be the tenth municipality in the State of Alabama to receive national accreditation and the third agency in Madison County alongside of Huntsville PD and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to do so. Congratulations to everyone on our MPD team….fantastic!
· Our Revenue department reports that total sales tax collections for the month of April, 2019 were up 6.97% over collections for the month of April, 2018 and year to date collections are up 7.21% over the same period last fiscal year.
· Public Works continued work on the Library parking lot by building and landscaping the berm and grading the parking lot for sub grade.
· We held the Madison 5k/10k Race on Saturday with 146 registered runners participating. Thanks to all of the support departments that helped keep our runners safe!
· Our Crime Scene Detectives and Reserve Officers collected over 360 pounds of medication at the Drug Take Back Event last Saturday.
· Several city employees attended the ground breaking for the new Avid hotel in Town Madison. This 80+ room hotel is a new concept for the area.
· I had the privilege of representing Madison at the Medal of Honor rededication ceremony adding CPT Mike Rose and LTC Mike Sprayberry to the Medal of Honor wall. It was truly humbling……
· We continued our Skid Car training from last week. This was a highly productive training class…thanks again to HR for putting this on.
· We received word from our State Legislators that the Governor signed Act No. 2019-88 approving the proposed 12 mill ad valorem tax increase for the City of Madison for public education purposes, subject to approval by the voters of the City in a special election. This will be added for approval by City Council at the next meeting, setting the date for the vote for Tuesday September 10th of this year.
· I attended the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce Best Places to Work event and the AUSA Civilian of the Year Awards.
· Our City Council held interviews for the open Madison School Board position Wednesday night. They hope to bring their choice to our May 14th council meeting.
· We celebrated our Madison Chamber of Commerce’s new location with an open house and ribbon cutting. This new location at 103 Spenryn Drive offers them a great deal of additional space.
· After several months (well really years) of negotiation we secured the ROW required at the corner of Balch/Browns Ferry for the continuation of the Mill Creek Greenway. Thanks to Gary, Mary Beth, and Megan for helping to make this happen! This now allows us to go after grant funding to supplement the required cost to build the almost 1 mile of additional greenway.
Have a great weekend and as always, thanks for all that you do for our employees and our citizens.
Weekly Update from Mayor Finley for May 5-19, 2019
Happy Friday Afternoon. I hope everyone has had a great couple of weeks since our last update.
Based on the high level of accomplishments there is no question we collectively have been pretty busy.
· Public Works loaded, hauled, and compacted 167 loads of fill dirt to the new soccer fields at Palmer Park. Weather also allowed them to start the drainage work at the new Bradford Creek Greenway Trailhead.
· Public Works also pored 260 feet of sidewalk at Highland and McAdoo.
· Our Senior Center reports that 50 seniors took part at the 36th Annual Fun Fest at Sharon Johnston Park.
· Along with 200+ others I represented Madison at the annual Huntsville-Madison County Chamber trip to Washington DC. NASA, the FBI, and missile defense were just some of the positive areas that were discussed while there.
· Building reports that during the past two weeks the building inspectors performed 251 inspections, Code Enforcement had 155 re-inspections and picked up 62 signs/banners that were in the R.O.W, and the Permitting Staff created 158 permits and issued 124 of them totaling $99,150.25.
· City Attorney Megan Zingarelli and Officer Teresa Taylor-Duncan met with Attorney General Steve Marshall regarding our recent Human Trafficking case and the issues surrounding it.
· Chief Jernigan, our MPD Honor Guard, and Sharon Monk participated in the Law Enforcement Memorial Service at the Madison County Courthouse Square along with several MPD officers in attendance
· We have had multiple graduations from different Leadership programs in the past few weeks. Councilwoman Wroblewski graduated from Focus, City Attorney Zingarelli graduated from Connect, Chief Bailey graduated from the Leadership Flagship program, and I graduated from Leadership Alabama.
· Planning reports that we now have 12 employees from Mazda Corporate working at the Progress Center on Madison Blvd. They will be adding another 30 in a couple of months and there will be up to 100 a year from now.
· In an effort to continue to improve security IT reports that we have ordered the needed hardware for a camera system throughout City Hall. It should be installed and in use by the end of the month. Once we have it in place we will look at our other facilities.
· We have had a great start to our Cyber Awareness campaign with 58% of our users already completing the first training video.
· Recreation reports that new swings were installed at Hardiman Place Park. There is also a volunteer work day scheduled for Friday and Saturday of this week at the park.
· Recreation also reports that the Dublin Gym has been closed this week to refinish the gym floor.
· Sgt. Clayton Jordan, Cpl. Chris Townsend, Officer Camron Gillespie, and Officer Russ Owens attended National Police Week in Washington D.C. Our city was well represented!!
· Chief Jernigan conducted the Pinning Ceremony for 6 new Police Officers at the Council Meeting and Madison Police Foundation hosted a small reception for the officers and their family
· I attended awards day at James Clemens, Bob Jones, Discovery, and Liberty this week to hand out the Mayor’s Scholarship award. Thanks to our Madison Chamber for their partnership.
Thanks to everyone for their hard work….please have a safe and enjoyable weekend!
Wall Triana Multi-Use Path
The Wall Triana Multi-Use Path Bid was returned in April. We budgeted for the amount of $1,000,000 and one construction company submitted a bit and it was for $1.678M. On staff recommendation, we will vote at our next Council meeting (Tuesday, May 28) to reject that bid and put it out for a new bid in conjunction with the Hughes Road and Sullivan Street road widening projects. My hope is that this bid will go out this summer and be returned by this fall.
Mill Creek Greenway Extension
As mentioned previously, the Mill Creek Greenway Expansion is moving forward. We have been able to secure the final piece of the proposed Greenway that we needed. We can now confidently apply for a grant that will help tremendously with the cost of the Greenway. The newest portion will continue the Mill Creek Greenway from the dog park at Balch and Browns Ferry at the intersection and will wind between the Foxfield and Oakstone subdivisions and continue between the Park Meadow and Mill Creek subdivision ending near Wall Triana. You can read more about it here: Singing River Trail. You can also jump right to the proposed path here: Singing River Trail Map
Balch Gillespie Roundabout
The Balch/Gillespie Roundabout continues to be a topic of discussion. Along with everyone else I am extremely frustrated by the slow pace of play and delaying by ALDOT of this critical project. The latest report received this week is that this could be delayed three more years to 2022. This delay by MPO and ALDOT is excruciatingly painful and agonizing as our traffic counts have increased tremendously since this project was first explored many years ago.
I will be updating this post periodically during the quarter. As always, I can be reached at Email Maura or 256.337.2408. Thank you again for your continued support!