Public meeting set for Monday to review Madison redistricting plan
MADISON – Redistricting now takes center stage for city leaders in Madison after Mayor Paul Finley provided an update on redistricting to city council members on Monday. He said city consultants Slaughter and Associates were contracted to draw up the new district map, and now they have a draft ready to present at a public meeting on Monday, July 17. Finley reiterated what the city and Slaughter and Associates hope to accomplish with redistricting, “Again, their goal is to redistribute the growth that we’ve had into seven, equally sized districts,” he said.
Every 10 years jurisdictions with the city’s seven districts evaluate whether a change to their district boundaries (redistricting) is needed based on the most recent U.S. Census population data. Madison grew from 42,938 in 2010 to 56,933in 2020. The 2023 population estimate puts the city around 60,342, making it the 9th largest city in Alabama and the 640th largest city in the United States. Madison is currently growing at a rate of 1.69% annually.
The meeting on Monday will be held in the city council chambers at Madison City Hall, 100 Hughes Road. A presentation will be given at 5:30 p.m., with an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and/or give comments.
At a public meeting held nearly two years ago, on September 27, 2021, the city’s consultants presented data showing that redistricting is warranted. According to a statement released by the city, Madison follows a five-step process in reviewing and implementing redistricting. Currently, the city is in stage three, defining and developing a new plan.
Residents are invited and encouraged to participate in the following public meetings. All of the meetings will be held at city hall.
Public Meeting – July 17
Public Hearing – Aug. 14
Council adoption – Sept. 11
In other business at Monday’s city council meeting:
Councilwoman Karen Denzine announced the Madison Police Department was recently honored with a re-accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Madison Police became one of only seven police departments in the state of Alabama to receive the sought-after accreditation in 2019, which requires renewal every few years. Renewal for Madison came up this year and included an assessment by CALEA. The review yielded a “perfect assessment” based on a total of one-hundred eighty-eight factors including public feedback, internal budget management, and 911 response.
“The assessors concluded that the Madison Police Department was in full compliance with a hundred eighty-three of the CALEA standards with no issues, waivers, or other issues,” Denzine read from the report. She extended her congratulations to the police department for their excellent work and deserved recognition.
Council president Ranae Bartlett announced the appointment of Dr. Yeqing Bao to Place 5 on the Madison Police Citizen Advisory Committee for a term lasting until April 26, 2025, replacing Dwayne Craft.
Bartlett explained, “I want to thank Dwayne Craft, who was originally appointed to that position. He served for a couple of years, and his job requirements required him not to be able to be on the committee because of his attendance at his job. So, I am announcing that Dr. Yeqing Bao will be the District 5 replacement on that committee. He is a marketing professor at UAH and has lived in District 5 for over twenty years. Congratulations to Dr. Bao, and I know he will do a great job!”
Two new city business licenses were introduced at Monday’s meeting: “Liquor Manufacturer” and “Media Streaming Distribution”. According to Deputy Revenue Officer Ivon Williams, the licenses are a response to large growth in the area in these types of businesses. The Media Streaming Distribution license would require persons and businesses receiving revenue from online content creation, specifically through the podcast medium, to apply to the city for and hold a license.
Monday’s introduction of the licenses was a “first reading”. The proposals will be voted on at the next city council meeting on July 24. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and is held in the council chambers at Madison City Hall.
Other financial items addressed include the following:
- Payment of $103,838.14 to Midsouth Paving, Inc. for work on Hughes Road at Will Halsey Way
- Issue bids for construction of ADA sidewalk ramps in the Homeplace Subdivision
- Change Order No. 2 on contract AECOM Technical services, Inc. for the City of Madison Interchange at a cost of $259,751.80 from the 2022 Flyover Bond Issue
- First Reading for Franchise Agreement with new-to-town Crown Castle Fiber, LLC for small cell placement and installation of fiber lines
- Franchise Agreement with Knology of Huntsville, Inc that would allow usage of city easements and right-of-way for the operation and maintenance of a cable and broadband system within the City of Madison