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Council praises Madison graduates

MADISON – Graduation was a major topic of conversation during Madison City Council’s meeting on May 23.

Council and mayor gave high praise for recent graduates of Madison’s two high schools. Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools both conducted graduation ceremonies at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on May 22.

Mayor Paul Finley said seniors at both schools received more than $50 million in scholarship offers. District 3 Councilman Teddy Powell said the stellar grade point averages for seniors (some at 5.0 on a 4.0 scale) showed the caliber of the City of Madison.

District 7 Councilman John Seifert said, “Almost every single one of the kids gave the principal and the superintendent a hug. That shows the personal relationship that teachers have with students. We have some of the best people in those positions teaching our kids.”

President and District 5 Councilman Tommy Overcash said Dr. Terri Johnson presided at her last meeting on May 23 with Madison Board of Education. Luis Ferrer will fill Johnson’s slot.

District 1 Councilwoman Maura Wroblewski said she hopes the ‘trash apocalypse’ is coming to an end, referencing significant storm debris in conjunction with breakdown of a trash vehicle.

Trevor Daniels updated council about the U.S. Space & Rocket Center before receiving Madison’s annual appropriation of $7,500.

In public comments, Donald Boilard of 1109 Woodbine Road spoke about the quiet zone at the Shelton Road railroad crossing. Trains are blowing whistles frequently during nighttime hours.

Council accepted donation of two 2017 Ford Fusion vehicles, each valued by $16,918, from Madison County Commissioner Steve Haraway. Madison Police Department will use the vehicles.

The largest bill payment was the down payment for air-supported structure (or bubble) for Dublin’s outdoor pool to Arizon Company for $90,964.30.

In presentation of reports, Finley said Connect 2017 raised funds for Madison Chamber of Commerce and him to present a $5,000 scholarship to a Bob Jones and a James Clemens senior. “I thank Lockheed Martin for their $10,000 donation … that allows these scholarships,” he said.

Referencing the “State of the City” venue, Finley said, “We are fully cognizant that the event is in Huntsville (at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration). Madison doesn’t have a venue large enough.” He said city leaders will continue to work to have a civic center large enough to accommodate events like Connect 2017.

Council interviewed five finalists for police chief on May 20. “Council has a lot to think about. We’ll continue to move forward … in whatever timeframe it takes to come to fruition” to hire a chief,” Finley said.

In appointments to Madison Municipal Cemeteries Committee, incumbents Dorothy Mcgee and Cindi Sanderson, along with new member Rev. Evelyn Matthews, will occupy places 7-9, respectively. Council accepted District 6 Councilman Gerald Clark’s nominations by acclamation.

American Legion, Post 229 will conduct a Veterans Day ceremony on Front Street at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, May 29, Clark said.

Comcast received approval for a franchise agreement with the City of Madison.

Dustin Riddle and Cary Sadler will serve as city contacts for requests to remove unsafe structures and dangerous buildings in the city.

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