top of page

Madison City Council Recap, 2/27/2023


1. An annual review was delivered and BallCorps, LLC presented a yearly recap

Adam Nelson of Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors delivered the venue revenue report. He explained that the city has a right to audit the revenue, expenses, and net profits of BallCorps, LLC. The audit process includes looking at all revenues over $20K and randomly selecting 5 deposits that are from non-minor league events. The audit determined that there were no exceptions or variances in the schedule or dollar amounts reported by BallCorps related to these items and no significant deviations from what was reported. Quarterly there were four $62,500 deposits and other non-baseball related deposits including some parking revenue totaling $1,403,115.

BallCorps, LLC presented a recap of their 2022 year, focusing on events other than non-minor league games. The stadium serves as a venue for a variety of events, including music of varying genres, an event to celebrate the touchdown of Orion (a capsule that is part of NASA's Artemis project), a UNA vs Jacksonville State college football game, and high school games, which are held for high schools free of charge.

There is now a non-profit 501 (c)3 called the Trash Pandas Foundation. It was stated that they do have problems with staffing but use non-profit concession workers, and there are also in-kind donations. Trash Pandas finished with the most home wins in MiLB. Charlie Weaver, a Bob Jones High School graduate, won MiLB Groundskeeper of the Year. Looking ahead, they said there will be 27 fireworks shows and 138 games, 69 of which are home games. Opening night is April 6th.

2. Citizens advocated for work session recordings and expressed concerns about the process of the possible governance transition

Six residents addressed Council during the public comment portion of the meeting. We've included separate video clips of each comment.

Comment 1: Resident spoke in favor of work session recordings being archived and addressed how entities in Madison are structured and how that relates to her concerns about the possible governance transition.

Comment 2: Tara Bailey, as President, represented I Vote Madison to advocate that all work sessions be recorded and archived.

To elaborate on Tara's comments, I Vote Madison appreciates the increasing number of work session recordings that the Council has been releasing and archiving. However, making that decision on a case-by-case basis not only gives the impression of the Council hiding information from residents, but it also does not provide for the accessibility and engagement from residents that could be afforded by updating the resolution that governs recording and archiving of meetings.

Taking this on a case-by-case basis requires Council members to vote, and that vote occurs no sooner than the City Council meeting that follows a work session. Work sessions are usually held on Wednesdays following a Monday night Council meeting, so that means the recording of the respective work session if approved by a vote is not released for another 12 days at the earliest. The information presented and discussed at work sessions often relates to an upcoming decision by Council, and if residents don't have easy access to that information, they do not have adequate time to learn about issues or address those issues with their representatives or in public comments.

I Vote Madison has been advocating for two years for all work sessions to be recorded and archived. We will continue to do so and we will continue to make every attempt to record these meetings ourselves and make them accessible to citizens in a timely manner.

Comment 3: Resident expressed concerns about connections within the city of Madison and how those connections stack the issue of the possible governance transition against ordinary citizens. She also questioned how many districts will be created if Madison transitions to a council-manager government.

Comment 4: Resident expresses concerns about how Madison's city class size factors into laws governing the possible governance transition and whether laws have been broken during the process by certain individuals.

Comment 5: Resident defended herself against statements that have been made about her that assert she has broken laws. She read the Alabama code that lays out the rights of individual state employees to participate in political activities.

Comment 6: Heather Morgan, as Vice President, spoke on behalf of I Vote Madison to express concern that not enough official information about the possible transition has been made accessible to residents, especially the laws governing such a transition, and she requested that the city create a website to house this information.

3. Resolutions were passed to appropriate money from the city to grant five local community organizations with funds for the 2023 fiscal year

All were paid from the city's general operating account. The resolutions were passed as part of the meeting's Consent Agenda and Finance Committee Report.

Watch Mayor Finley's comments about these appropriations in the video below.

4. Mayor Finley announced that a special election for the possible governance transition would take place and the date will be announced on March 13

The probate judges in both Madison and Limestone Counties approved the petition to place the issue of a council-manager government onto a ballot. Mayor Finley announced that the special election will be in May and that he will let the community know the exact date of the special election during the next City Council meeting which is on Monday, March 13, 2023.

5. Council approved a resolution to release the recording of the work session held on February 15, 2023, and archive it

Before the vote, Council President Bartlett addressed the requests that have been made for Council to record and archive all work sessions. She said the issue was discussed at the latest work session and that there was no consensus among Council members. Council will continue to release and archive recordings of work sessions on a case-by-case basis. She said that Council members can request to revisit the issue at any time.

The following video shows the discussion about recording and archiving all work sessions that Council members had at the latest work session.

The next City Council meeting is Monday, March 13 at 6 pm.

The next work session is Wednesday, March 22 at 5:30 pm. Board of Education interviews are scheduled to take place during the session.

4 views0 comments
bottom of page