Mayor & Council Q&A 8/9/21

Below you will find a video of the City Council meeting, agenda, agenda packet, a list of questions Madison Residents had for the Mayor and Council pertaining to items on the agenda for this council meeting, and answers given to those questions by Mayor Finley.


If you have an additional question about something you see on the agenda or in the video of the meeting, please reach out to your City Council Representative for an answer, https://www.ivotemadison.com/madison-al-city-council. Once you get an answer, we encourage you to email us at ivotemadison@gmail.com so that we can include it here on our list.



Agenda: http://madisoncityal.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=14&ID=1213&Inline=True


Agenda Packet: http://madisoncityal.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1213&Inline=True


Below are questions that citizens from our I Am Madison Citizens Coalition had for the Mayor and Council about the agenda from the 8/9/21 Madison City Council Meeting. Responses from Mayor Finley are also listed below.

Question #1: Payment to CivicPlus and Website Redesign

Pertaining to the Agenda item that states, "Approval of Payment of CivicPlus Invoice No. 215235 ($20,649.42) for Renewal of Website Hosting and "Notify Me" System {Total - $20,649.42 to be Paid from IT Dept. Budget}"

The website service the city uses for Madisonal.gov, Civic Plus, is about to get their annual payment of $20,649.42. In the work session held over Zoom back in January it was mentioned that the website was due for a redesign soon and that the redesign was built into the agreement the city made with CivicPlus. Since this discussion happened eight months ago, I’m curious when the redesign will happen. In doing the redesign, I think it could be very beneficial to have input from the public since they are the end user. Maybe forming a citizen focus group to go through the site would be a good idea.


Answer #1 Provided by Mayor Finley

Samantha and Jason will be leading our website redo. They will take the following steps;

  • Solicit feedback internally via departmental meetings

  • Solicit feedback externally via Survey Monkey, pushed out via all city social media and website accounts

  • Conduct at least one community meeting

Question #2: CARES Act Spending?

Pertaining to the agenda item that states, "Resolution No. 2021-234-R Authorizing the Purchase of Sixteen (16) Lenovo ThinkPads for Madison Police Department from CDW Government, LLC, in the Amount of $11,781.12 {To be Paid from Federal Grant for Corona Virus Relief}"


When it says the money for these Lenovo ThinkPads is coming out of the "Federal Grant for Corona Virus Relief" does this mean CARES money is being utilized for this purchase? Is there a reason this purchase wouldn't come out of the police budget? When the parks were getting their upgrade the wording read "CARES Act Grant Reimbursement Funds." If this is CARES money the wording should be consistent. If it is money from the American Rescue Plan Act, then that should be made clear as well.

Answer #2 Provided by Mayor Finley

MPD secured a Justice Department Grant that is separate from our American Rescue Plan Funding, which is why this is worded differently.

Questions #3: $5,003,914.00 American Rescue Plan Spending Pertaining to the agenda item that states, "Resolution 2021-252-R Authorizing Acceptance of Award Terms and Conditions for American Rescue Plan Funding."

What options are available under the rules for spending the $5,003,914.00 in American Rescue Plan money? Will there be a time for citizen input on how this money could be utilized? Could a town hall be set up to get input on how the $2 million in CARES Act money that remains in the general fund could be spent?


Answer #3 Provided by Mayor Finley

At this time we do not plan on conducting any community events to ask where our CARES Act or American Rescue Plan $$$ should be spent. As requested by Council the Mayor’s Office is in-process of defining our game plan for spending all revenue channels (including Huntsville Utilities money, Gas Tax, ALDOT $$, etc) and we will be ready to present this at our August work session.

Question #4: CONSENT AGENDA AND FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORT

Pertaining to the agenda item that states, "5. Approval of Payment for Invoice #8 on PO# 2021-200 in the Amount of $38,938.16 to Lee Builders, Inc. General Contractor for Construction - Resolution 2020-274-R Home Place Park Project CIP Project # 18-007 (To be Paid from 2015-A Bond Checking and Donations from Legislators"


How big is this park square footage and what is the total cost for the project? What is the cost to taxpayers vs donations? Is this normal for elected officials to donate to city projects?


Answer #4 Provided by Mayor Finley

Homeplace Park is about 2.3 acres and the total cost of the project is $900,000. We solicited our State Legislators for donations and most did support the city with $$$.

Question #5: ACCEPTANCE OF DONATIONS Pertaining to the agenda item that states, "1. Acceptance of Donation - Check in the Amount of $1,000.00 from Averitt to MPD Donation Account 2. Donation from Mr. & Mrs. Andy Harrison in the Amount of $25.00 to be Deposited into MPD Donation Account."

Why do these donations go through the city agenda for public viewing instead of directly to the Police Department?


Answer #5 Provided by Mayor Finley

City Council must approve donations. They then are added to the respective Departments budget.


Question #6:

Pertaining to the agenda item that states, "12. PRESENTATION OF REPORTS A. MAYOR PAUL FINLEY 1. Announcement of Madison Governance Task Force"


How were the committee members chosen and what was the criteria?http://www.madisonal.gov/DocumentCenter/View/9129/Madison-Governance-Committee-Report?bidId=


Answer #6 Provided by Mayor Finley

I will discuss this tonight when I present the committee.

Members of the Madison Governance Transition Team announced below.

Question #7:

Pertaining to the agenda item that states, "A. ENGINEERING

2. Resolution No. 2021-232-R Acceptance of Windermere Subdivision, Phase 1, into the City of Madison Maintenance Program

AND

3. Resolution No. 2021-231-R Acceptance of 3 Park Preserve into the City of Madison Maintenance Program

https://www.madisonal.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12498/3-PARK-PRESERVE"

Shouldn't the subdivision be complete and inspected by city engineering before being accepted into the city maintenance program?


Answer #7 Provided by Mayor Finley

No, many times we bring in a phase at a time

Question #8:

Pertaining to the agenda item that states, "RECREATION 1. Resolution No. 2021-241-R Awarding Bid for Tennis Court Lighting Installation to Hogan's Mechanical Services, LLC, in the Amount of $32,500.00 {To be Paid from Departmental Budget}"


The LED light bulbs cost $71,000, now $32,500 for installation? This seems like a lot of money.


Answer #8 Provided by Mayor Finley

We fully agree…..we are amazed at what it costs to complete many of these projects.




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