School and city leaders thankful for how Tuesday’s vote turned out
MADISON – There was plenty of celebration at a watch party last night as Tuesday’s special election results came in. The election, which gave voters in Madison and Triana the opportunity to approve of deny a proposed 12-mill property tax increase for the Madison City School district, overwhelmingly passed 6,575 to 2,682. Over 70% of the votes were cast in favor of the increase.
The special election was held to help the Madison City School district expand to meet the rising population in Madison. According to MCS leaders, the increase will be used to construct an elementary school ($34 million), middle school ($49 million), high school additions ($18-$20 million), $3.5 million for additional operational support (SROs, counselors, teachers, utilities). The additional revenue will also be used to convert West Madison Elementary into a district-wide PreK Center, make safety enhancements, address numerous deferred maintenance projects, and for innovative instructional initiatives.
The vote signaled a desire by Madison and Triana residents to ensure the schools maintain the level of education that has set it apart from many other districts throughout the state. MCS is ranked as the top district in North Alabama and number two in Alabama.
The vote results in a hike in property taxes by 12 mills beginning Oct. 1. That translates into about a $120 increase annually per $100,000 in home value.
No one could be more pleased with the election result than MCS superintendent Robby Parker.
“I am so proud of all of you,” Parker said after the election. “I have seen our community support education at its highest level for over 30 years. Current and future students will continue to be offered a world class education.”
Parker also said beginning today the school district will begin the process of moving forward with site preparation, architectural design and construction plans. “We want to open the elementary school in 2021, the middle school by 2022 and press forward with the new PreK Center on the West Madison Elementary campus and expansions of the two high schools,” he said.
“It is not easy asking for a tax increase. But this was necessary to continue the world class education Madison City Schools delivers and citizens have come to expect,” Parker added.
Madison Mayor Paul Finley also expressed his thanks for how the vote went. “I’m proud for the City of Madison,” he said. “Now it is time to manage growth, build some schools, and continue to improve quality of life!”
“My cup runneth over, and I am full of gratitude this morning,” said Renae Bartlett, the MCS school board president. “We have so many people to thank for this historic vote in Madison to support our public education system.”
She continued by praising various groups for their efforts in getting the vote out. “Our PTAs and our students are at the top of the list. Behind the scenes, key staff members like our CSFO Jana Gray produced slides that condensed complicated financial numbers into information everyone could understand. Our concerned citizens at Madison Forward, and before that a Growth Impact Committee, that understood our need for additional revenue to maintain excellence in our schools. Our Superintendent Robby Parker who took this on his shoulders and was so genuine and honest with our community about the need. And finally thank you to everyone who voted in this election,” Bartlett said.
Here are the votes per district:
District 1: Yes 793 / No 310
District 2: Yes 652 / No 184
District 3: Yes 395 / No 221
District 4: Yes 504 / No 224
District 5: Yes 783 / No 482
District 6: Yes 683 / No 395
District 7: Yes 1,100 / No 491
Triana: Yes 272 / 43
Limestone 2: Yes 936 / No 296
Limestone 4: Yes 332 / No 78
Absentee: Yes 125 / No 48