Ad Spot

Connect 2017 features Finley’s ‘State of the City’

At Connect 2017, Mayor Paul Finley prepares to ‘bury the hatchet’ as a gesture of cooperation with Madison City Council. CONTRIBUTED/Madison Chamber of Commerce
At Connect 2017, Mayor Paul Finley prepares to ‘bury the hatchet’ as a gesture of cooperation with Madison City Council. CONTRIBUTED/Madison Chamber of Commerce

MADISON – Mayor Paul Finley, who returned to office in November 2016, presented his “State of the City” address at the Connect 2017 gala on Jan. 27.

Madison Chamber of Commerce hosted the event, held at The Davidson Center for Space Exploration at U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.

In starting his remarks, Finley said “the ‘state of our city’ is strong and getting stronger. The tone of our city has changed for the positive” with a focus on communication and cooperation.

Finley named guidelines for conducting city business:

* “Doing the right thing, regardless if it’s hard.”

* “We want to win. In city government, that means you’re focused on your mission statement,” Finley said.

* “Subject matter expertise … Nobody comes to City Hall to take a tour. You come to get something done. We’ve empowered our employees” to make citizens happy, he said.

* “Manage finances with fiscal responsibility … We don’t have Huntsville money, but we’re doing OK.”

* “Safety in the city.”

Concerning subject experts, he praised Administrative Assistant Kim Lindsey who has worked for seven mayors for her in-depth knowledge about city business. He commended City Administrator Taylor Edge for supporting day-to-day operations at City Hall.

Finley aired a video for the look of Madison, with a flashback to 1980 when the population was 4,000 and City Hall existed in the current location of Main Street Cafe.

He then discussed repairing relationships with City Council. “You can’t manage municipal government without Mayor and Council working together hand in hand.”

Finley picked up a hatchet, like the one he and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle literally buried at Indian Creek Greenway to symbolize a better working relationship between cities. Finley had asked council members to bring a bucket of dirt from their seven districts. Each council member emptied their dirt to bury the 2017 hatchet, promising more civil behavior between council and Mayor.

“Working together, we’ll make a difference in the City of Madison,” Finley said.

“We have big projects … a fire chief, police chief, communications specialist and more.” Finley then explained his open door policy to schedule two hours every two weeks for residents to visit his office. Also, “open work sessions … allow us to talk in far more detail (than council meetings).”

He hopes for assistance from Metropolitan Planning Organization. “We in Madison don’t have the level of expertise (to know) where the different funding comes into that organization,” he said.

Finley described the work to manage growth as “a great problem to have. The Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce will lead to effort to secure more jobs.”

“Limestone County is an open canvas … 10 years from now that canvas will be covered. We need to find a road structure that makes sense to all communities,” he said.

Finley aired a video in which he asked Madison children about their priorities in spending city money. The boys and girls would pay for a nature preserve, water park, shopping mall, restaurants, a veterinarian for homeless individuals’ pets, books and a new elementary school to alleviate overcrowding and portables at Mill Creek Elementary School.

“I can’t wait until this time next year to tell you what all has happened in the past year,” he said.

In his opening remarks, Finley said that one person was noticeably absent from his family’s table. “We have to address the ‘elephant in the room,’” referring to his wife Dr. Julie Finley, who was arrested for DUI and reckless driving on Jan. 18.

“I’m usually pretty good at humor, but there’s no room for humor in the incident that happened last week. We can’t change the past but will focus on the future. We’re missing one at our table tonight, because we’ve already started the process of healing and recovery,” Paul Finley said.

Finley said 2017 was the first time that all three of his sons could attend: Tyler Finley, Auburn University graduate; Tanner Finley, University of Alabama in Huntsville student; and Kyle McCormick, James Clemens High School senior.

Madison

School board approves bid to turn the old West Madison campus into PreK Center

Bob Jones High School

Greenpower racing builds STEM skills and confidence

Madison

Madison Animal Rescue Foundation in need of new foster homes

Madison

How to submit your child’s “Letter to Santa”

Events

Neighbors: Community theater groups in Decatur to stage ‘ELF: The Musical’

Events

Driving Nights for Galaxy of Lights begin today at Huntsville Botanical Garden

Events

Polar Express Christmas Tree Trail lighting and Wassail Fest being held Friday in downtown Madison

Polar Express Christmas Tree Trail lighting and Wassail Fest being held Friday in downtown Madison

Bob Jones High School

Former Patriot named assistant director of coaching at North Alabama SC

Former Patriot named assistant director of coaching at North Alabama SC

Digital Version

Check out the new issue of Madison Living Magazine

James Clemens High School

James Clemens medical and drama students, first responders simulate trauma scene

Bob Jones High School

Scholarships at stake in American Legion oratorical contest

Bob Jones High School

Nichols’ podcast avers multi-disciplines feed theatre

Business

Town Madison becomes city’s first Arts & Entertainment District

Events

Asbury Church to present “Lessons & Carols: The Songs of Christmas” on Dec. 4

Events

Christmas at Burritt on the Mountain

Events

Madison Community Band to present “Christmas Journey”

Events

Winter Park at The Orion Amphitheater is now open!

Harvest

Still Serving Veterans named ‘Nonprofit of the Year

James Clemens High School

Markowitz, Odom and Wyche earn BBB’s ‘Torch Award for Ethics’

Bob Jones High School

Arslanbekov of Madison merits first place in von Braun Symposium

Harvest

Civic-minded groups help Madison’s blood supply

Events

Fantasy Playhouse’s “A Christmas Carol” to open Dec. 2

Bob Jones High School

Fantasy Playhouse uses grant for technical theatre lab

Events

Rocket City Christmas Light Show in Madison returns Friday

x