Council, mayor discuss results of Trump rally
MADISON – Donald Trump blazed into Madison City Schools Stadium for a standing-room-only campaign rally on Feb. 28, but repercussions remained in debate at Madison City Council’s meeting on March 14.
Madison Mayor Troy Trulock said the event allowed citizens to hear a presidential campaign before Super Tuesday, and the city received media coverage from national outlets.
Trulock noted that Madison City Schools received $20,000 from Trump to use the stadium. In addition, school booster clubs profited from concession stands sales.
Stopping by a store after the rally, Trulock said, “one business owner said his sales were 100 to 200 percent more that day.”
However, council members are concerned with expenses of $30,765 that the city incurred: approximately $19,000 for police; $6,000, fire; $5,000, public works; and $500, parks and recreation.
Council members said Trulock did not contact them initially about the rally, discuss expenses or secure a ‘hold-harmless’ agreement for liability. Council President Tim Holcombe said he attended a ribbon cutting on Feb. 25 with the mayor (after planning started), but Trulock did not mention the rally.
“What really gets my goat is that I didn’t get to represent my district because I was not involved in the planning process,” councilman Mike Potter said. Potter said recouping the $30,765 expenses would require $1.228 million in sales.
Former Mayor Sandy Kirkindall said he did not believe the city should use public facilities for political purposes. Kirkindall said Alabama law may view the expenditure as a misdemeanor for Trulock.
“This money should come out of the mayor’s pocket since this whole thing came from his direction,” Kirkindall said. “I believe the council should not appropriate any money to pay for this event.”
Councilman Steve Smith said he was disappointed the mayor didn’t collaborate with council as superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler had done with Madison Board of Education.
Resident Adair Seeman said, “If we have something national to happen in this city, shouldn’t we be elated? Stop quibbling. Be happy that we were chosen.”
“Good for you, Mayor. You did something good for the city,” resident James Ross said.
In other business, payments included $231,246.06 to Nola Van Peursem Architects PC for architectural services, recreation facility and natatorium and $1,530, annual maintenance, Terramodel Software.
Council supports Madison City Schools staff in recovering an equitable distribution of Limestone County taxes. “Madison City Schools will not receive $1.7 million” because of the issue, superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said.
Council approved Burgreen Village and Burgreen Farms into the city’s maintenance program and appointed Frank Wetzell to Madison Beautification and Tree Board.