The new Madison debate—city manager or mayor? Get all the exciting details

Welcome to Madison sign
What are your thoughts on the addition of a city manager? (City of Madison / Facebook)

Big news, Madison—the city government could undergo significant changes over the next couple months.

The public will soon have an opportunity to vote on adding a city manager to the government. Learn all you need to know here.

Mayor vs city manager form government

Madison’s current government format is council-mayor, and the proposed vote would change it to council-manger system.

In the council-mayor form, the mayor is elected apart from the legislative body and oversees administrative tasks.

In the council-manager format, the city manager handles the administrative tasks, while the mayor resides on the city council and sets the vision for the city.

How would this change the current system?

madison, AL city hall—should Madison have a city manager?
Many believe this change will improve Madison’s government. (City of Madison / Facebook)

The council-manager format is prevalent in many major cities—especially in the Southwest—such as Phoenix, San Antonio and Las Vegas.

It is less prevalent in Alabama. If the vote goes through, Huntsville would join only 12 other cities with this format—the largest being Auburn.

Under this system, the mayor would become the seventh member and president of the council. This government form allows the mayor to spend more time speaking with the public, while the manager handles the daily administrative tasks.

What are the next steps?

Downtown Madison, AL
Do you plan to vote on May 9? (Steven Gordon / Facebook)

Pending the city council’s approval, the referendum will take place on May 9. Voters will either mark “yes” or “no” to the proposed changes.

If the public votes to alter the system, the City of Madison will have until 2025 to enact the changes.

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Lacey Spear
Lacey Spear
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