I have had the honor and privilege of not only serving the Borough of Madison as your mayor for these past four years, but can proudly point to completing every initiative pledged when I sought the post in 2007.
We can’t stop there. Madison needs to hold its course moving forward with managed contracts for purchasing power thereby lowering electric costs; expanding partnerships with the Board of Education to realize better goods and services costs; continuing outreach to surrounding towns to complete agreements for shared services in equipment and personnel; and stepping up its marketing plan thereby attracting tenants to fill remaining vacancies in Giralda Farms corporate park and the east end of Main Street.
The year 2012 holds an exciting future for both Borough government and the Board of Education as the redevelopment of the former Green Village Road School property should be in full swing, helping the Board of Education beef up its capital improvements and providing the Borough with transit-oriented, walk-to-everything living. It’s a prime location. Think of the boost this additional ratable will bring to our downtown.
Both active and passive recreation will be uplifted with the opening of the new 49-acre recreational facility behind the high school. Of course, the new fields that are nearing completion will allow that much needed breather to rehabilitate and rest some of our natural-turf fields.
Happily, I can say that already after a mere few months, the ‘39-acre committee' chaired by Chris Cox of Pomeroy Road and its Community Gardens Subcommittee, under Chris Kellogg, have come back to Council with a plan for gardens here in Madison. These Madison Community Gardens will be ready for use next spring, and may have a greenhouse, harkening back to our ‘Rose City’ roots, in its future. The water and electrical connections have already been provided for contemplated gardens as part of the ‘10-acre Active Recreation Plan’ now under construction.
A boy scout is developing a work plan with Cox to clear paths for planned trails to nature sites and for walking/jogging fitness. So many possibilities.
I hope to see the Madison Environmental Commission re-form the ‘Green Team.’ It was so widely attended. Out of it, a volunteer guided Assistant Business Administrator Jim Burnet to grants for energy audits of Borough buildings; scouts held two annual Green Fairs showcasing all types of novel products from solar tubes to light your home to electric car conversions to rehabbing homes to composting, and more.
There is so much more to be done. I look forward to the same type of bottom-up visioning – as with the ’39-acre committee’ and active recreation, and with the re-design of Lincoln Place – engaging the larger community to tackle the public library’s extensive, needed physical improvements, creating a capital plan together, while perhaps revisiting former Mayor Kerkeslager’s positioning of the library mission parallel to the community’s cultural needs.
Adding the skill sets of Martin Barbato, who successfully served two terms on the Council and formulated budgeting guidelines and our 20-year capital plan; and Bob Landrigan, who brings an abundance of corporate real estate and marketing experience, I know these impending goals are within reach.
Madison has a wealth of wellness, recreational, educational and cultural activities and a vibrant downtown. Its volunteer base and their creative can-do ideas enhance Madison as the place to live, work and play.
I am excited for the Borough’s future and so I ask for your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8, to continue its leadership as your mayor.
Mayor Mary-Anna Holden