Get to know your new candidates running for Madison City Council
MADISON, Ala. – After three Madison City Council members called for new blood in the council by announcing they will not seek re-election, multiple candidates have stepped up to fill the soon-to-be-empty roles.
Council members Tim Holcombe (D1,) Ronica Ondocsin (D7,) and Mike Potter (D4) said in June they will not seek re-election for a council seat. It’s no secret Mayor Troy Trulock and some council members butt heads on issues that affect the city. We’ve reported on their fight about a lack of communication before passing the 2016 budget. It continued with city manager possibilities, and then over the Donald Trump rally costs to the city of Madison.
The municipal election will be held on August 23, 2016. Incumbents Steve Smith (D2,) DH Klein (D3,) Tommy Overcash (D-5,) and Gerald Clark (D6) are running for re-election.
James Ross – D1
- 30 Year Military Retiree, US Army (Former Command Sergeant Major, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL)
- MA in Organizational Leadership, University of Texas at El Paso, UTEP
- BA in Homeland Security, American Military University
- Director of Huntsville Operations, TMC Design Corporation
- Active Top Secret Security Clearance
- Three Children in the Madison School District
- Air, Space, and Missile Defense Association (Board Member, Ex Officiato)
- Air Defense Artillery Association (Executive Committee)
- Madison Basketball Association (Head Basketball Coach, Youth 10 Under)
- Madison/Huntsville Chamber of Commerce (Active Member)
- Continue economic growth and support small businesses
- Support our schools and enhance public safety
- Improved infrastructure with an emphasis on roads
- Work with other city officials and eliminate in-fighting that is hurting our progress
- Be an active voice for the citizens of Madison
James Ross’ campaign Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rosscitycouncil/
David Chisgar – D1
Madison resident David Chisgar announced recently his intention to seek the District 1 Madison City Council seat in the upcoming August election. “I feel very fortunate to live in this community. Madison is a unique city with unlimited potential. I want to be a voice for smart growth– to keep our schools top notch, improve our infrastructure, and strengthen business development. We have some truly wonderful local businesses that deserve our city’s support to
continue to thrive.
“With two children about to enter Madison City Schools, I have a deep commitment to ensuring our district receives the funding it needs and deserves. I also want to see our roads and parks improved. Lastly, Madison needs to value its current business owners, as well as seek new retail, restaurants, and entertainment. Revenue generated from business sales tax is vital to smart growth.”
Chisgar, and his wife, Matti have been residents of Madison for 10 years. They have two boys, ages 5 and 3. “Our ties to this community are very strong. Our youngest son was born in Madison Hospital not too long after it began deliveries. And our 5-year-old is excited about starting kindergarten this fall at West Madison Elementary School.”
Chisgar works on Redstone Arsenal as an engineer. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Florida, and also holds a Masters of Business Administration earned at University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is an active member of Trinity Baptist Church, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, and is currently enjoying helping coach his son’s T Ball team at the Hogan YMCA.
David Chisgar’s campaign Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/David.Chisgar
Maura Wroblewski – D1
Maura Wroblewski and her family have lived in Madison since 1999. She has been married to her husband, Ron, for 25 years. Their children, Zach and Sarah, attended West Madison, Liberty and graduated from Bob Jones. Zach graduated from Berry College this past May with a Political Science/Secondary Education double major and received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach overseas for the 2015/2016 school year. Sarah will return to Marion Military Institute as a sophomore with the hopes of a career in the Air Force. With her children grown Maura will have the time and energy to work for the citizens of Madison.
Maura and her family are members of Asbury UMC where she helps teach the Christian Families Sunday School Class and was Chair of the Asbury Community Thrift Store for many years. She works part time at the Hogan YMCA as Weekend Manager. “By working part time she will be able to work full time for you!” she says on her campaign page.
Maura’s priorities are road improvements particularly for Balch, Brownsferry and Gillespie Roads with particular attention to the Gillespie/Balch intersection. She would work for an increase of bike paths and sidewalks along those three roads. Another priority is an increase in retail establishments, with a priority to fill vacant storefronts, and to bring the gas station at the corner of Gillespie and Bach into the city limits through tax incentives. Maura also has a plan for no kill, foster driven animal shelter paid for through private donations and not tax dollars. Lastly, the crown jewel of Madison is our school system. It is (past) time for Limestone County to release those tax dollars that Madison City/Limestone County residents pay back to Madison City Schools.
Maura Wroblewski’s campaign Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Maura.WroblewskiforMadison/
Brad Johnson – D4
Brad Johnson is running for the Madison City Council, District 4. Johnson has lived in Madison for most of his life. He and his wife, Emily, have been married for nine years and have been sweethearts for 17 years. Brad and Emily are the proud parents of three beautiful daughters, Elaina, Bristol and new baby Addie. Brad and his family attend Trinity Baptist Church in Madison.
Johnson began his career in the insurance business at age of 19. In 2007, he started his own insurance small business and has grown it from inception into a very successful Allstate insurance firm with a large and growing client base. He has won many awards during his career, including being recognized as the number one agent in Alabama and the Southeastern United States in customer service satisfaction in 2015. Johnson is currently ranked number one in the nation of over 10,000 agencies with Allstate in customer service satisfaction so far this year. He has been named the multi- line agent of the year in Alabama and the Southeast United States for the past 3 years.
Johnson’s primary goals as City Councilman are simple and achievable with hard work and commitment:
- To grow revenues by focusing daily on the business growth of the city and attract large and small businesses; to foster the growth of new businesses of all sizes and types; to always be a good steward of the Madison taxpayer’s money and cut out wasteful spending.
- To focus on working diligently with the Madison City School System to ensure it offers Madison children the best schools and education in all of the State of Alabama and continue to assure their bright futures.
- To work hard to solve the aging, overburdened and road system and other infrastructure problems and issues of the Madison community through new, creative, and innovative ideas; working hard to implement fixes like installing traffic lights, repairing potholes, and adding turn lanes in key locations to help traffic flow more smoothly.
- To work hard and diligently to build sound, healthy, and productive working relationships with the Mayor, other council members, city department heads and employees through effective communication, openness, and transparency while practicing basic civility and sound business ethics. To work together, as city leaders, to effectively serve the residents, business owners, and civic leaders of Madison. He will remain open and welcoming to the input, ideas and criticisms of Madison’s voters and residents.
Brad Johnson’s campaign Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bradjohnsonmadisoncity4/
Greg Shaw – D4
Greg Shaw is seeking his first term to represent District 4 on the Madison City Council. Shaw believes he has the understanding of an employer, the management skills of a small business owner, a keen insight into the City’s infrastructure and an awareness of issues facing Madison City Schools, to be an effective representative on City Council.
Having lived in Madison since 1984, Greg and his wife, Kimberly Romans Shaw, are products of Madison City Schools. In 2010, Shaw was named into the Bob Jones High School’s Hall of Fame for his community contributions to Madison as a BJHS graduate. The Shaws have been married for over 16 years and have two children, Maddie, 11, and Reed, 3.
The Shaw family resides in Cedar Springs Station on Mill Rd. Shaw became active in the architectural control committee (ACC) at its inception. He served on the initial ACC board that established the neighborhood’s governance as it transitioned control from the developer to the homeowners. Once properly transferred to the homeowners, he served as President of Cedar Springs HOA for two additional years. The Shaws continue to support Cedar Springs ACC regularly when there is a community project.
Shaw holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Auburn University in Horticulture (’96.) He established Southern Scape LLC almost 20 years ago and located it in Madison (Palmer Rd – District 4). Today, he employs 35 full time employees and another 10-15 seasonal personnel. His company has worked in over six states across the southeast doing commercial and estate landscaping on major projects. He has opened a second location in Nashville, Tennessee to better serve customers. His leadership as owner of Southern Scape LLC earned him recognition by the professional organization LandOpt as their 2012 Rookie of the Year.
Shaw’s professional career has exposed him to working with federal, state and local governments across the state of Alabama. He served on a State of Alabama commission to improve the bidding process to create a more fair and balanced system for the State as well as contractors.
His insight into Madison City Schools (MCS) is more than as a former student and current parent. In addition to being involved with his daughter in the system, Shaw has continued to support the Board of Education (BOE) serving on committees. He served in 2014 on the salary supplement committee for coaches at the invitation of MCS Superintendent, Dr. Dee Fowler. In 2015, the BOE president, Dr. Terri Johnson, enlisted his service on a similar committee for principals. He now continues to serve Dr. Fowler on a MCS committee focused on generating revenue. Greg is very aware of the growth issues facing MCS and the issues associated with Limestone County. He is committed to supporting their resolution in an equitable manner.
He believes his professional knowledge will allow him to be an effective Council advocate in continuing to improve our infrastructure by working with Engineering, Public Works (PW) and Madison Utilities (MU).
Greg Shaw’s campaign Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Greg-Shaw-Madison-City-Council-District-4-199152860481229/
Dan Shanahan – D5
“I am a proven leader who wants to move Madison soundly and securely into the future. I would appreciate your support for my campaign. He is a proven leader with over 30 years of service to his country in the US Army,” Dan Shanahan said.
Shanahan is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. He has two Master Degrees in Public Administration and in Strategy.
Dan Shanahan’s campaign Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ShanahanCityCouncil/
Kathryn Wall Norman – D6
Kathryn Wall Norman’s campaign platform:
- I am not a career politician! I have no past political experience, but I am learning quickly. I am, in my lifetime, a long time small business owner; a registered health care professional who worked a long time at a local military hospital; a wife, daughter, mother and grandmother; I am a politically attuned citizen of Madison; and I am now a young retiree. I will work FULL TIME as a council member. As a council member, I will have an open door policy and have respect for all the citizens who live in Madison. This “Open Door Policy” will not only be for the citizens of Madison but will also be for our 300+ city employees to come openly talk and get the respect and voice they deserve. I promise to actually listen and “hear” what you have to say and work hard to be fair and to always do the right thing.
- The Council and Mayor should work as a TEAM for the betterment of Madison. The tactics of playing the “blame game”, the practice of undermining, the frequent finger-pointing, the political moves and strategies to discredit, and other unsavory practices must stop. The Council, Mayor, department heads and employees must all work together in harmony to achieve future success for the City of Madison.
- Tax dollars in Madison should be spent thoughtfully and for the betterment of Madison, for all of Madison’s citizens. Madison’s City Council should have a “wants vs needs” list and the Council must work on the “needs list” as a top priority. Council should keep the “wants list” for when we, as a City, can afford to do the projects. This is very much like our own “household budgets”.
- Madison citizens are animal lovers and support efforts regarding their pets. It is critical that the City of Madison find a way to help our Madison Animal Control have a better shelter and a no-kill shelter for our pets who are missing or ones needing a new home. I would like to see the City’s animal control efforts become a “city and volunteer joint venture” using city property; use a joint partnership model of city employees and volunteers; and seek to fund the increased efforts with a combination of city and private donation money. I will work to make the Animal Control a department separate from the Police Department and its budget and to make it a thriving, viable, self-supporting entity and something everyone can be proud of.
Kathryn Wall Norman’s campaign Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KathrynWallNorman/
Lena Sledge – D7
“I’m a long-time resident of the city of Madison and I care about my city. What happens in Madison directly affects my neighbors and my community. I intend to help promote economic development and community relations by encouraging the retention of current businesses, as well as creating a supportive system that appeals to new businesses. As the city of Madison expands westward with new residents and new businesses, we need to decrease traffic disruptions, improve parking, and address aging infrastructure to support our incoming neighbors.”
- Resident of Madison for over 20 years
- Former employee of the City of Madison and Huntsville
- Degree in Political Science (UA – Huntsville)
- Wife and mother of five (ages 16-24)
- Member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Lena Slege’s campaign website: http://lenasledge.org/
Lena Slege’s campaign Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lenasledgevote/
John Seifert – D7
“Now officially your candidate for Madison City Council – District 7. Thanks in advance for your support. Look for me out in your neighborhood in the coming days and weeks. I want to meet and hear from YOU on your thoughts on the city. My top three goals are follows:
- Improve Funding for Our Schools – The schools are our number one asset and reason why people move here. Let’s continue to improve and modernize them to keep up with the city’s growth and challenges ahead. Let’s make sure our taxes support our schools! I look forward to working with Madison City Schools to determine innovative ways in which the city can support their needs.
- Improve our Quality of Life: Our parks and recreational areas are in dire need of prioritization within our city’s budget and planning efforts. Let make our facilities second to none in the state and places we can be proud to call our own.
- Smarter City Growth: Remember the comprehensive development plan? Yeah, let’s get back to executing the plan and bringing in strategic business in locations and areas that make sense. Development with a plan… not just for development’s sake.”
John Seifert’s campaign Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/John4Madison/