MADISON, Ala. -- There will soon be four new council members and a new mayor leading Madison into its future. Ronica Ondocsin, Tim Holcombe, and Mike Potter decided not to go after another term, citing communication problems with the mayor. DJ Klein and Mayor Troy Trulock were not re-elected.
Monday was their last council meeting sitting in their council seats. Tommy Overcash and the American Legion Post 229 presented them with "thank you's" and plaques for their service to the city, and many citizens thanked them when they came to the mic, too.
"I appreciate the department heads, the city employees, all my guys," said Ondocsin through tears as she looked at the council seated next to her. "I've enjoyed every minute of it, and I sincerely mean that. I've made some lifelong friends. Probably made some lifelong enemies also," she joked.
"We've had different ideas, and a lot of them we hold dear. We'd fuss, but we never take it personal. When we voted, if you get four votes you win, if you don't you move on. That's how things have gone, and I appreciate it. It's been one of the best experiences I've ever had," commented Potter, choking up.
DJ Klein was not present because council members say he was out of the country traveling.
Mayor Trulock read this to the audience, detailing the team's successes while he was in office. He said it took all of them working together, and the department heads and volunteers who work tirelessly, to get Madison in this good shape.
"We went through some really lean times," he commented, "We said, 'We are going to cut expenses, we are going to tighten our belt, and we are going to bring in more businesses.' As a result of that, we wound up with the most businesses ever and record revenue."
They left on this note:
But these public officials say they'll find other ways to serve. Trulock and Holcombe each said in separate interviews they'll miss the opportunity they've had to make a difference.
"Look at what's been done in the past 8 years," Holcombe said. "The growth has just been phenomenal... I'm looking forward to whatever the next thing may bring. I haven't decided yet what public service I will do, but I know there will be more in my future."
"I haven't quite figured out what's next," echoed Trulock. "To be honest, I probably have to take a month or two off. People may not realize this mayor job is a 16 hour day job, 6 days a week. There's a lot I have not done at my house right now, so I need time to get caught up on my house chores! But wherever I can serve, I've been proud to serve our community. I look forward to whatever the next chapter may be." He said he will assist the next mayor, Paul Finley, in any way he can.
Holcombe offered this advice to new council members who will be sworn in November 7: "Make sure you study the issues, and vote your conscience. Do what's right for your district and the city as a whole. Make sure you do the right thing," he said.