Madison County Commission weighs in on election results

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- Tuesday was a historic election night for Alabama. Members of the Madison County Commission weighed in with their thoughts on the results.

As the now lone Democrat on the Madison County Commission, Commissioner Roger Jones said he is ecstatic with this victory. "I told my wife as they announced it, I said listen, I think I hear the late Bob Harrison cheering," he said.

With Doug Jones on his way to Washington, Commissioner Jones said, "I'd like to see people work together, come together for the good of the country, and not waste time on arguing and fussing."

Chairman Dale Strong said in the world of politics, nothing surprises him. But now it's time to focus on the great things happening in Madison County.

"We need this negativity at all levels to stop. The big thing is we believe in this republic, and what's occurred. Let's move forward, there will be another election, another day," he said.

Chairman Strong also said he wasn't surprised by the results in Madison County, even though it traditionally votes Republican.

"They're also independent voters, they use their own minds and their own brains. They don't let other people tell them how to vote, that's what I respect. We had a good turnout for a special election. Our republic is alive and well, and people were able to voice their thoughts through an election ballot," he explained.

Besides the big Senate race, there was also another important vote on the ballot. The commission was instrumental in helping Madison County, Madison City, and Huntsville City School Superintendents get the word out about the Ad Valorem school tax renewals.

District Three Commissioner Craig Hill said the school taxes help the three Madison County school systems flourish. He explained how that money pays for things that allow them to be better than the norm, like pre-k programs, after-school programs and in many cases the AP class offerings.

"For someone with an education background that's exciting news. We know that 92 percent of our children in Madison County attend public schools," Commissioner Hill said.

The tax renewals passed overwhelmingly in Madison County, with over 70 percent of the vote. Hill said, "Public awareness was important and I think the public realized what they were voting for, and what commitment they were making when they renewed the tax. That commitment was evident yesterday. "

Had the tax renewals not passed, millions of dollars in the schools operating budgets would have been lost. "You know it's critical, you start losing millions of dollars in your three public school systems it sets you back," said Chairman Strong.

Strong said it's the strength of the three public school systems, "'That's what has led to 15,000 new jobs in our region. The big thing is no time to go backward, we've got to go forward, and that's exactly what the people of  the city of Huntsville, city of Madison and Madison County voted."

The tax renewals will stay in place for the next 30 years.