Madison Mayor Troy Trulock reflects on 2015, looks ahead to 2016
MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Recently, we sat down with Madison Mayor Troy Trulock to get his perspective on 2015 and look ahead to what 2016 will bring. Here’s some of what he had to say.
What was your proudest moment of 2015?
“Proudest moment of 2015 is probably economic development and growth in the city of Madison. It’s really, if you look around the city of Madison we have businesses and growth happening all across Madison City but there’s two strategic corridors that were important to us for long-term growth for the city of Madison. One’s at the County Line interchange, I-565 and County Line Road. By opening up that interchange, which we opened it up in April of this year, we opened up 800 acres of economic development growth, and then, the second corridor is Town Madison, which is a connection between Wall Triana and Zierdt. That’s 700 acres…we now have 1,500 acres of economic development and growth happening for the city and the citizens of Madison.”
“If we talk about just the roads and infrastructure, two key roads have been opened up. County Line Road interchange, and with the help of Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and the Huntsville City Council, we opened up Old Madison Pike Bridge. County Line Road interchange should have been opened probably 12, 13, 14 years ago and Old Madison Pike Bridge has been in the works for 18 1/2 years. Those are two critical road areas that have been opened up thanks to tremendous teamwork with the state, teamwork with Huntsville, city council, Mayor Tommy Battle. So, roads and infrastructure has been a big one for us.”
“Second one has been homes and subdivisions, the growth of homes and subdivisions. If you just look at the western side of the City of Madison, which is west of County Line Road, we have about, almost 2,000 lots under development, just west of County Line Road, which is the western half of the City of Madison. So, just tremendous home growth out there.”
“I’d say a third area is economic development growth…and then, a fourth area is really financial peace, essentially. The city of Madison is very financially strong at this point. We finished our fiscal year 2015, which was the end of September, we finished FY 15 with the highest revenues we’ve had in the past eight years for the city of Madison, and we also wound up, Standard and Poor’s gave us a double A+ rating, which is the highest rating we can have for a city our size.”
There were a few bumps in the road in the working relationship with the council. Given that you’ve had a couple of months since the budget was presented and the idea of a city manager first came up, have your feelings changed about some of the disagreements that arose?
“No, not really. There’s a natural, that’s what a democracy is about…the key to success is to make sure, you want to voice opinions, but at the end of the day you all get in the same bus and you head in the same direction.”
“If we didn’t have the tremendous teamwork, you would not see all the tremendous growth we have in the city of Madison.”
Looking ahead to 2016, what would you like to accomplish that you have not already?
“One of the new things we’re going to develop in 2016 is the Western Growth plan. As I mentioned, right now, we have about 2,000 houses or lots under construction west of County Line Road but we need to master plan a lot of that. There’s a lot of land down the western side of Madison and we need to plan that for growth for where maybe schools, parks and recreation, where your roads and sewer lines need to go. So, the objective is by next summer, summer 2016, we should have a master plan that will tell us for the next 10 years as we build out the western side of Madison, what’s the most economical and efficient way to build that out.”
You announced that you are running for re-election. Does that add another layer to 2016 for you? In the fact that you will also have a campaign going while you are trying to manage some of these projects?
“I tell folks that I consider about 90% of my job being the CEO of the city and about 10% being a politician. So, I may have to spend some time on that political side but the key is you spend most of your time being the CEO for the city of Madison.”
Madison received some national and international attention this year of a very negative sort in what happened regarding a police officer and an older gentleman who was staying with his family in Madison (the Eric Parker case). Did that pain you to see Madison’s name attached to these very negative stories?
“The entire incident was painful all the way around because you would love to just rewind time and make sure nobody was impacted in any way by that incident but part of the CEO’s job and the leader’s job is to when an incident happens to take action and so, the city took action and then it evolved from there into further action and it’s making its way through the court system, a very difficult court system, now.”