Madison city council to discuss possible city manager position

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT )-- Madison City Council President Tommy Overcash says it might be time to adjust Madison's government. He cites growth as a reason why there's more to do than ever when handling city business.

"When I came to town it was 6,000 people," he said. "Now we're 50,000."

He says the city council has the ability to create a new leadership position, and this upcoming budget review is a good time to explore their options. It could be a project manager or something more hefty, like a city manager, to handle daily operations.

Currently, the mayor acts as the city's CEO. That city manager position could change the power balance, acting "kind of like a super department head," explained Overcash.

He says this would alleviate some workload, adding that right now it's just an idea.

But it's one that Mayor Troy Trulock questions.

"I hear from our citizens routinely that we're taking the city in the right direction, and I hear from our city employees that we're going in the right direction," said Mayor Trulock. "I'm not quite sure what we need to change."

He says he's not opposed to a change in government, if it's what the people who elected him and live in the city truly want.

"One way we could do it is actually take it to referendum in August 2016," he suggested. "If we'd like to change our form of government, I say go ahead and do that... Our city and our citizens deserve the right to vote."

But the way it's headed now, the decision is in the council's hands. We expect to learn more at their next meeting on Monday. That's when Overcash plans to talk about a council-approved task force that would research the city manager idea.

"Is it right for Madison? We won't know until we explore it," he commented.

He says the panel would take around six weeks to gather findings and present them to the council. A town hall meeting would also be planned if this moves forward, something Mayor Trulock also stresses is important.

Still, this is all in very early stages. WHNT News 19 will be at Monday's meeting to report about the discussion.