MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Monday night’s Madison City Council meeting became a political jousting match with unresolved budget issues lingering.
The council meeting started peacefully until the second person took to the podium for public comments. Former Madison City Mayor, Paul Finley, came ready to discuss some major issues in how the fiscal 2016 budget process was handled. He addressed the council and spoke directly to the man whose seat he once held, Mayor Troy Trulock.
“You fundamentally changed how city government works in the city of Madison,” said Finley. “Troy, you changed that, to me you changed that for one of two reasons; either you are incompetent or politically motivated.”
Finley was referring to Mayor Trulock turning in his proposed budget to the council the same day they were set to vote on it. This angered and disappointed many council members and the finance committee. Mayor Trulock had two months before he presented to get his budget to the council for guidance. Finley pushed the point that the mayor is supposed to get his budget in sooner to set a clear vision and goal for the city. From there, the council could make changes and amendments.
Mayor Trulock listened on as Finley finished his statements about the budget process.
“It pains me to see what is happening and we must come together,” finished Finley.
From there, council member Steve Smith pulled up the budget on the projector to review four written points by the mayor.
“This is totally incorrect,” said Smith.
He rebutted the Mayor’s accusation that the council reduced employee benefits, didn’t consider the Mayor’s budget or consider the addition of a Mayor’s aide.
“To have inaccuracies on a permanent record is not right,” explained Smith. “The council was spending their money on the employees and for our community.”
Following the meeting, Mayor Trulock expressed while his budget was presented later, the council still had three meetings to consider his changes. He also said he appreciates Finley coming to passionately speak with the council. “It’s good to have public hearing,” said Trulock.
“We have a passionate community and that is what makes democracy great. What matters is that we disagree and get back on the track toward common goals.” expressed Trulock.