By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor
Madison Mayor Fred Perriman reflects on his time thus far in office, and his future goals for the time remaining. “My time as mayor for the last two years have been rewarding, and as most cities we have had some stumbling blocks along the way, but we always work together to accomplish our goals,” said Perriman. ‘There has been much growth in the last two years. I continue to see our community together, becoming ONE Morgan and we are fortunate here in Madison to have all the volunteers that we have. They all help to make Madison the city it is today.” Perriman is proud of what the city of Madison has accomplished in the last two years, since he first took office. One of those accomplishments is the completion of the Madison Public Safety Building.
“We waited patiently to utitlize SPLOST funds in lieu of property taxes to gain modern fire, police and public meeting facilities,” said Perriman. Perriman is also proud that the city of Madison secured a $6.5 million investor to construct the first senior housing complex, Silver Lakes Court, which will bring market rate housing with low-to-moderate rental rates, and that the city earned a substantial grant to invest in long-needed Stormwater Infrastructure, addressing flooding of roads, yards, and homes in an underserved area.
Perriman noted the city’s adoption of the cutting edge Transferrable Development Rights program, which permits “a tax-base neutral shift of potential dwelling units protecting green space and creating housing options.” Perriman was happy to see the new Gilmore House come to fruition for the community. “We rehabilitated a new community service hub, the Gilmore House, complete with incubator offices, community kitchen, affordable housing apartments, and a neighborhood meeting room,” said Perriman. Under Perriman’s leadership, the city also “assumed Building Inspections & Environmental Code Enforcement duties, leading a smooth as possible shift to city and privatization for effective and efficient service” and “issued 93 Occupational Tax Certificates, to business openings, taking over existing locations, or new operators for existing businesses in the last two years.”
Perriman also praised the city’s support of the new standalone Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Mannington Mills expansion, the new Baxalta Plant in Stanton Springs, a securing funding for the Cemetery Expansion Master Plan. According to Perriman, the city has also added water to the existing gas utility services in Madison Lakes, which extends the city’s customer base and assures quality service to those Morgan County residents. During his time as mayor, the city has been recognized statewide with various awards and distinctions. Madison was selected as a “PlanFirst Community,” for Madison’s “proven track record of comprehensive planning and plan implementation.”
Madison was also selected as a 2015 GICH Community, “one of five communities to be offered a chance to improve local housing leadership and opportunities with representation from city, county, and schools.” Perriman has also served on the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission along with County Commissioner Chairman Andy Ainslie. “We are working to improve our community and city-county relations,” said Perriman. Perriman hopes to see improvements and additions to the city of Madison during his time as mayor, too.
Some of his future goals include: advocating for a spirit of cooperation and fairly shared success between the city and other local government entities, addressing the City’s future digital access needs, actively engage citizens during the Comprehensive Plan process, construct a Canaan Corner store, make progress in the automation of water and gas meter reading, increasing connectivity for disconnected neighbors, addressing future Service Delivery Strategy, improving public engagement between the Police Department and our neighborhoods and businesses, pursuing housing grant and housing investment for our declining neighborhoods, completing the acquisition and site preparation of the City’s last quadrant neighborhood park, and facilitating expanded health care options for the community.”
“I would also love to see a nice grocery store and clothing store downtown,” said Perriman. “I would like visitors to drive through neighborhoods where they can’t tell who those homes belong to. We need to have more good jobs and attractions to keep our young people here.” “It’s a lot of work, yet slowly, but surely, I feel we are getting there,” added Perriman. Long-term, Perriman hopes Madison reflects the unique history of the local area. “Twenty years from now I hope Madison continues to preserve the entire history that Sherman refused to burn,” said Perriman.