City of Madison Advisory Referendum
1. Madison currently has a part‑time Common Council with members who are paid approximately thirteen‑thousand seven hundred dollars ($13,700) per year. Beginning with the 2023 Spring Election, SHOULD the City of Madison transition to a full‑time Common Council with each Common Council member earning between fifty percent (50%) to eighty percent (80%) of the Adjusted Median Income for Dane County for a single parent with two children (approximately $45,000 to $71,000 per year)?
2. Madison currently has a part-time Common Council comprised of twenty (20) alderpersons, one from each alderperson district. Beginning with the 2023 Spring Election, SHOULD the size of the City of Madison Common Council:
___ be reduced?
___ be increased?
___ remain the same?
3. Madison alderpersons are currently elected to two (2) year terms. The Madison Mayor is currently elected to four (4) year terms. Beginning with the 2023 Spring Election, SHOULD City of Madison alderpersons be elected to four (4) year terms?
4. Madison alderpersons are currently not subject to term limits. Beginning with the 2023 Spring Election, if the City transitions to a full‑time Common Council SHOULD the City of Madison alderpersons be subject to term limits of twelve (12) consecutive years?
The referendum is advisory only. The results of the advisory referendum are not binding on the City. Implementation of these actions or policies will require further action by the Common Council or the electorate.
Question 1: Budget appropriations and ordinance changes would be required to transition from a part-time to a full-time Common Council with a full-time salary.
Question 2: The City will be advised of the total percentage of the electorate that voted for each choice (the question provides multiple choices instead of “yes” or “no” options). In order to change the size of the Madison Common Council, the City would be required to submit the question to the electorate as a binding referendum at a future Spring election.
Question 3: In order to increase the length of alderperson terms, the City would be required to submit the question to the electorate as a binding referendum at a future Spring election.
Question 4: The Common Council would need to pass an ordinance to impose term limits on alderpersons.
Voters can learn more from a special edition of the Madison City Channel program District Reports, in which host Eve Galanter and guest Assistant City Attorney John Strange discuss the work of the Task Force on Government Structure that led to this referendum. Then Galanter and Strange discuss the meaning of each question, providing some possible pros and cons. Watch the program and see the full report of the Task Force here.