Madison was incorporated in December 1889 under the Borough form of government in which a mayor serves for a four-year term and six council members are elected at large to three-year terms. The terms are staggered so that two council members are elected each year. Both the mayor and council members are part-time positions and are not paid. A full-time administrator is appointed to handle the day-to-day management of the government.
The municipal government’s mission is to build a friendly, attractive, safe, well-maintained community where businesses prosper, public services and educational opportunities excel, history is preserved and citizens live in good health and harmony. There are 10 departments and three independent agencies that work to accomplish this mission. The departments include Administration, Finance, Police, Fire, Public Works, Land Use Services, Electric Utility, Municipal Court, Senior Citizens and Recreation. Local independent agencies include the Madison Public Library, the Board of Health and the Madison Housing Authority.
The Department of Administration includes the administrator’s office, municipal clerk, purchasing and personnel. This department coordinates the overall activities of government and helps the other departments do their job more effectively. The assistant borough administrator is also a part of administration and acts as a liaison to the Downtown Development Commission (DDC) and to Madison businesses. From July through October, the DDC organizes a Farmers’ Market (Thursdays from 2:00-7:00 p.m.). The DDC also organizes the annual volunteer May Day cleanup of downtown areas and the Bottle Hill Day celebration in October.
The Police Department has 26 sworn officers and is responsible for the safety and protection of citizens. The department is composed of a Patrol Division, Investigation Division, Drug Education Unit and Traffic Safety Unit. Project Community Pride, a counseling and crisis intervention center, works closely with the Boroughs of Madison, Chatham and FlorhamPark to help young people deal with the problems of growing up. The Fire Department has 14 highly trained, paid firefighters and 25 well-trained volunteers. The combination department provides Madison with quick and effective response time.
Public Works maintains the roads, parks, buildings, sewer, storm water and drinking water systems of the Borough. Land Use Services includes historic preservation, engineering, planning, zoning and construction code enforcement.
The Borough is one of only nine municipalities in the state that owns its own electric utility. Electric power is purchased wholesale and sold to residents at rates lower than surrounding utilities. Madison electric service also has fewer outages and faster restoration of power when an outage occurs than surrounding utilities.
The Senior Citizen and Recreation Departments provide and support social and recreational activities for residents of all ages throughout the year.
The Board of Health protects our community from environmental hazards, housing and food establishment concerns, property maintenance issues, animal control and water quality problems. The Board of Health also provides these inspection services on a contract basis to other communities.
The Housing Authority builds, rehabilitates, maintains and operates safe, clean, aesthetically pleasing housing for low-income residents. There is an 80-unit housing complex for senior citizens on Chateau Thierry Avenue and 53 well-maintained, scattered-site, low-income units throughout the town.
One of the key tools in accomplishing Madison’s mission is good communication. The RoseNet Fiber Optic Network, based at the Madison Public Library, connects individuals, families, government, businesses, schools and community groups and provides citizens with timely, up-to-date, comprehensive information about all that is going on in Madison via high-speed Internet access. Check out www.RoseNet.org.