Madison Common Council votes on coronavirus, F-35s, and Amazon in first-ever virtual meeting

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - In its first-ever virtual meeting lasting over eight hours, the Madison Common Council made several decisions on a wide array of topics.

The Tuesday night meeting started at 6:30 p.m. and went until around 2:50 Wednesday morning. The council met on the virtual meeting app Zoom, because of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus Changes

One decision surrounding COVID-19 on the agenda was whether to give Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway extra powers during the pandemic. The resolution that allows the Mayor to amend and create city ordinances, as well as extend deadlines and waive penalties passed on a 13-6 vote.

The extra powers will expire June 2.

Opposing F-35 Jets

The Madison Common Council also took a harsher stand on the possibility of F-35 fighter jets coming to Truax Field. In a 13-5 vote, a resolution that opposes the jets and calls on the Air Force to station them elsewhere passed.

This move comes after the Council passed its first resolution regarding the F-35s back in September of 2019. That resolution asked the Air Force for more information on the F-35 basing, and its affects on the community. The new resolution strictly opposes the jets.

However, the decision to base the jets at Truax Field in the end rests with the Air Force. Resolutions just allow the Madison Common Council to make its opinions known for public record.

Amazon Allowed

The Council also discussed the Amazon distribution center planned for Madison's east side.

In a 14-6 vote, a prior Plan Commission decision denying a portion of the Amazon project on Milwaukee Street was overruled, allowing the project to move forward.

It's expected to bring over one hundred jobs to Madison.