John Forte for Council

Growing up as a fifth-generation Madisonian, I have felt both blessed at the good fortune to be living in this wonderful town and a strong sense of responsibility as a steward of Madison for future generations.

I went through the Madison school system and graduated from Madison High School.  I have always understood and appreciated everything that Madison has to offer.  Madison has a charming downtown, a mix of businesses, diversity, good schools, a significant historic building inventory, wonderful residential neighborhoods, parks, fields, and preserved open spaces.  In addition, I value Madison’s overwhelming sense of community, with an emphasis on volunteerism.  To me, Madison represents an ideal American town.  I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else and when we got engaged, my wife and I purchased our first house on Albright Circle in 2001. We moved to Academy Road in 2012 where we have been raising our family.

I have taken seriously my commitment to giving back to Madison and have served in a number of leadership roles in recent years.  I have served on the Madison Downtown Development Commission, and have been a member of the Madison Historic Preservation Commission for 19 years and the Madison Planning Board for 15 years, where I currently serve as Vice Chairman.  I have worked to ensure that Madison remains an attractive and thriving community that maintains its historic character while evolving to remain a best-in-class community.  I have been a trustee of the Hartley Dodge Foundation since 2020, where I serve on the Finance Committee and as Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee where I lead efforts to make capital improvements to the historic Hartley Dodge Memorial Building, including the much-needed renovation of the building’s east wing.

I’ve also been a Madison Little League Assistant Coach, a leader within Madison Cub Scout Pack 124, and I’m currently serving on the Madison Christmas Committee and the Stewardship Committee at St. Vincent Martyr Church.   

Professionally, I am Chief Underwriting and Operating Officer of an insurance company that focuses solely on providing liability insurance to U.S.-domiciled governmental entities.  I have been directly involved in insuring public entities for fifteen years and in analyzing their risks, I have evaluated their budgets and have gained insights into what makes a well run governmental organization. 

As I was making the decision to run for Council, I felt gratitude for all the good work being performed by the current Council and mayor, but I also felt strongly that I could have a positive impact in a number of areas. My areas of priority include:

  • Working to promote smart development while being sensitive to Madison’s historic building inventory – residential and commercial – and streetscapes. 
  • Preservation of the Drew Forest, which is currently a major issue facing Madison.  I support preserving the forest through land acquisition/conservation.  
  • Given the amount of development/redevelopment in Madison, which ultimately results in higher housing costs, ensuring that Madison includes affordable housing options is a challenge.  I support a diverse housing stock consisting of affordable housing.  
  • Development in the central business district may begin to put a strain on parking within the downtown and may also strain some of the utilities and services provided by the borough.  I support evaluating the short and longer term impact to parking, services, and utilities in order to adequately plan for the future. 

I pride myself on being a good listener and I care deeply about Madison. My rather large collection of Madison memorabilia is evidence of that!  I make sure that my words have meaning and emphasis on what’s important.  I study issues carefully, and listen to all sides in order to determine the best way forward.  Having grown up in Madison, I know many people of different backgrounds and I’ve always worked to bring people together.  I am grateful to be running with Bob Conley and Bob Landrigran who share my same sense of commitment to Madison and all its residents. I hope that Madison voters will consider trusting me with their vote of confidence so I can serve Madison for the next three years and beyond.