MADISON – In a prepared joint statement, t, fifth-generation Madisonian, John Forte shared his undeniably unique appreciation of the town: “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.” So when it came time to pick a place to start a family of his own, Forte had a head start. “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.”
As his family grew, so did Forte’s involvement with volunteering in town: “I have served on the Madison Downtown Development Commission, have been a member of the Madison Historic Preservation Commission for 19 years, and on the Madison Planning Board for 15 years, where I served as Vice Chairman,” explains Forte. “I have also been a trustee of the Hartley Dodge Foundation, where I served on the Finance Committee, and as Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee where I led efforts to make capital improvements to the historic Hartley Dodge Memorial Building, including the much-needed renovation of the building’s east wing.”
While much of his volunteer efforts are in keeping with his professional expertise in underwriting and overseeing budgets within the insurance field, John’s efforts extend to the town’s other traditions, too: “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.”
Forte very much prioritizes stewardship of Madison’s history and natural resources, too: “One of the things that I’m most proud to say about Madison is that we recognized that one of the scant resources we have is open space and we should protect it. We decided to have a mechanism to protect that and it was pretty bipartisan. It’s helped us with historic preservation. Right now we need to prioritize saving the Drew Forest through the use of funding through that and with matching grants that are available,” he stressed during the recent League of Women Voters candidate debate. “I’m 100% committed to preserving the Drew Forest. If we were to lose that forest on our watch, it would be a disgrace. There is tremendous bipartisan support at the local county, state, and federal level. This is an issue of what is right and wrong, and we are firmly on the side of right, and the forest has to be saved.”
In many ways, running for Council is simply a progression of Forte’s affection and enthusiasm for Madison. “I have felt both blessed by the good fortune to be living in this wonderful town and by a strong sense of responsibility as a steward of Madison for future generations,” he explains. “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.” Areas that include, in addition to protecting Drew Forrest, developing more affordable housing in Madison, and making sure the town’s business district has the resources needed to support further expansion. “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.” Election day is November 7th. In addition to the vote-by-mail option, early voting runs October 28th through Sunday November 5th.