Madison common council reaffirms opposition to F-35 jets in late-night virtual meeting

Community members express opinions about F-35 jets by mail
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MADISON, Wis. — Holding a virtual meeting for the first time, the Madison Common Council voted in the early-morning hours Wednesday to reaffirm their opposition to F-35 jets possibly being placed at Truax Field.

Alders voted 13-5 via video chat to adopt a resolution asking the jets to be placed somewhere else. The vote was one of the last items on the agenda for the meeting that started at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday but didn’t end until nearly 3 a.m. Wednesday.

The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce sent out a statement immediately following the 2:30 a.m. vote, criticizing the timing and calling the it “tone deaf.”

“Regardless of how one feels about basing the F-35A in Madison, no reasonable person would argue that it is essential to debate and vote on this resolution during an economic and public health crisis, more than 150 days after the public comment period ended and more than six months after the Council already took an official position on this issue,” said chamber president Zach Brandon.

“We need our National Guard more than ever. We need our jobs more than ever. We need economic investment more than ever,” Brandon said in the statement, “At a time when we look to our local leaders to unite us, a few alders chose to divide us and send a tone-deaf message that distracts from the truly urgent priorities facing our community.”

Alders voting against the jets being placed in Madison have expressed concerns over the environmental impacts of the jets and the effects sound would have on the quality of life for people living on the city’s north side.

The council’s resolution is only advisory, meaning it does not have an effect on whether the jets ultimately come to Madison, but the Air Force does take local input into consideration.

A final decision on the placement of the jets could come in the near future.

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