City of Madera Overview

The City of Madera was incorporated in 1907

On March 27, 2007, the City of Madera celebrated its 100th Anniversary.  The City of Madera is a general law city which operates under the Council/Manager form of government. It is governed by a five-member City Council, all of whose members are elected at large, and who serve four-year terms, with the Mayor elected by the City Council, serving for one year.

An annual budget of $97 million and a work force of 265 full time employees provide the services of our Finance, Police, Public Works (including the Airport Division, Equipment Maintenance Division, Facilities Maintenance Division, Street Division and Wastewater Treatment Plant), Community Development (including Planning, Engineering, and Building Divisions), Parks and Community Services (including Madera Municipal Golf Course), City Clerk, Administration, and City Attorney Departments.

The city also oversees the Planning Commission, Civil Service Commission, Development Review Committee, Traffic Safety Committee, Airport Advisory Commission, Madera Redevelopment Agency & Code Enforcement, and Madera Housing Authority.

Beginning in July 2005, Madera engaged in a community process to develop a plan to guide the city to a preferred future. This community-wide effort, the Vision Madera 2025 program, was conducted over two years (2005-­2007) and involved hundreds of citizens representing dozens of community interests including business, environment, neighborhood, social service, healthcare, education, government and many others. The product of this endeavor was an Action Plan identifying the programs and projects necessary to achieve that Vision. With the help and input from community volunteers, the City of Madera and other public agencies, the community now has a Vision and Action Plan. The Vision includes descriptive language describing a preferred future for Vision Madera 2025 in four focus areas:

  • A Well-Planned City
  • A Strong Community and Great Schools
  • Good Jobs and Economic Opportunity
  • A Safe, Healthy Environment

The resulting Vision Action Plan lists specific activities that will help move the community in the direction of the Vision. It also assigns these activities to individuals, groups or agencies that will take the lead on these activities, often with the help of supporting partners. The Action Plan listed 55 strategies and 167 actions to bring the Vision to life. The plan outlines opportunities to enhance community identity, connections and livability.

Our local General Plan can be described as the “blueprint” for future development. It represents the community’s vision of Madera’s future, a constitution made up of the goals and policies upon which the City Council and Planning Commission will base their land use decisions.

State law requires that each city and each county adopt a general plan containing the following seven components or “elements”: land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open-space, noise, and safety. At the same time, each jurisdiction is free to adopt a wide variety of additional elements covering subjects of particular interest to that jurisdiction such as recreation, urban design, or public facilities. In addition to the mandatory elements, Madera is including community character , community design and sustainability elements in their General Plan.

The process of adopting or amending a general plan requires public participation. Madera will hold public hearings and provide advance notice of the place and time of the hearings via the newspaper and local postings . Prior to approval of the update, hearings will be held by the Planning Commission. Adoption is required by the legislative bodies of the City of Madera and the County of Madera.

The City of Madera coordinates the operation of a small downtown business promotion and parking district. The assessment district encompasses about 18 blocks and funds a variety of activities throughout the year designed to attract retail customers and potential new businesses. The promotional activities include parades, wine strolls, promotional street bannering and attractive building, lighting, and beautification landscaping services. The district also provides two-hour parking control during the weekday. Madera ’s Downtown Association, a non-profit group, contracts with the City to provide day-to-day operation of the district. Contact Michael McHatten, Administrative Services Director at (559) 661-5415 or Rochelle Noblett, Madera Downtown Association at (559) 673-5951 for more information.

The City offers two public transit services. A dial-a-ride service operates curb-to-curb primarily for those who have difficulty using the fixed route service. Dial-a-ride service is provided to city and county residents within approximately a five-mile circle of downtown and is usually used for work, medical appointments, school meetings, college classes, senior services, events and much more. Vehicles are wheel-chair lift equipped. To schedule a trip, one must call (559) 661-7433 at least two hours in advance.

Madera’s fixed route bus service operates six days a week and offers services on a 30-minute and hourly schedule throughout the community. All buses are air-conditioned and wheel chair accessible. For a schedule of services, contact (559) 661-7433 or speak to a First Transit Services representative.

The airport is situated three miles northwest of the City of Madera and is operated by the City under the supervision of the Administrative Services Director. The main runway is 5,544 feet long, lighted for night operations, equipped with visual glide-slope indicators, has a straight-in, non-precision instrument approach and will accommodate most business jet and turbojet aircraft. A 3,700-foot secondary runway is in service for restricted daylight operations. Aviation gasoline and jet fuel is available 24 hours a day from two card operated facilities.

Facilities consist of the Terminal/Administration building, T-hangers, permanent and transient tie-down spaces, three (3) fixed Base Operations (FBO) hangars, corporate hangars, and an agricultural aerial application complex. The Madera Parachute Center, fully accredited by the United States Parachute Association, operates year-round at the Madera Airport and various special events are staged at the airport. For more information, call (559) 661-3687.

For more information, visit the CITY OF MADERA’S WEBSITE or contact:

  • City Hall
    Administration, Finance, Community Development & City Clerk
    205 West Fourth Street, Madera, CA 93637
    (559) 661-5400
  • Police Department
    330 South C Street, Madera, CA 93638
    (559) 675-4200
  • Parks and Community Services & Public Works Department
    701 East 5th Street, Madera CA 93638
    (559) 661-5495
  • City Attorney
    205 West Fourth Street, Madera, CA 93637
    (559) 661-5483
  • Fire Department (administered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection/CDF)
    Division HQ Station #1
    14225 Road 28, Madera, CA 93638
    (559) 675-7799

This information provided courtesy of the City of Madera

The Madera/I-Lan Sister City relationship was established in November 1994, by the Madera City Council to promote cultural, educational and economic exchanges. The City of I-Lan is located at the northeast part of Taiwan. Their mayors, with their respective delegations, have visited Madera in 1995 and 2000; respectively the City of Madera mayors and delegations visited I-Lan in 1994 and 2002. In 2005, a delegation from an elementary school in I-Lan visited Madera in hopes of establishing an exchange program between the two countries.

Maderans have hosted the Chinese youth music group from I-Lan in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2007. During their visits, they have performed outstanding classical music for our students and the community at large. Madera and I-Lan continue to foster this very special international relationship.