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File #: 60465    Version: 1 Name: Honoring City Attorney Michael May's 16 years of service with the City of Madison
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 5/11/2020 In control: Attorney's Office
On agenda: 5/19/2020 Final action: 5/19/2020
Enactment date: 5/27/2020 Enactment #: RES-20-00376
Title: Commending, honoring and expressing appreciation to Michael P. May, City Attorney, on his retirement from the City of Madison after 16 years of service.
Sponsors: Satya V. Rhodes-Conway, Sheri Carter, Syed Abbas, Michael E. Verveer, Christian A. Albouras, Samba Baldeh, Shiva Bidar, Tag Evers, Grant Foster, Keith Furman, Barbara Harrington-McKinney, Patrick W. Heck, Zachary Henak, Rebecca Kemble, Lindsay Lemmer, Arvina Martin, Donna V. Moreland, Max Prestigiacomo, Marsha A. Rummel, Paul E. Skidmore, Michael J. Tierney
Attachments: 1. Final Signed Retirement Letter 01082020.pdf, 2. Exhibit A
Date Ver.Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsWatch
5/19/20201 COMMON COUNCIL Adopt Under Suspension of Rules 2.04, 2.05, 2.24, and 2.25Pass Action details Meeting details Not available
5/11/20201 Attorney's Office RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL TO ADOPT UNDER SUSPENSION OF RULES 2.04, 2.05, 2.24, & 2.25 - MISC. ITEMS  Action details Meeting details Not available

Fiscal Note

This resolution honors Michael P. May for his service to the City of Madison as City Attorney.  While this resolution includes no appropriation, it does reference the naming of a conference room, which may create incidental costs for the Office of City Attorney due to various signage requirements and enlargements of pictures of Attorney May in various regalia, including wizard paraphernalia and homages to Irish cultural dress customs.  Research has shown that Attorney May loves the law, which has had some fiscal effect on the city over the past 16 years (beyond quantifiable) and stems from his immersion in the philosophy of the 1960's and 70's, including such notions as love is free. These notions have been discounted as sophistry in recent years, yet Attorney May has remained steadfast in his love for the law.  Some of Attorney May's other, more parochial, efforts included development of an ordinance around a questionable remembrance of the pronunciation of a street name from his childhood, which resulted in some additional costs to the city to change various announcements on city buses.  These costs are, again, indeterminate in service to love of the law.


Given the above, this resolution has no fiscal effect, and, in sum, Attorney May, his service to the city, and his love of the law are priceless.



Commending, honoring and expressing appreciation to Michael P. May, City Attorney, on his retirement from the City of Madison after 16 years of service.


WHEREAS,  Mike was appointed City Attorney by Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and started employment with the City of Madison on May 17, 2004; and,


WHEREAS, Mike is often quoted as saying “I love the law;” and,


WHEREAS, Mike has staffed over 360 Common Council meetings during his tenure, which equates to a little over one year of his life in council chambers; Mike loves the law; and;


WHEREAS, currently, Mike is helping to lead the City of Madison thru the COVID-19 pandemic by answering countless legal questions on how the City of Madison can protect and assist its citizens, government officials and City of Madison employees thru this crisis; and,


WHEREAS, Mike spent countless hours researching, giving legal advice and attending long Common Council meetings on important City of Madison issues such as the Overture Center, smoking ban, minimum wage law, and how city committees should best operate; Mike loves the law; and,


WHEREAS,  one  Council meeting in particular while the smoking ban was being considered, Mike was returning from the meeting while the rest of the office staff were arriving for work in the morning; Mike still loved the law; and,


WHEREAS, Mike May was successful in passing an ordinance in Madison in 2013 requiring City employees to pronounce Rosa Road properly - Rozay Road; and, 


WHEREAS, Mike has an avid interest in Richard Nixon and delighted in sharing various Nixon milestones and trivia with his staff; and,


WHEREAS,   Mike set an excellent example for pursuing employee engagement activities, including annual outings to the Madison Mallards, other sporting events, and when held outside of work time, it was not unusual to see an invitation for “libations"; and,


WHEREAS, Mike expanded and improved the Law clerk program, including the diversity clerkship program, providing opportunities and mentoring for law students to also learn to “love the law.”  This included  “Meet the Attorney” pizza lunches, after-work libations, and directives to include the law clerks in our actual practice of the law by inviting them to observe depositions, trials, administrative hearings, etc.; and


WHEREAS, Mike’s non-vegan coworkers will greatly miss the bag of cheese curds that Mike purchased every Wednesday from April through November, and unceremoniously deposited on the table in the break room for all to enjoy; and


WHEREAS, Mike grew the reserves in the OCA Coffee fund and scrupulously audited the account, sometimes discovering non-legal tender and miscellaneous foreign currency, dutifully reporting the result of the audit to the office and purchasing new coffee supplies with the same; and,


WHEREAS, Mike had been known to remind us each year that St. Patrick was a Lawyer; and,


WHEREAS, Mike regaled his staff with stories of attending the Rose Bowl, the Frozen Four, and his annual trip to a new location to attend a college rivalry football game. The office was privy to photos of Mike decked out in his full Badger gear-our favorite being the kilt and tam hat, reserved for the most important games (See Exhibit A in attachments); and,


WHEREAS, Mike demonstrated time and time again that he truly loved the law. He kept abreast of case law updates, researched and educated himself on the areas of law he was not so familiar with (although those areas seemed to be very few and far between), and always, and with enthusiasm, left no stone unturned in answering legal questions and quandaries submitted to him. Mike provided exceptional legal service to the City,


NOW, THEREFORE,  BE IT RESOLVED,  that the Common Council of the City of Madison hereby commends and thanks City Attorney Michael P. May for his years of dedicated, professional legal service to the City of Madison, its elected officials, employees, and residents; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Common Council congratulates Michael P. May on the occasion of his retirement, wishing him and his family well in all of their future endeavors; and,


BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the staff of the OCA are directed to name the conference room in Room 401 as the Michael P. May Conference Room, to forever enshrine that space with the memory of his service, dedication, and love of the law.