Leaders Elect New Carbondale Mayor


By Sam Jones
By Benjy Jeffords

CARBONDALE -- The City Council held a special meeting to pick a replacement for Joel Fritzler, who's stepping down as mayor. All six members voted unanimously to elect Don Monty to the job.

Sparks flew at Tuesday's meeting, over who was allowed to vote for the replacement. 
"If we're gonna do it, I'd like to do it the right way. And over the course of the last week, there's been some discussion internally within the council," Council Member Lance Jack argued.
He questioned whether Mayor Joel Fritzler could legally vote for his successor.
"I see it's obvious you guys want to violate my rights," responded Fritzler.
City Attorney Mike Kimmel clarified the proper course of action.
"One statute does specifically say remaining members, which does not include you sir," Kimmel said.
"I feel I've been misguided, lied to then," explained Fritzler. 
In the end, the other six council members voted without Fritzler, agreeing unanimously to elect Don Monty as interim mayor.
"I have worked for the people of Carbondale my whole entire professional career," Monty enthused.
He's a long-time city worker who's served Carbondale for more than three decades. Monty says the city's budget is the most pressing concern.
"[It's] gonna be critical for the city council to deal with that not only in short term, but long term," he added.
Monty will vacate his current council seat, leaving a position open to someone new from the community.
"They're able to work with people and try to solve problems; to me those are critical things," reiterated Monty.
After that position is filled, he plans to focus on collaboration between all council members. 
"It's not my goal to come up here and ram things through the way I want them. It's my goal to work with other council members and work through things for the best interest of the community," Monty said.
The council will meet next week to discuss filling Monty's seat. They're accepting resumes from anyone who meets the statutory requirements. Monty will take over as mayor on February 4th.


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