MARION — Doug Patton, Marion’s newest city commissioner, was sworn in during the council’s regular meeting Monday evening. Patton succeeds Monty Blue.

The first order of business for the council was to accept the resignation of City Commissioner Monty Blue, who was sworn in during a special meeting at 3 p.m. Feb. 8. Commissioner John Goss moved to accept Blue’s resignation, and the motion passed unanimously. Commissioners Jim Webb then made a motion to appoint Doug Patton to fill the open seat. The council’s approval also was unanimous.

Just after Blue was sworn in, he discovered his home is not within Marion city limits when his son applied for a building permit on adjacent property. The discovery meant Blue was not eligible to serve on the city council, so he resigned Friday morning.

Six men expressed interest in the seat, Patton, Blue, Jack Reed, Buddy Sellars, Dennis Ball and Donald Holman. They were interviewed by the council during a special meeting Feb. 5. Mayor Anthony Rinella and Commissioners Angelo Hightower, Goss and Webb unanimously selected Blue to be the next commissioner, after discussion indicating they believed Patton also would be a good choice to fill the seat.

Patton works in land acquisition for Illinois Department of Transportation and served on Marion City Council from 2011 to 2015.

“I will work tirelessly to make our community a better place to live and spend time,” he said during his interview with Marion City Council on Feb. 5.

Patton believes he has developed good skills in negotiation through his job at IDOT that will benefit him on the city council. He also likes to think through decisions before speaking and listens to all sides before making a decision.

He added that anytime the council vote is split, he tries to step back and look at not only his personal feelings, but at how the decision will benefit the whole community. It’s all about compromise and collaboration,” Patton said.

Patton said his biggest accomplishment was working on the Hub Recreation Center project.

“Just because I was head of the project, city spokesman or lead boots on the ground for the project doesn’t mean I get credit for the whole project,” Patton said.

Hightower asked how Patton would rate the current city council.

“I would give them a four (out of five). I think there’s always room for improvement,” Patton said.

The council also passed ordinance 3428 which will amend ordinance 3426 and appoint Patton to head public works.



Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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