MARION — Monty Blue resigned Friday less than 24 hours after being sworn in as Marion’s newest city commissioner, after he learned that his home is technically outside of city limits.
“Monty is a stand-up guy and doesn’t want to cause any problem. State law clearly states you have to live in the city limits, and he doesn’t,” Mayor Anthony Rinella said.
During a special meeting Feb. 5, the city council interviewed six men who expressed interest in filling the seat vacated by Rinella when he was sworn in as mayor. Besides Blue, candidates were Doug Patton, Jack Reed, Buddy Sellars, Dennis Ball and Donald Holman. The board narrowed the field to Blue and Patton, before voting unanimously to appoint Blue.
Blue was sworn in to office on Thursday afternoon. He said in his resignation letter that everyone truly believed he lived within the city limits.
The letter explained how he became aware that his home was outside city limits:
“... yesterday after being sworn in, my son went to the code enforcer to buy a building permit to start construction on some land he owns next to mine, and he was informed this his land was not technically inside city limits and no permit was required. While looking into this, we then noticed that the (land) in front of my house (East), as well as the land to the North, South and West of my house are all inside city limits, but my house is not …therefore I am not qualified as a City Commissioner.”
Rinella said Blue has voted in city elections and has city water. The letter also says he has bought four building permits, paid city taxes and the 911 coordinator verified his address.
“It is a godsend that it came up this quickly, and we were able to correct it. It is sad. We are embarrassed by this hit, but we will move on,” Rinella said.
“On Monday, it came down to two people, Monty (Blue) and Doug (Patton). The council has already expressed their support for Doug,” Rinella said.
Patton will be sworn in as commissioner during the council’s regular meeting Monday, Feb. 12. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in city hall.