Monticello Fire and Rescue has a new chief. The city council voted unanimously on Jan. 13 to appoint longtime firefighter and previous assistant chief John Rupkey to the post.

He replaces Rick Dubson, who retired at the end of 2019.

John has a wonderful background,” said Mayor Larry Stoner. “He’s been a firefighter for the City of Monticello since 1996, and has been assistant fire chief 2010 to the present.”

Rupkey has also completed Firefighter II training, fire responder and EMR training. He works as a pharmacist and has additional medical training.

John, thank you very much for volunteering to take care of this. You are a pillar of the community and I am really looking forward to working with you,” added Stoner.



Council members approved the annual appropriations ordinance. The state-mandated document uses the city budget as a base, then adds about 10 percent to make sure enough money is statutorily authorized if needed.

The appropriation ordinance serves as the city’s legal spending authority and sets the maximum legal spending limit for the year. The appropriation ordinance is slightly inflated over the adopted fiscal year 2020 budget to allow for unforeseen revenues and/or expenditures,” said City Administrator Terry Summers.


Holiday decorations

City council member Pam Harlan was blunt when it came to her opinion on some of the downtown Christmas decorations.

I think they’re ugly,” she said, singling out the wreaths that are placed on light poles each holiday season. “They’re nasty.”


When asked how old they were, Public Works Director Jim Grabarczyk admitted they were “pretty long in the tooth.”

I know we’re tried to revamp them, and work with the bulbs, but I think we should try to see what we can do,” added Harlan.

In other action, the council:

was told the next round of Business Bootcamp will begin on Feb. 18. Those wanting to take part can register at; and

heard from Police Chief John Carter that he would bring a proposed marijuana enforcement fine ordinance to the council at a future meeting. The main reason would be to allow the city to retain revenue gained from fines collected.

On a related note, Summers said he would be bringing personnel policy changes to the council to account for changes needed due to the legalization of recreational marijuana use.