MINGO JUNCTION - The village has a new mayor after Thursday's resignation of now former Mayor Ron DiCarlo due to health reasons, it was announced during a press conference Friday at the Village Municipal Building.
DiCarlo's resignation leaves a familiar face as village mayor - now former Councilman at Large John "Wiz" Fabian, who as president pro tem of Council assumes the title of mayor for the remainder of DiCarlo's term, which will run through 2015, according to Fabian.
Fabian's name still will appear on Tuesday's ballot in Mingo as a candidate for councilman at large. However, there still are three candidates vying for two council-at-large seats, so the race remains competitive.
BACK AT MAYOR’S POST — Mingo Junction Councilman at Large John “Wiz” Fabian is now once again Mayor Fabian after the resignation of Mayor Ron DiCarlo Thursday. The announcement was made during a press conference Friday at the Village Municipal Building. DiCarlo cited poor health as the reason for his resignation. - Mark Miller
During Friday's press conference, Fabian read a statement from DiCarlo announcing his resignation.
"It is with great regret I must inform you that I am hereby resigning from the office of mayor effective Oct. 31," read the statement. "At this time, health and personal matters do not allow me to continue to serve the village in the way I would like. I regret leaving the office at this time but believe the village would be better served with someone else in charge of the daily operations of the village.
"I believe the village has made very good progress in working through a very difficult period for the village and realize there is much more to be done," the statement continued. "I wish the best of luck to (Fabian) and the rest of our officers and employees. I trust the future will be brighter and know that Mingo Junction will always be a great community."
DiCarlo had been absent from village council meetings for some time before Friday's announcement. Fabian, who previously was mayor from 2000 to 2008, said he was informed by the village solicitor he was assuming the mayor's duties.
"As council president pro tem, I have now assumed his duties," said Fabian. "The council will vote in a new president pro tem (during the next council meeting, set for 7 p.m. Nov. 12 in council chambers). (DiCarlo) hasn't been feeling good for awhile. My plan is to do the best I can. If we spend a dollar, we'll give a dollar's worth of services."
Fabian said the village has suffered some serious financial problems as of late but believed council was working together to do the best they could do, considering the circumstances.
"It's the council that's the engine of (village government)," said Fabian, adding he was looking forward to working with two new council members as of Tuesday while hailing those who have stepped up to the plate during the financial difficulties.
"We can't afford to hire a village administrator," continued Fabian, adding Village Police Chief Steve Maguschak was working as village administrator "at a minimal salary. He's doing a great job."
Fabian also said he believed the village would survive because of the strong community, government and organizations.
"Mingo Junction is going to be just fine," he said. "We are definitely going to survive."
Fabian said he envisioned an industrial park in Mingo that would employ about 300 persons, which he said would generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for village revenue. He added the village still was providing basic services, including fire, police, garbage, water and sewage services.
"The residents of this community are great people," he said, adding volunteer organizations such as the Mingo Revitalization Committee were volunteering to help the village. Fabian added the Mingo Business Association was doing all it could to attract potential businesses.
"I know the people (in these organizations) are involved in this community, and they will continue to (volunteer)," he said. "I also think the gas and oil industry (tied to shale oil exploitation) is coming this way. We will work hard, and we will survive. I'm not a perfect man. Will I make mistakes? Yes. But I've been involved in small-town government for 40 years, and I'm honest and my record is clean."
Fabian said he would be a full-time mayor and available at the Village Municipal Building for citizens to discuss their concerns.