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Monto hopes to keep Common Council seat in special election

Monto/Carroll Campaigns
Democratic nominee Jimmy Monto (left) and Republican nominee Woody Carroll (right)

Even numbered years typically see elections for state representatives like State Senate, Assembly and governor. This fall, some Syracuse voters will see a special election on their ballot for Common Council District 5.

Jimmy Monto and Woody Carroll are seeking the District 5 Common Council seat. Monto, the Democratic nominee, was appointed to the seat in August filling a vacancy after Joe Driscoll left the post to become the Interstate 81 City Project Director for the City of Syracuse.

Monto has served as president of Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today and the Eastwood Neighborhood Association. Additionally, he is a vice president of CNY Pride and the first openly LGBTQ Common Councilor in Syracuse.

He said the driving force behind his run for the council seat is a tremendous amount of civic pride and a desire to try and make wise decisions.

“We sit on the precipice of a possible renaissance here in Syracuse,” Monto said. “A massive development coming with the news of the chip plant coming and with I-81 coming down. That has been a physical and economic and racial barrier for decades and with it coming down, we are going to have several decisions in front of us. We need to make the right decisions and I am looking forward to trying to be part of that.”

In his short tenure as councilor, he said he’s most proud of his vote to pass citizen-drawn maps, the only district councilor to vote in favor. He said Syracuse is the first city east of the Mississippi River to take that approach.

“We have set the tone," Monto said. "We have set the example and I think that's what I want to continue to keep doing for as long as I'm on the council."

Monto’s candidacy comes with some controversy. More than a decade ago, Monto pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. He was accused of falsifying payroll documents for the Syracuse School District and failing to pay state taxes for three years.

“We have things in our past that we certainly would have done differently and I would make several different decisions if could go back,” Monto said. “I think that my body of work speaks for itself for the last decade.”

Republican nominee Woody Carroll did not respond to requests for an interview. The winner of the Common Council race will serve through December 2023.

Find more information on races, candidates, early voting and more with WRVO's election guide.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.