Matthews resigned earlier this month after moving from Nitro to Hurricane.
Montgomery has lived in Nitro for 32 years and has been actively involved in city government for a long time. He recently retired from the Tax Department after 25 years, and during his time there, he was involved in drafting the business and occupation tax rates for the state.
Montgomery also serves on the Ordinance Committee and the City Planning Commission, and he has actively worked with the office of the chief inspector. Now that he is a member of city council he will not be able to serve on the Planning Commission, but he hopes to continue his involvement informally.
"I think I have the experience and the education and knowledge that I can help the city move forward," Montgomery said about why he is interested in serving.
Montgomery said he plans to continue working to get city ordinances up to date, but he has not set any definitive personal goals just yet.
"John was the guy I always went to for advice, and still do go to for advice," Mayor Dave Casebolt said. "I'm just tickled to death to have him."
Council also voted to appoint Laurie Elkins and Andy Shamblin as chairpersons of the Parks and Recreation Committee and the Police and Fire Committee, respectively. Both positions were vacant due to Matthews' resignation.
In other business, council members voted to continue working with Baker Engineering on Phase Two of the city's streetscape project.
Because the city's original advertisement for Phase One of the project included the same services that will be rendered in Phase 2, the city may elect to continue with Baker Engineering rather than bidding out the job.
During the second phase of the streetscape project, the city plans to continue to "enhance the look" of 21st Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, City Recorder Rita Cox explained. This includes updating brickwork and lighting along the street.
Upon the recommendation of the Property Maintenance Board, council also voted to refer the issue of littering to the Ordinance Committee. The committee will update the city ordinances on littering to line up with state code.
"One of the things we determined is that our laws are not as strong as they should be," Cox said about why the Property Maintenance Board made this recommendation.
Council also voted to send another recommendation from the Property Maintenance Board to the ordinance committee to enact additional fees for vacant buildings.
Vacant structures require extra attention by the city's police and fire departments, and the fees would help to compensate both departments for their time. Additionally, the fees are meant to deter property owners from abandoning such properties.
Casebolt revealed that he plans to implement a city recycling program.
While the details still have to be ironed out, Casebolt said the plan is to set up a recycling truck once a month where residents can bring paper, plastic and cardboard items to be recycled. This system is an inexpensive way for the city to meet the demand for a recycling program.
Police Chief Brian Oxley also announced that the police department will apply for the state Prevention Resource Officer Grant to put at least one police officer in the city's schools.
The grant would pay for an officer to be assigned to the schools full-time to offer protection and to teach classes.
City Attorney Johnnie Brown said that it is a "common program" and many counties already have officers in schools.