While still grieving their fallen friend and council member, municipal politicians will officially begin the process of filling the seat left vacant by the death of Mike Anthony.
Anthony died suddenly, September 2, at the age of 52, while serving his sixth consecutive council term. He was the council's longest-serving member.
See related story: Mike Anthony remembered as 'big, jovial, happy guy'
Council is set to declare Anthony's seat vacant during Tuesday's regular meeting, setting in motion a decision on whether to appoint the runner-up, accept applications for appointment, or hold a by-election for Anthony's seat.
Veteran city councillor George Maroosis, who finished 11th in the 2018 council race, would be Anthony's successor, should Council opt for that route, and if he accepted an appointment for the seat. Maroosis has indicated he prefers to let the process play out before commenting publicly on his intentions but he did seek office for this term less than two years ago.
Under the Municipal Act, if the office of a member of council becomes vacant as the result of their death, the open seat may be declared at either of its next two meetings. Mayor Al McDonald indicated out of respect for the family, Council would not address Anthony's seat at the September 15 meeting, opting for Tuesday's meeting instead.
A celebration of Anthony's life has been held and his widow Tanya thanked the citizens of North Bay for their love and support. The day following his death, flags were lowered to half-mast to honour Anthony.