North Bay City Council has appointed realtor Ed Valenti to fill its empty seat.
Following an in-camera session at the end of the Tuesday night regular meeting, it was announced Valenti — who finished 12th in the voting for the 2018 municipal election — would be appointed to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Marcus Tignanelli who is taking a position in the City of North Bay's economic development department.
City Clerk Karen McIsaac noted following the session Valenti had agreed to serve, a sentiment the new councillor had shared with BayToday in late August.
See related: Ed says he's ready to serve
In 2018, Valenti ran on a platform of community growth and the rejuvenation of the West Ferris section of the city, as well as tourism development.
Valenti says he is committed to municipal council transparency.
"Transparency is a core value of any public entity. Staff, council, and the mayor are accountable to the public and it is essential that information they communicate is accurate and provided in a timely manner."
In welcoming Valenti, Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch noted several members of Council — including herself — had found themselves appointed as members well past election day and assured him members of Council and City staff would be available to support him.
"Electors have voted [Valenti] as the next person in line," said Vrebosch, "and we're very happy to have him. Many people would recognize him from the Friends of the Dionne Quints, as a volunteer at the Davedi Club, he's a realtor. He's coming in at a time when we're getting ready to start the budget process and I know that he will hit the ground running."
Coun. Bill Vrebosch also welcomed Valenti and added he feels Council has "taken the responsible step to take the next person. I think in the electoral process we have, I like this idea of picking the next person in line, and we're very fortunate to have somebody with his background in different fields."
Council could have opted for a by-election or accepted applications to fill the seat but has long proceeded in such matters by appointing the next highest vote-getter. Last year, Coun. George Maroosis, who finished 11th in 2018, was elevated to a seat following the sudden passing of long-serving councillor Mike Anthony.
With Tignanelli's seat filled, North Bay City Council continues to operate short a member as Coun. Scott Robertson has taken a leave of absence as he campaigns as the NDP candidate in Nipissing–Timiskaming.
With files from Chris Dawson and Jeff Turl