Baechler sworn in as interim London mayor
Published Wednesday, June 25, 2014 12:20PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 25, 2014 1:40PM EDT
It's now Mayor Joni Baechler after the city councillor was sworn in as the interim mayor at London's city hall on Wednesday.
Baechler was chosen by her fellow councillors during a series of votes at Tuesday evening's council meeting.
Shortly after Baechler was sworn in, former controller Russell Monteith was chosen to fill her vacancy in the Ward 5 seat.
Three others had been nominated by council: Karim Bardai, Mariam Hamou and Garth Williams, though only the latter two made it on the ballot with Monteith.
Monteith - an estate lawyer who was London's controller from 1997 to 2006 - was selected by a 10-vote margin.
The 80-year-old describes himself as a moderate and admits to being excited and looking forward to connecting with constituents, "You miss it, no doubt it's tough but there is some fun involved in it."
Baechler and Monteith will hold their posts until Nov. 30th, when a new mayor and council will be sworn in following the municipal elections.
Baechler has said she is planning to retire from municipal politics after this term, but Monteith is keeping his options open.
The mayor's post became vacant when Joe Fontana stepped down after being convicted on three criminal counts including fraud, forgery and breach of trust.
There is now a push underway to re-establish the position of deputy mayor, which was replaced by the rotating position of acting mayor four years ago.
The position would avoid the uncertainty created by the appointment process undertaken this week.