Joe Cimino

Joe Cimino's Ward 1 seat on Sudbury city council is now vacant, as he is off to Queen's Park as Sudbury's new MPP. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

With just months to go to the municipal election, Sudbury city council is about to hold two what you could call mini-elections to fill empty seats around the table.

Candidates wanting to be the temporary councillor for Ward 8 will be heard Wednesday night and next month, councillors will select their new counterpart for Ward 1.

Thirteen people will make their pitch tonight to be the city councillor for Ward 8, filling the void left by the death of Fabio Belli this spring.

The winner will only be a councillor for a few months, with the city election set for October.

Sudbury city council now wants to put out a similar call to find a temp councillor for Ward 1, which is vacant after Joe Cimino was elected as Sudbury MPP.

Fabio Belli

Ward 8 Sudbury city councillor Fabio Belli died this spring. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada )

Councillors went back and forth last night about how to do that. They considered just picking two candidates from the list of 13 or appointing former long-time west end councillor Gerry McIntaggart as the interim councillor.

Mayor Marianne Matichuk didn't think appointing someone was a good idea.

"I think we need to have an open process," she said. "I will not support anything else but that."

But Councillor Jacques Barbeau said there are no good options.

"We're damned if we do, damned if we don't. People are going to complain if we pick the two candidates for ward 8 or ward 1 from the list, they're going to be upset because they didn't know there was an opportunity to apply for ward 1."

Under the Municipal Act, council seats can only be left empty if the councillor departs within 90 days of the election.

Sudbury city councillor Doug Craig isn't a fan of the rule.

"Certainly doesn't make a lot of sense," he said last night.

Caroline Hallsworth, the executive director of administrative services, said city clerks from across the province don't like it either.

"They all expressed a bit of frustration," she said. "Some of the requirements in an election year make it very difficult."

In the end, Sudbury city council decided to put out yet another call for an interim councillor and hope to have the new Ward 1 representative selected and sworn in during a council meeting in early July.