CHAMPAIGN — Council member Tom Bruno on Tuesday night cast the key fifth vote to install Vic McIntosh into the vacant District 3 city council seat.
Three weeks ago, the council was deadlocked at 4-4, split between two candidates: former city council member McIntosh and Merry-Ann's Diner owner Tony Pomonis.
Bruno had been in the Pomonis camp until Tuesday night, when he cast the tie-breaking vote for McIntosh.
"It wasn't so much of a change as a willingness to also cast a 'yes' vote for Vic," Bruno said.
Bruno said he was prepared to vote for Pomonis, too, had his name come up first. Both were qualified candidates, he said, and it came to a "tipping point" where he felt it was more important to fill the vacant seat.
"I was convinced that continued stubbornness wasn't in the best interest of the city," Bruno said.
Mayor Don Gerard and council members Marci Dodds and Will Kyles maintained their June votes for Pomonis.
Tuesday night's 5-3 poll for McIntosh was to have his name inserted into a formal resolution confirming his appointment. The council unanimously supported the resolution itself.
McIntosh had served on the council for more than a decade until he decided not to seek re-election in 2009. He will finish the unexpired term of his predecessor, Kyle Harrison, who resigned the District 3 seat in June before moving to a new home outside the district.
The appointment is scheduled to end in May 2013. Voters will select their representative next spring.
McIntosh has not been completely out of the game since his exit from the council. He served on the city's stormwater utility fee committee, which spent years crafting a city council-supported fee on property owners' runoff.
McIntosh said he chose not to seek re-election when he was still working, his wife had health problems and was not certain he would have time for the job. Now he's retired, and his wife is feeling better.
"I feel that I'm qualified to come back in and do the job that I want to do," McIntosh said.