CORNING - The City Council voted 5-3 Monday night selecting Republican Christopher Merola to fill the vacant 4nd Ward seat.

Merola, owner of Ranger Outfitters on Baker Street, was appointed by the council to fill the position over Democratic candidate Chris Adams, an art teacher at Corning-Painted Post Middle School.

“I grew up in Corning and I am very interested in the position of 4th Ward councilman,” Merola said prior to the vote. “I’d like to serve the people in the 4th Ward. I’d like to have a voice on the City Council.”

Merola said he would not run for the position last Friday due to a conflict of interest between serving on the City Council and his business selling items to the city police department and the department of public works.

“I understand there is a bit of a conflict of interest,” Merola said to the council Monday night. “I would be willing to give up business serving the police department and the department of water works. I’d be willing to give that up, so I can serve.”

Councilman Chris Karam, R-3, Frank Muccini, R-5, Frank Coccho, D-6, Mark ReSue, I-7, and Alison Hunt, R-8, voted for Merola. Diane Telehany, D-1, Kate Paterson, D-2, and Mayor Bill Boland voted for Adams.

Merola will fill the seat left by current city Mayor Boland who successfully won the November general election, leaving the 4th Ward seat open.

Both Merola and Adams each said at the meeting they plan to run in the 2018 general election for the 4th Ward seat. The winner of that race will serve in 2019, the remainder of Boland’s term, before the position returns to a four-year term.