The Ukiah City Council on Wednesday night canceled a March special election for which there was just one candidate.
They then appointed the candidate, Steve Scalmanini, to the vacant city council seat.
Council members earn $490 a month for overseeing the city's business, which includes a $63.4 million budget.
Scalmanini, 62, is new to public office but has been politically active since moving to Ukiah in 1999. He was sworn in Wednesday and participated in the rest of the council meeting.
He campaigned for a successful measure that banned genetically modified crops in the county and against a developer's ballot measure aimed at getting a shopping center approved without the customary environmental studies and county input.
He opposed a Wal-Mart expansion, which was denied, but has been neutral on a current proposal to build a Costco in Ukiah.
Scalmanini is a retired engineer who worked for Hewlett-Packard in San Jose and Agilent Technologies in Santa Rosa. He currently works part-time driving a truck for Yokayo biofuels.