CAMBRIDGE - The constituents of Ward Seven are heading back to the polls.

Cambridge city council has voted in favour of a by-election to fill the seat left vacant following Frank Monteiro’s death last month.

“There’s three years left in the term,” said Councillor Mike Devine. “I feel very strongly that an election is important.

“Freedom is not free. There are a lot of people who paid a heavy price for the freedom and democracy we have today.”

The decision was one of three council could have made during a meeting on Wednesday evening.

City council says the by-election is the most fair and democratic choice, while city staff adds that it’s also the most expensive and time-consuming.

It’s estimated the by-election will cost the city somewhere in the range of $100,000.

A new councillor is not expected to be named until March 23 at the earliest.

Appointing the Ward Seven runner-up in the 2018 municipal election or creating a committee to appoint another replacement were the other options.

Both of these choices would be cost-free and have a councillor in place before the end of 2019.

Ward Seven resident Steve Wittman spoke to council and advocated for runner-up Connie Cody to be appointed.

“If they come back in a couple months with the same person winning, they have to explain why they wasted $100,000,” he said. “That to me doesn’t make sense.”

No one on city council was in favour of directly declaring Cody as the new councillor.