Palmerton has opted to fill its vacant mayor post from within.

On a 5-0 vote, with one abstention, borough council on Thursday appointed Chris Olivia as its new mayor. Olivia abstained from the vote, while council President Terry Costenbader could not vote due to his capacity as acting mayor.

Olivia, who had been vice president of council, was sworn in to office by District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton.

Upon his appointment, Olivia thanked his constituents for their vote of support.

"I've been here for 11 years; I think my experience won it," Olivia said. "I'm going to miss council; all I'm going to do now is try to help Palmerton in a different way."

Olivia was one of only two candidates to apply for the post. The other was volunteer firefighter Jereme Barkanic, who was in attendance.

Immediately afterward, council, by a 6-0 vote, accepted Olivia's resignation from council as the result of his selection as mayor.

Council then, on a 5-0 vote with one abstention, appointed Councilman Jason Behler as its new vice president. Behler abstained from the vote.

The mayor's seat opened when former Mayor Brad Doll resigned last month because he and his wife are moving from the area.

In his statement to the board, Doll said he regretted leaving the borough, which he and his wife had called home for three decades.

Doll had been mayor since November 2009. Before that, he served as a borough councilman, and on the borough's planning commission.