James Jajuga, the only candidate in Methuen’s fall election, is serving sooner than expected after an 8-0 vote by the City Council put him in the corner office as acting mayor. Jajuga is filling in for Mayor Stephen Zanni, who is out of state through Aug. 22. Under the city’s charter, when the mayor is unable to work for a period of three or more successive days, the City Council must appoint one of its members to serve as acting mayor. While Jajuga is serving as acting mayor, he won’t be able to make any permanent appointments or remove anyone from office, or approve or disapprove any measure passed by the City Council, unless the time in which the mayor must act would end before the mayor returns. Zanni will have served three two-year terms by the end of this year, the limit under Methuen’s charter.Brenda J. Buote can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.