Two of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s closest allies offered conflicting opinions Monday on what to do if he loses his appeal of a judicial order to vacate his seat on council.

Three Divisional Court judges began hearing the mayor's appeal on a conflict-of-interest matter in Toronto on Monday and they are expected to return a decision as early as next month.

Until their decision is handed down, Ford will keep his job — and he will continue as mayor if the judges grant his appeal.

But if they uphold the prior decision of Ontario Superior Court Justice Charles T. Hackland, Ford will be forced to vacate his seat and city councillors will have to consider one of two options: appointing a new mayor or holding a byelection.

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday is hoping that he can rally enough support among councillors to appoint the mayor himself, should he be forced from office.

"I think it's a matter of justice and fairness and if councillors will set politics aside for a moment, I think that they will see what I’m talking about it," Holyday told reporters on Monday.

"The fact is the judge said that the law is a blunt instrument in this case, which means that the penalty doesn’t fit what’s happened. It’s far too severe."

Holyday went on to say that he thinks 12-15 councillors would right now vote to a reappoint Ford. He would have to round up 23 votes in order to secure a majority that would allow for Ford to be reappointed.

The mayor’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford, on the other hand, said that a byelection was the way to go.

"I believe in democracy, I believe in a byelection," Ford said Monday, when walking out of the Toronto court where his brother’s appeal was being heard.

"If the people want Rob to be mayor they will re-elect him. If they don't want Rob to be mayor they won't re-elect him and I think that’s fair to the people of Toronto."

But Ford said that it wouldn’t be his decision to make, in any case.

"In my opinion, I’d go for the byelection. But I’m not calling the shots — it's strictly up to Rob, up to the deputy mayor and up to city council," he said.

Coun. Adam Vaughan, a frequent critic of the mayor, said that the public may need to look to someone new to take the lead at city hall.

"While the mayor has been eager to sort of play out his political career in the court chamber, we actually need him in the council chamber," he told CBC News on Monday.

"And if we can’t get him, it's probably time for Toronto to look towards stronger leadership from somebody else."

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  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is hoisted into the air by his Don Bosco Eagles team after winning the Metro Bowl quarter-final at Birchmount Park in Toronto, Thursday Nov. 15, 2012. A civil trial hearing in which the mayor is accused of libel against a restaurant owner went on without him. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Drost

  • Mayor Rob Ford celebrates hoists the Ross McDonald trophy with his team the Don Bosco Eagles in Toronto, Ont. Thursday, November 8, 2012. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

  • Actors Will Ferrell (left) and Zack Galifianakis (centre) receive stickers from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at the Hockey Hall of Fame as they promote their new movie "The Campaign" in Toronto on Monday, July 30, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

  • Actors Will Ferrell (left) and Zack Galifianakis (centre) receive stickers from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at the Hockey Hall of Fame as they promote their new movie "The Campaign" in Toronto on Monday, July 30, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (centre) dances with participants ahead of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on Saturday July 30, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

  • Two hours of speeches and entertainment helped to kick off the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto on July 12, 2011. Mayor Rob Ford showed up about half way through, posed for some photographs, made a speech, presented a scroll, cut a cake, posed for more pictures on his way back inside, and even danced for a few notes with a costumed participant. Canadian Press

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, right, looks on as he is about to receive the Pan American games flag at Omnilife Stadium during the closing ceremonies of the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. Toronto will host the games in 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

  • Mayor Rob Ford was on hand in the alley way behind 1278 St. Clair Avenue West in Toronto on April 7, 2011 to re-iterate his plans to clean up the graffiti in Toronto. After doing some power washing with a diluted solvent the mayor said it was difficult to remove the graffiti but they would get it done, brick by brick. He was covered in "water" and paint chips when he was done the power washing. (Photo by Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)

  • Toronto, Dec. 16/2010 - Mayor Rob Ford, wearing the Chain of Office necklace, reacts during a chat with 2010-2014 Councillors Doug Holyday (L) and Councillor Frances Nunziata while waiting for their first official group photo at City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Besides the absence of a couple of councillors the shoot went off with no problems. Canadian Press

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford jumps on stage dressed as a Cannon Doll during a performance of the Nutcracker in Toronto on Saturday, December 10, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (left) and city councillor Michelle Berardinetti (right) smile on stage during a performance of the Nutcracker in Toronto on Saturday, December 10, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (center) smiles as he officially opens the refurbished Sunnydale rink with Toronto Maple Leafs' coach Ron Wilson (right) and other dignitaries who were on hand as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs who practiced on the outdoor rink in Toronto on Wednesday, January 4, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit

  • Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as he was on hand for the grand opening of his new Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto, Ont. Thursday, April 16/2012. Canadian Press

  • As part of an exhibition at the CNE, Toronto-based artist Olenka Kleban has made a butter sculpture of Toronto's mayor.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford watches from the sidelines near the Argos bench during a CFL football game between the Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders in Calgary on Saturday, August 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

  • Mayor Rob Ford speaks with a private security guards at Nathan Philips Square in Toronto during an event held on Sept. 21, 2012 to recognize the hockey players of Team Canada 1972 before their Canada's Walk of Fame induction, as a group, on Saturday. Mayor Rob Ford read a proclamation that was presented to each player, and Paul Henderson, who scored the winning goal, presented the Mayor with a hockey sweater. Henderson's original hockey jersey from 1972 was on display behind glass for the event. (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)

  • Rob Ford is interviewed by the media at the Toronto Congress Center in Etobicoke after his election as Toronto Mayor Monday night, October 25, 2010, Toronto, Canada. The Canadian Press/Michael Hudson

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs participate in an outdoor practice at Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto Wednesday, December 22, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

  • Rob Ford is seen reading while driving in this photo from Twitter.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford posing in City Hall with the City of Toronto sigh. Canadian Press

  • Rob Ford poses with neo-Nazi Jon Latvis. Ford's office has explained Toronto's mayor was unaware of the man's beliefs when the image was captured.

  • Toronto Mayor-elect Rob Ford, centre, raises his arms with his wife Renata, right, and mother Diane, left, as he speaks to supporters in Toronto on Monday, October 25, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette