By Bob Sandrick, special to

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Five residents who previously applied for the vacant Ward 2 and Ward 3 City Council seats have dropped out of consideration — and four new applicants have emerged — in wake of controversy over the council’s attempt to fill those positions.

Leaving the contest are Ward 2 applicants Logan Fahey, Mathew Finkler and Erin Sullivan Lally. A new applicant is Crystal Jardine of Fox Hollow Drive.

In Ward 3, Eric Boecker and Tim Zvoncheck will no longer seek a council seat. New applicants for the Ward 3 position are Patricia Miles Ashford of Jonathan Drive, Edward Bond of Coopers Run and Sarah Kaminski.

The shuffling means that the number of applicants in Ward 2 has dropped from 10 to eight, and the number in Ward 3 has risen from eight to nine.

City Council has scheduled a special meeting for 7:15 tonight in the Michael Kalinich Sr. City Council Chambers on Royalton Road to choose the winning applicants for both the Ward 2 and Ward 3 seats.

Immediately beforehand, at 4:30 p.m. today, council members will meet in Mayor Thomas Perciak’s conference room on Foltz Parkway to interview Ward 3 applicants in a private executive session. Council members interviewed the Ward 2 applicants Monday in Perciak’s conference room.

Two weeks ago, city officials announced that the council would start the process of filling the vacant Ward 2 and Ward 3 seats all over again. This was after some of the 18 applicants said that City Council had violated Ohio Sunshine Law.