By Bob Sandrick, special to cleveland.com

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Two applicants to two vacant City Council seats – which council filled last week by appointing Annmarie Roff and Kelley Kosek to the Ward 2 and Ward 3 positions, respectively – have criticized council’s recent do-over of the interview process.

Sarah Kaminski, a business consultant who applied for the Ward 3 job, called the process “incredibly strange” in an email to cleveland.com. She said her interview lasted 10 minutes, not enough time for council to learn much about her.

“I struggle to see how anyone could possibly make an informed decision about a candidate in that short amount of time,” Kaminski said.

James Ottobre, who also applied for the Ward 3 council spot, said he felt that council’s picks for the two vacant seats were predetermined and that he never had much of a chance.

“In my interview, one councilman nodded off and had to be reminded to move on to the next question, and another one was reading from his phone the whole time,” Ottobre told cleveland.com by email. “In the end, it was who you knew and not what you knew.”

A third applicant – Tim Sabbath, a Ward 2 resident – said council correctly and legally followed Strongsville charter guidelines for filling vacant council seats. However, he said the charter might need amending.

“I felt there was no real job description, other than we would be representing our ward,” Sabbath said. “We went into a job interview without knowing what qualities or background they were looking for.”

Meanwhile, all seven council members, including newly appointed Roff and Kosek, have continued to remain silent about the interview and appointment process, at the counsel of city Law Director Neal Jamison.

Council members Jim Carbone, Michael Daymut, Joe DeMio, Matthew Schonhut and Gordon Short did not return calls regarding why they unanimously chose Roff and Kosek among nearly 20 residents who applied for the two council positions.

Roff did not return calls. Kosek told cleveland.com she wouldn’t be able to answer many, if any, questions about her appointment.

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