ELYRIA — The number of Elyria residents vying to be the next 4th Ward City Council member has reached 11 after four more residents applied to fill the vacant seat.
Each is seeking to replace Councilman Mark Craig, who announced earlier this month his intentions to resign. He is moving to Vermilion, he said.
Craig, an independent, served as the 4th Ward Councilman for more than 10 years.
Stanley Wojdyla of Vermont Road, Debra Bryan of Canterbury Road, Nicholas Piasecki of Brookvalley Drive and Catherine Smith of Gulf Road submitted applications as of 4 p.m. Friday. They will be added to a list that includes Jeff Baxter, Chuck Messer, Kenny Oswald, Ray Noble, Chalene Mudd, Phil Tollett and Chad Schneider.
Applications are being accepted until 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Wojdyla is a former city employee who ran the city’s Cemetery Department until his retirement after 30 years. He also was unsuccessful in winning the 4th Ward seat in the 2011 election.
“Although I was not successful in my election, I became familiar with the residents of the 4th Ward and their concerns,” he said. “I have enjoyed working on a majority of tax levies over these years for the improvement of the city. I can offer the residents of the 4th Ward my full attention to their concerns.”
Bryan said she believes her background in community management, project/program management, housing and energy conservation have prepared her for Council leadership. She has lived in the ward for four years, witnessing many improvements in that time.
“My hope is that I can be a part of the improvements to come,” she said. “With the right team in place, anything is possible.”
Piasecki has lived in the ward for 10 years and has spent 28 years as a resident of Elyria. He is a sales associate with Superior Beverage and is married with one daughter.
Smith is the executive director of the Education Law Association based in Cleveland. She has lived in the 4th Ward for 14 months.
The city’s charter spells out that if an independent leaves Council then the vacancy is filled by a majority vote of the remaining members. The seat has to be filled within 30 days from the time the vacancy occurs or the mayor appoints the replacement. The 30-day clock starts Aug. 1.
City Council President Mike Lotko, D-at large, said Council will discuss the applications received on Aug. 6, determining a process for selection. He said Council would likely like to listen to each candidate as a part of process.
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