Published 9:57 p.m. June 4, updated 11 p.m. June 4
Cleveland Heights Mayor Ed Kelley announced Monday that councilwoman Phyllis Evans submitted a letter of resignation last week, and her last day on council was effective May 31, 2012.
Evans submitted two letters, one dated the day her resignation was effective and the other June 5.
Evans, who served on City Council for 19 years, wrote in the second letter that she resigned due to personal reasons and expressed her regret. She did not attend the regular council meeting Monday, June 4.
"I have been proud to serve the city and its residents for 19 years as a councilperson. At this time, due to personal reasons, I must resign," she wrote.
Evans, 66, was re-elected to a four-year term on council in November 2011.
Kelley said council members have not yet discussed when they will announce the application process for Evan's replacement.
When former councilman Mark Tumeo resigned before his term was up in May 2011, council interviewed six applicants and appointed Jason Stein to fill in until the end of the year. Stein then had to run in the November 2011 election to keep the seat and was re-elected until the end of Tumeo's term, Dec. 31, 2013.
Council member Bonita Caplan's eyes filled with tears and she choked up before reading a resolution that Evans was supposed to read. She sat right next to Evans all 19 years and said she was surprised by the news.
"She has brought to this council a particular point of view and always sensitivity, and what a special councilperson. I can't tell you how sad I am about this," Caplan said.
Kelley said Evans "reached out to people from all walks of life" and did her homework before each council meeting.
"I'm going to really miss Phyllis, both as a councilperson and a friend," he said.
Vice Mayor Dennis Wilcox said he has worked with Evans his entire council career.
"We've gone through a lot of changes in the last year or so," Wilcox said.
Evans wrote in another letter dated May 31 that it was an "honor and a pleasure" to work with city council and the staff.
“I hope there will be another opportunity in the near future to continue to serve the residents of our wonderful city,” she wrote.
Evans could not be immediately reached for comment. Look for more from Monday's meeting soon.