Cleveland Heights Finance Director Tom Malone was still teary-eyed the day after Mayor Ed Kelley announced Malone was retiring after 14 years with the city.
“(Council members) were extremely generous in their comments,” said Malone, who is also the clerk of council. “I never thought I’d be that emotional.”
Kelley made the announcement at Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting, and said that he and Malone grew up together. He gave him a proclamation, which had a shamrock on it to honor Malone’s Irish heritage.
The audience gave him a standing ovation, and people shook his hand when they left.
Council members commented on Malone’s ability to manage the city finances despite the tough economy.
“I believe our city has weathered the storm a little better than most, and part of that is because of Tom’s careful oversight and management of our debt and budget,” said Councilman Dennis Wilcox.
Malone said it has been one of the most difficult aspects of his job the past few years.
“At times it can be extremely stressful. The economic landscape has changed … to try to get the job done in this economy. I’ll get a chance to catch my breath,” Malone said.
After he retires from Cleveland Heights Feb. 28, Malone said he’ll likely look for another job after taking a couple of months off.
“As Mary Kay says, I have to have a reason to get dressed in the morning,” Malone said, quoting his wife.
Malone said what he’ll miss most is the hardworking people in .
He was born here, went to St. Ann’s (now named ) and raised his family here. His first communion, confirmation and wedding all took place in St. Ann’s. His son got married there, too. And Mary Kay is also a “Cleveland Heights girl.”
“What a privilege, working for the city where I grew up and raised my family. How many people have the privilege of working where they grew up all their lives.”