Cleveland Heights City Council Member Mark Tumeo announced at Monday night's council meeting that he was offered a job as dean of a College of Engineering. But that job is not at Cleveland State University, where he currently works.
“From a professional perspective, this is a great career move, and it has long been a goal of mine to rise to this level of administration. But this is a good news, bad news story,” Tumeo said. “The good news is that after lots of hard work, I’m going to become an academic dean. The bad news, at least with respect to my plans and my love of Cleveland Heights, is that the position is at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.”
Effective May 17, he will resign as council member and chair of the Finance Committee.
Tumeo ran for council in 2005 and was sworn in January 2006. He served on the city’s Citizens Advisory Committee from 2000 to 2005.
“I’ve never faced a more difficult and heart-wrenching situation. My life and my family are here. My husband has never lived anywhere but Northeast Ohio, and his family all lives here,” said Tumeo, who has worked at CSU for 14 years and is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “Of all the activities and accomplishments of my career, none have meant more to me than serving on the council of Cleveland Heights.”
Tumeo said he was offered the dean position in January, and it was official in mid- February.
Mayor Ed Kelley said that he will provide details about how council will replace Tumeo and the application process in April. Tumeo’s term would have expired on Dec. 31, 2013.
After Tumeo announced his resignation, council member Cheryl Stephens thanked him for his service.
“Much (like) in the ‘60s when many members of the African American community stepped forward to serve in public service, Mark stepped forward to serve as the first openly gay member of City Council in Cleveland Heights,” Stephens said. “That was a tough decision to make, because there were different positions and opinions in this community.
“… I want to thank him for stepping forward, even in the face of opposition, but with lots of personal support, and we want to support you and honor you in your next step. But we will all miss you and what you represent as far as a diversity of opinion on this council."
Look for more articles from Monday's City Council meeting on Cleveland Heights Patch soon.