Phyllis Evans Explains Her Resignation From Cleveland Heights City Council

"To be perfectly truthful, it’s a matter of health benefits,” Evans said.

Monday’s announcement that seemed sudden.

But the longtime councilwoman said she’s been considering this since February.

She retired from her job at University Hospitals at the end of January and lost her health benefits.

“To be perfectly truthful, it’s a matter of health benefits,” said Evans, 66. “As a retired elected official, I do have the opportunity to use OPERS (Ohio Public Employees Retirement System), that is something that is offered to us. The unfortunate part is the way it’s written, left up to one’s interpretation, I needed to resign in order to be able to use OPERS."

Evans, who served on council for 19 years, said she was not aware of this when she .

“I’m really upset. I’m upset that I didn’t do an adequate job of really researching the retirement material,” Evans said. “Cleveland Heights and its residents have been a priority in my life for almost 20 years, and I enjoyed my years of service.  I hope there will be something that I can do in the future.”

That includes serving on council again.

Evans said she’s considering reapplying for her council seat if it’s possible and she can retain her health benefits.

Mayor Ed Kelley, who announced that Evans was resigning at the June 4, said, “No one I know has ever done that before.”

Evans did not attend Monday's meeting but submitted two letters of resignation, one dated May 31, the day she tendered her resignation, and another marked June 5.

Council will likely to fill the seat soon. Someone will be appointed to council until the end of the year and must run for re-election in November 2013* to complete Evans’ term, which ends Dec. 31, 2015. Councilman Jason Stein in 2011 when .

“I feel that after having run in November, I deserve to be a member of council. So if there’s any way possible to represent my constituents, I will do that,” Evans said. “I want to thank residents for giving me the opportunity to serve as a member of council ... and if there is a way for me to be appointed, if there is a way that I can come back on council, I’m going to seek that.”

Cleveland Heights Law Director John Gibbon did not immediately return calls or emails for comment.

An earlier version of this article indicated that Phyllis Evans' replacement would have to run in November 2012 to complete her term. The candidate will have to run in November 2013.

Tifanny Barnes June 06, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Ms. Evans is considering coming back to council, if she can, according to the above report. This would mean, I assume, she wants to be "rehired" into a job she retired from. This is called "double-dipping". Re insurance coverage: My understanding is that you are eligible at age 65 for Medicare. So. Ms. Evans needed the "state insurance" as a wraparound policy, since Medicare is always the primary insurer. Just so readers understand that Ms. Evans had an option other than retiring; she could have used her salary as a council person to purchase wraparound insurance to supplement her Medicare coverage. If Ms. Evans feels should be rehired, I assume she will make an argument for that based on her "accomplishments".
Richard Hollis June 06, 2012 at 08:52 PM
This woman was handling taxpayer's money while on Council. That is scarey.
Nathaniel Brooks June 07, 2012 at 01:41 AM
No, what is scary is that you misspelled scary. I wouldn't want you to handle money either. If someone can't spell, how well do you think they can count? Reading, writing and Arithmetic are crucial. I take it you went to Cleveland Heights public school, an example of tax dollars well spent.
Garry Kanter June 07, 2012 at 03:37 AM
"Beginning of sentences..... proper nouns. not just randomly where ever you feel like it. I went to Heights and I do know write." Since your only purpose was to rag on folks, your post is fair game: • Ellipses are only three dots, not five • "not" should be capitalized • "where ever" should be "wherever" • The words "how to" are missing You did a lousy job. No matter where you went to HS.
Garry Kanter June 07, 2012 at 03:39 AM
There is no entity known as "Cleveland Heights public school". So it cannot be "...an example of tax dollars well spent." Sarcastically or seriously. So you are disqualified from handling my tax $.
Lucy June 07, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Eric Mack June 07, 2012 at 11:15 AM
Another reason why health-insurance coverage should somehow be divorced from employment. Americans should be able to have decent coverage regardless of where they work(ed), and not choose employment, retirement or resignation largely based on health-insurance coverage. Having said that, I don't think that ObamaCare, as currently structured, is Constitutional, given the individual-care mandate.
dick fitzinu June 07, 2012 at 01:43 PM
how about we talk about the horrible job council has done in the recent past running the city into the ground. Our taxes are too high for what we get in return. Severance is dying and no body wamts to bring in a business because of the restrictions council places on them. Balleys just left. Walmart is next. Regal wants to leave when their lease is up. Home Depot will follow. And council continues to pay an extra $800.00 per paint job for its police cars so they can keep the three colors that our mayor loves so much. Whats funny about that is Ed's kid doesn't even go to heights, he goes to iggys.
Anastasia Pantsios June 07, 2012 at 01:53 PM
This is not "double-dipping," which refers to taking a pension and also a salary. Nothing double is going on here. Also Cleveland Heights council people do not draw anything like a salary, only a small stipend. Unfortunately, I think automatic cynicism is one of our big problems in governance today — assuming the worst without doing the research. As for taxes being too high, once again it seems like many people want something for nothing — complaining about taxes, then turning around and complaining services are inadequate and the city is falling apart. You can't have it both ways. If your taxes are cut, services will deteriorate. Also, the taxes that are exceptional high in Cleveland Heights are the property taxes, thanks to school levies — which were voted on by the citizens, not the city council. So complain about your fellow citizens who voted to support the schools, not about city council members.
Richard Hollis June 07, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I am certainly glad to see that some people realize that there are things more important than my spelling error.
Sam Samuels June 07, 2012 at 02:32 PM
And look at Oakwood!! Why is South Euclid getting the stores alomg with their tax revenue, while Cleveland Heights is stuck with a park?!? Their restrictions and codes, together with their obsession with being "green", is killing the city. Why would anybody want to live here? All we have is high taxes. And if you want to put a nail into your own house, they make you crazy with ridiculous codes and permits!
Tifanny Barnes June 07, 2012 at 02:41 PM
@Anastasia-please re-read my comment. I said IF she returns to council; the article states that she would like to do so. IF she did that she would be double-dipping. She is now RETIRED from council, that's apparently what she had to do to get the insurance benefit. CORRECTION: Council does get a salary, and benefits, including retirement. Last time I checked, starting salary was about $11,000 a year. Ms. Evans was on council 18 years. Do the sums. As a journalist, I hope you will invesitgate this further and post your findings here so we can all be informed. Thank you.
linda jenkins June 12, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Richard,I certainly see the importance of you comment. I'm glad you brought up the issue about spelling errors,I do this a lot because of a Stroke,Myasthenia Gravis both which causes me have double vision.I was called out myself for a spelling error,for a moment I had considered not posting.However I ask the reader to look beyond the misspelled word and embrace the message and my input as a blogger.This is challenging for me ,but I WILLand I CAN post and ignore any negative comments about my spelling errors .I know I'm not perfect andI know the reader is not perfect either..Let us all have a great day!
linda jenkins June 12, 2012 at 02:30 PM
oops I did it again it's your not you comment hope you get the message thank you


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