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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.

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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