default ads for article
CITY OF PARMA — Tim DeGeeter is the 14th mayor to serve the City of Parma. He and his wife Pam made Parma their hometown because they believe in the city, its hard-working people and its future. Believing Parma is a great place to raise a family, they have settled on Tuxedo Avenue, where they live with their three-year-old son Jack and their daughter Molly, who was born in August.
DeGeeter comes to the Mayor’s office from the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served the 15th district, which includes Parma. Before leaving to assume the duties of Mayor, DeGeeter was the longest consecutive serving member of the Ohio House. He built a record based on fiscal responsibility while also making critical investments in Ohio and its people. He supported balanced budgets that cut spending but also expanded the Homestead Tax Credit – important for seniors in Parma and across the state – and kept tuition low at colleges.
Last year, DeGeeter was instrumental in the battle to save Brooklyn’s Hugo Boss plant, which was on the verge of closing. While the factory’s workers deserve most of the credit for drawing attention to the issue, DeGeeter fought alongside them to spotlight just how critical it was to keep the plant open – an effort that ultimately helped save more than 350 jobs.
He wrote Ohio’s Credit Freeze Law allowing consumers to place a hold on their credit report as way to protect themselves against identity theft. A former assistant municipal prosecutor, he also sought tougher drug laws, pushing for restrictions on the sale and manufacture of methamphetamine.
In addition, DeGeeter introduced legislation to expand Ohio’s Safe Haven law, a measure that allows parents to safely surrender unwanted infants under a no-questions-asked policy if the child is unharmed. His involvement in this law reflects a true understanding of the issue because he knows just how important it is for every child to find a nurturing home. DeGeeter’s father, an elevator repairman, and his mother, a registered nurse, adopted him at birth in 1969.
Before going to the Ohio House of Representatives, DeGeeter served as Parma’s Ward Four councilman for five years. On council, DeGeeter showed he can bring various groups together to improve the quality of life for Parma’s residents. To help provide a safe and fun place for children to play, he led a partnership of schools, businesses, city officials and residents to restore and dedicate a park named after Capt. James Lovell, Jr., an Apollo 13 astronaut and Parma native. DeGeeter also led a task force working with the West Creek Preservation Committee that saved the city’s oldest home, the Henninger House built in 1849, to preserve Parma’s history for all its residents.
DeGeeter has received awards and recognition for his work in the community and at the statehouse. For example, in 2008, he received the Parma Pride Chamber Award as co-founder of Leadership for Tomorrow – a program that partners with public and private schools to educate fifth graders on municipal government and to encourage them to become active in their community.
DeGeeter’s peers in the legal community also have recognized him as a civic leader, electing him as President of the Parma Bar Association for 2007-08. For his legislative advocacy for families and children, the Parma Council of PTAs presented the Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award to DeGeeter in 2007. A year earlier, he received the 2006 Ohio Child Advocacy Award from Moms for Ohio.
In addition, the Council of State Governments tapped him in 2006 to participate in the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development program, which identifies and trains promising state leaders in the Midwest. And in 2004, the Parma Democrat Club honored his efforts for the local party, naming him the Parma Democrat of the Year.
DeGeeter grew up in Mishawaka, Ind., near South Bend. He found his way to Northeast Ohio when he left Holy Cross Junior College in Notre Dame, Ind., and transferred into John Carroll University. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1991 and later earned his law degree in 1997 from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law.
Photo : Timothy J. DeGeeter