Tim DeGeeter, the 14th mayor of Parma, originally made Parma his home because he and his wife Pam believe in the city, its hard-working people and its future. They knew Parma, Ohio’s seventh-largest city, is a great place to raise a family.
The Mayor has made improving the quality of life for Parma residents among the most important goals of his administration. He has been praised for facilitating such family friendly events as the Mayor’s Outdoor Movie Night, expanding the Recreation Dept. offerings to include Tot programs, adding online Rec. Dept. sign-up and participating in many of Parma’s events with his own family. He makes himself available to residents at these events as part of his Mayor’s In, Mayor’s Out program, during which, every other month, he also visits with residents who come to City Hall to speak to him one-on-one about living in Parma. He puts a premium on staying connected with residents, and to that end, he actively utilizes social media to stay in touch with the community.
Parma’s business community is growing under Mayor DeGeeter’s leadership as well, and small business owners have found a leader who will listen to them and asks for their input at regular Economic Summit meetings. Big business is growing, too, with the ongoing redevelopment of the Parmatown Mall into the Shoppes at Parma.
DeGeeter embraces his city and regional leadership responsibilities with active service. He was appointed to the Board of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, which works to provide leadership to protect water quality, alleviate flooding and improve infrastructure, all important issues to Parma residents.
He also serves as a member of NOACA – the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, which is a transportation and environmental planning agency charged with determining federal funding of highway, bikeway and transportation systems.Â Additionally, the organization helps address air and water quality needs.
DeGeeter has become a leading proponent for regional collaboration and looks for ways to increase Parma’s leadership as a leader in that area. He was elected to the board of trustees of the Ohio Municipal League in his first year as mayor. The OML works with cities’ leadership to support issue affecting local communities, including economic development, funding and job creation.
DeGeeter came to the Mayor’s office from the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served the 15th District, which includes Parma. While in Columbus, 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.
He was also instrumental in the battle to save Brooklyn’s Hugo Boss plant, which was on the verge of closing, wrote Ohio’s Credit Freeze Law allowing consumers to place a hold on their credit report as a way to protect themselves against identity theft, and sought tougher drug laws, pushing for restrictions on the sale and manufacture of methamphetamine. While in the House of Representatives, he served as Chairman of the Public Utilities and Criminal Justice committees. He also served as a co-chair of the bipartisan Ohio Prematurity Caucus which raised awareness of premature births in Ohio and sought funding for the issue.
He was appointed by Governor Ted Strickland to serve on the Improving Forensic DNA Policy Project, a project to enhance public safety and forensic DNA analysis as a crime-solving tool. In 2004, DeGeeter was a member of the Ohio Supreme Court Task Force on Pro Se and Indigent Litigants, a group that reviewed the issue of self-representation in the state’s judicial system. In 2006, DeGeeter was chosen to participate in an esteemed leadership training program that identifies and assists promising state leaders in the Midwest. He met with other select lawmakers for The Council of State Governments’ 12th annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD) in Madison, Wisconsin.
Additionally, in 2010, he was nominated and selected by The American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) as a delegate to Taiwan for a 7-day leadership exchange program. Just after being elected Mayor of Parma, he participated in The Seminar on Transition and Leadership for Newly-Elected Mayors at the Harvard University Institute of Politics.
Before going to the Ohio House, DeGeeter served as Parma’s Ward Four councilman for five years, where 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. He 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.
He is a 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, and for which he received the Parma Chamber of Commerce Pride Award. In 2007, the Parma Council of PTAs presented the Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award to DeGeeter for his legislative efforts advocating for families and children.
He has been an attorney since 1998, and is the former President of the Parma Bar Association and a former Parma Democrat of the Year. Formerly, he served as an assistant municipal prosecutor for the City of Berea, and also as Assistant Law Director in Avon Lake. While attending law school, DeGeeter was published in the Journal of Law & Health. The law review article, “The Politics of Reducing Tobacco Use Among Children & Adolescents: Why the FDA Cannot Regulate Tobacco and a Proposed Policy for States and Local Communities” received “The Best Note Award” for 1995-96.
DeGeeter, adopted at birth, grew up in Mishawaka, Ind., near South Bend. He attended Holy Cross Junior College in Notre Dame, Ind., and transferred to The 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, where he met his wife Pam, also an attorney.
The Mayor and Pam have been blessed with two children, Jack and Molly.