By Jeff Gallatin
City officials will place a permanent plaque at North Olmsted’s Fire Station 2 in a special ceremony at 11 a.m. Jan. 20 to honor the many contribution’s made to the city by longtime official Carolyn J. Kasler.
Kasler served the city in several capacities over close to 15 years as well as being a successful attorney and busy wife and mother. She served on the North Olmsted School Board from 1992-94, was safety director from 1994-98 and was a councilwoman-at-large from 1998-2005. She also served as a youth magistrate for the city and served on many other panels and groups around the community. She passed away from cancer a few months after resigning from council when she and her husband Bob moved to Olmsted Falls.
North Olmsted Law Director Michael Gareau Jr., who served with Kasler on city council for several years, said he was proud to have served with her on council and to have been her friend.
‘This is a well-deserved honor,” he said. “She did a lot for this city and the area.”
Mayor Kevin Kennedy lauded Gareau and other of her friends for their work in making sure Kasler is honored.
“They deserve a lot of credit for spearheading this,” Kennedy said. “I worked with her for one meeting (after Kennedy was appointed council president) and was glad to have done so. She did so much in the community in a lot of areas. We’re glad to do something to recognize her and all she did.”
Paul Miller, a longtime employee in the Cuyahoga County courts system and former North Olmsted councilman at large who knew Kasler and her family in both areas, also offered praise.
“Carolyn was a fierce friend, mother, wife and co-worker,” Miller said. “If you were in her life, she was fiercely loyal to you and would do whatever she could for you and the community. She was a pleasure to work with and knew how to be strong when she needed to and gentle when she needed to. She did a lot for the city for many years. She was a well-respected attorney who did her job well in that arena as well. I’m glad she’s being recognized and I know we all miss her.”
Current Police Chief Jamie Gallagher recalled one incident shortly after Kasler took over as safety director.
“I was a shift lieutenant and had to go out to a scene where we had to block off the area on one of those cold, nasty January days and Carolyn came out to the scene too even though she didn’t have to,” he said. “She checked the scene, but at the same time, let us do our job as officers without interfering. Then, she told me, ‘Whatever you need to make sure this is taken care of, let me know.’ She was that type of person as both a director and councilwoman and also did a fine job as a magistrate.”
Police Capt. Mike Kilbane recalls meeting her and working with her when he was a patrolman and sergeant.
“She always had the best interests of the city and this department in mind when she did something,” he said. “She was very well-respected by officers and people who knew her.”
North Olmsted Fire Chief Tom Klecan said she was appreciated by many people.
“Carolyn was a class act,” Klecan said. “She was knowledgeable about what was going on and always treated people fairly. Even if you didn’t necessarily agree with her, you still respected her and how she acted with other people.”
North Olmsted School Board Vice President Joanne DiCarlo, the senior member of the board with more than 30 years experience, said she’s pleased Kasler is being recognized.
“She was inquisitive and caring,” DiCarlo said. “She always worked to learn about what was needed and what was going on. She had many people who respected and cared about her.”
North Olmsted officials said the ceremony is open to all citizens but noted parking at the fire station will be limited and cautioned people wanting to park there to come early.