It is said that there’s always something good that comes out of something bad.
Almost twenty years ago, my neighbors and I were compelled to take on a neighborhood dilemma. A commercial neighbor had expanded without notice or approval and ultimately created a threat to the quality of life in our residential neighborhood. My neighbors and I were determined to do whatever we had to do to ensure that our elected and municipal officials would simply do the right thing to restore peace to our neighborhood.
It was a long, hard and grueling journey to get to the finish line. Along the way, we met many fine (and some not so fine) folks that guided, directed and assisted us. We saw the changing of elected officials and department heads more times than we could count. However, there was one consistent, steady and rock-solid individual that remained a reliable source of support -- Chief Eugene Tumolo.
Chief Tumolo extended himself beyond measure to ensure our quality of life was restored. There was never a time he didn’t take our calls or find a moment to help us. Anytime day or night, sometimes even late on a Monday night after a long Council Meeting, it was par for the course to see the Chief stop up on his way home to see how things were in the neighborhood. It was not unusual to be warmed by his visits on a Saturday afternoon, on his own time, checking on things for us. He took time whenever asked to meet with our neighborhood groups, listen to our concerns, and come up with creative, dynamic and sustainable solutions. He was always accessible, available and approachable. Indeed, over time, he became more than “The Chief” to us. He became, and will always be, a treasured friend.
Chief Tumolo personifies everything good about public service. To simply say “thank you,” seems insufficient. Gene, we thank you for making our corner of the world a better place, for always being there for us, and for being a treasured friend. May you enjoy your retirement, but please, don’t be a stranger!
Leslie Phillip Lawler,