Nov. 13—Phil Cassella has announced his upcoming retirement as a Perry Village Council member.
Cassella's final day on council will be Dec. 31. He is leaving at the halfway point of his current four-year term.
Perry Village government revealed Cassella's decision in a news release that was issued at the Nov. 9 council meeting.
Village Solicitor James O'Leary handed out copies of the release to the community's council members and administrators, and then read the announcement to everyone in attendance.
Cassella was appointed to fill a Village Council vacancy in 2008, and elected to his first four-year term on the panel in 2009. Village voters then re-elected Cassella to council in 2013, 2017 and 2021.
During a stretch of about 15 years on council, he has served on many committees, including a panel that plans and carries out the annual Perry Fall Festival, the news release stated.
The Fall Festival Steering Committee, under Cassella's leadership, has helped the Perry Fall Festival grow "from a small local event into a regional gem, including fireworks, games and vendors, while keeping the local favor," the news release added.
He also became well-known in the community as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and longtime athletic director at Perry High School.
"Phil was instrumental in the planning, construction and management of the Perry Community Fitness and Athletic Center," the news release stated. "He also organized many Northeast Ohio district tournament athletic events hosted by Perry."
Cassella, who retired from education in 2002 after a 36-year career in the profession, also was honored in 1989 as Northeast Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrator of the Year.
After O'Leary finished reading the news release, Cassella addressed the audience.
He said Perry provided him and his wife, Pat, with a safe place to raise their three children — Jeffrey, David and Alissa. Perry School District also was an "excellent educational environment" for his children to attend school, he added.
While Cassella enjoyed working at Perry Schools, he also felt the need to give back to the community as a whole.
"It started with a call to represent the village as a Perry Area Joint Recreation District board member," he said. "With that beginning, you know of my years of continued involvement with local government. I'm so proud to have been a part of the accomplishments in the village. We've come a long way."
The village's news release stated that after Cassella retires from council at the end of the year, he plans to enjoy more time with his family.