Mayor Tom Kneeland was sworn into office on January 2, 2016. A lifelong resident of Gahanna, his career in public service began in 1978 when he joined the Mifflin Township Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician. Kneeland was an active volunteer with the Fire Department until the late 1980’s.
In the late 1980’s Kneeland was instrumental in forming the Civic S.A.M. (Stygler/Agler/McCutcheon) civic association to work with the city in addressing issues in his older neighborhood, in particular serious sanitary sewer problems. He was president of the association until he was elected Ward 1 city council representative in 1991.
Since 1991, Kneeland served five terms representing Ward 1 and two terms as an At-Large member of council. He was selected by his peers to serve as president and vice president of council numerous times and also had the privilege of chairing all council committees at least once.
Kneeland was honorably discharged from the Ohio Army National Guard in 1977 upon completing six years of military service as a helicopter crew chief. In 1997, he was one of the founding members of the Gahanna Veterans Memorial Committee, who designed and built a memorial in Gahanna to honor all military veterans who have served our country. Since 1997 he has been an active volunteer member and plays an integral part in planning and participating in the twice annual Veterans Memorial brick dedications.
In 2001, Kneeland retired from a 30-year career with SBC (formerly Ohio Bell), where as a Transport Technical Manager he was responsible for complex fiber optic communication systems and equipment vendors for a 13-state region. After retirement, he went on to work as a product and marketing manager and business development director with a local entrepreneurial company, Applied Innovation, eventually moving into local government employment in 2008 as the Technology Director for the City of Whitehall until he took office as the mayor of Gahanna in 2016.
Mayor Kneeland has been married to his wife, Becky, since 1972 and they have 5 children (all graduates of Gahanna-Jefferson schools) and 11 grandchildren. He and his wife are active members of his grade school parish, Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, where they are also involved in numerous church-sponsored activities.
Mayor Kneeland is proud of his family, his life-long Gahanna heritage, and the public and private sector contributions he has been able to provide to the community he loves.