It is often said that no one is irreplaceable. Ed Mullaney, who will leave as Cumberland’s downtown manager at the end of this month, might be an exception to the rule.
For 15 years, ever since his retirement as a Montgomery County educator, Mullaney has worked diligently to improve, beautify and promote the downtown mall and its businesses and restaurants. He put his personal touch on such efforts as Friday After Five, Light the Steeples, Let’s Beautify Cumberland!, the St. Paddy’s Day Hooley, Farmer’s Market, Christmas Tree Lighting and New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.
When it was reported Tuesday that Mullaney has decided to resign his post on Oct. 31, the platitudes poured out. Mall business owners and patrons cited numerous examples of how Mullaney has made a positive impact on the community. Mayor Brian Grim commented: “Although he did have help, Ed almost single handedly changed the downtown.” Doug Schwab, a member of the Downtown Development Commission board, said Mullaney’s departure will be a loss for the city. “He dedicated his life to do more for downtown,” said Dee Dee Ritchie, executive director of Canal Place.
For his part, Mullaney is upbeat about the downtown area’s future. Schwab also is confident that good things will continue to happen downtown. He cited the abilities of Mullaney’s successor, Jennifer Light, who has been serving as mall co-manager for some time. “Jennifer is a great asset. It’s hard to lose someone like Ed. The DDC will have to regroup and take a serious look to see if we can do the same kind of things in the future,” said Schwab.
Mullaney said much of what he was able to accomplish was because of his partnership with the late Sue Cerutti, who served as his co-manager until her death in 2007. “I worked with the best in Sue Cerutti,” he said.
Asked by the Times-News what he is most proud of during his downtown tenure, Mullaney said: “I live by three little words: Pass it on. I am most proud of being able to bring people together to help them become part of a community.”
He certainly has accomplished that mission.