Dean Johnson sworn as city's new mayor Republican vows to fix traffic, housing woes

December 02, 1997|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

Standing on a stage at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Dean L. Johnson hugged his wife, waved to a crowd of 600 and took a bow as he was sworn into office yesterday as the new mayor of Annapolis.

In a speech full of promise and hope, Johnson painted a future that would include a friendlier city government, improvements in public housing, fewer traffic problems and more economic development in the city.

The inauguration marks the beginning of a government under the leadership of the Republican economist and his Democratic majority city council, which includes five relative newcomers.

"I cannot do it alone," Johnson said. "Even with what I believe to be a potentially great city council, we cannot do it alone."

Paraphrasing the inscription on the wall above the stage, Johnson said he "would like to show that Annapolis is a city of strong commitments, broad interests and high ideals."

"And we will, together, build a better city."

Johnson also thanked everyone from his mother to the campaign workers who helped him win last month's election, as well as his predecessor, Alfred A. Hopkins, who ended a 32-year political career yesterday.

Hopkins presented Johnson with a copy of the book, "The Little Engine That Could," which Hopkins kept in his office during both terms as mayor.

"When I went into my office the first day after I was elected mayor, someone left this there to remind me that 'I did it, I did it, I did it,' " said Hopkins, as he handed Johnson the book. "Sir, you did it, you did it, you did it."

In return, Johnson gave the 72-year-old Hopkins a plaque, a gift certificate for a new pair of shoes, marking Hopkins' shoe-leather campaign into office -- "I've got big shoes to fill," Johnson said -- and a box containing a coveted city parking pass. The last gift drew a surprised "Oh!" from Hopkins, who stomped his foot in delight.

Also sworn were aldermen:

Incumbent Louise Hammond, a Ward 1 Democrat who returns for a second term after replacing her husband, John, who took a job with Anne Arundel County.

Sheila M. Tolliver, a retired government and college administrator, a Democrat who will replace Johnson in Ward 2.

Samuel Gilmer, a Ward 3 Democrat, who began his fifth term in office by taking the oath while flanked by five members of his family.

Joseph Sachs, a Republican who returns to his Ward 4 seat after losing it to Democrat J. Shepard Tullier four years ago.

Herbert H. McMillan, a Republican who takes over the Ward 5 seat from civil rights activist Carl O. Snowden, a Democrat who lost in the Democratic mayoral primaries.

Cynthia Carter, a Democrat who squeaked a victory out of a write-in campaign to replace Republican Wayne Turner in Ward 6. Turner resigned before the primaries. Carter is the first black woman elected to the city council.

Michael W. Fox, a Republican who replaces M. Theresa DeGraff in Ward 7 after her unsuccessful run for mayor.

Missing was Ellen O. Moyer, who is returning for a third term but was attending a conference in the Midwest. The Ward 8 Democrat will be sworn into office at the Dec. 8 council meeting.

Pub Date: 12/02/97

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