More than a campaign pitch

Annapolis mayor: Moyer will have to inspire cooperation over the next four years to run the city.

November 08, 2001

THIS IS where campaign talk is put to the test.

Annapolis Mayor-elect Ellen O. Moyer said throughout the mayor's race that she'd be a consensus-builder if she were elected. And to some extent, she had earned that designation in a long civil and political career.

But during the campaign, she failed to maintain collaborative relationships in some familiar quarters where her support should have been solid.

Repairing those alliances - and forging new ones - will be the challenge for Ms. Moyer now that she has won.

Before the election, Ward 1 Alderman Louise Hammond, a fellow Democrat, campaigned openly for Ms. Moyer's opponent, Republican Herbert H. McMillan. She charged that she had seen little of Ms. Moyer's famed collaborative skills, saying the mayor-elect consistently worked against her district's interests while on the city council.

The mayor-elect also failed to get the support of Ward 2 Democratic Alderman Sheila M. Tolliver, whose day job as the Howard County Council administrator is a highly partisan position and would seem to make her a sure bet to support a fellow Democrat.

Indeed, Ms. Moyer may have support from the majority of the new city council - including newly elected Joshua Cohen, who won the Ward 8 seat in Eastport that the mayor-elect vacated - but she will need broad support to tackle the city's most pressing problems.

The city needs an effective mayor to lead the council in developing a master transportation plan, encouraging economic development, improving low-income housing, controlling crime and improving retirement benefits for Annapolis public safety employees.

The city also needs to quell percolating racial friction - African-Americans gave Ms. Moyer a strong vote of confidence by making her their overwhelming choice - and adapt to the surging Latino population.

And the city needs to maintain its aging infrastructure while watching its pocketbook in increasingly tight fiscal times.

Ms. Moyer will need to foster the cooperation she has campaigned about - from friends and foes - to get the job done when she takes office Dec. 3.

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