Moyer looking ahead to comprehensive plan, infrastructure work

Forging new political ties



This week, Democrat Ellen O. Moyer defeated independent Gilbert T. Renaut and Republican George O. Kelley Sr., to become only the second mayor to be re-elected in Annapolis in the past 24 years.

Moyer won 46 percent of the vote, Renaut had 36 percent and Kelley got 18 percent.

The Sun sat down in a conference room next to the office of the city's first female mayor and talked about the campaign and her plans for the next term.

You said on election night that Annapolis is clearly a divided city. Why is it divided? Because of the vote. Traffic and development are issues that need to be addressed, not in the heat of the election, but in the next 10 years. Some of these issues may not be answerable in the short term.

I saw them as demagoguery. You see the same buzz words popping up. Traffic has been used for over a decade. In this election more people voted against you than for you, and you won by about 800 fewer votes than you did in 2001. Is there any message you see in that vote? This has been a tough few weeks.

I was clearly demonized by the opposition. It was [as if] all the Republicans that were running chose me as a [demonizing] symbol. There was a significant distortion of the issues. I don't think that serves the public well.

We need to get into a better discussion of the issues. When you demonize people, people tend to get sick of it, and they don't want to vote.

You are known for improvements that you've made to the historic parts of the city. Why do you think you lost Ward 1 (which includes the historic downtown)? Ward 1 did not want the flowers; they did not want the bricking. They wanted narrow sidewalks. We are a capital city. Ask people in Ward 1, `What don't you like?'

It is about political power, not delivery, and it is partisan. We've got a great city. We have people who contribute time and energy. What do you want to get done in the next four years? We have to maintain our high standards with the police force and Fire Department. We have to maintain our standards with environmental issues.

There are new challenges too. There is the new comprehensive plan; there are infrastructure projects including wastewater and solid waste. We have a major challenge with Parole.

The entrance roads that come in should say that we are the state capital. And there is the 300th anniversary of the charter in 2008. The council is almost entirely new. Some of your most outspoken critics - Louise Hammond, Sheila Tolliver and George O. Kelley - have been replaced. What are you expecting the relationship with the council to be?

I am sure everyone has goals of what they expect to do. A team effort is what makes a council successful. I'm going to meet with the new people and set up an open-door policy. Some people choose to talk and some choose not to participate. Will the Market House be empty this time next year? It could be. If we don't get the lease [with Site Realty Group, a real estate management company] approved by the sitting council, we might have to go back to the beginning.

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