Anne Arundel county executive, council sworn in

Leopold sworn in for 2nd term; five new members join County Council

December 11, 2010|By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold was sworn in Monday morning for a second term before a crowd of about 60 people at the Pasadena Senior Center, while later in the day the County Council was sworn in during a separate ceremony that attracted hundreds of onlookers.

"It's going to be a productive four years," said Leopold, a Republican. "I look forward to a good working relationship with the council. That's how I was so successful in my first term — by treating each councilperson with courtesy and respect."

Hours later, Robert P. Duckworth, clerk of the county Circuit Court, also presided over the swearing-in of the seven-member County Council.

The Rev. Herbert Watson Jr. of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Hanover opened the ceremony inside the packed council chambers in downtown Annapolis with a prayer.

"I pray that those elected can operate beyond the lines of party, beyond the lines of special interests and beyond the lines of self-interest, and serve the people," Watson said.

Councilmen Jamie Benoit and Daryl Jones, both Democrats, began their second terms.

Five new members joined the council — Derek Fink, a District 3 Republican; John Grasso, a District 2 Republican; Richard Ladd, a District 5 Republican; Chris Trumbauer, a District 6 Democrat; and Jerry Walker, a District 7 Republican.

Jones, who represents District 1, said that because the county has experienced such difficult economic times — and faces a $90 million budget shortfall this budget season —the council has a "tremendous responsibility on our shoulders" to "balance the needs of families and businesses."

Benoit, who represents District 4, said the last council was defined by its cohesion and unity, and he hopes this council will continue to "find ways we can work together. I'm very excited."

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