Annapolis mayor, alderman say they are ready to work together

  • New Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides, left, and Alderman Ross Arnett, right, meet with reporters at City Hall on Thursday. Arnett said he won't introduce a bill to weaken the mayor's power, and the two pledged to work together.
New Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides, left, and Alderman Ross… (Pamela Wood, The Baltimore…)
December 06, 2013|By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun

Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides and members of the new city council are still figuring out which issues to attack now that they're in office. But one thing is clear: Don't expect a proposal to weaken the mayor's power.

Alderman Ross Arnett told reporters Thursday that he won't introduce legislation that he floated last month that would weaken the mayor's power, making him little more than the chairman of the council, and putting more authority in the hands of the city manager.

Arnett's proposal became public shortly after the November election and led to a backlash against the alderman, especially because he is a Democrat and the new mayor is a Republican.

"We have a lot more important things to be doing," Arnett said during a joint appearance before reporters with Pantelides.

Pantelides, Arnett and the other members of the council will hold their first meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 160 Duke of Gloucester St. While there's only one new member besides the mayor, most aldermen said early meetings won't be heavy with issues.

"I want to get to know the mayor," said Alderman Kenneth Kirby, a Democrat who represents Ward 6.

Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles, a Democrat from Ward 3 and the only new member of the council, said she's going to get used to how the council works before proposing any legislation.

Other aldermen said they'd like to revive issues that were unresolved before the election, but not right away.

Alderman Jared Littmann, a Democrat from Ward 5, said he'd like to work on the issue of evaluating how much room is available in local schools as part of approving housing developments. And Alderman Joe Budge, a Democrat from downtown's Ward 1, would like to revisit the idea of setting new rules for approving special events.

Alderman Fred Paone said he's glad to have another Republican in city council meetings. Last term, he was often the only "no" vote on certain issues as the sole Republican. "I'm looking forward to some company," he said.

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