State Roundup: New legislators get crash course in Annapolis; Mosby chides Mayor Scott over veto of pension bill; and county execs, councils sworn in

State Roundup: New legislators get crash course in Annapolis; Mosby chides Mayor Scott over veto of pension bill; and county execs, councils sworn in

Jessica Fitzwater, center, takes the oath of office as Frederick County executive. Photo from the Frederick County Government website.

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NEW LEGISLATORS GET SCHOOLED IN WORKINGS OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Five weeks ago they were on the campaign trail. Five weeks from now, they will be sworn in as state legislators, completing a whirlwind transition. For many, it will be a first taste of public service. To help ease the newcomers’ transition from citizen to servant, senior members of the General Assembly — lawmakers from both chambers and both parties — are offering a two-day crash course on what it takes to be a success. Merdie Nzanga and Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

MOSBY CHIDES MAYOR SCOTT OVER VETO OF PENSION BILL: Baltimore Council President Nick Mosby chided Mayor Brandon Scott Monday for vetoing a bill that would have reduced the number of years needed for the city’s elected officials to earn a pension, arguing the move sets back efforts to attract a talented, diverse group of public servants and creating a system where only the “wealthy and well-connected” can afford to run for city government. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Without addressing concerns by the Board of Ethics that Council members who approved the bill may have violated the city ethics code, Mosby said his bill had “sought only to create a fair system” in light of voters’ passage of Question K, which set term limits for members of the Council and other elective offices. Editors/Baltimore Brew.
  • The term limit will begin in 2024 for all elected officials, no matter how many terms they served before. It will not bar officials from moving from one office to another, where the term count would reset. Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner.

SWEARING IN DAY: From Upper Marlboro to Towson and points in between, five holdover county executives began their second terms Monday with promises to move beyond the COVID-19, build on their counties’ strengths, and seize on the opportunities presented by unprecedented federal largesse heading their way. While Harford and Frederick counties saw new county executives take over, in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s, Democratic county executives were sworn in for their second terms, along with the new county councils they’ll work with. Staff/Maryland Matters.

CASSILLY TAKES OVER IN HARFORD: Former state Sen. Robert Cassilly (R) said one of the first notes he received Monday before his swearing-in ceremony as Harford County executive was a congratulatory text message from Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City). “Well, I’m not a senator. I’m not even the county executive. I’m not a soldier. I’m not a diplomat. I’m just Bob,” the lifelong Republican recalled when talking to his wife Monday morning. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

CASSILLY EXCLUDES NEW COUNCIL MEMBER FROM CEREMONY: Harford County held its official inauguration ceremony for elected officials Monday but one newly elected council member was excluded. Jacob Bennett, elected in November to Council District F, was not invited to the inauguration nor was Bennett’s name on the list of new County Council members in the program booklet. Bennett, 27, will be one of two Democrats on County Council, along with Dion Guthrie from District A. At issue is Bennett’s employment as a teacher in Harford County Public Schools. Jason Fontelieu and Maria Morales/The Aegis.

ALSOBROOKS PROMISES TO LIFT PRINCE GEORGE’S: As fresh faces were sworn in Monday to serve on Prince George’s County Council, County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) also took an oath for her second term, promising a united effort to lift the county. Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.

CARROLL COMMISSIONERS SEE FOUR NEW MEMBERS: Monday marked a new start for Carroll County government as the 62nd Board of Commissioners was sworn in. The new all-Republican board includes four brand new members and one returning member. All are men. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.

FITZWATER MAKES MORE HISTORY IN FREDERICK: Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater and the seven members of the Frederick County Council were sworn into office at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick on Monday. Fitzwater succeeded fellow Democrat Jan Gardner, who was elected in 2014 as the county’s first executive, then reelected in 2018. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News Post.

  • Fitzwater, 39, becomes the second county executive in Frederick history, taking over from Democrat Jan Gardner, who was termed out after eight years on the job. Frederick is the only county in the state to have elected women as county executives back-to-back — though Baltimore City had three women serve consecutive terms as mayor from 2007 to 2019. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

PITTMAN HOPES TO CONTINUE COURSE IN ARUNDEL: Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman was sworn-in to a second term Monday at Crownsville Hospital Memorial Park, a location specifically chosen to represent what the Democrat hopes to achieve over the next four years. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.

CECIL WRESTLES WITH 5 NEW CHARTER AMENDMENTS: Five amendments to the Cecil County charter were passed during the Nov. 8 General Election. Under one of the new amendments, the county government is now required to disclose details for all county purchases and service contracts over $100,000. The amendment, which passed with nearly 87% of the vote, requires the descriptions, prices, vendors, number of bids and source of funding to be disclosed to the County Council after the contract is awarded or action is executed by the county executive. Matt Hubbard/The Cecil Whig.

SURVIVORS ASK COURT TO ALLOW RELEASE OF SEX ABUSE PROBE: Legal arguments will continue behind closed doors about whether a Baltimore judge should release a 456-page investigation into child sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Tim Prudente/The Baltimore Banner.

  • Abuse survivors who were featured in “The Keepers,” a widely viewed 2017 Netflix documentary about clergy sexual misconduct at a Baltimore Catholic girls’ school in the 1960s and ’70s, have filed a court motion calling for the full release of a report by the Maryland attorney general on sexual abuse by clergy and other employees in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore. Jonathan M. Pitts and Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.
  • “There were so many people who turned a blind eye toward what happened,” said survivor Jean Hargadon Wehner. “I think it’s very important that the whole report be disclosed. It validates us. It legitimizes us. It says to our family and friends that we didn’t make it up. And then we can begin to heal.” Julie Scharper/The Baltimore Banner.

FORMER GOV. CANDIDATE JOHN KING TAPPED AS SUNY CHANCELLOR: Former Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful and U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. has been appointed chancellor of the State University of New York, the nation’s largest university system, SUNY announced Monday. Carolyn Thompson/The Associated Press.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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