Bevins elected Baltimore County Council chairwoman

The Baltimore County Council on Monday unanimously elected Councilwoman Cathy Bevins to serve as chairwoman for 2014.

Bevins, a Middle River Democrat, was elected to the council in 2010. She previously worked as former County Executive Jim Smith's constituent services coordinator for the county's east side, and as administrator of the Baltimore County Volunteer Firemen's Association. She now represents Baltimore County on the legislative committee for the Maryland Association of Counties.

Bevins will replace Councilman Tom Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat, as council chair. The council, which has seven members, elects a leader each January. The chairperson leads meetings and handles administrative duties for the council.

"I respect her independence a lot," Quirk said of Bevins. "I appreciate her willingness to look at every issue on a case by case basis and on the merits."

Bevins, 54, said some of her biggest accomplishments while in office have been securing funding for her district for projects such as road paving and school renovations.

"I feel like I've been really successful at securing funding and finding that balance of picking and choosing what I ask for," Bevins said. "What we don't get the first time we ask, I've learned not to stop asking."

Bevins said she wants to continue her focus on constituent services.

"Those little things that people call about are just as the important as the big issues," she said, mentioning everyday complaints such as potholes and neighborhood code-enforcement issues.

Bevins is the third woman to chair the council. Reisterstown Democrat Vicki Almond was the second, leading the council in 2012. After Bevins and Almond were elected to the council in 2010, they became the first two women to serve on the council at the same time.

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