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Laurel City Council members Nicholas, Leszcz not seeking reelection | READER COMMENTARY

Nicholas thanks Laurel community

It is with a grateful heart that I announce to the Laurel community that I will not seek reelection in November of this year.

I have had the great privilege and honor to serve as a Laurel City Council member for the past 10 years, and now it is time for me to move into the next chapter of my life.

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I am very proud to have made history by being elected as the first African American woman to serve as a Laurel City Council member and as the first African American woman to serve as council president.

One of the most rewarding experiences has been chairing the Citizens Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities. The Committee Members have worked very hard to create the committee’s website, bit.ly/LaurelPersonswithDisabilitiesCAC, which has a host of useful links, recommended readings, useful applications, and a reporting avenue for local Americans with Disabilities Act access issues.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, the mayor and city council very successfully pivoted to an all-virtual platform to continue our regular meeting schedule, all while conducting regular business for our residents and taking the necessary steps to keep our citizens and employees safe.

To the Laurel community thank you for the many years of support. I also want to thank my fellow council members and the mayor for your partnership. Lastly, I would like to extend my appreciation to the great team of city employees and to the Laurel Police Department for their commitment and hard work. It has certainly been a pleasure working with all of you.

Valerie M.A. Nicholas

Laurel City Council president

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Leszcz proud of his service

It is with deep emotion that I let you know that I will not be seeking reelection this year, ending my 25 years on the Laurel City Council.

During my tenure on the Laurel City Council, I served several terms as council president and president pro tem mentoring and providing guidance and advice to newer councilpersons, while representing the needs of all citizens in an evenhanded approach.

I was proud to provide leadership on the Patuxent River Commission, while serving on Maryland Municipal League, National League of Cities and Council of Governments committees. I enjoyed working with the administration and other members of the Laurel council to provide oversight of city budgets and capital improvement plans.

During my tenure working with the mayor’s office I pushed and supported a substantive increase to the city of Laurel pension plan funds to ensure that resources will be available in the future to meet the pension needs of our employees when they retire. I will not be going anywhere as my wife, Mary Eileen, and I plan to spend our retirement years on Prince George Street, a family tradition.

I want to thank the many city residents I have met over the years and wish the council members the very best. I have assured Mayor Craig Moe that I will be available when needed and when called.

Michael Leszcz

Laurel City Council member, Ward 1

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