As the current administration prepares for the final regular city council meeting of its term tomorrow night, Annapolis Mayor-elect Ellen O. Moyer prepares to take office, announcing inaugural and transition plans, including citizen teams that will brainstorm for solutions to city problems.
Trying to make good on a campaign promise of collaboration and inclusiveness, Moyer, who will take office along with council members Dec. 3, has been meeting with aldermen and department heads to assess their priorities for the next four years.
She has also established 13 "problem-solving action teams" with more than 100 members from diverse backgrounds to advise her on key issues.
"The transition often just looks at different departments - we're not doing that," Moyer said. "We are looking at specific issues raised in the campaign by citizens."
The teams - each with nine members plus city council members, officials and staffers acting as resource people - are charged with examining issues ranging from education to transportation and making recommendations for four-year plans to the new mayor by Jan. 15, in time for possible inclusion in the budget.
Moyer has given each team specific questions on which to focus, along with considerations or limiting factors to keep in mind.
Among the team leaders are: outgoing Alderman Joseph Sachs, who will head the economic development team charged with examining how to attract and nurture small businesses; Trudy McFall, co-founder and chairwoman of nonprofit Homes for America, who will lead the home ownership/affordable housing team; and former Naval Academy Superintendent Adm. Ronald F. Maryott, who will head the security team in addressing the city's emergency response coordination.
Moyer's campaign manager, Kathleen M. Nieberding, is serving as the transition team chairwoman.
Sachs, a Republican who was defeated in the Ward 4 general election by Democrat George O. Kelley, said he was "delighted" to be asked to serve in Moyer's transition.
"I think it is well-thought-out, it makes total sense and I am happy to be a part of it," he said of the action teams.
Range of issues
The topics of other teams are Market House, parking and transportation, public housing, senior services, fiscal concerns, mandatory drug counseling, violence prevention, education, environmental and watershed management, and Latino and Hispanic concerns.
Transition team progress reports and other information will be posted on the city's Web site, www.ci.annapolis.md.us.
"No one person can make all the decisions on things that need to be done," Moyer said. She said the teams will help her establish administrative priorities early.
"We're hitting the ground running," Moyer said.
"I'm going to walk into an office with no furniture" - Mayor Dean L. Johnson's own furniture now fills the mayor's office - "but aside from that we'll be doing just fine," she said.
Ceremony Dec. 3
Moyer also announced plans last week for the city inauguration and for an inaugural gala.
The inauguration of the mayor and aldermen will be held at 4 p.m. Dec. 3 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Moyer, one of the hall's founders, will be sworn in by County Clerk of Court Robert P. Duckworth. She then will swear in the aldermen.
Among other things, the inauguration will feature a musical presentation including a gospel choir and local singer Parris Lane, and a sing-along with pianist and singer Dick Gessner, a former Annapolis performer.
"Ellen swore if she was ever elected mayor she was going to have Dick Gessner perform at her inaugural," said Jan Hardesty, Moyer's friend and a campaign volunteer.
Moyer's campaign will fly Gessner from Florida, where he lives, to Annapolis for the event.
Formal gala Dec. 7
On Dec. 7, the campaign will hold a formal gala from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville.
The black-tie-optional event will include champagne, desserts and dancing. The cost is $125, with proceeds going to Moyer's campaign fund. Tickets will be available at the door.
Both events are open to the public.
The city council will meet at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at City Hall on Duke of Gloucester Street.