The new Anne Arundel County Council took office Monday with a swearing-in ceremony and its first meeting only a few hours later.
The seven council members were sworn in at a short ceremony at 3 p.m. The first meeting followed at 7 p.m. and included public interviews of potential Board of Appeals members and the election of the council’s new chair and vice-chair.
Councilman Andrew Pruski, D-Gambrills, was unanimously elected chairman. He is the only incumbent council member who was not term-limited and didn’t lose his primary election. There are six new members on the council. There are now five women on the council compared to zero on the previous council.
Pruski represents District 4. The chair guides the council through each agenda.
“I’m very excited,” Pruski said. “We got a great start.”
Councilwoman Alison Pickard, D-Millersville, was elected vice-chair of the council. The vice-chair assumes the duties of the chair when they leave their seat or are unable to make a council meeting.
Monday’s first meeting thrust the new council directly into work. After the chairs were elected the council began interviews with Board of Appeals applicants. There were 25 people listed on the preliminary agenda, though some tapered off as they learned of the time commitments, council staff said.
The council will then appoint new members to the Board of Appeals at the scheduled Dec. 17 meeting. The board members will be sworn into office Dec. 18.
The Board of Appeals is a quasi-judicial government body that hears and reviews appeals related to county decisions. If the county government approves something that can be appealed, typically the first stop is the county Board of Appeals. From there it moves into higher courts.
The Anne Arundel County Council meets at 7 p.m. every other Monday in the Arundel Center, 44 Calvert St. Anyone interested in speaking during public comments or a public hearing can sign up before the meeting or approach the microphone when requested by the chairman.