Anne Arundel County Executive-elect Steuart Pittman promises community-focused inauguration ceremony

Chase Cook
Contact Reporterccook@capgaznews.com

Steuart Pittman will become the new county executive at noon Monday, and he is promising an inauguration ceremony focusing on community and not political dignitaries.

Four of the major speakers include a student, a firefighter, a farmer from north county and local historian Janice Hayes-Williams, Pittman said. The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. in the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. The ceremony is expected to take about an hour, with lunch to follow.

“The message is that government is here to serve communities,” Pittman said. “Having people who are not in government positions, we want to hear from the communities about what the issues are.”

Pittman is replacing Steve Schuh, who served as county executive for a four-year term. Schuh was defeated Nov. 6, with Pittman earning 52 percent of the vote. The defeat came as a surprise to Republicans who had internal polling showing a 10 to 15 percentage points victory.

While Pittman takes office Monday, he doesn’t have any major announcements planned at this time. He is reviewing department head positions and contracts and deals created under the Schuh administration.

The incoming county executive wouldn’t commit to ending the county’s 287(g) program. Pittman was critical of the program during his campaign, saying it deterred immigrant residents from working with police.

Schuh defended the program as the only tool the county could use to identify undocumented criminals. Only the county’s detention officers were trained in the program. They now screen incoming inmates and inform the government of the person’s immigration status. If a person is undocumented or violating immigration laws, Immigration and Customs Enforcement can lodge a detainer.

Previously the county would enter inmate information into a database that could be cross referenced by federal immigration authorities.

Schuh’s team has been great throughout the transition, Pittman said.

The County Council will be sworn in at a separate ceremony at 3 p.m. in the Arundel Center County Council Chambers. The council will begin their work with a 7 p.m. meeting following their swearing in. A preliminary agenda for that meeting has not yet been poste.

Only one incumbent councilman will return to work: Andrew Pruski, D-Gambrills. Pruski is a front-runner to be the council chairman with his previous experience, but he has said previously the decision on the new chair has not been made. The council will select its chair at its first meeting.

The entire council is meeting together for the first time Thursday, Pittman said.

Six new council members will join Pruski, five of them women. The previous council was all men. There are seven districts in the county with each represented by one person.

  • Sarah Lacey, District 1, Democrat
  • Allison Pickard, District 2, Democrat
  • Nathan Volke, District 3, Republican
  • Andrew Pruski, District 4, Democrat
  • Amanda Fiedler, District 5, Republican
  • Lisa Rodvien, District 6, Democrat
  • Jessica Haire, District 7, Republican

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