By Mark M. Odell - The Capital
Mayor Ellen O. Moyer sits between Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and County Executive Janet S. Owens.
Changing of the guard in Annapolis: It's now Mayor Moyer 
By JEFF HORSEMAN, Staff Writer

Ellen O. Moyer became Annapolis' first female mayor yesterday in a jubilant ceremony recognizing the newfound power of women in local politics. 

The audience of around 800 inside Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts leaped to its feet and roared after Ms. Moyer, 65, took the oath of office from county Clerk of the Court Robert P. Duckworth. 

The new mayor then swore in the eight city aldermen one by one. She will preside over a council unprecedented in its makeup, with three African-Americans and five women among the nine-member body. 

In her remarks, Ms. Moyer, Eastport's alderman for 14 years prior to her election on Nov. 6, said her four-year administration would be defined by "positive energy." 

"We will be active not only in addressing problems, but in seeking opportunities, initiating actions and learning from others with similar circumstances," the former education lobbyist said. "And we will get results." 

She won office with a campaign theme of forging partnerships to improve Annapolis' quality of life. To that end, 13 transition teams with 120 members are developing action plans to tackle a variety of topics. 

Ms. Moyer, whose ex-husband served as mayor from 1965 to 1973, asked audience members during the ceremony to put on pins with the city's floral emblem denoting them as ambassadors of Annapolis. The thistle and rose were the symbol of Britian's Queen Anne. 

"Annapolis is a jewel, as magnificent as any of those in Queen Anne's crown," she said. "We empower each citizen to make this city a glittering gem." 

The ceremony was replete with song, including music from the Interfaith Community Praise Choir, the Chancel Choir of Mount Zion United Methodist Church and the Annapolis High School band. 

In addition, pianist Dick Gessner led the audience in a sing-along, and singer Parris Lane gave an impassioned rendition of Mariah Carey's tune "Hero." 

Joining Ms. Moyer on stage was an elite group of fellow Democratic lawmakers. U.S. Sens. Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski were on hand, as was Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. 

Recognizing the gains of women in public office, Mr. Sarbanes quipped he attended the inauguration "to provide some balance." 

Ms. Mikulski compared the plethora of female politicians in Maryland to the first American woman to fly into space. 

"What Sally Ride did for space, Maryland and Anne Arundel County is doing for American politics," she said. 

Mrs. Townsend praised Ms. Moyer's "shimmering community spirit." 

"This is a new and better day in Annapolis," she said. "And thanks to (Ms. Moyer), there will be many more." 

Pledging to be there for the mayor "24-7," County Executive Janet S. Owens said "the doors are always open between the city and the county." 

Ms. Owens used part of her speech to salute outgoing mayor Dean L. Johnson, who was seated in the audience. Also attending the festivities was former Ward 5 Alderman Herbert H. McMillan, the Republican mayoral candidate who lost to Ms. Moyer in a heated race. 

Ms. Moyer's ex-husband, Roger W. "Pip" Moyer, was joined at the event by several other former mayors. 

Ms. Moyer and each alderman brought relatives to hold the Bible during his or her oath, administered at a podium flanked by poinsettias. 

The newly sworn-in aldermen are: 

Louise M. Hammond, D-Ward 1. 

Sheila M. Tolliver, D-Ward 2. 

Classie G. Hoyle, D-Ward 3. 

George O. Kelley Sr., D-Ward 4. 

David H. Cordle Sr., R-Ward 5. 

Cynthia A. Carter, D-Ward 6. 

Michael W. Fox, R-Ward 7. 

 Josh Cohen, D-Ward 8. 

Ms. Moyer will earn $65,000 a year during her term, a raise of $13,000. The aldermen will each take in $12,000, up from the previous council's $8,500. 

The inaugural ball, sponsored by Friends of Ellen Moyer, costs $125 per person and will be held at 8 p.m. Friday at Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville. 

The new council's first meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall. 

- No Jumps-

Published December 04, 2001, The Capital, Annapolis, Md.
Copyright © 2001 The Capital, Annapolis, Md.