County Council elects new leadership

  • Written by  Rachel Cain, courtesy photos
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GlarosnTurnerUPPER MARLBORO – During the annual gavel exchange ceremony, the Prince George’s County Council elected its new chair and vice chair for the next legislative year.

On Dec. 5, the council unanimously elected Councilwoman Danielle Glaros as its chair and Councilman Todd Turner as its vice-chair. They will serve in these positions through Dec. 4, 2018.

Glaros is the first council member from District 3 to serve as chair in 20 years. She will take over the position from Councilman Derrick Davis, who just completed his second consecutive term as chair.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” Davis said. “Thank you for taking this journey with me. Together, I believe we have delivered.”

County Executive Rushern Baker, III recognized Davis’ commitment to the county council over the last two years in a statement.

“He has been a steadfast, energetic, skillful and respected leader who has made an impact in the county as well as throughout this region and the state,” Baker said. “The accomplishments and achievements of the Prince George’s County Council under his leadership have significantly contributed to our quest to become the ‘Place to Be’ for residents, visitors, and businesses.”

Davis reflected over the past legislative year and the various development projects, such as the new regional medical center in Largo that broke ground earlier this month.

“We have been putting shovels in the ground across our county and we have been working hard to make sure economic development is also transit-oriented development,” Davis said.

He also thanked Glaros, his vice-chair, for her collaboration with him throughout the year.

“She caught every fastball, most of my curveballs, and that dreaded screwball. And last year we had a pop fly together over the last couple of years,” Davis said. “We still got some pitches to make, we still got some balls to hit. But, I gave her the mitt and now with confidence, I’m handing her and co-leader Todd Turner the gavel. They are definitely the ones you want on your team.”

After she and Davis switched seats on the dias, Glaros, as the new chair, addressed the council.

“I’m deeply humbled by this moment and very grateful to my colleagues on this council for choosing me to serve as chair for the 2018 legislative year,” she said. “Thank you for your confidence and the opportunity to serve with such accomplished leaders. I am proud to accept the gavel you’ve entrusted to me, I know the work we have done together to strengthen the communities we are privileged to represent.”

She wiped tears from her eyes as she recalled her journey to elected office.

“I also want to thank countless others, including many of my District 3 residents who encouraged her to pursue elected office,” she said. “You saw in me leadership qualities that I myself had not recognized. I am grateful for your confidence in me. It truly is an honor to represent you.”

Turner and Glaros both joined the county council in 2014. Turner previously served as Bowie’s mayor pro tem, making him the first African-American to hold that position in the city.

“I am absolutely thrilled that my colleague from District 4, Todd Turner, will be serving as my co-leader,” Glaros said. “2018 will be a huge year for our county and this council, and I could not be blessed with a better partner in the leadership of this legislative body.”

During the meeting, Glaros delineated the council’s legislative priorities for the new year.

“Its game on in legislative year 2018,” Glaros said. “The council will continue its strong commitment to our legislative priorities: transportation, economic development and transit-oriented development, healthcare, education, fiscal responsibility and public safety.

“We will also maintain our focus on strengthening nonprofit organizations in Prince George’s County. The county council will also continue to focus on state and federal funding, the (fiscal year) 2019 budget, rewrite of the county’s 50-year zoning ordinance, address our housing challenges, look at the performance audit and act in the council’s role as the board of health.”

Glaros also announced the leadership of the council committees for the upcoming legislative year.

Councilwoman Andrea Harrison will continue as the chair of the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee. Councilman Mel Franklin will be the vice-chair.

Davis will be the chair and Councilwoman Deni Taveras will be the vice-chair of the Public Safety and Fiscal Management Committee.

Turner will serve as the chair of the council’s Transportation, Housing and Environment Committee with Councilwoman Karen Toles as the vice-chair.

Councilwoman Mary Lehman and Councilman Obie Patterson will be chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the Health, Education and Human Services Committee.

Davis and Turner will serve together as the leadership team for general assembly.

The first county council session of 2018 is scheduled for Jan. 9.

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