BOWIE – The City of Bowie has its first new mayor in 21 years and the first African American mayor, as Tim Adams took the reins from previous Mayor G. Frederick Robinson in his swearing-in ceremony on Nov. 19.
“I consider today one of the greatest honors of my life, to have the opportunity to represent our great city as the mayor,” said Adams.
Adams, a 25-year resident, founded System Application & Technologies Inc. (SA-TECH), headquartered in Upper Marlboro. He won the election against former Councilmember Dennis Brady and Len Lucchi, the first two-term president of the Bowie Chamber of Commerce. Lucchi received endorsements from Robinson and former County Executive Rushern Baker III.
“I told people I’d divide the world into two parts: people that live here and people that should,” said Robinson, ending his term on an optimistic note.
Robinson leaves the city council after a storied tenure as the mayor.
“I’m satisfied, at the end of the day, the motivation behind every discussion, every debate, every argument is what is the best for the City of Bowie,” said Robinson.
The room was packed to the rim as people came to see the transition of power to a city council that has largely changed. Aside from incumbent councilmembers Michael Estève (District 1), DuFour Woolfley (District 2) and Henri Gardner (at-large), who won their reelection bids, the new council sees a new At-Large councilmember as well as new representatives for Districts 3 and 4. Adrian Boafo and Roxy Ndebumadu were sworn in as the representatives for Districts 3 and 4, respectively, while Ingrid Harrison won an at-large seat.
Boafo also earned another title, as he was selected as the mayor pro tempore. Henri Gardner previously held the position.
It was clearly an emotional affair, as Adams was greeted with a rousing applause and emotional residents, supporters and other interested parties.
“History teaches us that unity and a cohesive effort will be required to advance the city with the new council’s vision,” said Adams.
Respects were paid to the leaving Robinson as well as the departing councilmembers, as the new staff was welcomed with applause and cheers.
“This is my fifth term. I had no idea I’d be in office for five terms. I thought, well maybe two-year terms, see how I like it, well it’s been 12 years,” said Issac Trouth, formerly the councilmember for District 4, surprised at the loyalty the city rewarded him. Trouth left a parting message of fiscal responsibility, noting how the city’s valuation has drastically increased.
“We know we have plenty of money, but we don’t have money to burn. We’re not excessively wealthy; we’re not rich, we’re just able to take care of our bills based on what the things we have learned, what we have been taught, and how we want to go about making our city the premier city in the state,” said Trouth.
James Marcos, previously an at-large councilmember who lost to Harrison and Gardner, espoused his collaboration with Robinson throughout the years as a positive for the council’s agenda.
“Definitely want to thank the Mayor, it was an honor serving with him all these years. I’m proud to say we saw eye to eye on a lot of things, and we got a lot of things done,” said Marcos.
Ndebumadu gave thanks to Robinson, citing him as a reason why her mother, an immigrant from Nigeria, settled in the city.
“My mom came from Nigeria and settled in Bowie, thanks to you, Mayor Robinson,” said Ndebumadu. She, like some on the council, chose to still refer to him as Mayor as an honorific title to reward his lengthy career.
To wind down the night, Adams spoke about unity, reiterating the idea of ‘one Bowie’ and expressing a vision of moving the city towards the future together- as well as an announcement of trash pickup twice a week, which elicited immediate delight from the crowd.
“We will move forward together as one Bowie: a city that takes care of its own, promotes smart economic development, educates our kids at the highest levels, takes care of our elderly and, yes, picks up the trash twice a week,” said Adams.