For Annapolis Mayor Moyer, Another Four Years
Sure, Annapolis is a political entity, a city of some 36,600 urbanites only 7,786 or so of whom cast their votes Nov. 8 to choose the nine people who would govern their city through 2009.
But for the rest of us, Annapolis is our capital, which makes it a city in which we take interest and pride as well as visiting family and friends to show off the city’s many sights.
So Ellen Moyer’s impressive reelection with 46 percent of the votes in a three-way race in this anti-incumbent year makes a difference for all of us. It doesn’t guarantee we’ll have a perfect city or an easy place to park. But it does mean Annapolis will live up to our expectations for capital city and a historic destination.
From improving “gateways” the entrance roads into the city, to burying power lines, to greenscaping public spaces, to renewing parks, Moyer has invested both money and her political capital in our capital city’s appearance. Her attentions have gone beneath the surface of a pretty face to the integrity of the infrastructure and the environment. One example: a model program our counties should copy in the city’s Five Cents a Day for the Bay stormwater management fund to upgrade storm drains.
We’ll all find things we don’t like. During her watch, investors have begun a transformative redevelopment of the city from the historic old city out West Street. It’s scary just how big some of those monoliths are and how closely they crowd sidewalks and roads. And Market House; we can’t help wondering how that potential improvement degenerated into a fiasco that made everybody mad and look bad.
But you can’t be mayor without making enemies. That’s why so few city mayors only six in the last century, including Moyer’s ex-husband Roger ‘Pip’ Moyer win a second term.
Market House was one of the rallying points of a challenge so intense that Moyer wasn’t counting any chickens when she arrived at O’Brien’s for her election night party as the polls closed Nov. 8.
“It’s been really, really tough,” she told Bay Weekly as she dangled in uncertainty while the totals came in ward by ward.
Ward 1, the home of her toughest opposition, gave native son Gilbert Renaut, an independent, 677 votes to her 531. But for Moyer, the margin of loss was encouraging.
In ward 2, Renaut edged Moyer out again. But on the margin he was losing ground.
Moyer gritted her teeth as the vote came in from wards 3, 4, and 6. In those wards, African American voters had helped her to victory in 2001. Would they in this election, when an African American, retiring alderman George Kelley, was the third candidate, running on the Republican ticket?
“The African American vote in those wards gave her a margin of victory,” trumpeted Carl Snowden, a former city alderman on the staff of county executive Janet Owens.
Kelley took no wards, polling 1,369 votes to Moyer’s 3,450. Renaut placed second with 2,764. Moyer also won in wards 5, 7 and 8, sealing her victory.
As those numbers came in, Moyer said “Whew!” and gave the thumbs-up sign. The morning after, she put those feelings into words. “My decisive win over two determined opponents reflected the effort and will,” she said, “of those who appreciate what a diverse, citizen-driven local government can achieve.”