To the citizens of Anne Arundel County's Sixth Councilmanic District:
Thank you for the privilege of representing you on the Anne Arundel County Council for these past three years. I have always felt that public service was a noble calling and a worthwhile use of one's time. Serving as a council member has offered me a unique opportunity to help people, and I am grateful for your trust and confidence in electing me.
Today is my last day as your County Councilman. Tomorrow I begin a new challenge when I am sworn in as Mayor of Annapolis. Before I step down let me share with you some thoughts about community involvement.
Community involvement is the alpha and omega of getting things done. That's the long and short of it. If you as a private citizen care about an issue, the best way to advance your viewpoint is to personally get involved. Regardless of the issue -- school funding, development, taxes, public safety — citizen involvement makes a difference. I witness it every day.
Even unsuccessful efforts can make a difference. The year-long effort to enact a stormwater utility fund, though it fell short by one vote, significantly raised public awareness of the problem and moved the political center closer towards solving it. I am confident that it is only a matter of time until a future council makes it happen.
Politics is like water -- they both tend to follow the path of least resistance. The best way to shift the outcome of a political debate is to insert yourself in it. Get involved.
One of the joys of my job has been getting to know and work with so many of you who care about our community and take the time to get involved. I hope you will stay in touch and will continue to call on me if I can be of help. You will be able to reach me after tomorrow at email@example.com or 410-263-7997. If you want to receive email notices of goings-on at City Hall, visit the MyAnnapolis webpage at http://annapolis.gov/myannapolis.asp?page=2819 where you can subscribe to different e-news lists. I also have started a new blog, www.MayorCohen.com, where I will be posting news and updates.
As mandated by County Code, my successor will be selected by a majority vote of the remaining County Council members. Several individuals have applied, and several civic groups are sponsoring a candidates' forum this Wednesday, December 9th from 7 to 9 p.m. at Annapolis Middle School. This forum will be a good -- perhaps the only -- opportunity for you to hear them in person before they are interviewed by the Council on Dec. 17th. Equally important, it will be an opportunity for the candidates to hear you.
I and the members of the next city council will be sworn-in tomorrow (Monday) at 2 p.m. at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
I owe a large debt of gratitude to my Legislative Aide Gail Smith. There is no one more dedicated, professional and committed to her community than Gail. It has been a privilege to work alongside her and I am thrilled that she will be coming with me to City Hall.
Thank you again for the privilege of serving on the County Council. My best wishes for a peaceful and happy holiday season.