A swearing-in ceremony was held to mark Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley’s second term on Monday, December 6, 2021. To celebrate the installation of the city’s 137th mayor, there was a parade from Calvert Street on to West Street, hosted by the city, before the ceremony in Maryland’s capital.
Eight city council members were also sworn in, including: Alderwoman Eleanor Tierney (Ward one); Alderwoman Karma O’Neill (Ward two’s new member); Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles (Ward three); Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson (Ward four); Brooks Schandelmeier (Ward five); Alderman DaJuan Gay (Ward six); Alderman Rob Savidge (Ward seven); and Alderman Ross Arnett III (Ward eight).
Inclusivity to bring the city together as “One Annapolis” was a recurring theme, while a host of speakers delivered remarks at the 2021 Mayoral Inauguration.
“So today we get started on another four years, and for that I highly thank the voters of the City of Annapolis. The voters resoundingly asked for us to continue this work, and I’m proud to have received support from Democrats, Independents, and Republicans,” said Buckley, referring to his reelection. “What began four years ago was a beginning of a journey to act on a bold vision for Annapolis; a dream for the city that we all love. Many of our plans are in the cue. In our second term, it will be our priority to see these efforts through.”
The West East extension (which includes the extension of a bicycle and pedestrian path of Poplar Trail); the rebuild of the Hillman garage; flood mitigation on Compromise Street; water access and stormwater improvement; renovation of the Burtis House near the City Dock; rebuilding public housing; and green effort continuation were among projects Buckley identified as items on the city’s past and continuing agenda. He also mentioned that improving aging infrastructure and coming up with ample plans for addressing unexpected situations are additional priorities. Achieving success for all residents who are a part of “One Annapolis,” and working to unite partisan division to support goals which benefit them, underscored more elements of Buckley’s results-driven plans.
The Annapolis mayor also cited COVID-19 losses, gun violence, drug overdose issues, and the EF-2 tornado that ripped through the city. Despite the challenges mentioned, Buckley remarked that he aspires for Annapolis’ current era to become known as progressive and resilient. A plan to renovate City Dock is also on the agenda, according to officials.
“We are moving forward,” Buckley said. “We can model solutions— smart city solutions, grassroots solutions. We can’t be afraid to try new things. We can’t be afraid to dream. We will continue to be a model for innovation. I know that new ideas will come our way, even with the plans we have, and the surprise fate has in store for us.”
United States Senator Ben Cardin recognized Buckley’s contributions while offering his congratulations.
“Mayor Buckley has provided visionary leadership for this historic city that has such an incredible legacy and such a bright future, under the leadership of Mayor Buckley,” said Senator Cardin. “He’s welcomed all, and he’s found solutions to people’s problems, and he’s been able to overcome major obstacles. No more difficult obstacle than COVID-19. And through his leadership, we have seen how the resiliency of this city and its people have moved forward, even during COVID 19.”
William Rowel, who is a Senior Advisor at the Mayor’s Office of the City of Annapolis, served as the Master of Ceremonies. He mentioned Buckley’s historic commitment to bring business owners, community leaders and residents together to develop ideas and economic opportunities for a constantly evolving city.
“His vision is for a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive Annapolis with infrastructure, services and events that make it a wonderful place to live, and a wonderful place to work for all of us. The future looks bright under his leadership, Mayor Gavin Buckley,” Rowell said, before Buckley was sworn in for a second term.