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Leventhal Elected President of MoCo Council


By Kevin O’Rourke

At the inaugural meeting of the newly elected Montgomery County Council, At-Large Councilmember George Leventhal was unanimously elected to serve as Council President for the year. Leventhal, who severed as Vice President of the Council last year, was nominated by new District 3 Councilmember Sidney Katz.

The new Council was sworn into office at a ceremeny held at Richard Montgomery High School on Monday, Dec. 1.

Germantown resident and District 2 representative Craig Rice served as Council President last year.

At-Large Councilmember Nancy Floreen was unanimously elected to serve as Vice President of the County Council, after being nominated by Councilmember Nancy Navarro. Floreen is also an At-Large Member of the Council.

During his acceptance speech, Leventhal said that he wanted Montgomery County to be known as the county that works. “We are not Congress,” he said, “we want results.” He spoke about the importance of job creation and the need to market the county better as an international gateway. He also spoke about the need for equity and fairness in handing out contracts and working toward being in the forefront on environmental issues in the county.

“My sincere thanks to my council colleagues who this morning elected me Council President for the coming year,” Leventhal said on his Twitter account.

Leventhal, 51, of Takoma Park, is beginning his fourth term on the county council. He is the Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman. Levanthal has served as Health and Human Services Committee to help reduce homelessness in the county. He is co-founder of the Purple Line Now, which advocates the 16-mile long modern light rail project that will connect Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Takoma/Langley, College Park, and New Carrollton in neighboring Prince Georges County. During his campaign for re-election, he said he will work to restrict the use of toxic pesticides in the county and earned sick leave for county employees

Nancy Floreen has been a member of the County Council since 2002, and served as Council President in 2010. Floreen, 63, or Garrett Park, chaired the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee until 2010 when she became Chair of the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee. Previously, she served as mayor of Garrett Park and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, as well as, the County Planning Board. Floreen has pledged to work toward ensuring the county’s fiscal sustainability, to increase job opportunities, as well as continue to improve education.

As he was turning over Council President duties, outgoing president Craig Rice thanked Leventhal for his leadership and support last year. “He and I worked well together this year and I applaud and appreciate him stepping up when needed,” said Rice.

“In December of last year, I set a very ambitious goal of things that I wanted to accomplish and I am proud to say we have done many of them,” said Rice. “I wanted us to continue maintaining fiscal responsibility: As the economy continued to recover from the Great Recession, the Council made responsible fiscal decisions to keep the County moving forward. In May the Council unanimously approved a $4.99 billion total County operating budget for Fiscal Year 2015 that fully funded the County’s world-class school system, provided major new support for Montgomery College, added new resources to the County’s great park system and boosted critical areas that had suffered during the recession, including librar